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Thread: Young friends' abusive stemother

  1. #1
    Yura Guest

    Young friends' abusive stemother

    I am seeking advice for a young friend or advice on how to support him, maybe someone here has had similar experience and knows how to handle.

    He is 23-ish, school and extra engineering education but unemployed and inexperienced in the working world.
    His drunkards mother and stepdad kicked him out, father kindly took him in and now he has his own little cottage with power, internet and a toilet at his yard.

    Looks like a good place to be, BUT. His dads' current woman (who has never had children of her own) often antagonizes, humiliates and nags him because he doesn't have a job and he don't have a "life" of his own.

    He lacks a local "social network" - no friends to do things together with in his area or to move in with, as he is mostly "living online" - me and some other "friends" he has, live in other countries and his friends from school live now in other areas and have "their own lives".

    I helped him make a CV and he says has been sending it to places that are looking for workers and I have also instructed him to seek out contacts for places that don't advert as well. I provide him all sorts of info he doesn't even know that he needs to ask - public employment services, counseling, GP stuff, all that "life" thingies.

    But as getting a job is never a 100% under anyone's control, this obviously takes some time.

    And during this time the "stepmom" antagonizes and mocks him on a daily basis for not having a job or a "life" to the extent that he has considered "suicide" as the only "way out". I also wouldn't be surprised if people in his situation would resolve to criminal life or robbing etc.

    Finding a job is stressful alone - I remember my own as well when I lacked the experience and it seemed to me like it was impossible to get hired anywhere, but his situation gets even worse as there is a woman (who probably has some insecurity issues on her own - as healthy people would support and assist finding a job instead of nagging etc) constantly bashing, making him feel even worse about himself.

    He also seems to be afraid to speak of this to his father since he believes he will be kicked out the same way he was kicked out from his mothers' place - and he has said that then he would have no other place to go anymore if that happens.
    I believe his father wouldn't do that and I feel like he actually should ask him under what circumnstances this would happen (just to get a peace of mind), but his fear is his own, and for some reason he is unwilling to talk about this to him.
    The woman has also threatened him to not speak of this to his father, as in adding phrases like, "your father doesn't have to know this!" when she goes over to lash at him again - a very disgusting kind of control!

    The woman has also locked him out from the main house, so he can't even get food or drink from them and since he has no money on his own (neither a bank account, I swear - I would send him money for food lol) he can't help himself either.

    From this point on, if a person didn't have ANY kind of support, I assume they would turn to criminals, go rob people for money or food and well - I really do not want that to happen to my friend.

    And for this I try to be there, advise him and support him as much as I can remotly.
    I have told him many times that what is happening is not his fault - this woman is a bitter, mean person and just takes it out on him, but I have a feeling this message isn't really getting trough.

    I mean sure, I could tell him to learn to embrace the chaos of the universe, that life sucks for most people anyway and things "will get better for him" - but face the truth here, would those wise words ever really help us when we were helpless at those kinds of situations.

    So, I feel like the only thing I can do is help him understand what exactly is going on with this woman, help him define how he feels and why he thinks what he does - can't really convince him to talk to his dad neither the woman herself - I get the feeling that confronting her would only bring about more trauma and dramatic outcomes - I just want to make sure that he is not going to make some very bad choices at this point.

    I don't see any other peaceful approach to this and I do have an optimistic outlook to it, but does someone else here have any actual experience to share?

    Thanks for your time o/

  2. #2
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    wheres your friend? im in ny, usa. there are social services: welfare, foodstamps, back to work programs, homeless shelters, etc. theres also disability for those who are mentally ill. every country has a different arrangement for homeless/jobless people, but gotta start from somewhere, cuz his parents arent legally obligated to provide for him for the past five years. i hope your friend figures things out, gets help if he needs it, and finds some sorta job and a way to move out on his own. we got a bunch of hotlines, chatlines, and other organizations, up above under "help" tab - feel free to link your friend to some of them, they might be able to hep with employment/housing, or to refer him to someone who can...

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  4. #3
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    Echoing Manya...over here in the UK we have social services,Benefit Agencies and homeless places plus disability advice/benefits for those unable to work. ..might be worth a Google for the area he is in to see what organisations can help whether they be Govt or a charity that helps in these cases.
    Can see you are worried about your friend but perhaps there's more to be done than consider a life of crime in order to survive a period of unemployment. I also feel that 23 isn't that young to be able to work out a rudimentary life plan despite some setbacks and again I'm fairly sure there will be local info relevant to his position..maybe a public library can offer some help there?
    I hope your friend finds a way through this difficult phase soon.
    " A person's a person no matter how small" Horton the Elephant.
    "Why,sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast" Lewis Carroll,Alice In Wonderland.

