Just need a good cry, and a little peace. - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-10-2007, 02:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry if this ends up being a ramble. I just desperately need a good cry and a place to vent, definitely a sense of peace. Nothing related to pregnancy.

One year ago this month, I made a stupid, silly, needless mistake. While backing out of my mom's driveway with my mom's van, I accidentally hit my aunt's truck on the side. We were barely rolling and I could hardly tell I even hit her; my mom's back light got one small crack, no dents. My aunt's crappy (and brand new lease) truck got a bump in the driver's side panel where the truck bed is. I was so mortified, but I knew I had to face it. Soooo....I immediately went in to tell her. She said not to worry, no big deal. She didn't want to call the ins company because she hadn't told them she'd yet moved states. WI is an at-fault state, while MI is a no-fault state. Besides, she said, her deductible was $1,000 and the damage was probably going to be a simple bump-job. She even thought she knew someone who could do it for really cheap. The police were never called, and the event was never documented in the least.

I felt like an a**, but I let it go. She never brought it up again, until 6 mos later her mom - not her (mind you she's in her mid-30's) - approached me and said that an estimate may be worked out soon and we needed to start paying, even if it was small amounts. I told her to tell her daughter I wouldn't pay a dime until she personally called me to talk it over, not her mom. No word for another 6 mos. During this time, I made a point to speak with her at a get-together about it, and gave her my e-mail. I said, "You need to get an estimate and let me know what the amount is so we can take care of this." She replied, "Don't worry about it. *such and such* might still be able to bump it out."

Now we get to about a week ago, actually, a week ago tomorrow. My husband and I both get this e-mail that the truck is in for repairs, it will cost $600 (this is the first and only estimate - one year later), and we need to start paying. We're "informed" that our payments have to be at least $100 a month so they don't go over 6 mos. Well, as to be expected, I was quite upset. I wrote back telling her how disappointed in her I was since it took over a year to get this ball rolling despite our efforts to resolve it. I stated that she had no right "dictating" our terms of repayment, since she'd blown us off repeatedly. I pointed out that perhaps if this had been handled properly in the first place, our debt may well have already been settled. So I told her that, no, we would not be paying $100 a month (we're barely surviving now - we have no TP, not enough food as it is, and we're surviving on the basics. We pay our bills, but there's nothing left over - that's impossible on our budget) but would rather be paying $35 a month for the next 1.5 years. Seeing as how it took a year to resolve, I told her, it didn't appear that should be a problem.

Well, this then started the round of harassment that now has me quite upset and stressed. She then begins threatening to take me to court over this, throwing a lawyer's name at me (which, btw, this matter wouldn't involve a lawyer - it would be a small claims court issue) and saying that I have until Oct 31 to pay before she then takes me to court. She has sent us 6 or so e-mails in the last week, many of which are, "I haven't heard a response back from you....I'm sending you certified mail...." She even went so far as to call my mother who said she was staying out of it, but that my aunt should leave me alone since I'm due any day and already in an emotionally heightened state.

Now, a little bit about this aunt of mine. She has been spending money (credit) like no tomorrow. She recently had a vehicle repo'ed, and told her five year they would soon have to move (she just bought a big, expensive house). She kept telling my mom over and over that she's "just so broke." So, we all firmly believe she's losing a grip on everything and probably teetering on bankruptcy as we speak. In fact, she had to borrow the money to fix the truck from her ex-husband.

Right now the hardest part for me to handle is the harassment. I was emotionally and verbally abused for years by my step father before being removed from the home by a school guidance counselor at the age of 16. All of this controlling harassment from her is bringing up so many awful, make me sick to my stomach feelings.

Then comes the issue of it all. I volunteered to pay for the damages from the get-go and even last week (which, btw, I've been advised was stupid to put in writing). My thought has always been that I want to do what's right and honest so that my kids can always know I lived my life with integrity. I made a mistake, I've been willing to fix it. Now that she's harassing me and being so mean to me, I don't know what to do. We don't have an exact date for this incident, but my husband has a good idea of how we can get that date (file retrieval from my mom's computer....she did a google search on insurance laws moments later). I've researched the statute of limitations for as close to this as I could get, and she's out of bounds now. Also, there's no documentation of the incident (minus my stupid e-mail last week....grrrr)....no police reports, no pictures, no insurance claims, etc.

