By: Revanche

File this under: 2017 is trolling me

April 17, 2017

Navigating rent increases and a complicated family situationThere really is a good reason I haven’t had my dad move to a cheaper place yet. There aren’t any cheaper places to be had within a 50 mile radius of his current space (and also family support) so it didn’t make sense to force a move that would further isolate the two of them and save maybe about $50, if that, while also racking up moving costs.

He’s earning minor income on his own which is erratic, to supplement his SSI check which is small, but I pay for all his major living expenses – rent and utilities.

This month, a 60-day notice landed stating that they’re raising the rent by 50%.

As a renter, I’m horrified. As a landlord with some experience, I’m not surprised. We’ve been there a really long time and he hasn’t been good at upkeep these last few years. If he had been, I’m pretty sure they would have just kept on with the same rate. But even if we didn’t have huge house-hunting expenses coming up, we aren’t able to just absorb that 50% increase.

I had to have a conversation about what he’s going to do with him. That conversation didn’t go all that well. But this is a process. I’m weaning myself away from financially supporting him since he’s shown me that I’m not a daughter, I’m the Bank of Daughter from which you just keep taking.

That may not have been his intention, that may not even be how he feels. But it’s how I’ve felt since he royally betrayed my trust.

It’s taken me months to reconcile. It’s taken more months, and a bit of a housing crisis, then to figure out that I had to ask for help. Those were huge, unsettling leaps.

***

Facing down this history, and our upcoming expenses, I had to suppress the reaction that it was another problem that I’d have to handle.

I made myself leave it all in his hands to determine the next steps and what to do, with the understanding that I simply cannot shoulder this increase. That was uncomfortable and unfamiliar but it had to be done. We can’t keep going like this since I haven’t miraculously doubled or tripled my income in the last year.

***

At the moment, his plan is shaky at best.

The apartment hunt has come up dry, nothing within a 30-50 mile radius is reasonable, but he’s finally gotten the ball rolling on applying for housing aid which he should have done years ago. He’s also finally wrangled Trainwreck Sibling into getting evaluated for disability and housing aid as well. It’s about dang time. But this is the state of California we’re talking about – it’s going to take weeks or months for them to approve, if they approve, the applications.

In the meantime, he’s getting a job. It doesn’t pay much but he can probably come up with about half of the current rent for a few months. If it works out, he can come up with about 60% of the new rent after then.

While he’s doing that, he also has to keep looking for a new place.

All of this hurts my heart. I hate every bit of it.

For all the mistakes he’s made, he’s also nearly 70 years old. The idea that he’s going back to work kills me, turning on the guilt like a firehose. It also infuriates me to feel that way because I have been doing my level best for ages. These are steps he should have taken years ago, and in fact, it’s highly likely that his poor behavior of late has come out of his inability to gracefully accept my help. Instead of being glad he had a back-up and working toward independence, he’s spent this time trying to justify his acceptance (such as it is) of the help and acting rashly trying to free himself of his dependence.

This conflict sucks. But after sitting quietly with the discomfort, and talking it over with trusted friends, I am coming to an uncertain peace with it. These steps feel painful but they’re necessary. I’ll feel horrible about it, because I’ll always feel my duty to support my family, but there are times the support needs to be direct, and there are times that it has to be from afar. I’ve been doing direct support so many years, waiting for him to fulfill his end of the bargain and as a result, waited a decade longer than I thought it’d take.

I have pushed him to make changes for years, to no avail. That was all I felt that I could do at the time.

Now, though I hate how it’s happening, he’s finally stepping up to at least try to do his part. That he let it go until this late date was his choice.

So now that it’s finally happening, I can’t, I will not allow my guilt, to push me into putting him back on my soon to be seriously strained household budget. I can’t do everything for everyone and it’s a disservice to them that I try. Everyone needs to feel like they can do for themselves, that they are capable for as long as they want and need to be. Taking over for them when they finally show willing would be the opposite of support.

If this does work, if he does start to earn enough to pay his own way, then maybe, just maybe, we’ll able to leave the money resentments in the past and try to rebuild our relationship. I don’t know if it’ll happen, but this way, there’s a shot.

