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My name is Sarah , I am 23 years old, I finished high school at 16 so 5 years ago I was 2 years into a RN program at a great school, I was working, in college, and even had a home of my own, my mother had a massive stroke leaving her left side paralyzed I quit everything school, work, have up my home, and my life to give my mother 24/7 care at 18 and I swear I didnt mind Id do it all over again, in the last 5 years Ive found out I have psoriasis, an enlarged portion of my heart and I cant even afford to to go the dentist, my father and sister both work and live in the home, and they dont even try to help me I found a doctor that income based I remember 2 years ago I asked my sister for 20 bucks for an appointment , mind you she has a state job and had just gotten paid...she looked at me and said "you hhave the nerve to ask me for anything?" so I get no treatment for any of my conditions Ive seriously considered prostitution lol but I digress its arguments everyday, Im not doing enough, why dont I get a job...Ive gotten two jobs since Ive been there the first was a great job, my father said I couldnt drive his car that far the one he had "given" me ..so I had to quit before I started, then a year later they asked me to get cable in my name, and they let it get cut off and left an $800 bill in my name, a few months later a got hired at a federal job and most are credit based, the day I went to sign the last of the paper work I was fired because my credit score had dropped...so yet another disappointment courtesy of my family. So 2 years ago my dad started getting my my dressed in the morning so for the last two years I have just been sitting at home doing nothing...my life is in ruin, they work from 7-5, and 4-7 so Im always home alone...the vehicle i was using has broken down so the rare times I can get an appointment or the money to pay for it, I can barely get a ride...I hate my life I drink way to much , cry myself to sleep at night, and the kicker is...for the last five years I have begged and pleaded for my dad to consider home health care and he will not budge.....and about a year after my mom came home from the hospital, I had a terrible argument with my father, he even told me to pack my **** and get out of his house and as I was leaving he stood at the door and told my mother I was leaving because I didnt love her, and didnt want to take care of her anymore...I cant understand why he'd do that..so that is my reason for hesitation as far as leaving, I want a life, I sit in the house all day all night..alone....crying... Ive gained 100 lbs in 5 years...Im ready to leave Im trying to set up home health care for my mother, and I dont know how its going to go over, Im not sure where to start, I want to move to Richmond, Va , Ive had 4 offers from up there and Im excited about a few its only 1 and 45 minutes from my parents Id have weekends off and most of the summer ..Id be home plenty....So I guess my question is am I selfish for wanting to leave.....

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Sarah, you say your parents weren't bad parents. Yes, they were. Not 100% bad. Perhaps not bad in other roles in their lives. But they and your sister wouldn't help you with a few bucks for a medical appointment? And the reason you couldn't afford it yourself was because you gave up a home and a job and your plans to come home and care for your mother?! Come'on, dear, this is NOT good parenting. Your dad "kicked you out" and then forced you to stay by lying to your mother?? I understand that you love your parents and I'm not trying to change that. But please get out that situation and love them from a distance. You are not selfish. You are not irresponsible, and for your dad to keep drilling that into your head is abuse.

It is not your responsibility to set up in-home care for your mother, when your father won't even cooperate by giving you information. Leave. Now. He will either step up to HIS responsibilities or he won't. Your responsibility now is to become the best person you can be. And I have a feeling that is a very good person indeed.
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A loving, caring, attentive parent who is close with their child can offer much insight to their child when it comes to careers; they still don't pick much less choose for them. But if a parent has their own agenda and intends to use the child or wishes to live "through" their child; it will never work. The problem with the second parent is that children have likely been at the least, emotionally and verbally abused their entire life and may not be ready to disagree and stand up for themselves. I knew something was very wrong, but I did not realize for decades that I had been an abused child. It took several therapists to point out that the things done to me were very wrong and in some instances, evil. I had been in denial. I thought I was just a 'bad' girl like she told me.

