Saturday, April 1, 2023
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I’m 20M. Both of my parents left the family. Expected to be a caregiver for 2 of my younger siblings and 2 seniors. I’m a full time remote college student with no close friends.

I (20M) was dumped with all of the family responsibilities, tending for two kids, one in college (18M) and a child (11M), and two seniors; my grandma (85M) and my aunt (81M). As a full time college student, I need to contribute to taxes. And I have to bear responsibilities of a “father”.

DISCLAIMER: I am using a throwaway account because my siblings and possibly my parents use reddit use Reddit. Before you have start posting suggestions, I HIGHLY recommend you read the whole post.


My dad is considered a typical far right conspiracy theorist, but I’ve come to acquire a neutral standpoints with his views. However as kids we were physically beaten, heavily guilt-tripped and shamed by him on a regular basis. Because of that, for me I’ve lived in fear and negativity all my life, lingering even to this day. My mother, she suffered depression and anxiety and was mentally abused by my dad, being fat-shamed and called a “drug addict” just for relying on an inhaler. She (and my grandma) GREATLY dislikes my dad’s far-right point of views since she prefers seeing a doctor over my dad’s “natural remedies”.

My mom eventually couldn’t take it anymore so she cheated on my dad in 2017 and blew all of our savings, left credit cards maxed and unpaid, and went to visit someone else in another country. She promised that one day she will return to the family to continue supporting, but never has. Excuses from recovering from mental abuse to being unable to travel due to COVID19. At this point, she’s nothing but empty promises. During 2020 pandemic year, my dad opened up to me. Her cheating literally tore him apart, leaving him devastated and a heap of responsibilities. He apparently didn’t take legal action against my mom because of feeling sympathetic of my mom’s depression, but as a result my mom never paid a cent to repair what she did. My dad was forced to be the main caregiver for 3 kids & 2 retirees under his income which is barely below the National avg, and even went as far as to pay back credit cards, loans and accumulated interest caused by my mom. We live in my grandma’s house (the mother of my mom) since I was born, so he was expected to pay everything except the federal tax, or else we will be kicked out of the house. He stayed because there’s nowhere else for him to go. He has tensions with my grandma because of the significant disagreements on both sides and they hardly talk.

But that’s not all. Meanwhile, my mom purposely delayed the divorce until early 2022, promising to “remarry my dad” and start over under good terms, all while stalking and intervening my dad’s relationships and friendships through online mutuals (which I think is to sabotage or take revenge on what my dad did). Each time I confronted her about this, she denied and told me some whole different story on how my dad was a terrible person. My parents officially divorced in early 2022. Whatever I said above, all of these events still occurred when they were “married”. My dad got a new girlfriend shortly after, and my grandma did not like this since she feared the possibility of my dad “making sexual affairs in my ex-wife’s” room, which she found unethical.

My dad hinted of leaving the family for a while. He seemingly joked about it at first, but over time he eventually became serious. He wanted to pursue his own dreams and his family obligations were preventing that. We had a family discussion and came to a conclusion that he deserved it after his hard work on attempting to mend the family, and now it’s my mom’s turn. Recent convo with my mom, she knows the news and she promised to pay the bills for our household while she’s in the other country, which is what we agreed to as an attempt to mend the family back. My dad eventually left in September of 2022, leaving us officially parentless.

I’m the next capable person caregive for two kids, one brother in college (18M) and a child (11M), and two elders; my grandma (85M) and my aunt (81M). I’m a full-time college student taking an accelerated career program with 1 year’s worth of content compiled in 13 or so weeks. Taking it REMOTELY from 9:30-5:30 PM, Monday to Friday. The pacing is so fast that I need to handle multiple projects at once. Shortly after school though, I need to make dinner for the family and do most (if not all) the chores. From running errands to even spending on entertainment for my siblings, I basically have no free time now. I have so many responsibilities that so many family members are relying on me now.


**What about your brother in college (18M)? Can’t he help?**

I’ll call him Joe for now. Apart from me, he has a social life. Popular at school and has an ongoing relationship.

But Joe is nothing but a douchebag. He neglects my younger brother, his own responsibilities, and tries his best to avoid chores as much as possible, leaving me to do them. He avoids all financial responsibility and expects me to pay for mostly anything family-related.

What I hate so much is the excuses he makes. He paints a pretty picture in front of my dad saying he works hard, then blames me for overreacting and being emotional. Whenever we argue, he’s the type of person to gaslight and change the topic into his favour, trying to make himself the bigger person, and avoid being called out. I don’t even bother anymore because in the past, some arguments were escalated to a point where Joe would throw books, slam doors, even smash glass.


