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What to do when a family member is offensive, but you love them, anyway?

A beloved family member was unexpectedly (and likely unintentionally) racist. We called her out on it. She didn't react well. What to do next? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 20, 2014 - 42 answers

Found my grandfather's birth family. Now what?

In the process of helping post my late grandfather's digitized papers online, I found his adoption paperwork (he made no secret of being adopted, but didn't talk about it much). It gave enough information that I was able to find that my grandfather had a brother, who apparently is still alive. I'm not sure what to do next; it's good to know there's more family out there (my father has few living relatives), but I'm not sure how happy others in my family will be with the reality, and the same may go for my grandfather's newly-discovered relatives. Advice would be helpful; details below. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 20, 2014 - 7 answers

Ghost in the brain

Based on my dysfunctional upbringing, it finally occurred to me that a lot my anxiety comes from being concerned that I will get "in trouble" a disproportionate amount for doing something that I didn't know was so wrong as to be deserving of the punishment. I have just recently started therapy again and will certainly bring this up, but I'm sure some of you will have some advice for me. [more inside]
posted by inmyhead on May 15, 2014 - 15 answers

Love him, leave him?

Please help me sort out my long-term thinking about my very good but maybe not perfect relationship? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 15, 2014 - 23 answers

Communication Resources for Children of Narcissistic Parents

My sister was recently given a talking-to at work for her tone, after she unknowingly made one of her employees cry. She's been told she talks to people like they're stupid. And despite the fact that she is a very sweet, loving, and compassionate person, she does do that sometimes. She's not always aware of it happening, but sometimes she is, and she says it's hard to stop. Our mother was the same way, and what my sister says is, "Sometimes I feel Mom's voice coming out of me, and I hate it but I can't stop it." She's asked me for some resources that will help her learn how to communicate better, and be aware of her tone and fix it when necessary. It's especially important to her now that she's pregnant and doesn't want to talk to her child the way our mother talked to us. Any suggestions for her? I've already got Non-Violent Communication on the list, and I'm looking for good resources for children of narcissistic mothers. What else?
posted by rhiannonstone on May 14, 2014 - 8 answers

Familly Politics and Pregnancy - What's the Right Thing to Do?

My sister is pregnant (YAY!). Sister doesn't talk to my aunt but said I could tell aunt that she is pregnant. Aunt would be thrilled to find out. Do I keep my mouth shut? [more inside]
posted by kat518 on May 12, 2014 - 19 answers

suicidal ex speaks incoherently, needlessly names me- do I warn his dad?

My suicidal ex bumped into A, an acquaintance of mine, a few days ago and, according to A who later contacted me to warn me about it, he talked strangely, incoherently, in an evidently sick way and mentioned my complete name several times for no apparent reason. As when I last heard him (to tell him to stop calling me), three weeks before this, he seemed to be in a fairly good mental state, I am now debating calling his family to let them know about it. Should I do it or would it be out of place and maybe even open up a can of worms I've barely managed to close? [more inside]
posted by opalshards on May 12, 2014 - 23 answers

How do I handle two siblings ganging up on me? Fun fact: they're 30.

My two older siblings and brother-in-law are beyond irritated with me when all I've been doing is minding my own business and forging my path into adulthood. They are never short of criticisms and any attempts at satisfying them are futile. Things got way out of hand this weekend to the point I am either ousted from future family functions or there will be an awkward vibe/fake niceness. [more inside]
posted by HiphopAnonymous on May 12, 2014 - 34 answers

What is this (probably) Lithuanian last name supposed to be?

I need help deciphering a last name in a 1914 birth record. It sounds Lithuanian, but I think it is spelled worng, because I can't find anyone else with that name...ever. [more inside]
posted by Biblio on May 12, 2014 - 19 answers

Literary equivalent of Bob's Burgers?

What are some novels in the same vein as Bob's Burgers, which is to say: funny stories about quirky families that have a foundation of love and positivity?
posted by bluecore on May 10, 2014 - 13 answers

How to find death information for deceased family members?

