Author Topic: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?  (Read 7508 times)

Offline TexasGal

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Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« on: January 14, 2013, 11:46:13 AM »
I love this forum! I've been reading for a while but this is my first post. My hubby and I (one child) are in the early stages of prepping, (he just recently got on board) and we’re about to purchase land for our BOL. I can't seem to stop thinking about family, none of which would know our BOL. I love my family but here's my situation with my brother and sister (both can see the coming SHTF).

Sister is morbidly obese, her husband is lazy, isn’t worth a flip, and they have 4 young children that are all extremely disrespectful and don't mind for nothing...can't pay their bills, let alone prep.
My brother is ex military and has some valuable skills, but he’s an alcoholic with dangerous anger/rage issues. He has a sweet wife and one child.

I can’t imagine trying to run a safe, orderly location with all that going on, but I also can’t imagine turning my back on my family…probably to never see them again, should the SHTF. As a Christian, I ask myself how I could possibly consider leaving out my family and the innocent children they have. But at the same time, bringing them could compromise the safety of my own child. Surely, some of y’all have family that wouldn’t be bugging out with you? How do you plan to cope with the emotional issues that are sure to come?
Thanks! TexasGal

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 12:10:59 PM »
TexasGal,

We live in Florida, and all of my family is in Oregon.  Even if they were all here, there's probably not much I could do for them.  It's up to them to make their own choices for themselves.  We can't put our children or ourselves into the position where no one can succeed.  It's a difficult position, but it's not a difficult DECISION.  A decision implies that there is a choice you can make.  They need to make those choices, not you.

Feel free to assist them if you can manage it, but ultimately a lifeboat can only hold so many people.  The others are required to get another lifeboat if they don't want to swim.  It might sound cold, but life isn't all milkshakes and gum drops.

Offline lettuceman

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 01:31:37 PM »
TexasGal,

Flippy said it all and gave you some good advice.

We all need to remember that our family members are responsible for themselves and the decisions they make.  As difficult as it may be, we cannot jeopardize the safety and well being of our immediate family.

Offline AlaskaGrover

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 01:54:40 PM »
Most of my family all lives together on the same property... however my mother has long-term health issues requiring her to use supplemental oxygen and many meds. daily.  Is SHTF and we need to go, I am guessing that mom and dad will stay at the house and my daughter, brother, and I will head out.  If things calm down, we plan to head back to the house when things become safe again hoping the old folks made it through well. 

I can not risk endangering my daughter's survival to carry grandma and grandpa for the long term.  If we can shelter in place - we have stored enough supplies for all of us in the home! 

Do not feel terrible if all your family will not be able to bug out with you.  Think survival!  You still love them, but you can't take care of all of them if they are not ready or able to take care of themselves. 

Offline shambo

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 08:36:23 PM »
Your thread really interested me.  It immediately got me thinking about me and my immediate family's situation, as it surely did many of those who read this.  You have done  something very important in starting the conversation on possibly having to exclude certain people should things take a turn for the worst.  By already wargaming these scenarios in your head, you are well on your way to  making the right decision when the time  comes.  We all hope that day never comes.  Pray on this decision.  Don't take it lightly.  You will be far ahead  mentally preparing yourself for these decisions.  Remember that the biggest part of being a prepper is mental preparation.  Trust that you will make the right decision.  I will be eager to follow this thread.

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 09:08:30 PM »
@ TexasGal

Again, Flippy said it all.  The only thing that I'll add is that I would not recommend going it alone, you need community.  IMO the best community is blood.  When it counts, they are the only people you can truly depend on.  That's not to say that there are not some truly good people whom would have your back and put your life in front of theirs if need be, but it's rare.  I would predict that if their lives depended on it, they would come through and find a way to contribute in a meaningful way.  In a tough situation even the smallest contributions can be helpful to a person that is pulling more than their share.  Hell, that's probably the reason my wife keeps me around today.


Offline TexasGal

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 07:55:22 PM »
Thanks for the input everyone. We know we couldn’t make it alone, and need a network of people and community support. DH and I were talking about this again yesterday. It’s hard to know who to trust with even the conversation of “brining them into the group,” let alone trusting if they’d turn on you in a heated situation. It takes time to build trust and relationships in people, so we first look at the people that are already in our lives…family and a few close friends.

