Updated: March 11, 2013 6:24AM
Dr. Wallace: I’m 19 and work as a food server in an upscale restaurant. Some weekends I earn over $200 a day in tips, so I am very self-sufficient. I still live at home with my mother and grandmother. I love my mother with all my heart and soul and every fiber in my body. She has raised me with dignity. She was an unwed mother and worked hard to make a good life for us. She succeeded.
About a year ago, my grandmother moved in with us because her husband died. She probably nagged my grandfather to death. Grandmother is a despicable, vicious human being, and whenever she gets mad at my mother, she calls her names and makes reference to her “child out of wedlock” — me. She gripes at 75 percent of what my mother does and everything that I do. She doesn’t like my hairstyle, the clothes I wear or the boyfriend I date. She is always trying to drive a wedge between my mom and me, but she will never succeed.
My best friend is moving out of her house and wants me to share an apartment with her. She says it would be fun, and we could buy furniture at thrift stores and garage sales and be on our own.
I’m fed up with grandmother, and I would like to move away from her, but I would worry about my mother living by herself with her mother. Your advice would be appreciated.
Ashley, San Diego, Calif.
Ashley: Move in with your girlfriend. You’re already financially independent; now it’s time to establish a measure of emotional independence as well. Your mother will be able to take care of herself.
Before you leave, assure Mom that you will call her often and stop by to see her on a regular basis. Let her know, of course, that she’s always welcome at your place. And make sure that you have Mom’s blessing to return home if complications arise in your new living arrangement.
Your grandmother’s behavior is shocking, almost unfathomable. Seldom do I hear about a grandparent who is so bitter and mean-spirited toward a grandchild. She definitely ought to find a living arrangement where she can’t do so much harm.
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