I have deceased family members who came to America a few decades ago and died, but would not have been on Social Security rolls. A living family member wants me to find out where they are buried. How to do this? [more inside]
posted by corb on May 6, 2014 - 13 answers

Help my roommate and I find a fair and reasonable solution

Her sister is coming to stay with us for (??) weeks, how do I protect my boundaries [more inside]
posted by winterportage on May 6, 2014 - 22 answers

Sister with persecution complex. How to deal with it?

Sister's behaviour since my father passed away is creating too much stress. [more inside]
posted by noella on May 6, 2014 - 16 answers

Give up financial stability to move where you'd prefer to be?

My heart says one thing, but my head says another, and I am paralyzed in making any kind of decision. I need help, thoughts, opinions, anything. [more inside]
posted by umwhat on Apr 30, 2014 - 44 answers

I am not bound to please thee with my answers...when it comes to career.

I graduated college last year with a degree in the science field. I have long had a passing interest in the healthcare field, and have had familial pressure to "become a doctor" even longer. It goes without saying that I decided to take an entry-level job related to healthcare. However, the more I see of healthcare, the less I like what I see, and the more I am reconsidering my future plans. The sources of the familial pressure, in turn, are getting more aggressive. (See inside.) [more inside]
posted by Seeking Direction on Apr 27, 2014 - 27 answers

Is it a good idea to live next door to a sibling?

My brother and I have the opportunity to buy two houses next to each other. We like each other. Is this a great idea or a terrible one? [more inside]
posted by any portmanteau in a storm on Apr 24, 2014 - 37 answers

should I attend estranged sister's babyshower?

Today I got a message from my brother inviting me to our older sister's baby shower on Sunday and saying that she would really like me to come. I'm torn about attending because ...well, my sister didn't actually invite me. It's at her place so obviously it's not a surprise shower. Instead she relied on our brother to do it. [more inside]
posted by mariisoul on Apr 19, 2014 - 27 answers

Trying to organize the family archive box...

Mu aunt has agreed to store all my grandpa's old photos and documents, if someone else can 'do something with it' first. That someone is me. Where do I start? [more inside]
posted by JoannaC on Apr 18, 2014 - 7 answers

My 75 year old father will be moving in with us.

What are the logistics of having a parent in so-so to mediocre health move in? He is currently in St. Louis, MO and my wife and I currently live in Johnson City, TN. [more inside]
posted by Groundhog Week on Apr 18, 2014 - 10 answers

how do i stop my parents dictating my life?

How do I keep my parents from being quite so upset, angry and unreasonable, while retaining control over my wedding, marriage and life? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 16, 2014 - 22 answers

How to combat mental shutdown triggered by feelings of inadequacy.

So this will usually be in a family setting. I live quite far away from most members of my family (brothers, cousins etc). I look forward to seeing them but when I do something happens. For the first few hours everything is great, I'm happy to see them. We're getting on great. Then slowly but surely I start to feel that my life is inadequate, and that I am inadequate. Witty responses become sarcastic putdowns and insults. I feel like I'm taking things the wrong way. My own capacity for conversation and fun becomes subdued and almost entirely non-existent. I overthink every word. I feel completely mentally drained. And I wish they would leave as soon as possible! I know I was happy before the visit or stay. I know I never felt inadequate with any of my friends or work colleagues. But I feel really bad that I feel this way and I feel even worse in the actual situation. [more inside]
posted by razzman on Apr 16, 2014 - 11 answers

Parent may have cheated the other out of significant money. What to do?

I think one of my (divorced) parents may have withdrawn legally shared assets and the other parent may be unaware. What is my moral responsibility in this situation, or is it none of my business? Complexities inside. [more inside]
posted by corb on Apr 16, 2014 - 19 answers

Help Me Replace 'Raising Hope'!

My wife and I watch 4 shows together, Raising Hope, Cougar Town, Archer and Girls. Of the four shows, she is more into Girls than I am (although I love the show) and I am more into Archer than she is (she isn't a first language English speaker and they speak fast, plus references that are impossible for her to understand) but we both love Raising Hope and Cougar Town equally. The problem is that Raising Hope is no more and Cougar Town will likely not continue. What can we watch together? I think we are generally looking for a fairly light comedy with some kind of buddy/family elements. Generally more recent shows preferred, but they don't have to be totally current. Thanks!
posted by Literaryhero on Apr 13, 2014 - 29 answers

Help me help my brother learn how to be a better listener and friend.