**Don’t you have friends that you can reach out with?**

Short answer, no.

Unlike my brother, I was very “socially awkward” in my past and struggled to make friends and express my own feelings in general. I was harassed in my childhood and into high school, a rumor spread which ruined all my high school years. I’m a “pandemic graduate”, and been online since then. I’ve tried reaching out to communities of similar interest, but pandemic screwed a lot up. Community clubs have older people. And I feel like I’ll never have a college life.

I do have some a few minor friends from Discord, but each have their own individual problems.

Nowadays, I’m too busy to even maintain or establish friendships.



I’m a full time college student, 20 yrs. And I need to uphold responsibilities of a taxpayer, a caregiver, and a guardian. My brother (18M) has no initiative to help out and weasels his way out of any form of contribution, and I’m basically upholding and being dumped with all the family responsibilities while in the middle of college.

My grandma is urging me to keep all this to myself and not involve anyone. I have no outside support. No friends to seek for advice. How do I cope and get through all this?

I’m writing this in the middle of the night, really really tired. Any advice is so much appreciated.




Wow, I didn’t expect this post to somewhat blow up. I REALLY appreciate all of the advice. I am going to reiterate a few things:

**Where this is taking place**

My family lives in Canada, and my mom is in the United states.

**School Counseling services**

I’m attending a private institution and clearly **do NOT** have that. My college isn’t like a normal college with counselors and such. The only staff there are people specialized in certain tech fields and does not offer counseling. Aka I literally sit on my computer 10 hours a day 5 days a week with no in-person interaction.


I mentioned earlier that I am a tax payer. Yes and no. On top of my college workload I am expected to manage the household taxes and “who pays what”, which was agreed upon. My grandma pays the federal tax, and I’m left to handle the rest (my dad gave me all of the taxes before he took the dash). My mom promised to contribute for the internet, gas, and electricity bill while I sort out the amounts each person pays for essentials (groceries and such). To make it fair, for essentials: Mom pays (50%), me (25%) and my 18 yo brother (25%). I call it the “contribution plan”. However I technically pay more than 25% because of entertainment, being expected to treat lunch, buying parts to maintain the house, etc. Builds up.

I forgot to mention that my aunt pays $600/month since she rents. She has paid my father during her stay which goes towards taxes, and now my dad’s gone, I’m the one that receives her rent. But then all of a sudden, I hear word that my aunt is near to completely broke because of excessive outside spending & investing $3k on denture replacements. Now how about that!

**Can’t 18 yr move out?**

Feels like too big of a step. Last week when I told my brother about the “contribution plan”, he immediately tried to weasel his way out of it. He tells me he’s broke (while having $3k in his bank), while I’m literally contributing for the family with $1.5k + $5k student loan in my bank.

Today, I actually convinced him to pay up (or else he will delay it further), so he gave me the amount in cash (which was obviously less than what I needed). Cutting him off isn’t easy. However Joe has relied on me for a lot of things, including the time doing the math with all the taxes and stuff, so I am thinking about significantly increasing his contribution by providing him a much higher number next month. He will definitely be in despair, but it’s a wake up call.

**Can’t you just move out?**

I have nowhere else to go. If I were to rent elsewhere on my own, I would be better off worse. The only reason I’m staying is that I’m getting contributions from all over the place, but it’s all everywhere.

The reason why I’m stressing out is because after my dad left, all the responsibilities were dumped on me, and now I’m being relied upon by so many people.

**What about your Grandma and Aunt?**

The only real contributions they have are the taxes. Otherwise they are fully dependent on me for services.

My aunt is mentally disabled after a bad fall, and has had many violent episodes which included a stabbing-with-chopsticks incident and scratching others. If provoked at all, she will become hostile and shout back. Despite all this, my grandma chose to keep a low profile simply because she can simply leech money off of my aunt.

**Call Child Protective Services**

I am really not sure if I should involve my dad in CPS. I naturally have sympathy over him because of how much sweat and burden he had to endure when caring for us (as well as tensions with my grandma and mom. I think that’s why we were mentally abused as a result. He seems more happier now after he left, and I’m grateful for that. And he works at a produce distributor and has given our family “heavily discounted produce” in massive bulk, and that I am SUPER grateful for that as we don’t need to rely on produce as much.

As for my mom, she used to be the breadwinner in our family before since she cheated on my dad in 2017. Since then, she has contributed NOTHING. ZERO. And gave my dad all the burden PLUS the suspected revenge scheme. Not until recently when she finally paid her first bill. She promised she got another job to support us, but really it’s just words as of now.

