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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom on Fixed Income Supports a House Full of Freeloaders

DEAR ABBY: My grandson, his girlfriend and, recently, my son (who had to move in) are living with me. She is the only one working. My grandson has been sitting on his butt the last 2 1/2 years and does minimal work here in my home. All three of these "adults" live here for free. I am 79 and on a fixed income. I pay for everything.

They were supposed to be saving money so they could get a place of their own. That's a big joke. All they do is spend, spend, spend. They sleep all day and play games on their computers all night. I have seriously considered shutting off the internet (which I pay for) to see what they would do.

I have been talking to a counselor due to my stress and anger issues. The counselor has strongly advised me to evict them. My daughter told me if I do, I'll never see her or my two young grandchildren again. She means it.

I'm tired of being the caregiver. I feel used, but can't set boundaries very well. I'm also afraid of my 24-year-old grandson, who has terrible anger issues and who put his fist through a wall when I called him lazy. Should I put them out or, to keep peace in the family, continue to let them use me? -- USED UP

DEAR USED UP: There will never be peace in your family as long as you allow yourself to be held hostage by threats and intimidation. Your anger and boundary issues will resolve themselves if you act on the advice your therapist is giving you and evict these parasites.

First, discuss this with a lawyer to see what steps you must take, and because you fear your grandson will become violent, you may need help from the authorities to guarantee your safety from him when he goes. As to your daughter, I predict she'll keep the grandchildren from you only until she needs something -- so be prepared. And please, continue talking to your therapist, who seems to have more of your interests at heart than your family members.

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