So I am going for a family girls weekend---my mother, sister and niece. My aunt was also going to come, drive here, and she and I were going to drive together to meet the other three about four hours away. My aunt lives about two and a half hours from me. She and I were both looking forward to being in the car together, catching up, and then enjoying shopping, eating out, visiting with everybody over the weekend. Yesterday, she called, crying hysterically. It scared me to death---I thought somebody had died. She told me her 42-year-old daughter (difficult child who lives with them, her parents, and difficult child's two kids live there too---my aunt and uncle, their grandparents, are still trying to raise all three of them, literally...whole other story), my cousin, went out very late the night before to get something to eat, taking the Great Dane in the car with her, and totaled my aunt's car. Lots of questions, here, I'm sure, you are thinking. Yes, me too. So my aunt has no car now to drive. My uncle is taking the granddaughter to a soccer tournament elsewhere in his car so my aunt can't come. The difficult child's car is in Atlanta at her brother's house, parked in the driveway, not running, because the brother borrowed it over the winter and didn't put antifreeze in it and now it won't run at all. My aunt is the type of person who just throws her hands up and says over and over, what are we going to do? when something bad happens. She isn't a problem solver. I tried to listen with empathy and made one suggestion about how she could still come. It was immediately very clear to me that she had already decided and wasn't coming so I stopped. She kept saying I won't be very good company anyway. A lot of forces at work here, as you can imagine. I saw difficult child last year for the first time in a long time. She literally looks like somebody who is starving to death. It was shocking to see her. Her difficult child-ness has been going on since she was a teenager. I could tell you stories to curl your hair. But anyway---she is either in the throes of an eating disorder or is on meth, I believe. Meth is the more likely route, since she did that before some years ago and ran off with a minor to Florida, leaving her husband and baby for a week. My aunt and uncle are huge enablers. They are now 75 years old and they just give and give and give and give. They are both still working part-time jobs, and all she talks about is not having any money. They are fully supporting their grandchildren---difficult child doesn't work anymore. Plus they support difficult child and continue to bail her out of all of her problems. She also has multiple illnesses---seizures, kidney stones, etc. It is a train wreck. My mother called me later very upset (for the 100th time) about the whole situation. I listened empathetically, and then I told her what I have learned. We can't change this situation. We love our aunt/her sister, and she is not likely to change at this point. Yes, it is very sick. Yes, they are likely to have no $$ at all to keep them in their old age. Yes, their kids are train wrecks and users. The real question is: what are we to do---we who love her and sit by and watch and listen to the train wreck as it happens over and over again? I told my mother that distance is the only solution I have found, and working on myself. Otherwise, This stuff is enough to drive you nuts. My aunt and uncle just run around as fast as they can picking up the pieces of everybody else's difficult child-ness and lack of responsibility. They don't say No. They don't set boundaries. They don't take care of themselves. Their health is failing. My aunt has been depressed (who wouldn't be?) for decades. Her back hurts all the time. Her head hurts all the time. She said they didn't have collision(?) insurance so they get nothing back on the car. And they can't buy another car, so what are they going to do? I'm so thankful I know how to respond in these situations now. I didn't engage, and I didn't get into the drama with my mother and my sister. I just told my aunt how much we would miss her and how sorry I was that she is upset and can't go. I didn't call anybody else. Later that day, they all started calling me. I told my sister this: This entire situation reaffirms the work I am doing on myself. I am not going to be my aunt---age 75 and running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to stop all of the leaks in the dam that my difficult child---my son---has sprung. Not going to happen, folks. GFGness is everywhere, in all families. I hear it told when people open up and start being honest. Many people don't do the hard work we are doing here on this forum, that I can see. Many participate all of their lives. I'm not going to be one of those.