I feel that it makes more sense to call CPS on my mom. She had the opportunity to come back for so long, but she chose not to. If she was forced to come back now, she wouldn’t be permitted to return to the USA for \~10 years (due to overstaying and “illegal affairs). She is expecting her travel visa in January of 2023.

**What about my 11 yr?**

To be honest with you, I am VERY worried about him. He has no parent now, and now sees me as his legal guardian. Calls me “dad” on occasion even when I’m his older brother. And I can’t let Joe take care of him. Last summer when I was working early shifts, Joe neglected the shit out of him. Not waking up until about 2 pm, and when he does wake up, spends an hour or two on his phone. By then, my little brother is left without lunch, starving, and I’m expected to return from work and make them food for them. Again this is an entirely different issue and I’ll probably write an individual post on this. But my 11 yr needs guidance, and I clearly don’t have all the time in the world


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  1. 1. Cut joe off. Joe is done. He does not get to benefit from what little resources you do have. He can feed and cloth himself. Do not spend another dime on Joe.
    2. You need to contact cps about your brother. Your father and mother abandoned your brother. They don’t get to do that. Your brother is 11. Your parents have a legal and moral responsibility towards them. Your mother is likely out of reach of the authorities but your dad is still very much around.
    3. Contact adult protective services for the elderly people. They need a level of care and involvement you can’t provide. They’re both one bad fall away from being totally incapacitated/possibly dead (just the reality of their age). You can not safely or effectively care for them.
    4. I recognize you feel a lot of obligation towards your family. However, things as they stand will end badly for everyone. Being proactive and reporting the situation feels like a betrayal but is really the only way to keep everyone safe.

    Above all you need an adult. I recognize that you are legally an adult. However, your father, someone old enough to have a 20 year old child couldnt hack it, so the idea they a 20 year old will be magically better is absurd. Reporting your parents is a crucial step. I also urge you to reach out to your school. There may be a legal clinic at the law school that can help you. Your school’s ombudsman may also help you. You’ll fine that people outside your family will be sympathetic towards you and most likely want to help.

  2. 1. Joe is 18, not contributing, and not your responsibility. Joe can pay his own way. Cut him off.

    2. Report your parents to the authorities for the abandonment of your minor sibling. They 100% need to see consequences for those actions.

    3. If you’re in the US, I would contact Adult Protective Services about your grandma and aunt and see what your options are there, if care is available to help with them.

    4. Call Child Protective Services. Once a case is opened, they can get you kinship care money to help with the 11 year old. Again, assuming you’re in the US.

  3. You most definitely need to involve a social worker. No matter your mom and dad’s beliefs they can’t just abandon an 11 yr old child. They have legal obligations toward their minor child. Your 18 yr old brother needs to be supporting himself. End of. You have to stop enabling that situation full stop.

    As for your grandma and aunt, they need to be using their social security. If you’re taking care of them fully (which you don’t need to do), then you need have full access to their financials and look into any care giving credit you can get.

    When it comes to your parents cc’s and debt, you have zero legal obligation to pay those no matter what a debt collector calls and claims. Not your problem. Same goes for your parents or other family members tax burdens. The only taxes you will ever be held responsible for by the government or any law enforcement agency are the ones you file in your own name.

    The only person I see you obligated to care for here is the 11 yr old until a better custody situation can be sorted out. You absolutely need to be involving authorities though. You could become that kids foster parent and get paid by the government as a result.

    Either way you need help to sort this mess out. You deserve to be able to focus on your studies and being a normal young person as much as everyone else deserves things. In the end you’re only responsible for yourself. Find a balance between what you need, what’s doable for you, and what you can live with.

  4. Dear you need to let go….
    You have done the best but it was never your responsibility. Please be kind to yourself and cut your mom, dad, aunt, grandma and your 18y brother off.

    If possible maybe get the guardianship of you 11y bother. But if you can’t then let him go as well.

  5. > My grandma is urging me to keep all this to myself and not involve anyone.

    No shit, because she knows the only people left that you can involve is CPS, which leads to an awful outcome for your grandparents, your parents, and potentially your younger sibling. You know, everyone except you. You can either call CPS, or you can continue down the current path of hating your life until you break just like your mom did. There’s no real advice for anyone to give here, your family is full of shitheads and you don’t seem keen on making the difficult choice of informing the state. I’m no lawyer, but unless you legally signed for custody of your 11 y/o sibling, your parents both abandoning their underage child(ren) seems *highly* illegal, which is likely why your grandma wants you to keep it to yourself.

