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Thread: I just don't understand my sister

  1. #1
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I have 2 sisters and 1 brother, all older than me by at least 5 years. Our father passed away in December and left everything to the 4 of us. My brother, as executor, has been really great in taking care of everything and I did make him a quilt to thank him for all his work.

    So... the money that was in the family trust was split 4 ways very equitably. My father kept record of every $20 that one of us borrowed so after the 4-way split everything anyone borrowed was taken out of their share and put back into the "pot". That pot was again split 4 ways. Basically back into the pot what would have been there to split.

    One of my sisters had borrowed well over $40k, $32k of it to not lose her SECOND house to foreclosure (lost the first one) so she received less than the other 3. That was just part of my parents' estate and the rest will be settled soon, it was not an unsubstancial sum.

    My brother just told me that this sister has asked for a $5k advance on the rest. Then about in the same breath he tells me that she has rented a house at the lake for a week because it's her b-day. This sister also bought a Mercedes after she received the money. I guess I shouldn't be surprised but I still am. She has been out of work for years on disability, always struggling to make ends meet, always broke. I would have hoped that she would put this money away to help make her life a little easier for the long term but I see that is not to be.

    It hurts me not only on the level that she is doing these distructive things to herself but blowing away what my parents worked all their lives for in just a few months.

    I have spent very little of it, the biggest was for a new Viking sewing machine and I felt guilty about that even. Almost all of it went into investments, CDs, and high yield savings and the rest of it will too. My father always told me that he wanted it for us to have some security and that's just what I'll do with it. I don't expect that my sister will have anything left by the end of the year.


  2. #2
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    I am so sorry you have this worry after losing your dad. Stay strong. She is a grown up and is going to have to be responsible for herself now.

  3. #3
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I agree with kwhite. Your sister is old enough to know what she has to do. Don't stress yourself out about this. Easy to say, hard to do...been there, done that with my own sister. She blew ALL of her inheritance on drugs and doesn't have anything left.
    Sooner or later they learn, we hope.

  4. #4
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I know that I can't change her or make her do anything. I do suspect that she may be doing drugs. She is VERY skinney, unheathily so, and she has lost all her teeth. I know this is a side affect of some drugs like Meth, it's called Meth Mouth. She is only 5 years older than me, not yet 50, but I'm not sure about the teeth/drugs because I remember us being at the dentist when we were little and the dentist saying even then that her teeth were gray, like dead, and they have always been bad. My father had false teeth since his 20's.

    My other sister is very skinny too though, even a size 1 jeans was almost falling off her when we were running to catch a plane. She doesn't do drugs and she has been to a doctor about it who actually told her to have a cocktail before dinner to stimulate her appetite. My mother was slim too. My brother and I take after our father so we don't have that problem.

    For these reasons I'm just not sure if she is using drugs and there's nothing I could do about it anyway. She is married and has 3 grown children, 2 grandchildren.

  5. #5
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    Sorry to hear you're going through this. But remember, you can only change, that which you can control. You could ask your brother to deny any future requests for money advances. It would at least postpone her spending. What does her husband say about flittering away all the inheritance money? Or, do you think he may be using drugs, too?

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    It is heart wrenching to watch someone you love do things that are not in their best interest. Sometimes all you can do is step back and let them do it. Try not to focus on what she is doing with her inheritance, there is not much of anything you can do about it but give yourself an ulcer. Your father probably knew when he set up his estate that this was a good possiblility, (considering her history of money issues) and he still chose to give her the funds in a lump sum amount. Maybe in his own way he is saying that it is her choice now on how she handles her inheritance.

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Maybe she should hear the word NO more often. :wink:

  8. #8
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    We are going through the same thing, settling MIL estate, DH is exc and he has only 1 sister, never made anything of herself, only came to see her mother when she wanted something, now is pressuring Dh all the time. Not a big estate, but a lot of valuable land. We just want to get all Mil's bills paid and settle with the hospital and do things right and she is worrying us all the time, calling our lawyer, and our bank and just doing things that normal people wouldn't do.

