[Warning to My Dear Readers: The following letter has me more upset than almost any letter I have ever received. I am honestly and profoundly disturbed. It has nothing to do with sex or violence, but, rather, with a degree of selfishness I find difficult to comprehend. I try to always see good in people, but am having a hard time with this one.]
[Update August 13, 2014: After you read the original letter, keep reading. I later received emails from a furry that makes me feel a lot better]
Hey there, Papabear. How are you?
Where to begin? Well, I've been wondering about this for a while. I'm currently staying with my grandmother in hopes of saving up for a new reliable vehicle, for my own place and to live a great stable life by myself. I love her dearly, don't get me wrong, but I feel that she may be taking advantage of me. I'm not trying to make her into a villain or anything, but I'll tell it to you like it is.
See, my grandma (who is 62 years old) is quitting her job at the Walmart Supercenter in Ballentine, SC (part of Columbia, SC and nearly an hour away from her house) because she's just "tired" of the work load they are giving her. Granted, she had to work for 6 days a week with 1 day off 3 weeks ago, but still... And she was spending money faster than she was earning them (mainly, because of gas for the most part.) She has been trying to look for another job (or so she says), but jobs are scarce at this point. She doesn't like to work period at times and it seems that she's at the point of her life where she's tired of working all together. I had been living with her rent-free, therefore, I would have to do yard work and clean up behind myself to compensate for that.
But recently, she wants me to help out with her bills and house expenses. I can't help but feel that she purposely doesn't want to work and purposely isn't looking for a job (but then again, jobs are scarce nowadays.). And I fear that once she runs out of money, it will lead me to be the breadwinner and pay all the expenses and pay the bills, which could result in me reaching my goals in a much slower rate. My first suspension of her taking advantaging of me was that she used a Sears Credit Card of mine (that I got from a mall) to buy Christmas presents for some of my family members when we were both unemployed (which took place last year). I advised her not to use it. I have no idea why she would do that when she knew we were both out of a job. She's currently paying the bill, but I'm worried that once she's out of money I'm stuck with the bill (when she should be paying for it). Mind you, I don't plan on living in a mobile home in a rural town all my life. Not really my thing. I don't want to stay here longer than necessary. There are times where I have had enough of her antics. That's the type of person she is. It took me a while to figure out her true colors. I didn't find out how she truly is until about 4 months ago. She's the type of woman who would say "Oh! I'm pooped. I'm tired. I can't work like this no more. But it looks like you're going to help me with these bills from now on." with a crooked smile and a little laugh afterwards. You don't know if she's just kidding or if she really means that.
If she doesn't work for a long period of time, am I able to kick her out of the house (that she lived in for so long) that I'm paying the bills for by myself? I know the question I asked maybe a silly, ridiculous, and a far-fetched question due to my young age and inexperience in this type of situation, but I just got to know.
Anonymous (age 23)
* * *
I hope you will see the following as a wake-up call for you.
Okay, let me get this straight in my head. You are, I assume, working, and your 62-year-old grandmother, who works six days a week at Walmart, allows you to stay in her trailer for free and, so far, all you have done to compensate her is some yard work and the promise to clean up after your own messes. And you resent that she used your Sears card (to buy Christmas presents for the family!) and you think she is plotting to have you live there permanently to support her because, you know, she’s obviously lazy and she’s taking money from you that you want to save for a new car and to get your own place, and you feel her machinations are going to delay your plan to eventually abandon her after she gave you a place to live for free, even though, apparently, you have a paying job?
Are you effing kidding me? Are you for real?
And you’re asking me if you can kick her out of her house?
How would you like to be in your sixties and on your feet all day working for, what, minimum wage at the nastiest store chain in the country? And you don’t believe she can’t find another job? Do you know how hard it is for older people to get work in a country where businesses—although it is technically against the law—discriminate regularly against job seekers over 40?
Sounds to me that you are pissed off because you thought you found a sweet deal with your gramma and now it’s going sour on you.
Congratulations. Papabear has a very open mind, and I am sympathetic to pretty much any type of belief or behavior I have run across, but this is beyond being tolerated. You win the award for the most ungrateful, selfish, unsympathetic person I have ever come across in my life. I now have a bellyache. I am flabbergasted. I am dumbfounded. I ... I just cannot believe what I just read.
You say you love her dearly. I, for one, do not believe you. You want to help your grandmother? Be a grandson, not a user. Maybe see if you can help her find a desk job that will be easier on her feet, and, meanwhile, start paying half the bills. Will this delay your plan. Yes, it will, so what?
Not sure how I’ll get through the rest of my day now. I literally feel sick to my stomach. Thanks a lot.
* * *
[Updated August 13, 2014]
Hey, PapaBear. I apologize for sounding like a jerk or a user. Please, if you can, delete my letter. I was so angry at the time I wrote that letter and my emotions got the best of me. I just don't want a bad reputation. I'm sorry to even send you that letter and I'm glad you were very honest and open minded. I'm not going to hold it against you because it's what I need.
I should've not posted it during the time I was angry at her because she accused me of something I didn't do. It was immature on my part. I know this may sound hokey, but I am not a bad person at heart. The reason why I moved in with my grandmother was because I had a short-tempered and abusive father and my mother was somewhat oblivious to that. So, I had to move in with my grandmother to stay way from him. I didn't mean to get you upset, because that's not what I wanted to do. For many years, I've been trying to work on not being selfish and not have people taking advantage of me, which I had let people do to me for so long. I was always shy and never spoke up, just to avoid conflict and just to avoid getting into an argument, because of my hidden low-self esteem. Since, I'm living in her house, I will pay for any expenses that need to be paid [emphasis Papabear's]. It was a wake-up call for me. I know you are disgusted with me, but you have every right to be.
* * *
Thank you for writing me. I can understand what is happening here, and I'm glad you wrote. Before I delete the letter, I would like to ask you if we could do a second option: keep the letter, but I will post the emails you just sent me (I can make you more anonymous by changing your name, age etc.) The reason I would like to keep it is that you have just provided an invaluable lesson on the dangers of writing or otherwise corresponding with someone when you are extremely angry. Your follow-up replies will show readers you really aren't a bad person and gain you sympathy.
If you still object to this idea, I will delete the letter in full as if it never happened.
I wish you well and hope you and your grandmother can get along and love and support one another.
* * *
Normally, I would asked for the letter to be deleted. But since, I too, want to show that I'm not the bad person that they think I am and since I trust you, I am ok with you keeping the letter and posting the emails that I sent you. :3
Let me rephrase something: For starters, my mom's husband wasn't all that abusive, he was a little bit abusive ( which is me being generous), stubborn as an ox and has a short temper. Fusses a lot too. We have bumped heads and have gotten into physical fights in the past. So like I said, I moved into my grandmother's to get away from all of that stress. At times, I feel like I'm being used by my grandmother. But you and the individuals that commented on the letter really helped me out and I would like to thank you for that.
* * *
I wish you luck!
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.