    This is assuming you live in the US, although I imagine most counties have similar laws when it comes this type of situation.

  6. So you are doing all the parenting and caring for 2 elderly ladies, 1 child and 1 other adult.

    The other adult refuses to help and even resists helping with violent arguments.

    You have no other support as your father has left with his girlfriend and you mother is in another country. They have abandoned their youngest child.

    You don’t mention working, but you mention being a tax payer, that is probably a whole other post about money. I am hoping your father still pays for upkeep, he should be paying for your help as you are looking after his mother and aunt, but I digress.

    What you would have to explore is what services are available for elder care and child care. I say this as it would be useful to explore in case you get ill and cannot do the cooking, cleaning and caring. You need to know how things could work without you and start implementing changes.

    I say this as if you don’t then you could be stuck doing this for at least 7 more years until your brother is 18.

    Your father needs to have your younger brother live with him firstly, he is the parent here not you.

    Then you need more care for your elderly, whatever that might be as they get older, find out what services if there are any that they can access. They may need more help than you can give them going forward so having a plan now is a good idea.

    I would start teaching your younger brother to cook and clean up after himself, that is always useful. it is difficult to make other cook as well but there is no reason that you should be doing it all though I understand that people might not step up and help you.

    Ultimately you need to plan what they would do without you or if you became unwell. Sometimes it is useful to leave for a few days to show them how much they depend on you, perhaps ask your Dad to come and relieve you for a few days so you can focus on other things. He may have deserved to have a girlfriend but that doesn’t mean leaving your responsibilities to your oldest child.

  7. Parents don’t get to walk away from their child. I don’t understand how you agreed, as a family, that the dad could leave as he should get to ‘pursue his dreams’???? What kind of lunacy is that? We all want to pursue our dreams but if you’ve brought a child into the world, you don’t get to walk away while he’s 11! ffs.

    **You need to talk to your mom and dad and tell them that one of them needs to come back and raise their child. Period.**

    You likely don’t want to, but CPS will have to get involved if they don’t return…or you can decide to keep your brother with you while DEMANDING your parents pay for his upkeep.

    Aunts and other adult brother can fend for themselves, parents need to sort that out. They can leave if they want but they have to clean up their fu^^ing mess first.

  8. M18 isn’t your responsibility. He’s a legal adult. Neither are your grandparents. Going to a care home isn’t great, but expecting a college student to care for his grandparents and younger siblings is insane.

    I’m most worried about your youngest brother. This is likely to end up with him in CPS. However, taking care of him and just is more reasonable than taking care of everyone.

  9. Call social services.

    Elder social services so they can help you mange and get support.

    And CPS for the 11yo, if the home is safe and clean you can be set up as a kinship parent. The state will help the child out financially and the child’s parents will have to “pay” either with jail time or they will be docked for child support by the state.

    Tell the 18yo he needs to do his fare share of work. He can cook, he can clean, he can get a job to help support. Either shape up or ship out.

  10. Your parents are both POS. Your mom left, she should have kicked your dad out, not left you guys. And your dad doesn’t just get to leave and say it’s your mom’s turn. Being a parent is hard, but they chose to be parents.

    What a hard situation. Work on making that brother grow up. See if your grandma can take some responsibility

  11. I want to touch on your 11 yr old brother and the two ladies.

    YOUNGER BROTHER: I have an 11 yr old son. He could crack eggs since he was 8 and he can now make basic dishes. We suprevise the stove but he can do all the prep.

    Time to involve him in nightly cooking, he can pack lunches for both of you or setup other meals.

    OLDER WOMEN: What are they doing? Laundry? Some dinners? If they are just sitting around the house they need to start helping with more with home maintenance.

    If they cannot – then call Adult Protective Services for an assessment. Get them on the list. Tell APS that your dad moved out and you don’t know how to care for older people. Don’t let them brush you off.

    Food: It costs money for delivery, but not for curbside pickup. You can place your grocery order online and pickup when convenient for you.

    Stop doing stuff for him. Do not buy his favorite foods. Do not do his laundry. Do not drive him anywhere or pick him up.

    “I’m sorry but I don’t have time for your excuses anymore. You’re 18 and I’m done. You made me argue with you just to try to get a little help around here and that stage is over. If you want to help your family without anymore lame excuses then you can stay. If I have to argue with you about basic shit – you should move out.”

    Don’t argue with him about anything anymore. Just… stop. Walk away from arguments.