    Pam, the more you give some people, the more they want and they never learn.
    Sorry you all are going through this, we think it will soon be over and then she can't bother us anymore, once your sister runs through hers, all you can do is say NO!!!


  9. #9
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    Ugh! I hope that whenever my bro, sis and I have to deal with this that we won't have those issues. I don't think we will and we hopefully have a longlong time- my parents are in their early 50s.

    I feel for you guys. Like others said, there is nothing you can do, and your dad must have known what would happen, but it's still hard to watch her squander what he worked so hard for.

  10. #10
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I am sure that her husband is at least half the problem. My dad told me not long ago that they had borrowed money and right after that they and my father were at a family function and her husband was buying drinks for everyone. My dad said he thought, "big spender with my money."

    Maybe her husband is mostly the problem, I can't say since no one knows what really goes on in a marriage. She certainly wasn't raised that way.

    I wonder if she knows that inheritance is not community property, even in a divorce, unless the money has been put into a joint account and co-mingled with joint assets. My other sister is married and she knew that, put the money into an account in her name only which is just what her husband said she should do because it is hers to do with as she wishes, not theirs. But her husband is a great guy too.

  11. #11
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninnie
    We are going through the same thing, settling MIL estate, DH is exc and he has only 1 sister, never made anything of herself, only came to see her mother when she wanted something, now is pressuring Dh all the time. Not a big estate, but a lot of valuable land. We just want to get all Mil's bills paid and settle with the hospital and do things right and she is worrying us all the time, calling our lawyer, and our bank and just doing things that normal people wouldn't do.

    Pam, the more you give some people, the more they want and they never learn.
    Sorry you all are going through this, we think it will soon be over and then she can't bother us anymore, once your sister runs through hers, all you can do is say NO!!!
    Wow, that takes some nerve (or other things you could call it) to call your lawyer and bank. I hope that they are giving her NO information and shouldn't even be taking her calls on the matter.

    I have told my sister no. They were trying to re-finance their house and take out equity a couple of years ago when house prices were way up. My sister said she wanted to go to Hawaii. They have bad credit and couldn't get a loan so they asked me to put her husband on one of my credit cards as an authorized user so that it would show up on his credit as a good account. I declined. I have worked hard for my good credit and I am not tying my finances to theirs in any way. I don't know how but they eventually got a loan and according to my father their house payments are now $4k per month. After that is when they had to borrow $32k to get their loan current or go into foreclosure.

    I want to see Egypt, Italy, a few other places too but I'll wait until all this is settled and I've allocated where it is to go. I wouldn't borrow money to do it!

  12. #12
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    Our bank and lawyer just laughed at her and told her nothing. She has hauled off all that she can from MIL's house, I'm sure she is having a large yard sale with all of it. She has even been to the courthouse trying to get things put in her name, she has no sense of right and wrong.
    You hang tough Pam, and don't give an inch!

  13. #13
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Talk about coincidences… my oldest daughter just called me about a problem her fiancé is having with his brother. Their grandfather has always let it be known that his estate will go to the two brothers (skipping their father). Well, the grandfather’s wife tried to shoot him (such drama!) so the brother has stepped in and is suddenly the grandfather’s best friend and is helping him change his will. He has told her fiancé that he has put himself on every account and changed the will so that HE is the sole inheritor and decides who gets what. He is acting like a braggart, taunting basically, that he gets everything and will give her fiancé what he thinks he should have.

    I told my daughter for one thing, talk to the grandfather directly and find out the truth. Make sure he isn’t being pushed into anything and if there is any hint that he is then it could be considered elder abuse. If the brother is the executor as he says he is then he has legal responsibility to execute the will as it was intended and they can sue him if he doesn’t.

    The brother also said that he was going to take the cash and invest it, even roll it over into long term CDs BEFORE he gives it to him. I told her that the executor has a fiduciary responsibility to not put that money at risk too.

  14. #14
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninnie
    Our bank and lawyer just laughed at her and told her nothing. She has hauled off all that she can from MIL's house, I'm sure she is having a large yard sale with all of it. She has even been to the courthouse trying to get things put in her name, she has no sense of right and wrong.
    You hang tough Pam, and don't give an inch!
    Not only no sense of right or wrong but sounds a little off too. It's too bad that there seems to be one person that causes these types of issues.

