I knew when the lockdown was announced that things at some point would inevitably blow up with my family, and shocker I was right.
To paint a more accurate picture, I live with my mom, and my grandma. My uncle moved out several years ago but to a town not too far away from us. When the lockdown was announced he decided to quarantine with us. The relationships between my mom, my grandma, and my uncle are well…complicated to say the least. There’s things that happened years ago that I don’t know about and probably won’t know about because emotions and handling trauma is not my family’s strong suit.
My uncle literally leaves a mess every where he goes. Plates on the table, half full glasses of milk, socks on the floor the whole nine. To put it politely, the bathroom needs to be cleaned literally every time after he uses it. My mom and I are the ones who end up cleaning up after him. My mom, as you might imagine is tired of having to clean the bathroom several times a day.
So on Saturday we went out to the store(masked up and everything) and when we got back my uncle was in the bathroom. I guess my mom had had enough because she went upstairs and slammed her door, partially out of frustration but partially out of trying to block the smell from the bathroom from coming up to her room.(I’m sorry if that’s gross) When my uncle got out of the bathroom he started yelling about “why was my mom slamming doors?” “oh so I’m not supposed to use the bathroom now?”
He’s not talking to us. Not my mom. Not me. You know I was willing to cut my uncle some clack because I understand that he’s somewhat crippled by an immaturity that is a byproduct of how he was raised and his childhood but what the actual hell. He literally has not spoken a word to me since Saturday morning/Friday night.
I’m also going to use the opportunity to point out the my uncle does not possess the strongest emotional regulation. There is a pasted over hole in the wall from when he punched it awhile back and that’s just one instance. So no, I haven’t confronted him about this.
I know I’m not the only one dealing with family stuff during this time, I’m no different than a lot of people here, I just needed somewhere where I could talk.
can I just firstly say that your diction is clear, concise and impressive!
With regards to your uncle and without meaning to state the obvious, he needs to somehow hold himself accountable and take responsibility for his actions irrespective of his past, especially considering that he has moved in rather than being the homeowner/lessee.
I imagine this is easier said than done I suppose, but it’s absolutely imperative or else it’ll only serve to complicate matters further as he continues to cause more hassle and work for those who are also in the home environment which is simply unjust, selfish and inconsiderate. He cannot be allowed to persist with his irresponsibility or else he will continue to take it for granted and this will only escalate matters over time.
Is there someone who is an authority in the household who can calmly explain the situation to him and help him to understand the benefits of doing his bit for everyone involved in the home?
good luck friend, BIG HUGS!
Thank you so much! I’m a teacher and a writer so I appreciate your compliments!
My grandma owns the house(both my mom and uncle’s mother). To say that she treats the two of them differently would be an understatement. My mom has to pay rent, my uncle doesn’t. And its worth pointing out that my uncle spent a lot of time at the house with us prior to the lockdown because we have wifi, there’s more food, and he uses our laundry machine.
My mom needs help with something, no one can be bothered. My uncle needs help with something, everything gets dropped to help him. Someone needs to be driven somewhere? Its always my mom that ends up doing it because either my uncle had some excuse or my grandma didn’t want to bother him.
The authority figure should be my grandma, but the relationships here are tricky and complicated. From my understanding, my uncle has never really been held accountable for his actions. He’s 41 years old and my grandma continues to enable him. So if we’re being honest the authority figure is non-existent and nobody is dealing with their individual issues.
and I appreciate reading your writing
It’s a pity that your uncle is treated with favoritism because he will not learn to improve his ways and it’s totally unfair to your Mum.
The best you can do is either confront your uncle or just endure the current situation with a plan to ultimately liberate your Mum and yourself from that situation. Seems like you’re just going to have to tough it out but fortunately your Mum and yourself are together to support each other and adhere to your own standards of dignity and integrity. I wish I had something more to offer but I guess the truth is not always pretty my friend!
Aside from that, it appears that you have a sensible, rational outlook and the intelligence to go with it so just draw from your resolve and resilience and keep your eyes on the prize!
Feel free to reach out at anytime, BIG HUGS!
Is your uncle receptive to ANY feedback on his habits at this point? Maybe you and your mom could handle him with kid gloves - suggesting chore lists (or an app that gamifies it even! we use Our Home for that), explaining how it makes you feel when he leaves a mess, setting times for cleaning and organizing as a group each day, etc…
If he’s not receptive to you even bringing it up - could you do all of those things, but with your grandma? Explain very calmly and logically to her how it makes you feel and how it makes your mom feel, etc. and see if you can get her to agree to setting some ground rules?
I feel for you - lockdown is difficult in the BEST of circumstances. I hope your challenges get smaller and smaller each day!