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Thread: Family stuff

  1. #1
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    Family stuff

    Yesterday my brother mailed me two boxes of family memorabilia, mostly letters and some remaining photos, as I have been working on the photo end of things going back thirty years (organizing and storing for 30 years, worked with my mother on it when she was younger and all there; the photos go back to 1910.)

    The boxes were very poorly packed. They both arrived split and open to weather. One contained shattered glass from a photo of my great-grandparents, circa 1910. Only such photo in existence, no copies, no one ever had the chance to copy it.

    Stuff just stuffed in there, will nilly. To me it felt angry. He had said when he called this week he was angry at being there, angry at everyone in the family. But he is the one who unbeknownst to siblings and mother, took my dad to lawyer's about 10 years ago and had himself appointed POA and executor.

    He has not done any of the house cleaning and repair; my husband and I have done weeks of it.

    He has done a lot of passive aggressive stuff around money, tried to have me pay bills, threatened me with paying their creditors, then claims to be joking, had me pay bills and then very slow to pay me back; I will not pay any more bills or put myself in that position with him anymore.

    There have been several years of this now and parents still living and for all we know may continue living 10 more years. They are remarkably hardy.

    How do I deal with the anger that I feel over this, which quickly morphs into panic and anxiety? Take a lot of valierian, have worked on being able to sleep after spending a week with him at the house--it was like PTSD after I got back from the trip. and no when I get back to their house, I wake up sobbing and yelling in my sleep--very disturbing on many levels to have to continue to deal with this.

    Parents are in a better situation in assisted living so that is wonderful. That only took 18 months to accomplish, but it is done and they are safe.

    Sick of dealing with the emotional fall out from this saga.

    Any suggestions? Have consulted with a therapist and a lawyer, who just stay keep a low profile and don't be a target.

  2. #2
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    What a mess. I would cease anymore contact with him. Visit your parents when you can and when they die get a full accounting of the estate so you don’t get cheated. I am sorry you are going through this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    So sorry you are going through this. I don't know how to resolve it. Just know that it can't go on forever. The belongings will eventually be all sorted out, and your parents are already stable and set in assisted living.

    I would fear lack of accountability with regard to your parents' finances. I think it's good that you consulted a lawyer. I'd be interested to hear what others do when they don't trust the family executor. Can you demand periodic accounting? I would try not to wait until they die. Do you know what's in their will?

    Aside from the thorny issue of making sure your brother doesn't steal from the family, I think the only thing you can do is realize that "this too shall pass." I remember when we were in the middle of getting rid of all our stuff and we were suffering from severe overwhelm, just telling. myself "it will soon be over" helped a lot.

    And when I get even further into a peaceful state, I'm able to rely on the medieval mystic Julian of Norwich's saying: "All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well." Hang in there, and take advantage of the support you have enlisted!

    all-shall-be-well.jpg
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    Thanks guys. Terry, that's good advice--I can't cease but I can do my best to limit it and be in control of when contact happens.

    Catherine, how did you know Julian of Norwich is a favorite of mine? I wrote a play about her in grad school! We visited her "cell" in Norwich and it was an overwhelming experience.

  5. #5
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    Thanks guys. Terry, that's good advice--I can't cease but I can do my best to limit it and be in control of when contact happens.

    Catherine, how did you know Julian of Norwich is a favorite of mine? I wrote a play about her in grad school! We visited her "cell" in Norwich and it was an overwhelming experience.
    I did not know that!!! Who knows about Julian of Norwich?? Two great minds!

    I'm jealous that you visited Norwich..
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    We did a choir residency there directed by my dh. It was such a cool way to get to know the area.

    on the trip were a couple of social workers who told me she is considered the patron saint of social workers. who knew!

  7. #7
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    We did a choir residency there directed by my dh. It was such a cool way to get to know the area.

    on the trip were a couple of social workers who told me she is considered the patron saint of social workers. who knew!
    Really?? I can't remember when I first heard of her--perhaps through a reference by Richard Rohr., who counts her as one of his greatest inspirations, or maybe it was on a trip to Weston Priory in VT. We bought a ceramic plaque with that quote, made by the monks, for my son who was going through a tough time in his life. He still has it hanging in his house.

    And I'm really impressed you wrote a play about her! My daughter once played Hildegard of Bingen in a performance at The Cloisters in NYC. Maybe you could have your play produced there!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    It was back in the 80's, I was in a book/study group where we read Thomas Merton and others, and my friend was becoming a social worker, and was married to an Episcopal priest who had been a lawyer. We were all searching.

    The play contrasts a therapist named Julia with Julian and was actually called Julia/Julian, unfortunately a couple of years prior to the movie coming out about Julia Child! Oh well.

    It was a musical, I'm embarrassed to say.

  9. #9
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Sorry that you are facing the challenges with family issues. 'This too will pass' is one of my favourite sayings as well.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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