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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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I am married with two children aged 16 and 11. We have at the

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I am married with two children aged 16 and 11. We have at the moment big financial difficulties. I asked for help from my parents and my sister and they don't want to know. Actually my mother said that she doesn't care because when we were well off we spent a lot on holidays, clothes etc. Both my mother and my sister have a very negative attidute towards me. The judge me a lot and accuse me of being lazy, not a house proud housewife and of course totally useless with money. OK maybe these things are true to an extent but I think that when you love someone you accept them as they are and judging them all the time. That is my problem, and I do not Know how to hamdle it. I will apreciate your objective advise.
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Dear friend,

It seems that your immediate concern is financial. Before you address any other issues you must make sure that you are not caught without any funds. This will mean extreme belt-tightenng: moving to less expensive quarters, eating economically, and curtaining all unneccessary expenditures. That will buy you more time.

That being done, you can approach family members again, not asking for a handout, but rather advice or even the offer of employemnt. Being broke is a very humbling experience but can also be an opportunity for personal growth, and for family growth and unity.

You are obviously intelligent and can come up with a plan tor economic survival. If your family sees that you come to them, hat in hand, so to speak, they will be more willing to help. When you are in a position of weakness, which you apparently are at the moment, then your best move may be to listen to their judgemental words, swallow your pride, and take what they give you, even if it is just "I told you so" type advice. Once they see that you have come humbly to them they will probably be more willing to help you in some way.

Let this be a growing experience for you. The more you let go the more you will gain.

Warm regards

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.


While Mr. Sewell gave you some good, strong financial advice, it sounds like that is not really what you wanted. appears that you wanted to know how to handle the judgmental attitudes of your mother and sister. Am I correct?


You are right that when we are in need - whether that be financial, emotional, practical or spiritual support - we want to be listened to, validated, and offered compassion. That is not what you got when you talked to your mother and sister. Rather, what you got was negativity, put-downs, complaints and the like.


It likely took you some amount of courage and humility to approach them in the first place. And so, the unpleasant of their statements and attitude hurt even more.


I encourage you to tell your mother and sister how you felt when they rebuffed you in such a harsh manner. Here is some suggested words:


I felt hurt/angry/disappointed/sad (whatever the emotion) when I told you of our financial issue and you judged me harshly by saying I was useless with money. What I wanted to hear was not what a lazy person I am, but rather I wanted your understanding and compassion. I am willing to take responsibility for ..... (here name what it is you are willing to say about your role in the financial crisis) and I want to get better at this.


What seems to have lost in your discussion with your mother and sister is your emotional state. Being in a financial crisis feels horrible. It doesn't really matter how you got there, the fact is that you are there and need solutions.


So perhaps you could go on to say, "Right now I would appreciate your help in finding solutions. Emotionally, this is very difficult for me and I would like your assistance in thinking this out."


I certainly understand that you wanted - maybe even expected - that your mother and/or sister would help financially. But perhaps that is not something they are willing to do at this point in time. If that is the case, then what you may be able to gain from them is some practical support in brainstorming and deciding what your next steps will be....and a sense that they do care about you.


Is this better on track with the type of answer you were expecting?

Dr. Levang





Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience: Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I feel hurt by their attitude. Money is not important to me. When I had it I was very generous with my family. I enjoyed it because it made them happy. I am a caring person, I try to think positively and offer my support ( emotional, financial etc). What makes me sad is that the value money more than me.

My parents are farmers. They work for my brother. They grow fruit and vegetables. My brother (who is 4 years younger) takes them and sells them in the market. They have bought him a house, a van, a car and earns enought. He is also married and lives with his family in another town. That's totally unfair!!! They say that you don't show love by giving money to someone. But my example shows otherwise.

I thought that my sister was my friend and my ally but instead she encourages my mother not to help me.

This is truly a hurtful situation. And, yes, the examples you point out about your brother seem to show that there is a different standard applied to him.


You wrote, "They say that you don't show love by giving money to someone." The question then is - Then how do you show love? Do you show it by being compassionate and understanding. Do you show love by being supportive and listening when I'm asking for help.


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