When Helping Isn’t Enough…

Warning— This is a bit long, just need to vent on some family issues.

When I think of what it means to help others in need, I think of those times when people have been there for me. Which is more times than I can even count. God has put countless people in my life that has changed it for the good and at times, not so good. When is it time to draw the line when it comes to helping others?

ImageWhat got me thinking on this is my parents. They live in a small area of Arizona that is close to the border of Mexico. Growing up there has always been friction and fighting in my family. I decided around 12 or 13 that I wouldn’t have my kids around all the anger, fighting and hate filled conversations. Not of all my childhood was like this, but a good part of it was.

I have forgiven all those things from my childhood because I know it is best for me to do that. We are to forgive those who have wronged us. And the Lord knows I have been guilty of that myself.

Over the past year the fighting at my parents home has taken a turn for the worse and has brought on a huge amount of anxiety for many. And the reason for that is that my sisters and my brother is living with them or just a house over from them. They each want to help, but I wonder how is the best way to help someone when their whole life has been filled with these things.

ImageMy parents are in their 70’s and I do love them and want to help in anyway I can. But what is the best thing to do? Now, this is a loaded question in so many ways. For my own sense of peace and protection I am extremely happy I live where I do. I’m somewhat close enough (14 hrs away), but far enough. I’m grateful for all of those in my life and for the relationship I have with my daughters, grand kids, husband and friends.

I find it very sad and breaks my heart that my parents don’t have the kind of life I have made for my daughters and family. My family is far from perfect and we have had our issues, but love and God has always been the first priorities in our family. I have been blessed beyond measure when it comes to my family.

When I get a call that something is going on down there it makes me cringe. I wonder what is next and who has killed who. It’s at the point where they are drawing a line and sides needs to be taken. Of which that is NOT something I will do. They do need a lot of help and support. But the kind they are getting isn’t what I would say they need. Help shouldn’t be what is in my best interest, but in my parents best interest.

ImageAs I listen and talk to others down there, it is sad to know that their is no sense of peace or love. The word love is mentioned but I don’t get the idea that it is the kind of love that is unconditional and forgiving. There has been a lot of horrible things that have done and it is where it is parent against the children, brother against the sister and it’s a mess to put it mildly.

This situation keeps me awake at night and stressed because I’m just waiting for the call that someone killed someone.

My oldest sister tried to help and found out that she can’t. Things have gotten so bad that she said that she no longer has any parents, they are dead to her because of the things that were said and done. My mom calls my sister that thing and accused her of some other horrible things. She said that she has no brother for the same reason. As she talks to me and tears flowing and her voice cracking, she knows that she will never see mom and dad or my brother again because of things going on. She won’t even talk about them or ask for updates on how they are doing. She will never go down to see them out of fear of the police being called on her or hurtful comments being said.

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The Hatfields and McCoys Fued

Eventually people and family will stop helping because they fear for their own safety and freedom. I won’t turn my back and my home will always be open to my parents. When you have threats of being thrown in jail because you helped someone that asked for help, you learn to not do that again. Which is wrong on so many levels. My sisters have been in prison and they paid the price for what they did. those things should not be held over their heads because they took care of that. I have been hurt by family and wrong. But I still forgive and love them unconditionally.

As a Christian I know that if I want to be forgiven, I need to forgive as well. I do have to say that I am having a hard time of this with my brother. I love him. but some of the things he has done in the past and getting in the middle of the thing with my parents is upsetting me. I have had to call the police on my sister because I was worried about he and she spent time in prison for things she has done. It was the right thing to do for her own safety and well being. She does understand this, which I am happy that she does. She is getting her life in order and so is my oldest sister.

When I was talking to my brother on Facebook, he was going into all the things that others have done or said. I kept waiting for what he has done or said. There are no innocent parties when it comes to these kinds of fights. I rarely get to talk one on one with my dad because he is afraid he would get caught talking . Which seems irrational to me. Everyone has a right to talk to who they want and shouldn’t have to choose sides. I refuse to do that.

I find it disheartening that parents are filing restraining orders against each other. Sisters are calling the police and filing orders against my brother and my parents. For myself, when my Dr’s tell me not to stress and rest, I find it hard to do that because of what is going on down there in AZ. Shoot my medical things and blood pressure is out of whack and I don’t think I could survive when it comes to what is going on.

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I don’t know what the right thing is. I have chosen to stay out of their fighting and be there for them when they need a listening ear or if they need help with finances. When I look at the things that are going on in my parents home and in the lives of others, it shows me what it would be live to live in a world without God and love. And to me, that is horrible.

In John 8 it says, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

When I read this passage it is telling me that there is not one person without sin. It sure seems there are many who think they are exempt and is fast to accuse another instead of looking at themselves.

It really bothered me that my brother would have every excuse and think that he can save the day and that is so far from the truth. He is fast to say it is this persons fault or that persons fault. The blame game is a very popular game that is going strong to this day and will till the day Christ comes again. I just wonder what the ultimate cost is going to be when it comes to winning this game.

When my brother said it is normal since they have always fought like this and he can handle them. Well, my response is that none of this is normal and he shouldn’t be handling anything. Normal is where parents and children enjoy seeing and talking to each other. Not the opposite where they want to have them all thrown in jail or committed. Something is wrong with this picture!

Will it come down to a fight that has gotten out of control because of things said and done in the past. The past isn’t going to change. But we can choose to move forward, forgive and do what is right. When he told me that they have always fought like this and that he is there to make sure they don’t kill each other. I have a problem with that. Yes, mom and dad need help. But not the kind he is offering. They need to know that people love and care for them and to be there to help, but not make the situation harder. Basically what is going on is pushing people away.

This reminds me of a conversation I was having with my friend Chris. It is hard to see how toxic a relationship or person can be when they are living it each day. I personally think that since my brother and sisters are adults and they are in their 50’s and late 40’s they should be living on their own, and doing for themselves. They shouldn’t have to be living with aging parents who are struggling to live and support themselves. Bringing stress, anger and reliving the past is NOT going to help. It will keep them in the past and not allow them to move forward.

I have prayed for a long time that something will change and that they can find true love, peace and happiness before they are no longer here. It’s sad to think that they may never get to experience these things because of hate filled lives and words. My prayer for them is that God will show them how much they are loved and they don’t have to live like this. I have to say, I have little hope that they will ever find these things because of all that is and has gone on. But nothing is impossible when we put our trust in God.

If anyone has any ideas on how to best handle this, I would be interested in knowing. Right now praying is about all I can do for all of them. I don’t know what else to do to help them out.

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