We all need to lift and encourage Sara so that she is able to leave home and feel that this is a healthy and normal and good thing to do.
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Mmmm. My mom picked out my career for me too. I ended up sticking with it, but I did at least pick a specialty that reflected more of what I cared about, that they actualy had never heard of and didn't understand :-). I think (on good days at least) that maybe I am where I am supposed to be, but I think others got pushed into things that were not for them. I had a classmate who was SOOO talented with the violin but was "not permitted" to choose a music career - it seemed so sad. And a sister in law who dropped out of med school but now is very happy - and way better off financialy than I will ever be - with a very successful business she runs. On the other hand, I also have a cousin who started off as a teacher - apparently quite a good one - and is now a pastor; I can vouch for the quality of her sermons and the depth of her commitment. So, whatever you have in you, you can hope that your past experiences will help bring it to bloom - even if they are mainly good for showing you what you are *not* cut out for. You have learned some hard things about physical and emotional health, and the human condition, for sure!
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I can offer nothing more here; all the advice given is great and right on! Sara -- go forth and start your new life; no regrets! You deserve it. You can always go to your local Senior Center as well and let them know the situation. Have them send someone in to evaluate the situation if you honestly feel your mom is in danger. My hunch is that your dad and sibs will take up the slack and care for your mother; certainly if your dad is a pastor, i'm sure his "flock" will step in to help as well.

Try to put this emotional abuse behind you (and you must find good friends, support group, or affordable therapist to help you thru this). Move on and know that you love your mom; sacrificed much of your early adulthood to help out. Everyone needs to realize that her level of care is more than a young person can handle. Caring for a stranger is much different than caring for your own family and certainly much easier because you don't have bias.

Go forth, emancipate yourself and grow into the strong, independent, lovely woman you were meant to be.
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don't make excuses for them Sara. good parents do not trap their daughter in such a position, and they do not destroy their daughter's credit. good parents do not seek to cause their daughters to feel badly about themselves. that my dear is abuse. take a good look at how they are treating you, how they talk to you, and ask yourself; if i had a daughter would i do this to her?
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I can't do that anymore, I was almost finished, I cant go from this to taking care of people again...I was young finished school early and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life...my parents suggested nursing...thats not my dream I have a dream now...just have to go get it, my parents aren't/weren't bad parents they afforded me everything but now they are stressed their health is declining, it's the stress that's making it this way..they used to be supportive but strict.... they were great b...
..t now its I dont know ....my brothers and sisters and I are all educated all thanks to them...they aren't bad..just different.....
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OK. Breathe. Now - overeating and overdrinking and getting ill instead of having a career and a life as an independent adult - does that in any way shape, or form "honor" your parents? If you did not have a possible option in Richmond, I think you might qualify for a recovery program that would help you get back on your feet, or even an abused women's shelter or program. If you find that you can't shake the bad patterns you acquired, and the haunt you even after you have broken away, absolutely consider that sort of thing before you think about going back with your parents, for sure. YOUR FATHER THREW YOU OUT!! How is it selfish to "obey" him??

We all want to hear about it when you are back in nursing school where you belong.
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Thanks so much for the advice... I will look into all of it..:)
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Sarah, you are young. Please get some counseling to learn how to "uninstall" that huge guilt button your parents gifted you. It will drag you down faster than anything. Read some of the posts on other threads and promise yourself you won't end up like so many, in their 50s and 60s, feeling guilty about their parents.
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All of the comments have been so good that I won't even try to cite a particular one. Sarah, please don't let the thought that blood ties are always the most healthy thing for you to maintain, and don't let anyone "beat you with the Bible." That's not what it is meant for. I got and still get the "honor thy parents" quote periodically and it's just like a fishhook -- painful and hard to disengage from. Find folks to talk to entirely out of the circle of people who know your current family. Tell you mom why you are leaving and that you love her. Go, find a shelter if need be, and get back on your feet mentally and physically. If it takes time before you make contact with family members then so be it. My "strongest" family is the family I created when I had to leave for awhile. Best wishes to you.
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Sarah, by pouring out your heart, I mean let her know how you feel and that you must go regardless of whether she does or does not want you to go. I think you need do it for yourself more than for her.
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Hey Sarah, all these nice people are absolutely right. Get the @&$&@ out of there! And you can still continue to keep tabs on your Mom. After you get settled elsewhere, go visit her. Just "drop in." If you think your Mom isn't getting the care and attention she needs, there are things that you can do but only if you are independent. Heard of Elderabuse Hotlines? I'm familiar with them because I turned in my husband's sister for financial and emotional abuse! She was theoretically taking care of my mother in law but we found out otherwise. It was an enormous hullabaloo but I have no regrets. We did the right thing. You can't help yourself or your mom until you help yourself first.
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Sarah, pastors are human beings. Some of them are great preachers and great people and fine parents. Some of them are so-so in the pulpit but excellent in human relations. Some are on an ego trip. Even if he is a pastor, your Dad is an abuser. You are not selfish to want to get out of that situation. For him to throw Bible passages at you out of context does not prove he is right. It sounds like your sister is the golden child and you are the scapegoat. Who knows why? But you are old enough to reject that role.