  15. #15
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    Pam, I have decided to spend my last dollar just before I die, and have told my children so! LOL

  16. #16
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninnie
    Pam, I have decided to spend my last dollar just before I die, and have told my children so! LOL
    Mine know I too will probably do this....on fabric, machines and other misc sewing necessities :lol: :lol: :lol:

  17. #17
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    om goodness, Pam you are such a good all round person, sorry, your sister is up to these things, and worrying you so. You can't help but be concerned for her, and her future, bc she is your sister. It's going to be tough to watch her learn these hard lessons, when they come.
    You stuck to your guns, when they wanted her hubby to be put on your ccard, and be good to yourself, and stay staunch, when she ends up in a shanty, otherwise, she will never, ever learn. Have seen it.
    We use to do things on a smaller scale for family members, but no more.
    The giver is the one who most likely ends up, paying for it all. People that can't manage money, and then borrow, won't have it to pay back. We had to pay off two or three cards, to save hubby's credit. No more.
    We are on a fixed income now, and money is tight. We simply don't have any to loan.
    Hubby will get an inheritance of sorts, someday, but we don't count our chickens...you never know. It's all settled, and one or two are going to squander theirs. We will put more insulation in our house, and make sure we can get along in our old age. No big splurges. Will have to have the crying towel ready, for those that don't do the same. hugs.

  18. #18
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. My DD has been gone 5 years now. Befor he died he told me that I was sole benafactor(?) in his will. Well when he went my step mother got evey thing. She kelpt in touch with me of 1 year. Now I don't hear from her at all. My father trusted her. He wanted me to have a house. Things just don't work out that way for me. Forget and move on.

  19. #19
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Pam, so sorry you are having to go through all of this.
    There will be nothing left when my father passes, and if there is, he has a young wife who will inherit. This is acommunity property state, and they have been married for more than 20 years. Let her have it. She has earned every bit of whatever. My dad is not an easy person!

  20. #20
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    I sympathize but I have to put in my two cents as I was that person who took advantage. My dad was a great dad but he liked to manipulate people and I learned how to do it really!!! well. My dad's side of the family have an attitude I inherited. Do what you want before doing what you should do. I still fight this as I am a big procrastinator but I do understand how someone like your sister could do what she is doing. I had a very!! large inheritance from my grandfather in my father's place as he had passed away.

    I bought a van and gave my kids all money and used it to do whatever we wanted. We never had money to do anything when my kids were growing up. My husband had an excellent job but I was always making bad decisions money wise and doing things we couldn't afford.
    So you get in the mind frame that I can't make it go far enough so I might as well do something that makes me feel good instead. I was always behind in payments and relied on my dad to get me out of trouble a lot!!
    My husband's favorite saying was "We can't afford it but we're doing anyway!"

    Then my dad died. I no longer had him to bail me out of jams! My mom does help me and she actually helped me straighten myself out eventually and now I pay my bills on time and am an honest responsible adult but it took me until I was 45 to see the light and get on the right road.
    It is easy to tell yourself that you want it and I am going to have it no matter what!! It is a little like being an alcholic. This attitude is so ingrained that it is hard to change. Like quitting smoking it is a matter of rethinking how you act each and every day.

    I still have to consciously choose not to do things that I would have done before. I choose not to misuse my money. But it isn't easy!
    I never held myself accountable to anyone!! Not even my husband. I would do what ever I wanted no matter the cost.
    So please don't judge her too harshly. Not everyone has the skills to be responsible. It takes time to grow up and understand there are better ways to live.

    Noone could or can now tell me how to act or do anything!! You can not live her life for her. She has to be accountable for her own actions. You are not. I know it is hard to sit back and watch destructive behavior but there is not much you can do.

