“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Oct 22, 2012
DEAR AMY: My mother was an alcoholic for many years. She wreaked havoc on my life (and my brother's) in ways she doesn't even recognize or remember.

My father's desire to "keep the peace" in his own life enabled this behavior, even though he was a clinical psychologist. Now that they're older, they've come to see themselves as saints who deserve more love and respect than they're being given, even though we've done our best to give them reasonable access to our lives.

I bought the house across the street from theirs, for instance, hoping the proximity would ease their minds as they grow older, and my brother allows them to see his daughter, their only grandchild, as often as possible. Many people move far away from their parents in order to avoid this type of drama, but we haven't, and we're paying a huge price for it.

Is there any way we can get them to realize that their sense of entitlement actually points to the elephant in the room -- the damage that mom's drinking caused, and that dad's weakness enabled -- and that they should be grateful that we're still around and haven't abandoned them?-- Sad in the South

DEAR SAD: Your desire for appreciation actually mirrors your parents' in some ways. You are all trying to reframe your relationship and remake one another into something you're not.

Because you are the family member reaching out for help, I'm going to assume that you are also the most capable of change. Grab your brother and attend an Al-Anon meeting together.

You must also work on ways to accept your folks' considerable limitations without expecting them to change. In short, you must do something they will not do: see the truth for what it is and make choices based on that. One choice might be to relocate. A therapist (not your dad) will help you to deal with your anger and expectations.

DEAR AMY: My spouse and I recently moved into a new neighborhood. Our house is one of eight homes that share a common courtyard that acts as a driveway for the first-floor garages. This is a master-planned community with a series of large parks and playgrounds. The houses are very close to one another.

Our neighbors let their two young children play in our courtyard early in the morning and late at night. They also let these two children scream at the top of their lungs, and the noise has been so bad one of the couples on our courtyard moved out because of it!

Now these neighbors have put up grotesque Halloween decorations for everyone to endure. They know why the neighbors moved, and we spoke to them about the decorations, but nothing fazes them, so what now?-- New Kids on the Block

DEAR NEW KIDS: You sound exceptionally grouchy, and I can only assume this is because your sleep has been interrupted by screaming children.

If your community has rules about outside decor, then take your concerns to the community board. If there are no rules, then you'll have to tolerate these decorations. Steel yourself for a colorful cornucopia transition into a Santa frenzy, and realize that your neighbors' taste doesn't have anything to do with you. If you don't like it, then don't look.

If you have spoken with the parents about this noise, and they haven't done anything to mitigate it, you should handle this the old-fashioned way: Throw open your window, yell, "Kids! Pipe down! Some of us are trying to get some sleep!" and let the shrieks fall where they may.

DEAR AMY: Replying to the "Concerned Mom," whose daughter wasn't satisfied with her college choice: Every high school senior should take it upon themselves to research (on their own) and apply to all colleges that interest them.

The parent should make the budget known and help the child research financial aid. My advice is, do not let money be the deciding factor. When your child decides on her own, she lives with the decision.-- Voice of Experience

DEAR VOICE: I agree. Thank you.

Chicago, IL

#2 Oct 22, 2012
L1 So exactly how does LW want her parents to act? Salvishly grateful, perpetually remorseful, like a dog with its tail betwen its legs?

L2 Move into a 55 and over development. Problem solved.

L3 Great for Voice of Experience to say Don't let mney be he dciding factor. Voice is not teh one with the school loans to pay back.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 Oct 22, 2012
Lw1: "Now that they're older, they've come to see themselves as saints who deserve more love and respect than they're being given, even though we've done our best to give them reasonable access to our lives."

You have given zero examples of what you mean by this.

"Many people move far away from their parents in order to avoid this type of drama, but we haven't, and we're paying a huge price for it."

What drama? What price?

Friggin martyr.

LW2: What Amy said.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 Oct 22, 2012
L1: I have no idea what you're talking about because you actually haven't given us any clue as to what your parents may have said or done that indicates they want more of your time.

L2: If the screaming (I hate that crap) is that bad, call the cops. Everything else,I agree with Amy.