    If he has a change of heart, then tell him that HE needs to create a schedule for house cleaning and maintenance and put it onto the fridge.

    All FIVE of you can discuss division of labor. Obviously juggling needs to happen a bit for 80 yr olds and 11 yr old.

    If you start to get grief from Grandma or Aunt then tell them that when they take over looking after everyone so that you can just focus on school you will happily let them. Until then you are creating a new Family Plan so you can all stay together.

    I’m sorry, this sucks.

  12. Focus on the 11 year old. Going into the system at that age is usually not good. Look into legal aid services and try to get guardianship. The rest are not your responsibility. If you put the elderly relatives into a care home you can be a better caretaker for your brother, more time, money, and less stress.

  13. First of all, and probably most importantly, is the fact that you need to report both of your parents to Child Protective Services. They cannot just abandon an 11 year old minor child with their sibling. It’s against the law and you need the authorities to get involved. Do not give advance warning to your Mom or your Dad.

    Secondly, none of these people are your responsibility. Yes, they are family, but that does not make them your responsibility. I’m sorry, but this is all happening because you are allowing it to happen. If you are sick of doing it, then STOP DOING IT. Get someplace else to live (just rent a room somewhere) and just pack it up and leave them all to their own devices. Your adult brother, in particular, should get zero support from you at all. Give your grandparents some info about senior resources. There is a lot of help out there for seniors, depending upon their financial situation.

    Be strong. It’s time to stop mothering everyone, spread your wings, and try to find some happiness.

    Good luck!

  14. Your grandma is wrong. You need support. Reach out to a children’s aid group in your area. And a seniors aid group. Legal steps need to be taken here and you need a social worker to guide you.

  15. OP can you please tell us more or give us an update soon?

    the summary of the answers given here are as follows; kick the 18 year old asshat out (18 is a legal age in most countries and that brother should move out on his own already), and file a lawsuit against your parents for “abandonment of child” (speak to your attorney about that idk about your country so it might be different), get the custody of the 11 year old and call adult services for your elderly relatives (grandma and aunt).

    my advice:

    as a sidenote i think you should start putting yourself out there more; gather up money and start to make your own life, find more friends (its easier through social media) and look for a way to take care/take custody of your 11 y/o brother. the 18 year old can feed himself can’t he, he can get a job in most states around that age?

  16. What kind of care do the grandparents require?

    I think there a few paths forward. None are perfect.

    1) take a break from your program
    2) what support does the 18 year old need now that he’s in school? I would do it with kindness but tell him he’s on his own for the most part.
    3) talk to the grandparents. They may have some ideas and/or may be willing to receive less help for the sake of the 11 year old.
    4) if it’s what you want to do, you could put your 11 year old sister with social services. My gut tells me you don’t want to do this.

    I think a big deep breath and a reminder that it doesn’t have to be perfect will help. Focus on what’s most important. I would recommend talking to social services to understand what resources are available to you.

  17. Whew. A lot to unpack here. First, while you are feeling the burden of this, please know NONE of this is your fault. You had a lot of adults who have failed you and your family. That is not your fault. And it stucks. But, that doesn’t mean you are fucked. Sometimes in the hardest of times, we find out how strong we are.

    Your grandma has some fear and shame around this whole situation, which is why she doesn’t want you to involve anyone. While her feelings are valid, they can’t guide you. You need support, logistically, financially, and emotionally.

    Family meeting time with you, Joe, aunt, grandma, and even the 11 year old. It’s time to talk plainly about the situation you are in, because while mom has promised to pay some bills, other bills might pop up, and mom has not proven always trustworthy. You guys are one bad moment away from complete disaster. I don’t say that to scare you, but to motivate. Talk openly together about what the bills per month are, what needs to get paid. Worry less about the back stuff, just focus on keeping up with things are current as you can, the bills you need to pay to keep them from turning off the water/power/taking the house. Come up with plans to handle daily life (making sure the 11 year old is getting to school etc). If Joe doesn’t sign on or can’t be trusted, so be it (more on that later), but make it clear to everyone that it is time to set up if everyone wants to keep living there. 11 year olds can do chores too. They can take the trash out. They can learn to fold laundry.

    You might find some help for the money logistics of this over at /r/personalfinance where they’ll want more info (what the bills are, who’s name the house is in, is there a mortgage still, what incomes do people have, etc).

    As others have noted, it’s time to get social services involved. Is mom aware dad has left? It might change her plan. If not, you need to get some social services involved, as they will likely have some resources available. You may want to reach out to your brother’s teacher/school, as he is at the most risk situation here, and will be most motivated to get involved.