Family would be my first choice, because I too believe blood is more likely to be there for you.  I need to choose my conversation with them carefully, should I decide to bring it up. To start the scenarios with them, then I fall back to my first gut instincts, then I have an uncomfortable situation within the family. Just knowing our family dynamics, I have a hard time believing an alcoholic would suddenly stop drinking. In an already stressful scenario, he’d probably want to drink more. I know booze wouldn’t be at the local grocer, but I’ve already started a small collection of the hard stuff for medicinal purposes, bartering, security uses, or if we just need a good stiff drink. Keeping it secure from a hardcore alcoholic would bring its own challenges and anger issues are sure to arise when it’s locked up away from them.

I understand they are adults and responsible for their own immediate families. We will not compromise the safety of our child above extended family. But if we don't have help, that too greatly compromises our safety. We wouldn't make it alone.  All something I’m still mulling over and praying about.

I know that we will have plenty to keep us busy and on our toes should there be a collapse of society and we’ve bugged out. But just as a death of a someone within our group due to attack or something would be emotionally devastating, so would those down times when the mind starts to wander and you image all the horrible things that could have happened to the family you’ve left behind. Yes, I can be tough and suck it up…that’s what I’ll have to do…I’m not a wimp. But I am a mom and when I think about the little ones is when the lump really comes to my throat.

We’re human and those thoughts will come.

Thanks for letting me air this out with y’all.

Offline busymomx3

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 11:47:52 PM »
My family isn't really preppers and my sister mostly thinks I'm crazy.  But my spouse and I have talked about this type of thing.  If they were to show up at our house we wouldn't turn them away.  But on the same token we wouldn't go to them to help them.  They would have to reach out to us.  We currently live about 4 hours away without crazy city traffic.  But by the end of summer we will be 2200 miles away.  So at that point I doubt they would come to us.  However it would still stand that if they came we would help them.  They are family after all.  We don't have a BOL so perhaps that makes a difference.  I would try to help but in the end agree that you still have to consider your family and their safety.  We are lucky to be moving to a community of like minded people so we won't be alone anymore.

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 06:20:15 AM »
TexasGal, it is possible that your sister (morbidly obese) and your brother (alcoholic) both need a serious slap in the face from reality to get a firm grasp on how their current paths are dead end streets which will be their own undoing. A neo-Katrina or a quasi-Sandy befalling your area might very well be what they each need in order to do a complete about-face. She will hopefully get serious about losing weight. He will hopefully get serious about drying up.

Have a sitdown conversation with your husband discussing just how willing the two of you might be in allowing them and their spouses and children into your home/BOL --and for how long-- in case a Katrina or a Sandy were to hit your area, crippling the region for days or even weeks at a time. Discuss what sort of base rules will be laid down for them to follow (including chores, and privacy requirements). Discuss also what concrete grievances and infractions would prompt your husband to give a verbal warning and then an ultimatum whereby your husband would have no other choice but tell one or more (or all) of them to leave, even if the regional emergency was still going on.   

If such a conversation leads you and your husband to determine ahead of time that in all honesty you simply CAN'T allow them any access at all, then prepare two small gift survival packages, one for each family, and keep them on hand with your BOB's. Those will be for them to survive with while you and your husband and child drive away to your BOL.  (Consider packing these gift kits with stuff like granola bars, a couple of 16 oz. bottles of spring water, small flashlights, hand warmers, bandaids, antibiotic cream, toothbrushes, clean white socks, etc.)

Maybe when the emergency is over and you get back home, you might find that reality will have slapped them enough to where they do each get their lives on a smarter course.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2013, 03:00:54 PM »
I'm sorry that they are putting you in this place, and I completely understand.  But their lives are most likely the result of a long string of bad decisions (we all make them), and it's not fair that you have to rescue them.  Maybe I'm sounding a little heartless (I really don't mean to) but I sometimes feel like people have an attitude of "I'm family, and you HAVE to help me, even if I haven't been willing to help myself".

