Family Saga: I Don’t Know What To Do With My Niece

I am very disappointed with my niece. I am still in fact fuming mad until now, 6 hours after her very disappointing text. She became a single mom at a very young age. After giving birth last year, I asked her what her plans were. She said she wanted to continue her studies. Suffice to say, her parents cannot support her, especially now that there’s an additional member of their family. I decided to support her so that she can still have the chance to have a better life despite what happened to her. Also, in my mind, she will be going back to the same school, where tuition is cheaper. However, she chose a different school, which is more expensive. How expensive? My anticipated tuition per semester in the state university was what I needed to set aside per MONTH for her new school. But thinking that maybe it was the best option for her, and since I already gave my word and commitment to support her, I gave her the go signal to transfer school. I crunched my numbers, cut down on my expenses, and sacrificed some luxuries and target savings, just so I can accommodate her school expenses. I was even hesitant to jump into a relationship, something that I have prayed for fervently in recent months, just because heck, I don’t have any extra for dates! (While it is nice to have someone to spend for you, I have been independent for the longest time that it makes me uncomfortable when someone spends for me.)

Sometime last week or the other week, her sister, who is now an OFW, told me that this niece sent her a private message in FB asking for financial support. I was surprised but did not give much thought. I just thought maybe she was shy to continue asking for support from me. To intervene, I texted her to ask when her payment is due. I’ve been paying monthly since she started school in June. She said she was not sure. Just to test that we are aligned with what she paid so far, I asked her to confirm if her payment for October is the last for this sem. She did not reply.

She dropped the bomb last night. She texted, asking me to deposit a certain amount in a certain bank and email her the scanned copy of the deposit slip so that she can take her exams later today. And she said she spent the money I sent her from July to September. And that she was sorry. WTF. My blood boiled that instant. I wanted to cry just to let it all out, but I was still in the office, in another site, away from the comfort of my own workstation. I had to struggle to think objectively. I asked her calmly what happened. She said she spent it for projects and food, and the rest she did not know where it went. WTF. I lost my cool and texted my disappointment with her, and more strong words that I know would hurt her. And I don’t care. I don’t deserve this. I am not asking anything from her in return. Our deal was that, I pay for her tuition, her parents should pay for the rest of her expenses. Should she complete her course, all that I paid for her will be her graduation gift. Otherwise, she has to pay whatever amount I shelled out up to the time she quit school.

I still don’t know what to do now. I want to go home so that I can slap her and confront her and her parents. I cannot sleep because I am really hurt. I don’t know whether I’ll still take the risk to help her or not. And I can’t believe she even gave me a tight deadline in paying for her tuition. WTF again. Unfortunately, our province has been hit by Typhoon Lando and I cannot contact my aunt or my brother. Electricity is still not restored in many areas, moreso, in the far flung place where my aunt is. Arrrgggg!

Note: I did not oblige my other niece, who is now an OFW, to help me support her sister because I want her to start early with her savings. Besides, she already has her own family, and I helped her put together her budget before leaving, and encouraged her to focus on her own family and set expectations with her parents that she won’t be giving them monthly support. However, part of her budget is a monthly savings for her parents for major events where she will be forced to shell out money for them.

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