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Ask Alma: You can’t live here for FREE

By Alma Gill

Dear Alma,

I’m going through extremely difficult time with my son, his girlfriend and her mom. They all live in my house with their two children. The problem is that they live with me at my expens —room and board, electricity, water, cable and gas. The two ladies refuse to get jobs and they stay on the third floor of my house all day, running the air-conditioning non-stop. My son works, but he has to pay for the car, insurance and cellphones, plus spending money for his girlfriend and her mom. He doesn’t give me a red cent! The girlfriend doesn’t clean or help out at all and her mom caters to her all day, cooking and taking food up to her. I gotta evict them and their two dogs, but they threaten to take my grandchildren away, which would devastate my son, knowing they would be homeless. We are both caught between a wall and a hard rock.

The worst part of this horror is that the girlfriend curses me out constantly with foul language and I haven’t told my other three children to avoid a huge fight, but I am on the verge of calling my kids to help me get them out. I gave them a time frame for leaving, but my son keeps looking for excuses to keep them here. My choices seem to be to wind up living alone and scared or live in this inferno. Please help.


Dear Margie,

Girl, you ain’t in charge or livin’ large, but your house guests surely are. Your son isn’t married to her and she ain’t kin, demonstrated by the way she acts. If she was respectful, it would be a different story.

Your son and his other family are holding you hostage in your own house and using your grand kids as collateral; that’s crazy and you know it. Your son is using you and allowing his “girlfriend” and her mother to mistreat and disrespect you too. How and when did it get to the point that your son has no regard for you, your feelings or well-being? Let’s start with that. You’re a different kinda mother than I am Margie, because I ain’t never gonna be overwhelmingly disrespected in my own house.

Seems to me, you’re mad as Methuselah towards the wrong people. This foolishness reclines at the foot of your son; deal with him. You are responsible for teaching him about life and so far, you haven’t done a good job. Simmer down, no worries, you still have time. It’s gonna be hard and it might break your heart for a minute, because your self esteem is shot and you’re afraid to be alone. Girl, please, that’s why the good Lord made books and volunteer programs.

Your son will never be the man he needs to be as long as you’re treating him like a child. Unfortunately, he and the other adults in your house have tapped into your weakness and know they don’t have anything to worry about. Why move when you’re perfectly happy living in a comfortable home rent-free.

Put on your big girl granny panties and kick them all out. Stop feeding this monster, Margie, and get your house in order. The best and only thing you have available at any time to offer and assist them is prayer. Get them out and get on your knees.


Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and twitter@almaaskalma.

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