Your first loyalty should be to DH and your kids, and if helping anyone else endangers them, then that's where the line has to be drawn.

Offline MTUCache

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2013, 03:36:16 PM »
I think I might look at this a little differently... maybe because my BOL isn't really "mine" (it belongs to the whole family and has for generations, and all of our family and friends have been there dozens of times).

You're going into this by assuming you'll have that choice to make, or that if you do have it will be an all or nothing proposition. Your mention of "turn your back on your family and likely never see them again" made me look twice. That sort of pricks my antenna as that you're still in that zombie-apocalypse mindset that many people get... but remember, the worse the situation is the less likely it is to happen. You've got your mind stuck on the 0.1% thing; which isn't bad, mind you, but make sure you've first got your head wrapped around the 10% and the 1% stuff. There are serious dangers that are so bad that it will be WROL, never see your family again, but there's a lot more stuff that is a lot less painful and/or a lot shorter duration.

As Jack always points out, this isn't a Mad Max scenario... what if there's a couple week quarantine? Or a short term natural disaster that will only last a month at most? What if they just happen to be visiting your house when SHTF? What if after SHTF you don't have a way to contact them anyway?

When/if something happens, it may be so big you don't get to make any of these decisions. It also may be so little that you would think nothing of having all of them at your place for a couple days without any problems. You may end up bugging out there with some perfect strangers who happened to be at the gas station with you and helped you out in a confrontation.

Once you've got your BOL setup and "ready" you don't get to start having tribal meeting to vote people on and off the island... sometimes you just end up with what you got. In some situations more might be better, no matter how unsavory. In others you may not be safe with anyone but your spouse and kids. :P

Some people have their shit together. Others don't. Most are right smack in between. I don't really think you'll be able to draw a nice clean line between them before or after an event based on what you think its severity or duration will be. It's a good discussion to have with like-minded people (believe me, I love plans), but we all know that plan won't survive first contact with the enemy.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 03:47:45 PM by MTUCache »

Offline House of Honyacks

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2013, 02:43:18 PM »
This is such a difficult thing to think about.  When we have a BOL, we will give my dad a location that we could meet him and bring him in.  But he would be an ASSET.  My mom's side of the family is a whole different story.  I would NOT allow my stepfather to join us, ever.  If my mom and siblings wanted to join us, they would have to accept my husband's authority BEFORE they were allowed to come.  If they were willing (not likely), I would welcome them as workers with us.

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2013, 03:39:29 PM »
You asked the question from a religious frame of view, so I'd put the answer in religious vernacular:

If God can love all but put conditions on who gets into heaven, you can love your family but put conditions on who gets to come into your home (especially if home gets relocated during life threatening conditions). Charity is an unconditional love, but it does not preclude you from making decisions necessary to preserve you and your family. I'm not sure what you have in mind for BOL land, but more often than not, having good neighbors will matter more than how many families you put on your parcel.

Offline Entity

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 04:36:00 PM »
For me, it has become painfully obvious that I would not be able to carry any of the family from my side at all.  The interactions have shown that would not work, and would likely result in the death of myself and my partner.

So we will not be offering to bring that family along. End of story. I may be willing to drop a small aid parcel off to them, but that is it. They will not know where we've gone to, they are not welcome.

What worries me is not the " Will never see them again', it's when it's over the " You were able to ride though that sitting pretty and you did nothing to help us!", despite the fact that they have shown no desire to help us during hard times, but plenty of desire to take, to steal and to destroy what little we had left.

I have bent over backwards (to my own massive detriment) to help them when i have been marginally able to. So maybe that attitude is of my own making.

Offline TexasGal

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 09:12:22 PM »
Ya know, I guess it is what it is. I do wish it could be different where my family is concerned, but I can't change that. If anything, my family dynamics have gotten worse since I originally posed this question back on 1-14. Friends and neighbors are going to be the way to go for us. We've recently had the conversation with some friends that are like-minded and they are on board with us. They can contribute financially and with time and sweat in preparing the BOL.