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  6. #4
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    Manya did good explaining some resources. Just wanted to add, was living with my abusive mom about his age, with my toddler. (I live in US). I didn't want my kid to be exposed to her verbal/emotional abuse any more. I went to the social services department and had to say I was homeless to get into a homeless shelter. They wanted to know where I was living and prove that I could not go back. I think they made me get a letter from her saying I couldn't stay any longer or such, or they made a phone call, I can't recall, I just recall being so so frustrated that they wouldn't accept me to be "homeless" and in need of the shelter. Anyway, long story short, getting into the shelter system turned out to be a really good thing for me and the start of my own life.

    I like to tell this story cause often people think they have no options other than abuse and well, for me, it actually was scary, uncertain, but turned out to be the beginning of good things and certainly all options I did consider, including homelessness at a shelter.

    (I admit tho, a bit easier for a female and also a female with a young child)

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  8. #5
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    Tasha1701D is offline Fort Security Chief & Stargazer
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    I've been unemployed a few times in my life, and there are resources where I live that I can and have used, such as welfare, unemployment services, food stamps, etc. When I was around 22/23, I was unemployed for a time, having just returned from out of the country. My mom and dad let me live with them, with the provision that I do things around the house in lieu of rent until I got a job and could contribute to the household financially. I felt this was pretty fair at the time, a few of my younger siblings who were still under 18 felt it was unfair, because they didn't think I should be able to “free-load” off of mom and dad. Ultimately, it was between me and my parents, though, and what arrangement we worked out.

    I was also at a point in my life where experience was a better teacher than being told what to think/do by others. I greatly benefitted from the experience of learning how to take care of myself, manage my financial needs, learn how to apply myself towards achieving a goal, etc. My mom and dad helped me some, but not a lot. They gave me a place to live, and I was able to eat with the rest of my family if I contributed to the household in some way like chores, dishes, cleaning, etc, and showed them that I was applying for jobs and working to becoming independent. I felt a little stifled by having to show what I was doing, but ultimately it prepared me for things later on, like how I would have to show a boss what I was contributing to a job.

    I feel very grateful to my parents for their willingness to help me out when I was in that situation, and for them giving me boundaries as well, so that I did have some expectations to meet, even if I felt a little miffed/annoyed by some of the things they wanted me to do. Looking back, I see what they were trying to do and it did benefit me for years afterward.

    Hope things work out for your friend.
    ~Tasha

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  10. #6
    Yura Guest
    Hello, thank you for all the replies!

    Nah, we live in poor European countries with very bad access to Social Support. And as he lives in a giant city which he doesn't know so well, he said he doesn't even know where could places like Public Employment offices be etc.
    We tried googling them and something that came up appears to be at the other end of the whole city, which, as he says, is more than 2 hours of bus/metro rides away, aka expensive and he can't afford it even
    I mean there HAS to be better access to all those things, or at least in a perfect world there would be... How damn hard can it be to find a job for a healthy 23 year old... People really want to assume that "he isn't looking hard enough then" but idk really.

    I have a feeling he is looking in the wrong places, and as the woman is pushing him to find it very quickly, he is also looking for anything. He is a nice, talented person tho, and if he could take it a bit more relaxedly, he would actually even find a job with according qualifications - I just don't see this happening when he is pushed into applying to packaging food and stuff (not a bad job either, but he has actual education for more complex jobs).

    Also, over here welfare, unemployment benefits and such only are accessible when we have legally worked before and payed the social taxes; or are students, under 18 or invalids. Same goes for health insurance.

    And yes - experience is the best teacher. But apparently there are some very specific formulas for people to get caught in between the cogwheels of the system, become criminals, drug dealers, addicts and other sorts of absusive broken people - and I can see it so clearly, how a person, if pushed enough into desperation, will just flip and make all the "wrong" decisions.

    I've been trough hell and came out well from the other side in the end - sure, I'm proud and all that - but I think the only reason everything is "alright" now, is because of the thin threads of support I got from people I knew back then - I was lucky enough to have friends who helped me establish some sort of financial independency over the course of years.
    I consider myself VERY lucky.

    I got away from a chaotic bad home, lived with a friend in another town, he didn't make me pay rent as I didn't earn enough for years... And well, now I can manage on my own all well and I am enjoying my socially awkard soltitude all on my own.
    But looking back - it took FIVE years to achieve this independence - and I knew darn well that if I had to look at it from the other end, "in five years I will have finincial independence" wouldn't look so promising and motivating. From that sad point of view thinking that "this all will be over in one year" is depressing as we, as young people, do not have any optimistic referrences to "one year" or "five years"... :/

    SO, my internet friend in the other country doesn't have those kinds of friends to support him and apparently has an even shittier set of parents than I did - so I feel like he does need at least some sort of support to get trough this shit - letting him know what kinds of social services exsist and what kind of support he is entitled to - that's important and nobody of us knows these things since birth.
    Neither did we know that we don't really have to put up with absuive a-holes and there is a way out (shelters and stuff for you - I am not aware if we have those over here, so thanks for telling, I will look into it)

    I believe he will come out great in the other end and that everything is on the right track - I honestly came here for additional solutions and ideas - you have provided some and I thank you for that

  11. #7
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    I mean there HAS to be better access to all those things, or at least in a perfect world there would be... How damn hard can it be to find a job for a healthy 23 year old... People really want to assume that "he isn't looking hard enough then" but idk really
    I don't at all condone emotional or any abuse fist off.