    Emotionally, you need to care for yourself. As others noted, contact the counselling department at your college. Get an appointment. You have a lot of shitty family stuff to unpack and process. I’m betting that resource is going to be pretty cheap if not free while you are studying there. TAKE ADVANTAGE.

    Let’s take a little perspective at Grandma and aunt. There are two women in their later years, likely not able to do what they did before. They are nervous, because at that age, one bad fall and broken hip can really be the end of things. Their living situation is unstable. They have shame and sadness, as no one wanted to be in this position in their 80s. I’m not walking you through this to tell you to let them off the hook or they are right, but just to give a little perspective as to what their experience in this is.

    Joe also has his own perspective. While you two have gone through the same family trauma, everyone is affected differently and reacts differently. This fucked him up, understandably, but sadly it’s put him in a shitty place where he’s being a shitty person. You’ve started on the path of no expecting much out of him, and you should continue that. He has shown he’s not interested in helping, so don’t any of your own emotional stock in the concept that he will. Is it frustrating? Sure. But at some point you can’t keep hoping or expecting him to change who he is. You can draw hard lines, however, along the lines of “if you aren’t going to contribute to this household, you need to find somewhere else to live”.

    You are a fucking warrior for having survived all of this so far. You are learning life skill shit and emotionally maturity people in their 30s don’t have. I know it doesn’t make it all feel worth it, but you are a badass.

    Finally, you have so many, many great years still ahead of you. Your life now might not be the typical 20 year old college life, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a chance to have those fun, crazy times. Personal story: I was bullied hardcore in high school. No friends. People threw food at me every lunch. Terrible shit. I came out of my shell a bit in college, but even those weren’t my best years. In my late 20s, I had a good stable job and a wide circle of friends. I went out every weekend and make some crazy (occasionally dumb) life long memories. Made out with random people, woke up in weird places, but because I had learned some major life skills at a young age, my bills were still paid and I still showed up to work (although occasionally very hung over).

    This time in your life is hard, no doubt about it. But it doesn’t mean you’ll never have the fun good life. There’s so much more life to live. You are so strong for having gotten to where you are now. Use that strength to get through this part, you warrior you.

  18. This will be hard to hear and people have said it in other comments but it can’t be stated enough. You will burn out if you continue like this. Not may. Will.

    And from a person who have burnt out, it’s not worth it, no one will thank you for it, least of all you.

    It will feel like you are letting your siblings and your grandparents down. And I’m sorry that it will be hard. But remember that that feeling isn’t true. None of this should be your responsibility. None of this should be on your shoulders.

    This isn’t meant as condescending; you are still mainly a kid, you are adult enough to be your own individual and take life choices but this time in your life isn’t supposed to be you becoming some kind of superparent. This should be you trying out what it means to be an adult to you, try out your autonomy and you should have time to find friends. It breaks my heart hearing how badly your dad and mom treats you.

    It’s noble of you to take responsibility, it really is, but for the love of whichever gods are listening, you need to stop.

    Focus on your studies. Joe will have to learn to deal with his own shit and will if you stop. Or won’t, it’s not on you. If your collage/uni offers housing or you can get some kind of accommodation elsewhere, go. Leave that place and let them sort out their own lives.

    Hope you will be at a better place soon.

  19. I read your update. I can understand that you feel your dad has a chance for happiness now, but you need to remember that it’s on Your and Your 11y old brothers expanse. You didn’t volunteer for fatherhood and your brother didn’t volunteer to be born. Since your mother left, the next-in-line of responsibility is your father, however one would look at the situation.

    Do you value your fathers happiness higher than your 11y old brothers? It seems so, if you think your father has done the right thing by leaving his underage son in care of others. Who even does that?! That is a shitty thing to do, no matter how much worse your mother would be.

    The elders are neither your responsibility, however much you care of them. They are adults and need to be cared for by their own kids or by the government. Not by a 20y old grandson who has too much on his plate.

    The issues you voice about moving out and not affording rent: if its a temporary issue with you getting an exam in 6 months, sure live with these people if you can bare it. Otherwise I would suggest co-renting something small with others: there are a lot of students that are in search of room mates.

    Whatever you decide, every mature option will result in a better and more reasonable life for you. The status quo is unsustainable, and you need to address it with big hands.

    Involve the CPS and contact the authorities on the elderly and the minors.