I just don't want it to come to a confrontation with my family pre-SHTF. I'm hoping to keep the fact that we're getting land hush-hush with them, but I think that's going to be very difficult. As I mentioned, my sis can sense the coming troubles. They live near by (within 20 miles) and I'm sure will wonder where we go all weekend long, every weekend. She'll know.

Entity: I know all to well about bending over backwards to help. We work our butts off to have what we have. And they always come knocking and calling when they need something.

inbox485: Thanks! I have come to that conclusion. The more I've processed this and talked with DH, we know it's what is best for our family's safety.


Offline oldcountryboy

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2013, 08:25:55 PM »
Hope you don't mind my 2cents. But my SHTF happened almost four years ago. My wife of 34 years pasted away and I had a heart attack two months later. I was left with a 15 year old daughter to raise and I work a weird night shift. 8pm till 5am. I could not get help from any family except one and she was undependable. My neighbors and friends and church members were the ones that stepped up without asking to offer help and have my backside. I know which way I will be helping first. Not to say I would turn my back on them completely unless I have to bug out. But not move them in ever again.

Offline TexasGal

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2013, 09:33:53 AM »
Hope you don't mind my 2cents. But my SHTF happened almost four years ago. My wife of 34 years pasted away and I had a heart attack two months later. I was left with a 15 year old daughter to raise and I work a weird night shift. 8pm till 5am. I could not get help from any family except one and she was undependable. My neighbors and friends and church members were the ones that stepped up without asking to offer help and have my backside. I know which way I will be helping first. Not to say I would turn my back on them completely unless I have to bug out. But not move them in ever again.

I'm so sorry for your loss and heart attack. Wow! We are so thankful for our church family and our friends...current neighbors aren't so great. They have been there for us, too, when times were tough, but nothing like what you had to go through. We're always the ones that extended family comes to when ever they need help. I'm almost always willing to help when we can, but it gets exhausting. We've even allowed some to live with us for a short time - hard lesson learned, there. And I can't imagine living with them again, either.

Glad you had your church family and friends there for you when you needed someone the most. Blessings to you, oldcountryboy! TexasGal

Offline Hilltopper

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2013, 10:17:53 AM »
It sounds like the family members struggling with obesity and sobriety are living with the consequences of their own actions and  in my opinion that should tell you something about their ability to cope.  Maybe the time to reach out to help them is now with their current conditions  and if they adamantly do not want help or to recognize or change, then you have a good idea of where their own survival instincts are if they are not willing to do anything for themselves or their famillies with being offered  support then I would not see them as willing to do what it takes in a crisis.  I would maintain some diligent opsec about your own prepping moving forward and if they can focus and get through these challenges with your support.  You will have a better idea when you can gently discuss a few levels of prepping they can put in place and build on it without making any decision or commitment in your mind that you are carrying anyone who would possibly endanger your own immediate family .  Sad as it is, you can support them to make better adaptations in their lives but you cannot do it for them and if they cannot step up now for themselves, are they really going to be the ones you can rely on ? 

Offline The Chihuahua has Spoken

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2013, 08:10:05 AM »
If they won't accept your leadership now, while times are good, why would they accept your leadership later?  Helping an alcoholic before they hit bottom is called "enabling".  He will not stop drinking until he has his spiritual awakening, and that moment is between him and his Higher Power, so don't worry, his care is in higher hands even now than you know.  He is addicted to alcohol.  The obese one is addicted to food.  The four disobedient children are addicted to self over others.  We are an addicted society.  It is a horrible thought pattern that we carry, but there it is.  Addiction to negative thought patterns is how we are controlled.
Be at peace in the fact that their care is out of your hands and in the hands of a Higher Power.  Let go of it and go on about your life, making it so that you and yours not only survive, but thrive.  Make it part of your daily gratitude to let your husband and child know how much they matter to you and that you appreciate that they are not like that.  Do not waste any more of your precious time and energy.  Do not deprive them of all that experience, as is said in the 12 step rooms.  When the pain of the change becomes less than the pain of staying the same, then they will change.  Not one second before.  And many people would rather die than change.
They can either serve as a wonderful example, or a horrible warning.