L3: Right. And parents then live with having an adult child crippled by student debt because they overrode mom and dad's wishes and went to their "dream" school. College is a means to an end. If you're rich, then go wherever you want. If you're not, then go where you can come out ahead the best career-wise and financially.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#5 Oct 22, 2012
L1: You're a bunch of enablers. You need to realize this and stop it, and also realize that you can't change other peoples' behavior, just your own reaction to it.

L2: Well... the shrieking kids could be troublesome, but if you're bitching about holiday decorations, you probably moved into the wrong community. Buy a house out in the country where your nearest neighbor is a mile away.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#6 Oct 22, 2012
Team J_M_W today.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#7 Oct 22, 2012
2- So you're the people that move into a neighborhood and start btching about everything? Screw off. Move somewhere else then.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#8 Oct 22, 2012
LW1: You sound just as fíd up as they. If momís damage did so much damage I donít know why you need to play the martyr and move next door to them.

LW2: Iíll trade you neighbors.

You sound like a pain in the a$s. Who are you to think you should control how other people decorate. I can only imagine you are a pain in the a$s when it comes to the kids too. Go move on a 5 acre lot and build a compound.

When you move in a community like that, you have to realize that it only takes one a-hole to fí it up for everyone. The LW sounds like the a-hole.

LW3: Yeah, they live with that decision unless they are a part of the occupy movement then they protest with signs showing how much debt they agreed to take on, as to suggest itís someone elseís fault and someone should bail them out.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#9 Oct 22, 2012
Sublime1 wrote:
LW2: Iíll trade you neighbors.


“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#10 Oct 22, 2012
L1: Sounds like no one has really moved on from their co-dependence. What Amy said. And JMW.

L2: I'm not particularly fond of screaming kids either.(Who is?) I do wonder how late at night, though, since decorations are event bother this LW. I think PEllen has the answer.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#11 Oct 22, 2012
L1: Weird letter. Why would you move that close to them? Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. They think they were great parents because you're still around. Limit your access and give them time to think that maybe they weren't.

L2: Wah...I moved in close proximity to other people and now I find I don't want to be near other people...waaahhh. Nothing you can do about the decor, but call the cops on the screaming kids if it's before 9 am or after 10 pm.
Sam I Am

Nashville, TN

#12 Oct 22, 2012
1. Speaking of enabling, you might want to look in the closest mirror.

2. Yes, by all means, just start yelling out the window. Check your association bylaws, and if there is nothing in there about noise, see if that can be changed.


Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#13 Oct 22, 2012
L1: Why in heaven's name would someone get f'ed up by their parents and then move across the steet from them as an adult? Oh yeah, to give themselves something to byotch about. Shaddap!

L2: Hey, I feel their pain, but didn't they thoroughly scope out the neighborhood before they moved in? We visited our neighborhood at several different times and on weekends and weekdays to ry to sniff out irritants before we moved. Caveat emptor...

Marina, CA

#14 Oct 22, 2012
LW1: What Saluki Rod said. And I'll save you the trip to Al-Anon. Accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can, and know the difference.

LW2: The last apartment building that I lived in was also home to a child who would regularly scream at the top of her lungs. This was not your average children playing kind of noise, it was blood-curdling screaming. Kid should be in Hollywood doing voice-overs for horror films. If not liking this type of screaming is grouchy, then call me grouchy. The decorations would be the least of my issues; I would talk directly to the screaming child and her parents.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Itasca, IL

#15 Oct 22, 2012
LW1 - wow, whole bunch of co-dependent peeps... and it'll spread to teh next generation too. we're 2 counties (and a state line) away from our alcoholic & enabler spouse, and hubby wishes we were further. HOWEVER, he DID NOT move across teh street (or in the same town or county) wehn given the opportunity. stand up for yourself, and if you need directions to teh spine store, check wtih an addiction counselor.
(wow, must be in a worse mood than i thought for a monday; dishing out a bunch of snark today.)
LW2 - what everyone else says. Assuming you've closed the windows already, that is.
LW3 - what else if left in the kitchen on this rehash...

Chicago, IL

#16 Oct 22, 2012
LW1: Oh my fn god. MOVE!!!!!!

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#17 Oct 23, 2012
Tonka logic, spoken like a sailor.
Julie wrote:
LW1: Oh my fn god. MOVE!!!!!!

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