  20. You literally said that he abused you in your siblings. Do Not feel you have anything you owe to that man. I would 100% include child protective services on your father. He needs to take care of those kids but honestly it sounds like they need a better loving home and that’s not with him and it’s also not your responsibility at all. The 18-year-old can help out. It’s not your responsibility to take care of people that should have saved for retirement or have their children take care of them, not their grandchildren. I was in a situation similar to this somewhat I left and didn’t look back. And guess what? The adults learned real quick that life’s not fair. Take responsibility for your actions and the children that you have.

  21. Op talk with your grandmother and make it clear that if she wants your help then a few things have to happen. If she doesn’t like it remind her she can’t force you to take this all on so it’s your way or the highway. First and foremost Joe either pitch’s in or gets out. If he doesn’t have much he can try applying for food stamps to free up some money elsewhere. Both Auntie and grandma need to call elder services to see what they’re entitled to. If not grandma can sell the house and move into assisted living. Also whether it’s liked or not report your parents and work on becoming your youngest brothers guardian which will hopefully ease burdens further since he should be entitled to certain services and depending how things are set up your brother could get a stipend. What ever you do don’t let your family destroy you. Do it your way or leave them all to fend for themselves

  22. This doesn’t have to be on you at all. WHEN your mental health inevitably snaps and your education tanks because of this, everyone will be in the same sinking boat and left to fend for themselves anyway. At least if you leave, this forces your parents or the state to finally step up and do something that should have been their responsibility from the start.

    Let the seniors go to nursing homes, let the 11-year-old go into the system. If you took all the time you are currently using to care for 4 dependents and got a part-time job, you’d have enough money to move out and leave this mess behind for now. Who knows, after a few years when you’re successful and financially stable, you could always come back and pitch in if you want. But this shouldn’t be put on you right now.

  23. i think you’re in america? if you call 211 they can hook you up with services in your local area, cps, elder care services, that sort of thing.

    you can’t do this by yourself – no one could – you need to get outside help before you break.

  24. Omg I (21F) went through a very similar situation. Long story short Parent split up and both moved out. I had 2 teenage brothers to look after and the family pet. Plus university, plus a part time job, plus relationship, plus bfs and mines dog.

    Long story short I became very depressed and didn’t do well at university because I put all the pressure on me. The best advice I got from others was to not allow the situation to consume me, and that it was not my responsibility to care for everyone.

    I am still there for my siblings but I have removed the responsibility of being their care giver because at the same time they’re now young adults. (18 & 20 years old)

    You however have an 11yr old on ur case. I think getting help from social workers is definitely needed. Being a care giver, you may be eligible for bursaries and support for being a caregiver.
    Your sibling 11 may benefit from the support.

  25. Get ahold of the police and start a child abandonment case. Depending on where you are this is likely a felony that both parents can be charged with. Plus I promise if you do this help will come from places you never expected.

  26. the 18 year old is going to have to fend for himself. that part is done. CPS for the 11 year old.

    your parents both deserve the wrath of the legal system and you should explore that avenue.

  27. This is too much. Both of your parent’s are stupidly irresponsible and just walked away from the very thing they are supposed to be doing. I don’t intend to make you angry, but what they’ve done is so wrong I don’t have any nice words left.
    You should be very proud of what you’ve managed so far, it takes a ton of determination and care to even get this far.
    You need help. “Joe” needs to get with it or get out. He’ll probably try and couch surf with friends rather than give up any of his time or cash but even if he moves out, you’re one plate lighter at the table.
    Nobody is immune from chores. If you can wipe your butt you can fold a shirt. You’re going to have to insist tantrums or not, that everyone helps.
    Do they not understand that it will become too much? They need to. For your own sanity and safety, you need help.
    Call the senior centers, legal advocates, any sort of agency that can help.

  28. Well, it’s really time that you turned the heat up to high on your mom. And you should consult the Canadian version of CPS, and outline to them the entire circumstances in which you find yourself, giving emphasis on the circumstances of your youngest brother. If there is an agency in Canada that deals with the issues seniors face, you should also contact them to discover what aid they can render.

    Perhaps you should contact your dad to see if he could spare $500/month to take some of the financial burden off your back as well. You should also inform him that his youngest son is presently getting the “shit end of the stick” overall, and that an occasional visit from his dad would be beneficial for him.

    I really feel for you, as at present, there doesn’t appear to be much sunshine in your life. Just continue to do the best you can, and hold onto to the truth that “this too, shall pass.”

    I wish you well.

  29. Your grandma and aunt should be receiving good money from the government: old age plus pension, each of them should receive at least 1400$ per month. They should help pay for the expenses of the household.

