When I was a child, my parents made the decision to help relatives who had breakdowns, or who were drinking.
This meant that someone was always living with us as a family.
This placed a strain on my parents who acted as care givers, and on the children.
We struggled for physical space, in a house with too few bedrooms, and we struggled with privacy.
We spent time trying to shield each other from the ‘guests’, who might be cranky, or sarcastic.
If you have been around someone when they are drinking, or trying to stop drinking, then you will understand about sarcasm.
As we moved into our teenage years, my siblings grew weary of this state of affairs. They began to stay with their boyfriends or girlfriends, and would disappear in the Summer or at Christmas for a few days at a time.
They wanted a break.
However, even this did little to ease the tension.
Finally, I asked my parents to rethink this.
I was 21 at the time.
We had spent all my life living this way.
We could not continue in this way. Plus, this placed a financial strain on us.
So we changed. Now people come, and we try to offer support and counsel, but they go home at the end of the day.
I feel that this a healthier situation. We keep our privacy, and I feel it is a healthier situation for our relatives also.