    However, I do want to say, many folks feel that if a person does not have a job, then they could be spending 40 hrs a week in their jib searching efforts seeking one in many ways. And I actually know that for me that I would be in a depressed muck for a while till I freak out with the reality of the negative consequences of that.

    Yet I also think it is a reasonable expectation to have. I heard on the news (US news) that 80% of jobs are actually NOT advertised. I don't know if this is true, but I do know that in my experience, it actually is because usually I get a job by letting first friends know that I am looking, and them each giving me a handful of possible leads. Then actually speaking to the companies I want to work for, sometimes thinking up creative ways to carvenout or make a job.

    It sounds though that you are saying your friend has some difficulties with these things is the sense I am getting. Sounds like you are saying that he has issues managing things maybe to an extent that if he were in US he would apply for disability, idk, sorry if I am not grasping.

    Sucks when I feel like I cannot do something and the people around me make it harder with more negativity.
    Idk

  12. #8
    Yura Guest
    Yeah, I know it too that looking for a job can be as intense as a telemarketing job. And it does make sense that not all jobs are being advertised - everything is right.

    This all just doesn't come naturally to a person who has never had experience with that stuff before, doesn't have ANYone showing the ropes of that life to him (normally a parent or an older sibling would help with the basics, instruct etc, I assume - instead of this he gets negative pressure, mocking and threats - try to find a satisfying job in your best good will with those kinds of conditions It is cruel and inhuman! I think he will get a job, though - but as he is being rushed instead of finding a decent one with thorough search, it will be a job he will completely hate c.c (but I guess we all have been there too, so that's... natural)).

    Idk if "being socially awkward" really categorizes as a mental disorder entitled to "disability" anymore in any places of the world

    Just regular, humane assistance would do the "job" I think Anyway, I got all the info I needed now, I think everything's gonna be alright.

  13. #9
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    From someone that didn't learn a lot of very important life skills, just having someone willing to help walk me through stuff was amazing. It's embarrassing to admit that, for example, you're 20 and don't know how to use a washer and dryer. Since these are skills everyone assumes you have it's hard to ask for help or admit you even need it, for me it was anyway. There may be life skills, or job hunting classes available where you are. We have places that help you put together a resume and learn basic interviewing skills, and if you're unemployed looking for work you can sign up. It's kind of a public service thing where I live. idk if that's unusual or not, but if there is such a thing near him that might help.

    I also found a lot of information online when I was trying to teach myself how to write a resume, and there are some pretty good youtube vids about interview stuff. Something that helped me with interviews, which are an enormous hurdle for me due to metal health problems, was to have someone pretend to interview me. Got me used to the back and forth, thinking quickly enough to answer questions, what types of questions might be asked, and took a smidgen of stress out of the real one. This is recommended a lot, and worked for me. Not sure what country he is in, but there are job search websites like indeed and monster where employers post positions they have available. It's not just one type of job, so there's a variety of things to look at, and you're nearly guaranteed that the place is actually hiring. (Was actually told once that they were hiring, but weren't taking applications. Huh? )

    There's only so much you can do online, and it sounds like you are doing what you can for him already. Sounds like he is also putting in the needed effort, so it's kind of a waiting game while he applies for stuff I'd think. Helping him with the CV probably was huge. Any skills someone taught me were appreciated. for you and your friend
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  15. #10
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    There may be life skills, or job hunting classes available where you are. We have places that help you put together a resume and learn basic interviewing skills, and if you're unemployed looking for work you can sign up.
    I've used things like this as well. I also forgot to mention that I've found temp agencies very helpful when I've been unemployed cuz they have a bank of jobs already that they need people for. It's actually how I got one of my jobs in my career field. I was just telling them what I wanted to do and they looked into what jobs they had available to see if it would fit. It took a few months after I initially went to them for a job in my field to come up, and so they had me working at various other sites until that one came up, but I was earning money, could buy food and support myself. And I kept looking for openings on my own too, just made it less stressful since I had money coming in and I knew someone else was also looking. I know for me, having a steady job has really been important for my mental health state, just feeling stable knowing I can provide for myself and stuff, so it made it easier for me to look for a job and do interviews etc.
    ~Tasha

    May you have peace, live long, and prosper.

    "On the starship Enterprise, no one is alone." ~Capt. Jean-Luc Picard in The Bonding, ST:TNG Season 3
    "Seize the time, Meribor-live now! Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again." ~Capt. Jean-Luc Picard as Kamin in The Inner Light, ST:TNG Season 5


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