My brother needs resources to help him learn to be a better listener and friend to those he cares about. [more inside]
posted by crunchysalty on Apr 11, 2014 - 4 answers

HR person at my company asked if I intend to have kids. What to do?

I was waiting with HR person and my manager for a meeting room to come free for a meeting about a project I want to start at work. HR manager casually asked about my upcoming wedding (I'm engaged and getting married soon), then asked if we'll have kids soon. How do I handle this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 8, 2014 - 48 answers

non-traditional parenting for dummies

What resources exist for non-romantic adult friends thinking about having a kid? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 1, 2014 - 16 answers

Being a good aunt to kids whose parents are divorcing

How can I be a good aunt to my 13-y-o niece and 14-y-o nephew as their parents split? I want to be someone they can use during this transition. [more inside]
posted by goofyfoot on Apr 1, 2014 - 7 answers

Is a second dog such a big deal?

My wife and I have a dog. She wants to adopt another one, I'm being very resistant. Are my reasons completely ridiculous? Are two dogs really better than one? [more inside]
posted by BlerpityBloop on Mar 31, 2014 - 53 answers

Easter weekend getaway!

Trying to find a place to go for a long weekend, within a four hour drive of northern RI. Complication: Easter weekend in the off season. [more inside]
posted by Ruki on Mar 26, 2014 - 4 answers

How do I get to know my parents as people?

After seeing and reading about the death of parents, one of the biggest regrets seems to be not knowing them better. I have a cordial but distance relationship from my parents and while I don't ever see us being BFFs, I would like to know them better as people and their life. How do I do this, considering I live 6 states away? [more inside]
posted by lpcxa0 on Mar 26, 2014 - 21 answers

He ain't heavy...

How do I deal with an immediate family member with substance abuse problems at my upcoming wedding? When do I put my foot down? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 21, 2014 - 38 answers

Do I marry/have kids with longterm love if I'm not ready due to career?

I love my partner - we have known each other for over a decade and have been together for over five years. I am in my 30s and he wants to live together/get married and/or start a family. I have insisted we wait due to my graduate school (and later) career struggles. Now we are older and our time frame for children (if not settling down with children in mind later) is diminishing. I don't know the right thing to do - specifics inside... [more inside]
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose on Mar 21, 2014 - 25 answers

How to quell impending blog doom from Aunt Lisa

How do I ask my aunt not to write about me in her blog (specifically wondering about wording), and how do I politely stick to my guns if she pushes back? Snowflakes after the fold. [more inside]
posted by horizonseeker on Mar 17, 2014 - 27 answers

Sanity check on teenagers and their whims, please!

We have a teenager that wants to visit his internet girlfriend and is being increasingly pressuring. We're resistant, feel that we are right in being resistant, but just wanted to check whether we're being reasonable or not. So, given the details (and SO MANY DETAILS) below, should we be stopping this teenager visiting his girlfriend in another country? Or should we let him go? [more inside]
posted by sockpuppettastic on Mar 17, 2014 - 68 answers

Keeping relationship with my dad, minus one of his kids?

I think my half-sister has some sort of personality disorder, and I want to limit her involvement in my life going forward. But I still want to have a relationship with our mutual father... [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 11, 2014 - 11 answers

What do you do when reason fails?

(Or, How I Learned Not to Meddle With the Affairs of Others) Someone is incredibly angry with another party, and you are caught in the middle. You may not know the entire picture, but you've seen enough to conclude that the Angry Person is letting his emotions get the best of him, even if he occasionally raises some good points. You have tried reasoning with Angry Person but he just dishes out comeback after comeback. You are exhausted with the drama and it seems like Angry Person has just begun gaining momentum. What do you do when reason fails? Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by bigasthesky on Mar 7, 2014 - 20 answers

Help needed with ancient Family Tree Maker file formats: TRT & IDX

I've inherited some very old Family Tree Maker TRT and IDX files now but find no version that can read them. I'm looking for someone who has an old version of FTM which can read the TRT & IDX files and export the data in the standard GEDCOM format. Please help! [more inside]
posted by queue_strategy on Feb 28, 2014 - 7 answers

I didn't mean to be a condescending bitch. Yikes....

