A young woman is at the end of her tether after supporting her unemployed mother and siblings for years and refuses to pay the family's debts.
How far does a daughter's responsibility for her mother go? Should a young woman sacrifice her future for her family? These are the questions a young New Yorker has been struggling with.
Twenty-one-year-old graduate Carla is now at a point in her life when she has to choose between paying off her unemployed mother's mounting debts or living her own life and investing in her future.
Father leaving | Source: Pixabay
HELPING THE FAMILY
When Carla was 13 years old, her father walked out on the family. Her mother, Ann, was left to raise Carla and her two siblings, brother George, then 9, and sister Lisa, then two years old, alone.
But instead of pulling herself together and getting a job, Ann was determined to continue enjoying her stay-at-home mom lifestyle. To do so, she applied for a government subsidy and started dipping into the family's savings.
Getting a job | Source: Pexels
MONEY'S TOO TIGHT TO MENTION
By the time Carla was 17, Ann had run through most of the savings her father had left, originally earmarked for the three children's college education. Carla found herself a job to help with the expenses.
Carla told her mother that she would pay for the utilities and buy food but that Ann would be responsible for paying the rent out of the family's government subsidy.
In debt | Source: Pixabay
DEEPER IN DEBT
Two years later, Carla was horrified to discover that her mother hadn't been paying the rent and that they were $10,000 in debt to their landlord and on the verge of being evicted.
Carla discovered the extent of the debt when the kindly landlord reached out to her, asking her to speak to Ann. He understood their difficulties, but he was in financial trouble and needed the money.
Out of patience | Source: Pexels
OUT OF PATIENCE
Carla, who had been working her way through college and supporting her family, was finally at the end of her patience with her mother. She demanded that Ann, now 48, get a job and take responsibility for her family.
Carla started paying the rent too, but she informed her mother and her older brother, now 17, that it was time they both started pulling their weight and that she would be moving out as soon as she graduated from college.
Little sister | Source: Pexels
Ann's response was to lash out at Carla, accusing her of running out on her family and being selfish. As far as Ann was concerned, Carla is responsible for paying off her debts.
Ann believes that Carla should sacrifice herself and put her family's welfare ahead of her own future. Carla is determined to move out, taking her little sister with her, leaving her mother and her brother to be evicted.
Decision | Source: Pexels
A NEW LIFE
Carla has started planning her new life, but neither her mother nor her brother has made any attempts to find work to support themselves. They believe that Carla will take them in and support them if they are homeless.
Is Carla responsible for two people who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives? Should she continue to support them to her own detriment and her little sister's, or is tough love the solution to the problem?
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