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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Feeling trapped in life

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  • #1116831 Reply
    Kitten324
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    I’m one of three children in my 30s all of which are living overseas. My dad has been unwell for 2 years now so I decided to come home for a few months to help him. My mum has been finding it really hard being his carer so was very appreciative. My brother has been great over the last few years flying home 3/4 times a year when he can. My sister lives in australia so it’s not so easy for her. In the last few months they both announced first times pregnancy’s so each have babies on the way. Meanwhile my dads treatment has not been going so great and there is more uncertainty. I had just got offered a job in australia but decided to turn it down as we await more news on my dad. The things is I’m starting to feel very trapped in life and it’s making me feel very depressed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so happy I’ve been able to help, and definitely don’t want to leave it if means leaving my dad deteriorate further, however, the thought of having to stay here for my mum and dad and giving up my life is just utterly depressing. I’m aware my siblings life’s are about to change completely because of their new arrivals and I’m happy for them. But I’m aware they will not be able to prioritise my parents anymore. Im single and childless so I feel it’s being put on me. Im even worried about when my dad is gone, how my mum Woudl even cope. I can’t really even leave then either as I know well how much she’d struggle. This isn’t discussed with my parents as my dad already feels like a burden. I’ve spoken about it to my siblings and they feel guilty but have made it clear their partners won’t move here so that’s it. I feel selfish for even thinking about my own life at a time like this but I can’t help it. I know if it’s left now my parents Woudl be completely heartbroken. Im also beginning to resent my siblings as imagine them living the lives they want while I sacrifice everything. Any advice as I know this is a unique problem.

    #1116842 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    Your life goals and dreams are just as important as anyone else, even if you just happen to be single and childless.

    You shouldn’t sacrifice your life and career to stay home and care for your ailing father, because your siblings are having babies. They have lives, and you should have yours, too. Make yourself a priority. Help your mother plan for your departure. Can they afford help? Does he qualify for free or reduced nurse care? Can you ask your siblings to help you discuss long term care with your parents. This isn’t a “let’s just never discuss it” topics. It’s an important one, you don’t want to end up with it all falling to you, so don’t let it. Take the initiative to start these difficult conversations. Make a zoom and discuss what you’re all light to do. How you can afford, who can help. If they can’t move to help, maybe they can help pay for weekly help for your mother? Take that job in Australia if you want it, and you won’t kill yourself with guilt.

    #1116843 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    Please don’t sacrifice your life caring for your parents. Your Dad may be unwell with I can’t tell from your post how many likely future years, but if you and both your sibs are in your 30s, then your mother is likely to live for multiple decades. Do you want to selflessly put your life on hold for that long? If you do, I fear you will end up hating that choice and not having positive feelings about either your mother or your siblings who laid this responsibility upon you.

    I’m not saying you should move to Australia for this job offer, but you can’t yoke yourself to your parents and their locale of choice. Not sure what country you live in today, but I think while you are right to want to live ‘nearish’ to your parents, you need to find a place where you can pursue your career and romantic goals. One message to your parents can be that you can see them more and do more to help them if they move closer to where you chose to live. As a seventy-something, with generally older friends, I know a lot of seniors who have moved to be closer to their children, often at their children’s insistence, as they note their parents’ decreased ability to be independent.

    There are adult facilities which transition to nursing home care as parents become less independent. That is an option to consider. Parental insistence that they need your help but must remain in their current location, including their own house and you must give them enough help to make this possible are selfish and you should resist them.

    #1116844 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    I’m sorry that you are in this position – it’s not fair and there aren’t any great answers here but perhaps some perspective might help.

    You don’t have to give up your life to be your parents’ carer. If they don’t have the money to hire more help, are there social services or is there a way that you and your siblings can contribute to hire help? Even if they have kids, it doesn’t mean they can’t contribute.

    Is there anything preventing you from relocating your parents to Australia? Would your new job be in the same region as your sibling who is already there or would you be across the country?

    If your mom doesn’t want to leave because they’ve put down roots and have their social circle – then that’s the support team that will help her get through this transition. My mom is a widow and she has couple friends and a wide circle of widow friends. The widows help you transition from couple-hood to widowhood. They know what their friends are going through in what they call “the year of firsts” (First birthday, first anniversary, first holiday without spouse) and they gently push their way in and make sure the new widow is invited out to places and activities. If your parents don’t have a wide social circle, all the more reason to get them to move closer to their children. Plus they’d get to see grandchildren. That’s a good motivator.

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