I live 80 miles away from my family . I lost my job on the same day my brother John came home from drug rehab and he got all the attention/sympathy. This is fine because having moved away at an early age made me independent. A week later, the family organized a fund raiser to get money to help John pay his bills and get back on his feet. I said that since I had no income, I would not be able to make a financial contribution at the time. I offered 20 dollars to be used for snacks/raffle tickets for the fundraiser but the family said they would cover the fundraising costs. I said I would not attend the fundraiser because of the cost of gas from my home to the venue. I don't make a ton of money but the family knows me as the penny pinching Jenny because I am an astute saver . The family pressed on me to contribute from my savings, which I declined. My sister, with whom I have shared a very close relationship with, expressed her bitterness to me about her donation and she yelled at me for not dipping into my savings. Angrily, I told her that John was an adult and not my responsibility. Two weeks after the fund raiser I got a job offer and before starting the new job, I took a vacation. At the dinner table this Christmas , the family told me that despite my record of helping out in the past, this time I had been selfish for claiming to be broke and then taking a vacation. My sister had told everyone of my comments about John and they said it was mean spirited. They said that had I made a contribution, the hurtful words would not have been spread around. They said my loss of a job was no excuse for that behavior and the family would not tolerate it. That night I was made to apologize to John and to write him a check. Now I want nothing to do with them. I feel my sister betrayed me for revealing a confidential conversation and my family's love is conditioned on money. Was the family's attack of me justified? Was I not entitled to take a vacation after a traumatic lay off ? What would have been the best way to resolve this issue without tearing the family apart ?
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