You and I are of one mind on this Beth.
Who I pity also are the children. Even if this woman does get out and get a job....and what kind of job is she going to get that both supports these people, and pay child care, and isn't going to mentally and physically exhaust her?
I foresee a below poverty existence for all, including sub standard health care, continuing the cycle of poverty, neglected education, and a thousand other slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, mostly visited upon the kids.
If she stays, not much better.
See some priest? Jesus wept. Just more advise made of pablum.
I remember as a child, something going on with one of my brothers. I'm positive it wasn't even bad. I seem to remember it being over him wanting to grow his hair 1/2 longer, or wearing one of those suede fringed jackets that were popular then.
I remember one afternoon this huge silence, shock, because my parents had decided to "take him over to the priest to talk some sense into him"
Even then, I was probably about 8, I remember thinking that was such bullshit.