I have discovered, to my anguish, that my blood relatives are all good-time-charlies, or sunshine friends.  People that not really there for you.  I will go through these upcoming times with only my child and what friends and neighbors are on board.  I feel sadness about it, but it's life on life's terms.  Please keep in mind that there are probably single people like me around you that you haven't noticed yet.  Remember this one thing, if you please:  I know what it's like to be abandoned when the chips were down, so I'm as loyal as could be wished to someone who has the moral character to stand by me.  There may be someone like me around you even now.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2013, 06:29:28 PM »
If they won't accept your leadership now, while times are good, why would they accept your leadership later?  Helping an alcoholic before they hit bottom is called "enabling".  He will not stop drinking until he has his spiritual awakening, and that moment is between him and his Higher Power, so don't worry, his care is in higher hands even now than you know.  He is addicted to alcohol.  The obese one is addicted to food.  The four disobedient children are addicted to self over others.  We are an addicted society.  It is a horrible thought pattern that we carry, but there it is.  Addiction to negative thought patterns is how we are controlled.
Be at peace in the fact that their care is out of your hands and in the hands of a Higher Power.  Let go of it and go on about your life, making it so that you and yours not only survive, but thrive.  Make it part of your daily gratitude to let your husband and child know how much they matter to you and that you appreciate that they are not like that.  Do not waste any more of your precious time and energy.  Do not deprive them of all that experience, as is said in the 12 step rooms.  When the pain of the change becomes less than the pain of staying the same, then they will change.  Not one second before.  And many people would rather die than change.
They can either serve as a wonderful example, or a horrible warning.

I have discovered, to my anguish, that my blood relatives are all good-time-charlies, or sunshine friends.  People that not really there for you.  I will go through these upcoming times with only my child and what friends and neighbors are on board.  I feel sadness about it, but it's life on life's terms.  Please keep in mind that there are probably single people like me around you that you haven't noticed yet.  Remember this one thing, if you please:  I know what it's like to be abandoned when the chips were down, so I'm as loyal as could be wished to someone who has the moral character to stand by me.  There may be someone like me around you even now.

This.  All of this.

My feeling?  Family is as family does.  I have really close family members and friends that are closer "family" than some people I'm genetically tied to.

And helping those that won't help themselves (to the best of their abilities) just prolongs their dysfunction and hinders my ability to help myself and those that ARE trying.

Offline soupbone

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2013, 06:25:40 PM »
Whenever I read posts like this, I realize how truly blessed I am. Sure, my three girls spat and feud on occasion - what sisters don't, but it never extends to their kids. When the shit does hit the fan - medical emergencies, job loss, deployments [both with and without quotes] we all pull together to help each other through.

It's good to know, that in spite of everything, we did something right.

soup

Offline The Chihuahua has Spoken

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2013, 06:22:25 AM »
You sure did.  I applaud you for it.  Well done!



It's good to know, that in spite of everything, we did something right.

soup

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Bugging out without family...how will you cope?
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2013, 08:48:34 AM »
Looking back on this thread (somehow I missed it first time) there is good advice here.  My (now grown) kids are basically grasshoppers who think I am foolish for putting so much effort into homesteading and self reliance.  That mindset is basically fed by my ex, not logic or facts.  But I love my kids, who in a catastrophe would probably run to the ill-prepared ex.  So, I have set up a collection of preparedness items (mostly food) for them where my daughter has access. 

Recently, when the North Korean saber rattling mentioned nuking Austin, she saw things in a different light.  We talked about how to obtain and filter drinking water if the grid failed.  She saw how to assemble and use the water filter.  And we talked about the various foods stored, and briefly how to use them.

I say all of this to make a point.  The will to prepare and survive must come from within someone, not be expected of, or forced upon, them.  Just as in Jesus' parable of the Ten Virgins, where half (through shortsightedness or laziness) chose not to bring sufficient oil to keep their lamps burning and missed the wedding ceremony; those friends and family who fail to prepare (body, mind, & soul in addition to supplies) are choosing their own fate.  But there's no reason we can't leave a little extra "lamp oil" for those we love.

~TG