    I hope you can find a way to let her go her own way. It is best for you if you can. In time I hope she will see that her behavior is self destructive but if she doesn't I am sure she still cares about you all. '

    I do have to say tho that money is not my first priority my family is. Money may come and go but your loved ones are more important than any amount of money!! I hope the best for you and your family!! God Bless you and keep you!

  21. #21
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Rhonda, I am going to say something here, and I hope it's not hijacking, but I'm pretty sure, when Pam gets back to this, she won't mind.
    I recently wrote a thread, and ppl thought I was brave to write something so personal and expose it to the world. Although I was touched deeply by all the replies, for me, and I'm not saying that was an easy thing to do...once upon a time, - no way! would I have put myself out there like that...but it was the subject that was so important, I felt I had to stand up, and say some things.
    I think what you have said here, is bigger and braver than what I did.
    Like somebody told me, you didn't have to tell anybody, but knowing you, like I do, you did it to help. You wanted ppl to see the other side of the coin, from a perspective, that they probably would not have gotten.
    I agree, that there are ppl that are "stuck", in their ways, and can't see their way out, and frankly, at the time, not interested in stopping what they are doing, bc it is fun. We all get a taste of it, when we go overboard on fabrics, but, most of us, get the brakes on, before the lights get put out.
    wow, that was a generous thing for you to do. I know you felt inspired to do it. You have turned your life around, (+), with help (+)...and your determined not to go back down that road.
    What many don't know, is that a lot of times, the ppl doing the "excessives", are suffering from ocd behaviors, add, manic depression, anxiety....a lot of different things can cause these behaviors. I am not saying that if they are, that makes it right. not at all, but they have to want help, and go and get it. IMHO, they have to do an inside inventory too. If you fix the body and the mind, but not the soul...there's still a problem. It aint like the song, by meatloaf...2 out of 3, in this case, is bad. :roll:
    thank you for sharing what could not have been an easy story to put out there, Rhonda. big hug for you. :D

  22. #22
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    It sounds like you and your sister have very different value systems, and I mean the term "different" not as a judgmental statement. She apparently lives in a world where borrowing and living above her means is acceptable, you do not. I don't think that you will ever see eye to eye on this topic and the things that you "want" for her are most likely not important to her. The best thing (IMHO) is to let her live her life as she sees fit, you enjoy yours, and if she comes to you for a loan, tell her no.

    In California, there is no "right to inheritance" - I took a seminar on the topic, and I think it is great that your folks had the foresight to regulate their estate equitably.

    Egypt sounds fabulous!

  23. #23
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltncrazy
    Rhonda, I am going to say something here, and I hope it's not hijacking, but I'm pretty sure, when Pam gets back to this, she won't mind.
    I recently wrote a thread, and ppl thought I was brave to write something so personal and expose it to the world. Although I was touched deeply by all the replies, for me, and I'm not saying that was an easy thing to do...once upon a time, - no way! would I have put myself out there like that...but it was the subject that was so important, I felt I had to stand up, and say some things.
    I think what you have said here, is bigger and braver than what I did.
    Like somebody told me, you didn't have to tell anybody, but knowing you, like I do, you did it to help. You wanted ppl to see the other side of the coin, from a perspective, that they probably would not have gotten.
    I agree, that there are ppl that are "stuck", in their ways, and can't see their way out, and frankly, at the time, not interested in stopping what they are doing, bc it is fun. We all get a taste of it, when we go overboard on fabrics, but, most of us, get the brakes on, before the lights get put out.
    wow, that was a generous thing for you to do. I know you felt inspired to do it. You have turned your life around, (+), with help (+)...and your determined not to go back down that road.
    What many don't know, is that a lot of times, the ppl doing the "excessives", are suffering from ocd behaviors, add, manic depression, anxiety....a lot of different things can cause these behaviors. I am not saying that if they are, that makes it right. not at all, but they have to want help, and go and get it. IMHO, they have to do an inside inventory too. If you fix the body and the mind, but not the soul...there's still a problem. It aint like the song, by meatloaf...2 out of 3, in this case, is bad. :roll:
    thank you for sharing what could not have been an easy story to put out there, Rhonda. big hug for you. :D
    Thank you QC you are so appreciated!! No it is not easy to talk about my past and it is not something i allow myself to dwell on a lot because I have a lot of guilt for what I put my family through but we are all stronger for it now and my kids know the right values to put first. My one son started doing some things that I had done and he realized it and took steps to stop it. He had the bank take over their budget and pay bills for him. He is now in control and running his own business!