After my grandma lost her shit with me last night, she's calmed down enough to admit to my father today that she feels like I can be really condescending sometimes. Eek. This is a piece that I want to work on improving, while I'm also learning to be much more on guard whenever I'm around my grandma. Can you help me be less of an annoyingly (unintentionally) condescending/smug person? Ugh. The worst. [more inside]
posted by ohyouknow on Feb 24, 2014 - 52 answers

How to find independance with a visual deficit?

I have low vision and I cannot drive because of it. I feel imprisoned and this is a last ditch effort to see if there is some solution (or partial solution) to help me gain more independence. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 24, 2014 - 17 answers

Help me help a friend learn how to help himself and not feel helpless

I have a friend (Steve) that seems to be unable to try and help himself get along in life when certain problems come up. He's mentioned more than a few times he's not happy where he's at and I've been trying to help when I can. About a year ago when we first talked on this he brought up the matter of not having finished highschool cuasing the problem in a big way. I knew a thing or two about some free programs so I pointed him in the right direction and he took it upon himself to get on it, get it done and move forward. Now since he got his GED back in fall, it seems like I and our small circle of friends are finding out a few other things that are causing this problem Steve's problem to come back with a vengeance. [snowflakes and the like ahead.] [more inside]
posted by ThrowbackDave on Feb 23, 2014 - 8 answers

Oldest artifact passed down through a family

What is the oldest family heirloom still in possession of the family, not a museum? [more inside]
posted by candasartan on Feb 23, 2014 - 12 answers

Considering move to Snohomish, WA. Difficulty level: mixed-race family.

My wife and I are considering moving to Snohomish (county), WA for work. She recently got a postgraduate degree in Library Science and is having trouble finding work where we currently live on the East coast (too many qualified people, too few jobs of the sort she's looking for). Pertinent details: I'm white, my wife is black, and we currently live and work in a very racially diverse urban area where couples like us are a common sight. We currently have no children but plan on starting a family in the next few years. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 20, 2014 - 9 answers

You Married? You Have Kids?

I got asked about my marital and family status in a job interview. Now what? [more inside]
posted by dortmunder on Feb 19, 2014 - 16 answers

Getting our shit at LEAST in a diaper or something

OH HAY it's another prenatal question. Pursuant to getyourshittogether.org, I am trying to put those pesky ducks in a row before August. What kinds of documents, topics, etc. should we include in an estate plan et. al.? And what should we add (e.g. life insurance) to solidify things a bit more in case of Bad Things Happening? [more inside]
posted by Madamina on Feb 18, 2014 - 14 answers

How do I learn to live on my own?

I've never been close to either of my parents and was really only close to one set of grandparents. Well, the last of my grandparents died recently and I'm rapidly realizing just how alone I am. How do I come to terms with this? How do I proceed in having a happy and successful life in the knowledge that I'm really without a safety net? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 17, 2014 - 8 answers

Away We Go - Grandparents Included!

My partner and I are pregnant and looking for a place to make our permanent home. The sitch? My parents are coming with us. And while we think it's pretty awesome of them, it's making location hunting that much more complicated. [more inside]
posted by givennamesurname on Feb 15, 2014 - 19 answers

How to love the hater?

What should I do about the bigotry of close family members? [more inside]
posted by TheGoodBlood on Feb 15, 2014 - 18 answers

Living with a Family Mental Illness

My younger brother has been living with a schizophrenia-like mental illness for about a year. It's hard for me to interact with him. I'm looking for perspectives from those who've had loved ones with mental illnesses, and books or other resources that will help me better relate to him. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 15, 2014 - 13 answers

I'm doing the "right" thing but I feel trapped and resentful.

I am watching my stepson's daughter every other weekend and I don't want to anymore. [more inside]
posted by cherrybounce on Feb 12, 2014 - 37 answers

GSOH is killing my love life.

My stepson revealed the greatest stressors in his life is my self-deprecating sense of humor. What can I say? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 10, 2014 - 53 answers

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