In your particular case I don't think Oreo's advice applies. Do not confide in another pastor. They are too apt to know your father and perhaps take his side out of loyalty or because they have heard his twisted view of the situation. If there is someone else you can trust, fine. But let's leave the clergy out of this case.

Also, pouring your heart out to your mother may or may not produce the results you would like. She may not wish you to go out and make a life for yourself. She may share your father's view that you "owe" her and need to "honor" her by by totally being a servant to her. (I don't know her, but I know "religious" couples like this.) Think about it carefully before you pour your heart out. Certainly tell her you love her. Assure her that you aren't leaving because you don't love her, but because it is time for you to make the most of the talent and potential God has given you. But more than that? I'm not so sure.

Your father is right about one thing. You won't get anywhere in life by abandoning your responsibilities. It is NOT your responsibility to take care of his wife. That is HIS responsibility (by hiring or arranging appropriate care). Your responsibility is to develop your skills and talents and go forth in the world as the best person you can be. To be a good citizen, a good life partner and parent if that is your lot in life, a good nurse or whatever career you decide upon, and a good caring daughter. To insist that your only role is as a daughter is to reject what most people consider God's plan for young people.

Please take care of yourself. And let us know how your plan is unfolding.
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Find the site about Detachment. I just started reading it. I don't think that I can post a link.
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Sarah: I agree: Go! Go! GO! but in the meantime, please do find some trusted person to talk to, - maybe your pastor or a close friend. When was the last time you have have a complete physical by your doctor? You sound very depressed & slowly sinking deeper. Now is the time to get out while there is a glimmer of hope & flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. I do believe your Mom will understand, & if not, so be it. Who will look out for your best interests if you dont or wont?

Congrats on getting your education! Woo-hoo for you! Keep at it...

Honoring or respecting someone does not mean that you allow the to walk all over you & take advantage of you. You are not selfish at all for wanting a life of your own. Yes it is going to be scary, most changes are scary. After all, you are facing the unknown, but where will you be in a year, or five years if you stay where you are?

There are lots of resources out there, it just takes some time to find them & ask about them & those that cant help, ask them if they know just who else you could contact.

You said you've given yourself a month... I sure hope & pray to hear a month from now all about your new & exciting life!

