Alright, so I recently discovered that my mom stole my identity and has been running my parents’ business under my name ever since I turned 18. I’m now 22. To make matters worse, she stopped paying taxes for this business roughly four years ago, taxes which are in my name of course.
I became aware of this after all funds in my accounts were cleared and my wages garnished. I was forced to hire an attorney to clear my name and help retrieve my life’s savings. I should also mention that my mom had been opening and keeping my mail for years without my knowledge.
The relationship I’ve had with my parents in the past has been tolerable but this latest situation is horrifying to me. Is it okay to never ever ever speak to them again?
My mom wouldn’t get me a Cabbage Patch Doll, and I’m still pissed at her for it, so I totally feel for you. This is really, really bad. But is it enough to cut your parents out of your life forever? I don’t think so.
If you’ve been abused in any fashion, then I’d say for your mental and physical health that you’re definitely better off without your parents in your life. You said, though, that your relationship has been okay. In this situation, then, I’m imagining your mom as your own personal Bernie Madoff. If you look at this with the most compassionate eye you can muster (believe me, every time I see a Cabbage Patch, I get a pang of anger and hurt that just doesn’t go away with time, so I know how hard it is), it’s possible that your parents told themselves, “We’re just going to open the business in her name, and when we get our act together, we’re going to switch it over.” As time passed, it’s possible that they told themselves, “Yes, we owe money for the taxes, but she won’t even know as long as we pay them back before it gets out of hand.” And then all of a sudden, it was too late, and they had totally screwed you over.
If you regard them with compassion (re: the Cabbage Patch…my mom just wanted me to see that having what everyone else had, and being like everyone else, wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, which is often total bullshit but I appreciate the lesson), you can see them on occasion. I wouldn’t invite them to my home if I were you, and I wouldn’t give them my credit card number and ask them to order some things for me from Amazon, and I would definitely have some alerts put on my credit report and check my FICO score religiously. But I would, with my guard up, forge some kind of relationship with them—one with clear boundaries and on my own terms. I think in the long run, a lifetime of punishing your parents for their mistake will be harder on your soul than meeting them for dinner once in a while.