I'm torn. If she would cooperate and treat me with dignity and respect, a large part of me would be willing to make amends. But then there's all this disrespect she's been showing. Very mean, aggressive, harassing comments and e-mails. We think she's calling our house, too, but can't prove it. If I agree to pay, it's like it invalidates my standing up for myself.

Since our e-mail when we agreed to pay, I have not responded at all. She keeps sending e-mails threatening certified mail (which I haven't seen yet) and a lawyer to take us to court (also no proof), and I just keep ignoring everything. What am I supposed to do?? If she's serious about taking us to court, I'd be a fool to say anything more to her. She's placed herself in the role of the enemy.

My mom keeps trying to tell me how sorry she feels for my aunt, that she must be on the verge of a nervous break down or something. But I can't get past this suffocating feeling she keeps bringing up in me to feel sorry. I feel so aggressed and harassed. I feel like I'm a kid in my step-dad's home again, being yelled at over and over again for nothing.

I'm sooooo sorry this was so long. Even if nobody reads this, that's okay. I just needed to put this down for myself. I need this to feel better. I keep praying for peace and strength and grace to deal with this, and every time I start to put it out of my mind, she sends another stupid e-mail. I guess the next step is to block her e-mail address. And I guess I'll ask my husband to do the same. If there's anything serious, she'll have to have another way to contact me, right? I don't have to put up with these e-mails, right?

Thanks for letting me vent. I'm so tired of being so emotionally hurt about this....I have been forthright from the beginning in this matter. She has chosen to abuse me and be a d**n bully. I feel so sorry for her ex-husband....I can only imagine the crap she's done to him.

 

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Old 10-10-2007, 03:36 AM
 
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Gads! I am so sorry you are going through this when we are all about ready to pop. I can't believe some people. I sure hope you can find a speedy solution, with minimal hassle!
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Old 10-10-2007, 03:43 AM
 
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Old 10-10-2007, 03:56 AM
 
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Well boo on her! If there is a statute of limitations on this and it's passed tell your crazy aunt that it's passed, but you want to do what's right so you'll pay her 35$ bucks a month because that's what you can afford. It took her that long to get on it and if she wants her money that's the only way it's going to happen, since you've been offering the entire time. End of story, since otherwise she has no legal leg to stand on. Sheesh! I would think too, that your mom or whomever was there that day could establish the actual date of the event if need be. Nip this crap in the bud so you don't have deal with it any longer. And make sure you pay with something trackable like money orders or checks, so you have proof of having done so.

Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...

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Old 10-10-2007, 08:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Banana731 View Post
Well boo on her! If there is a statute of limitations on this and it's passed tell your crazy aunt that it's passed, but you want to do what's right so you'll pay her 35$ bucks a month because that's what you can afford. It took her that long to get on it and if she wants her money that's the only way it's going to happen, since you've been offering the entire time. End of story, since otherwise she has no legal leg to stand on. Sheesh! I would think too, that your mom or whomever was there that day could establish the actual date of the event if need be. Nip this crap in the bud so you don't have deal with it any longer. And make sure you pay with something trackable like money orders or checks, so you have proof of having done so.

Dito! Don't let her treat you like that. Which mean horrible person would harass you at such a time in your life? The law is on your side here, take advantage of it. Stay strong. You can still do the right thing and verbally agree to pay a small amount but don't give anything in writing. She sounds crazy, What's the next thing she's gonna come up with? Drag you on Jerry Springer? Sheesh, I wonder how she sleeps at night...You really don't need this!
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana731 View Post
Well boo on her! If there is a statute of limitations on this and it's passed tell your crazy aunt that it's passed, but you want to do what's right so you'll pay her 35$ bucks a month because that's what you can afford. It took her that long to get on it and if she wants her money that's the only way it's going to happen, since you've been offering the entire time. End of story, since otherwise she has no legal leg to stand on. Sheesh! I would think too, that your mom or whomever was there that day could establish the actual date of the event if need be. Nip this crap in the bud so you don't have deal with it any longer. And make sure you pay with something trackable like money orders or checks, so you have proof of having done so.
:

Worst case, if she does take you to court, you are right, it would be small claims court, no lawyers, and the most she would get is a judgment against you for an amount that you already admit you owe and want to make arrangements to pay. I would like to think that most judges would be disgusted with her for wasting court time just to try to get her money sooner.