    Your 11yo should be able to receive some government child benefit help, although not a lot.
    Your 18yo brother, if he works, then he should be able to help a bit financially as well.

    Yes, you can call child support services to see how they can help….
    It is tough. …. I hope things improve.

    One thing on the bright side: Karma works magic. Your caring of others and your kindness will be repaid one day.

    Things will get better. They always do

  30. Your dad… giving up to “follow his dreams.” Please don’t have sympathy towards that. Him and your mom need to bare the consequences of their actions. They chose to give birth to you, and your brothers. AND they chose to let your grandma and aunt stay with you.

  31. OP, I am so sorry you are having such a hard time. One thing you could do is see if your college, although remote, has any counseling services, even career counseling or financial planning. Taking responsibility for one 11 yo brother might be reasonable. The two women should be helping and your 18 yo brother should as well. Did either your mother or father have friends who might care about you? Do you have a religious community such as a synagogue or church? Figure out all the people that might help you. This is the time to ask for help.

  32. Oh honey, first, I want to give you the biggest hug. You didn’t deserve any of this.

    Second, talk to someone at school, there are resources and they can help you. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Your parents have failed, not you.

    Please be kind to yourself.

  33. Your grandmother is responsible for her own house. She can pay the bills, or refinance it for money, or just sell it. She doesn’t want you to talk about it because you are taking this responsibility on for her.

    Your 11yr old brother is an issue. You are not his legal guardian and cannot make decisions for him. If he gets hurt you cannot direct medical doctors. You cannot give permission for treatment, or even to let him go on a school trip. You can’t even sign him up for school next year. You need to start having the courts determine a responsible person and get those rights setup now so they are in place for the future, and that is going to start with a call to CPS. Yes, it means your bother may be in the system for a bit, but if you or your other family members are in a situation to take responsibility for him they will prefer to place him with family before a random fostercare.

    Joe is an adult. If he won’t pay for food or housing he goes without food & housing. That’s how life works.

    “Do not set yourself on fire to keep others warm”. You have to make sure your needs are taken care of first or you will not be there to help them in the future.

  34. Question, who’s house is everyone living in? Yours , parents, grandparents, aunt? I ask this because some of what I’m about to say will only work if the house is your and/or you have guardianship of your 11 year old sibling and grandparents.

    You are only responsible for yourself as you are an adult. Taking care of others is a choose. You might feel that it is not, but it is.

    For the 18 year old. He is legally an adult. I don’t care how popular he was in school, if he has girlfriends/boyfriends, doesn’t matter. He can either help or move out. Don’t care if he’s in high school, college, etc. He can work. I tell him that he has a specific time frame to start helping out and if he doesn’t he’ll need to move out. I have personally had to file eviction notices on family because they would not leave and they didn’t help out. It sucks but you have to do what best for your situation. I would draft a document that he has to sign stating that he will pay XXX amount per month. Failure to do so would involve eviction.

    For the two seniors, depending on their health and if they get social security assistance, assisted living is a good option. Assisted living will use their SSI benefits and pay for their housing. They all have onsite medical and they get to live like the normally do. Better than a nursing home.

    For the 11 year old. Do you have legal custody of him? If so, you can file for child support against your mom and dad. They can have fun telling a judge why they aren’t around.

    For taxes, you need guardianship of your brothers and the two seniors. You can claims all 4 as dependents. If your 18yr brother is going to school and makes under a certain amount, you can claim him. You can file head of house an that will give you the most bang for your buck on a tax return.

    The last and by far worst option is you can just move out. You can call Child protective services and let them know your mom and dad have abandon your 11 year old brother in your custody. You can call DHS and let them know you have two elderly family members that cannot take care of themselves. Then your 18 yr old brother will get a hard dose of life an have to fend for himself. Extremely shitty option, but it is an option.


    Good luck my friend. I hope for the best for you.

  35. Depending on where you live, your parents should be financially responsible for your younger brother, and possibly both of them if he is in school. You need to look into the legal stuff, because not only might you be entitled to financial support, and respite care (thats where your brother can go hang out with someone, or a bunch of other people, so you can have free time), but if there is an emergency if you’re not legally set up as guardian of the estate AND the person (sometimes they split it, I am a guardian so I know), then he might wind up a ward of the state and that’s an even bigger mess.

    If you are in the USA, contact the local ADRC for your county. They might offer what is called case management services and will help coordinate care and assistance for your elderly relatives. You may also need to be their guardian or their PoA at the very least.

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