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Enablers & Busybodies

Enablers & Busybodies, Others' Stories, Severing Ties or Severely Limiting Contact

Sibling Rivalry After All These Years

July 16, 2013 • By

sibling rivalryMy name is Dennis Stuart.  Since elementary school, my brother Dan and I have been very competitive.  It was more on his part to best me at everything we did.  We made good grades, played sports and worked hard on every project we were assigned.  Both mom and dad were teachers so it was a given that we were competitive.  I got a bachelor’s degree in engineering and Dan as well, but Dan one upped me and my parents.  He got a bachelor’s and M.D. degrees.   By the time we were in our mid-20s, I was so tired of this silly rivalry game, but Dan was as competitive as ever.  I was concerned that our younger twin brother sister were starting to become like Dan.  I just observed and mentioned to my parents that Dan took love competing with me for some reason.  My mother did sometimes have my father step in when she thought Dan was going a bit too far.  But it had been years since I had heard her say anything to my father or Dan about his need to be out in front on everything.  I hope they would stop this with the twins.

     I stopped protesting and let Dan go on with his games.  I stopped telling him anything about my plans because all he would do was find a way to diminish it and throw insults about what or how he could do something better.  I remember when I said I was going to take guitar lessons.  Dan said that he had already taken guitar lessons years ago and learned piano too.  Why couldn’t he just say something nice?  This was the scenario with everything I did or said.

     When I started dating my wife Courtney, Dan was nice to her and thought she was pretty, but he was determined to get a prettier girlfriend.  The girl he was dating named Anne, was very attractive and super nice despite Dan’s obsessive behavior.  He opted to trade her in and go for a prettier girl.  Dan found Jin in the gym where he worked out every day.  She is actually half Chinese and half British.  Jin is smart, getting a master’s degree in International Business and was on her way to run a fortune 500 company.  Jin stood up to Dan.  They debated a lot but seemed to genuinely love each other.  I didn’t get involved in their lives at all.  I was too busy courting my wife and preparing to propose after about 10 months.  I made the mistake of sharing my plans with mom.  After all, it was mainly mom who taught me how to treat Courtney and win her heart.  She was overjoyed and told Dan how happy she was for me and that she would be getting some grandchildren sooner than she thought.  Dan could not stand the fact that I was so happy and getting married before he would, so he set out to sabotage my plans.

     About four weeks passed.  On the day that I proposed to Courtney, she accepted over a nice quiet dinner.  We invited our families to dinner the next night to officially make the announcement.  Everyone came including Courtney’s parents and two younger siblings.  Dan and Jin invited her parents who were visiting from Hong Kong.  I announced that Courtney and I were officially engaged and planned to be married in about a year.  My father stood up and toasted us.  He blessed our engagement with all kinds of compliments and told us he already loved Courtney like a daughter.  Courtney’s mom cried and her parents came over to hug us both.  Mom cried too and told her future in-laws how happy she was to increase our family by five people.  I tried to ignore Dan’s fake smiles but wondered how he would try to out-do me.  I expected him to say something nice even if he was insincere.  Well it only took ten minutes and Dan made an announcement of his own.  He stood up, congratulated me, and announced that he and Jin were also engaged and getting married in Hong Kong, in three months.   

     Everyone was in shock but applauded Dan and Jin.  He did it again.  Dan’s competitiveness now included innocent parties.  My parents and I knew exactly what he was doing and I was seething, but I contained my anger and was determined not to let Dan completely ruin our night.  Dan totally manipulated the situation by asking me to be his best man.  Not only did he try to steal my joy, Dan was bullying.  I quickly turned the attention back to our announcement and said that Courtney would be planning her dream wedding and that I was leaving everything up to her.  Courtney stood up and announced that I made her the happiest woman in the world.  She also showed class in congratulating Jin.  I finished my dinner in a fake, festive mood.

(Continue reading in the book When Family Does You Wrong).

Criminal Element, Enablers & Busybodies, Not Even Cold In Their Graves, Your Stories

Stolen Identity

August 6, 2012 • By

Stolen identityMy sister Paulette B. opened up 2 credit cards in my name and ran up the credit cards.  I am now stuck paying for the bills and she is acting like it was no big deal.  I thought I was being careful not to have a purse open around Paulette her or anything of value as we have long known of her drug problem.  Paulette stole money from my parents and siblings and we have all but given up on her.  She holds her kids over my mother and threatens to keep them away from us.  She is holding my folks hostage but I cut ties long ago.  I don’t know when she decided to target me, but she got away with it for a little while.

I started getting bills at my address for credit cards I knew I did not have.  I dismissed the first 3 or 4 thinking they were junkmail.  I certainly did not need another credit card and was doing quite well financially.  One day, I decided to open one of those bills.  To my surprise, it was a bill from a major credit card to the tune of about $3500.00.  I was not worried, because I knew those charges were not mine.  I decided to call and inform them, they had the wrong person and I did not want my excellent credit ruined.  Well, I found out that I did make those charges, except it wasn’t me.  It was my sister!  After matching up the date opened and adding a few other things that didn’t make sense together I figured out it was her.

I discussed this with my folks who told me that I shouldn’t do anything because Paulette was family and to give her a chance to pay it back.  I refused and told them that the only way I could keep my credit from being affected was to file charges and let the police handle it or pay it off.  I had to do this against my parent’s wishes.  I could not let Paulette get away with screwing over our family any more.   Paulette cursed me out and called me every name in the book, but I was not going to sit idley by and let her get away with this.  By the time I was almost done straightening out this mess, I realized she had opened up another card.  I was too through with her and reported that as well.  Both credit card companies removed the charges from my accounts and closed them.  Paulette is in jail on other charges but awaiting court for the new fraud charges.  I feel sorry for her children and offered to keep them while she is away.  It is not their fault that their mother is a criminal drug addicted loon.  I’ll be happy to care for the kids as they are innocent.  My parents are somewhat to blame for enabling Paulette’s behavior but I would not be a part of it.  I had to work hard for my excellent credit and name and was not willing to allow it be torn apart by anyone.

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