I am sorry she is putting you through this right now - talk about no class or sensitivity! Geesh. Since she borrowed this money from her ex-husband, could you make payment arrangements with him? Is he any more reasonable, or would that just complicate things further? Alternatively, would it be possible for you to borrow the money from your mom or someone, just to get her off your back, then repay that person at a rate you can afford? I know you might feel like you are just giving in to her then, but it really might be worth it just to get the b**** off your back.

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:27 AM
 
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I'm so sorry this is happening to you, especially now.

You said she borrowed money to fix the truck -- was that to fix this dent, or something unrelated?

We had something slightly similar happen about 3 years ago -- without all the drama, though. Our car died while we were visiting family. Not a huge deal -- our third child was still in a small carseat & we planned to have more kids, so we knew we would be getting a van soon anyway. We borrowed my parents' car, and while we were out once we slid into a ditch and hit a tree. We were all fine; the car didn't stop running, and the air bags didn't go off. (I momentarily thought there was something wrong with my vision, but then I realized my glasses had fallen off. ) We called my parents, they said don't call the ins company. I didn't think it would cost too much -- there was a small dent on the front, hardly noticeable, but it was leaking a tiny bit of some kind of fluid. But apparently the whole frame was bent and something inside was cracked. It was $2000 to fix it. The van we bought was $3000, so $2000 felt like a loooooooot of money to fix a car that my parents had also bought used (and knowing my dad, they probably didn't pay more than 5K for it) and that looked like it had a small dent.

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Old 10-10-2007, 12:18 PM
 
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PSHT Girl don't even worry. For one the limit on her is about to run out on her taking it to court and for another she didn't call her insurance company and any judge would throw that out because you asked her to and she declined. Just send your 35.00 a month (trackable) every month, same time. Don't speak with her or about it anymore and let them stress you. Any judge would laugh her out of the court room if you are paying what you can and she still took you to court. BTW She needs to get you 3 estimates and you pay the lesser of the 3
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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Wow, I am so sorry you're having to deal with this right now, its SO not what you need!
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Old 10-10-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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re: the legal issues. Like you have already acknowledged, the only thing she's got on you is that email, darn it! But what is done is done. If she were to take you to court, you'd simply be told to pay her what you already agreed to pay (as someone else pointed out). No big scary there. Although I think you could demand she get other estimates.

I'm not sure if you should start paying her yet. My instinct is to say no, as it is an acknowledgment of the debt you owe and the price she set. At least demand (in writing) another estimate and then you'd be happy to set up a payment plan that works for both of you. If the court sees you as cooperative and she as not, they'll set a reasonable payment schedule (assuming the courts get involved at all).

Plus you might want to remind her she was committing insurance fraud and you'd be happy to bring that up in court. Not that it would change the facts, but it might shut her up.

re: the harassment. Personally, I would save her emails and log her calls (frequency/time) in case you wish to get a restraining order against her. Or, if she does take you to court (highly doubtful..sounds like an empty threat), you can show the judge her level of crazy. If you don't feel comfortable doing this because it triggers past abuse, maybe have your husband do it? Try to reframe it for yourself as gathering evidence and not taking harassment.

My guess is for whatever reason, she's got herself in trouble and sees you as a potential cash cow.


Not Legal Advice
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for responding, everyone!! I really needed the uplift and the advice. I really needed to vent, too. As of last night, I had blocked her e-mails....it was more than I could handle. We've been documenting everything along the way. My knee-jerk response is that this is bull, considering I haven't seen the truck in over a year, so for all I know, this is something new that I didn't cause. But whatever. I'm considering, after reading all of your input, thoughtfully constructing a document which warns her to back off (MI actually has an electronic harassment law which is prosecuteable) and stop the aggression, reminding her that we already, in writing, agreed to make payment arrangements with her. This will have to be a well-thought out, strategic e-mail, but you guys are right. I have to stand up for me.

I just hate pregnancy hormones....they make everything feel so much worse than it needs to be. Thanks for the support...I really needed it.

 

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