The other way, we weren’t ever going to have a relationship again.

It’s too soon to hope but I am open to the idea that it might be possible.

:: Have you ever had your housing costs skyrocket? How do you handle sudden unexpected increases in expenses?

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich.*

18 Responses to “File this under: 2017 is trolling me”

  1. Hang in there! We are rooting for you!
    nicoleandmaggie recently posted…How often do you have to buy new plates and glasses: Musings on breakageMy Profile

  2. Joe says:

    Sorry to hear you and family are going through tough time. I know how you feel about the parents. My dad isn’t easy to handle either. He moved back to Thailand and he likes it there. He can still earn a bit of money and doesn’t need our support yet. It wouldn’t be too tough to send him some supplement when he needs it. My mom lives in the US and rotates between us. Family is tough. Hang in there..

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks, Joe, I’m now seeing the wisdom of taking advantage of the stronger USD in the currency exchange. This wasn’t something that I considered an option when I was younger. At the same time, though, it’s hard when you think that you’d like to see your parent more than once every three or five years!

  3. Mrs. BITA says:

    I don’t have any nuggets of wisdom or brilliant advice to dole out. I just wanted to stop by to say that I understand, to let you know you are not alone and to assure you (based on the you I know from things you have written in the past) that you will get through this. Hang tight until you have the luxury of viewing this tough time in your rear view mirror.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…The Position of Fuck YouMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thank you for the moral support! We will definitely get through this. Not making it through isn’t even an option. I’m just hoping that having mended relationships will be part of the package but that’s not something I have too much control over.

  4. The Roamer says:

    I understand how you feel. I wish we would have had more chance to talk about this when we met because we share similar situations.

    I do have to say that I would look into the increase. I don’t know if it’s legal to increase rent by such a big percentage.
    The Roamer recently posted…Mini Retirement Monthly Update: Passports? Yes, please!My Profile

  5. I can’t even imagine how frustrating this is. We’ve not really dealt with an increase on this level, but our tax bill did go up 15% this past year. I’m waiting for that bill to land in my mailbox soon. And I’m doing a money gods dance that it will be no more than $9k. Barf.

    Keep us posted. Hang in there, friend!
    Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies recently posted…A Month with Boost MobileMy Profile

  6. I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I know what it feels like when your heart tells you to be a good daughter, but your head tells you this can’t keep going on forever.

    I feel that way about friends and colleagues, not just family. It doesn’t feel good to know or think that you’re being taken advantage of for your kindness.

    It’s great that you had an honest conversations with him so that he realized he needed to get on his feet. Sometimes you just need to show some tough love to let others know that you care.
    Ms. Frugal Asian Finance recently posted…How I Lost Another 4.2 Lbs Over 2 WeeksMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      I expect feeling taken advantage of is a sign that your actions aren’t necessarily the right ones anymore.

  7. SP says:

    I’m so glad you are able to put some distance here. I don’t know how you feel, because the level of betrayal is unreal. I hope this is a new direction in your relationship, and a possible step forward.

    Good luck to him as he pursues his options. A 50% increase is brutal and it feel like it shouldn’t be “allowed”

  8. Anne says:

    This sounds positively awful, especially for you, in the interim, but I’m over here hoping and praying that it means a year or two from now, things will be much better for both of you (and your own family of course!).
    Anne recently posted…Pizza Gift Basket IdeasMy Profile

  9. Oh my goodness, that is a heck of an increase! My last apartment increased a little under 10% when the lease renewal came up and I moved out without a second thought.

    I’m glad you’re dad is developing some kind of plan to get on his feet, but I’m sorry it’s been such a burden on you. Family can be really difficult sometimes.
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…Financially Savvy Saturdays #191My Profile

  10. The whole thing about doing everything for everyone being a disservice to them really resonates.

    I’m sorry this is happening. We had a big rent increase this year, too, but no where near as large. I can only imagine. Hoping that the silver lining comes true for you and that it’s the catalyst for reparations!
    Femme Frugality recently posted…Alternatives to Payday LoansMy Profile

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