    Any addiction is hard- this is also an addiction in my opinion because it is a behavior or set of mind that takes over your decision making process.
    You want what you want and do what it takes to get what you want even when it hurts someone else. I just wanted to show that the person in this case the sister can some day come to the place where they realize what they are doing is harmful. In the meantime all the loved ones can do is be emotionally supporting but not necessarily handing out money. That may not be the right thing to do as giving someone a ciggarette is not the right way to stop the smoker's craving.

    Live and Learn and thank the Lord with my mom's help I have conquered my bad behaviors. My mom pays my bills and i give her the money each month that way i can't be tempted to use it for other things. I have done this for 11 years now so it has helped me to learn a new way of thinking called a budget!! Which I can do now with my hands tied behind my back!! "Some trick huh?


    There are ways to find help to help her but she has to want it first. It isn't easy to change!!!

    Yes I always go away thinking why did I say that?!! Why did I say something so stupid!! But it is good to hear that I didn't say anything that is offensive to anyone. I would never do that on purpose!




  24. #24
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Pam, sorry you are going through this. I think a lot of families go through similiar things when a parent dies. My brother tried to sue me when my Dad died - too long of a story. All he got was 2 or 3 different attorney bills. We were estranged for quite a few years, though I did keep in touch with his children. Just before he died in 2006 at 64 yo, we did talk, but he never said he was sorry for what he did to me and that was ok. I hated that he died. He was the master of his own undoing, but could not see it. Sad.

    Hope things get better for you and your family.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhonda
    I sympathize but I have to put in my two cents as I was that person who took advantage. My dad was a great dad but he liked to manipulate people and I learned how to do it really!!! well. My dad's side of the family have an attitude I inherited. Do what you want before doing what you should do. I still fight this as I am a big procrastinator but I do understand how someone like your sister could do what she is doing. I had a very!! large inheritance from my grandfather in my father's place as he had passed away.

    I bought a van and gave my kids all money and used it to do whatever we wanted. We never had money to do anything when my kids were growing up. My husband had an excellent job but I was always making bad decisions money wise and doing things we couldn't afford.
    So you get in the mind frame that I can't make it go far enough so I might as well do something that makes me feel good instead. I was always behind in payments and relied on my dad to get me out of trouble a lot!!
    My husband's favorite saying was "We can't afford it but we're doing anyway!"

    Then my dad died. I no longer had him to bail me out of jams! My mom does help me and she actually helped me straighten myself out eventually and now I pay my bills on time and am an honest responsible adult but it took me until I was 45 to see the light and get on the right road.
    It is easy to tell yourself that you want it and I am going to have it no matter what!! It is a little like being an alcholic. This attitude is so ingrained that it is hard to change. Like quitting smoking it is a matter of rethinking how you act each and every day.

    I still have to consciously choose not to do things that I would have done before. I choose not to misuse my money. But it isn't easy!
    I never held myself accountable to anyone!! Not even my husband. I would do what ever I wanted no matter the cost.
    So please don't judge her too harshly. Not everyone has the skills to be responsible. It takes time to grow up and understand there are better ways to live.

    Noone could or can now tell me how to act or do anything!! You can not live her life for her. She has to be accountable for her own actions. You are not. I know it is hard to sit back and watch destructive behavior but there is not much you can do.

    I hope you can find a way to let her go her own way. It is best for you if you can. In time I hope she will see that her behavior is self destructive but if she doesn't I am sure she still cares about you all. '

    I do have to say tho that money is not my first priority my family is. Money may come and go but your loved ones are more important than any amount of money!! I hope the best for you and your family!! God Bless you and keep you!
    It's good to know that here is hope for all of us!

    It was brave of you to share that.

    It seems that there is frequently one family member that is challenging to the rest of the family.

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