Hey Mefites, here's my question:
My younger sister, mother, and I suffered years of abuse at the hands of an alcoholic stepfather - physical, verbal, etc. When we were younger, my sister and I were absolutely focused on getting the fuck out and did, getting scholarships to great schools, thankfully. My mom, not so much. She is no longer in a relationship with him, but they have been living together for economic reasons - she needs his disability paycheck to pay the bills (all of which are in her name, including the mortgage payment.)
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Anyway, the last few years have been a bit of a "quiet" period for them, but things are ramping up again. He calls her names, spits in her face, has begun drinking again and recently began doing drugs. He knows she's dependent on him which is why he treats her so badly, but she can't kick him out because she needs his money. I am absolutely distressed about this, and feel horribly guilty that I escaped across the country for school and no longer live in the same state as them so I didn't have to deal with this. But now that I'm in my mid-twenties, working on getting treatment for my own depression and have some breathing room, I really want to help!
Here are the details so far:
- She is 55, has basically no money saved up for retirement.
- Financial situation is a disaster. Multiple bills and student loans, bankruptcy on the record, can't open a checking account on her own. Always in the red - I usually send money for some bills and gas/groceries when I can, but I frankly barely make any money either. House is very underwater, can't sell.
- Is a very hard worker. Has always worked multiple jobs as long as I've been alive, has two degrees, etc. Is a very aggressive salesperson, and often wins awards at work for her sales efforts.
- Has been laid off many times due to bad economy. (This is in Las Vegas, which got its ass kicked in the recession.)
- Has a background in sales, medical coding/billing, administrative roles. Masters degree from an online school in management. After most recent layoff she's been working in telemarketing/collections for 3 years, which makes her miserable.
- She is very depressed. Obviously. No means to pay for therapy/counseling.
- Can't afford internet which is part of the reason why I'm trying to help her apply to jobs from another state
I'm helping with what I know how to - I'm making her a linkedin account, already revamped her resume, searching for jobs, going to help start typing out cover letters. I've begun asking my friends from back home if their parents know of any job leads that she can follow.
I think the main thing is helping her find a stable job with a higher income so that she can live on her own. I really don't want my hardworking, loyal mother to live out her last years being spat on and treated like shit. She's been married and divorced twice - her first husband cheated and left before I could even talk, and this guy, obviously, is a piece of garbage. Eventually I want to guide her into therapy and counseling, but it's difficult at this stage.
I know she needs to do this on her own and work really aggressively to cut him out of her life - my sister and I have been making this argument since I was 10 years old - but I think part of her hesitation is that she's lonely. She has expressed interest in wanting to kick him out before the end of the year (her name is on the house).
MeFites - what can I do to make her life better? What are some stable jobs (60K+) for 55-year-old women with long job histories (I'm thinking government jobs??) How can I help her get some free therapy, or help her with her finances? I'm just figuring this stuff out for myself too so I'm really lost. I'd appreciate any advice or resources you'd have to offer. Sorry this is rambly - things are a bit emotional right now.