You are in my thoughts prayers!
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Thank you guys I swear I havent felt supported in my feellings in years I thought maybe I was being selfish , my father is a pastor, so he's always spouting biblical quotes at me ..honor thy mother and father and thy days will be long upon the earth , I just always have this guilty feeling, like I dont know, he says I wont get anywhere in life by abandoning my responsibilities , Im kind of forcing them into a home health situation I feel like if everything is okay now like why not let me go make a life so when the time comes when they "really" need my help I can afford it, and I wont be struggling trying to afford a nursing home, or letting them live in my home...I dont know just tired of feeling this way Ive given myself a one month deadline to leave whether they comply or not...what do you guys think?
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Sarah, when everyone is gone, go and pour your heart out to your mother and let her know you must leave; I do believe she will truly understand and want you to go. So go and take care of yourself, you can't give anyone a drink of water if your pitcher is empty. Find a way to communicate with your mother, perhaps a cell phone that only she has the number to, where there is a will there is a way. Don't spend another moment lost in this nightmare, go away where you will give yourself the time for the mud to settle and the water to become clear, wait for the right course to arise by itself, you can't do it there for sure, get some space and air and then you will get healthy and know what to do.
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Darling Sarah! You must resume Your life and education. You are special. Be that example for others by making the intelligent decision for yourself. We support you 100%, and we know. You are way too smart to continue in this. Let us know your plan very soon:) I bet it will be brilliant! xoxo
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Sarah, if you weren't around, believe me your dad would find a way to take care of his wife. I agree, go live your life and come back to VISIT when you can. Doesn't mean you're forgetting your mom or throwing her out, you're just leaving the care giving to the person that should've been doing it in the first place.
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That is so true, I think now Im just scared...I know I need help...but the whole situation just breaks my heart not sure why it has to be like this..and she has cataracts and it has greatly diminished her eyesight so she wont be able to read any letters..The church their apart of is an hour away so thats not any help, I guess I will just have to deal with the fallout as it comes like you said and just make sure she knows, but its already started since Ive been speaking of leaving, she asked the other day , why dont I love her, and I asked her where she got that idea, she just shook her head, her condition has left her very impressionable so the smallest snide comment and...I dont know what to do anymore, she's expressed the fact she doesnt want me to leave and wished I cared more, my sister has said in front of her that I was selfish and didnt care about anyone but myself and thats completely untrue said that I was using my father and her...and UGGGGHH!!!! my life sucks Im sorry to complain to you..its just nice to have someone to talk to about it.....
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Abuse has done much damage to you, I'm sure. But it is most likely damage that can be repaired. Don't focus on what will be possible "ever" or "always." Focus on getting yourself healed right now, one step at a time, and let the future reveal itself in time. The longer you allow yourself to be abused, the greater the damage the harder the healing. Put an end to it now.

Continue to write and call your mother after you move. If someone intercepts her mail or the phone calls, you have no control over that. If she has a friend or a church group or even a book club you can contact, perhaps they would pass on cards and letters from you. Cross those bridges if/when you come to them. For now, start on the path of healing you.
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Thanks Jeanne for the advice, I just found out about this site today as I was searching for how to get home health care for my mom, and I really wish I would have looked into support groups before now, maybe I wouldnt be as bad off as I am...I really do believe it will take me a long time to grow from this, since I was 12 years old my life has been an absolute nightmare. I have been through things most couldnt fathom, but somehow Ive managed to smile through it all. Im really excited about moving, but I do love my family and afraid that they'll stop communication with me, basically that I will be alone in the world i used to be brave, I used to have a smile that was breath taking..and as far as love I dont know if I'll ever be able to accept it, the past few years I have jumped from one abusive situation to the next, trying to numb my pain. Its just not fair.....
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And my question is, why are you putting up with this abuse? Yes, I know that you love your mother. But you say that now you are not actively involved in her care so much.

Go.

Go to Richmond (a charming city), take a good job, get benefits, get yourself to a clinic for counseling and medical treatment of your depression. Take care of YOU.

I suspect that your father and sister will take up the slack in caring for your mother, if they have to. Your presence is enabling their bad behavior. Go.

You are obviously extremely intelligent, finishing school so quickly. But you may not have relationship smarts. Being raised in that family that is understandable. What you think was/is the right thing to do was/is the wrong thing to do. Putting up with abuse encourages more abuse. Get out of there as fast as you can reasonably arrange it. If you have a friend willing to help you on your final day that may avoid Dad standing in the doorway.

Once you are out of that horrid situation your native intelligence and some counseling will help you develop an appreciation of normal healthy relationships. I'd say that is critical before even thinking of developing a close relationship that could lead to marriage.

Go.
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