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Growing up, my family has always had one thing or another. Cancer, heart conditions, dementia, accidents, fibromyalgia, and so on. I've seen family member after family member die. When I was 14 we found out that my grandfather's lung cancer had returned. The chemo and all of that seemed to be helping, until it started to spread. It soon spread up the spinal cord and into his brain. When I was 15 I spend Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays taking care of him. However, when he was at his worst and was about to go, my parents forbid me from going over anymore. They knew how much he meant to me and they didn't want me to see him like that. It doesn't matter that I've seen 2 other people that I was close to even worse off. The second to last time I saw him, he gave me his dog tag. He never showed his military stuff to anyone, except for me. The last time I saw him, was a day before he passed. I've worn his dog tag everyday since then. It's been 5 years now. After he passed, my sister "lived" with my grandma for about half a year until she graduated high school. When I say "lived", I mean she was only there half the time. The rest of the time she was working, and hanging out with friends. At 16 my parents kicked me out, so I moved in with my grandma to try and help her out. I graduated when I was 18, and my family guilt tripped me into one more year. At 19 my Dad made a deal with me, instead of going to college like I planned, he would pay for me if I stayed one more year. I'm now 21 and it's because of them I wasn't able to get a paying job. It's because of them that I never went to college. I had the chance, but I agreed to stay one more year. Now they are mad at me for not doing any of that stuff (Job, college, etc.). Not just pressuring me, but physically have yelled at me for it before. I feel like a failure for it, because I had the chance. I know she would have been taken care of, yet I agreed. Now I have nothing. I gave up everything to take care of my grandma. And what did I get from it? Nothing but stress, frustration, and a new hatred towards my family. Now they have the nerve to yell at me for it? I honestly wouldn't change a thing. I love taking care of her, yet at the same time, this doesn't feel like a family. It feels like a job. Is it wrong for me to hate my family though, for forcing me to do something I wound up loving?

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Kaykay - Even though you love the experience of caring for your grandmother, it's also cost you a great deal in terms of lost opportunities and life experiences. As far as I can see, you could have had the same valuable experiences with your grandmother while going to college days and staying with her at night, if that had been an option. And you would have had an education and lots of other valuable experiences along the way. That was taken from you by your family. In my family, we had two young college students (a niece and a much younger half-sister) during the last few years of my grandmother's life, and they both went to school and alternated shifts caring for my grandmother (for pay). Nobody forced them to do it, and both still lived with their parents when not staying with my grandmother, and it seemed to work out all around.

Your parents clearly did not act honorably or in your best interests. You were pushed into the caregiving role, and your father broke his promise to send you to college at the end. It almost makes sense that they're blaming you - extremely dishonest people tend to find ways to blame others for their own misdeeds to avoid taking responsibility. How could they look in the mirror if they admit that they did this to their own child?

Yes, you have every right to be angry and to feel betrayed even though caring for your grandmother has become a labor of love for you. And your parents should be ashamed, because in addition to depriving you of life opportunities and experiences you should have had and be having, they're screwing with your mind by trying to convince you it's your own fault. Good parents try to help young people understand perceive reality clearly - they don't try to manipulate the truth to foster self-doubt and self-blame in their kids. You have every reason to feel angry and abused. They have not done right by you, at all.
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KayKay,
I'm sorry you feel stuck at your tender age and surely there are some issues here if your parents kicked you out at 16

May I ask why you missed your chance to go to college? Were there funds available to you at 18 that are not available now?

Is there a jc in your city that you can start attending even part-time? Do you have an interest in a particular field of study ? Going to college for the sake of getting an education is nice but going to college to improve one's opportunities in life is really a blessing - my niece dropped out of college at 20 to get married - marriage lasted maybe 2 years and for the past 25 years she has struggled financially

Post back and I'm certain you'll get some helpful advice on how to change things for the better
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Hi KayKay,
You can't pick the family you are born into but you can build an amazing family in your future. Go to college, nothing is stopping you. Many people go back to school even older than you. I completed 2 years, had children and stayed home while they were young, then went back and finished. I care for my mom now, and work, mostly from home. She never took a day off work, not even when I broke my leg. But she is my mom, I love her, and I am setting an example for my children and grandchildren. They are all amazing! They come keep me company, help me out, and just keep me sane! Don't think your dreams are dead... You are young. Go out and do amazing things! You can make your own life decisions, choose your own path in life, create a different type family, and still be respectful and love of your family. My parents never understood my husband and my choices...I stayed home, our children came first, church was important....but when my mom got bad and help was needed, they came to me as my sister and brother have different priorities. 😎
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"Family" bah humbug!
Love some of them, the rest, nope! And those who haven't been around better not show up when my parents pass away!!

Kinda don't want any of em to show up!!
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I have feelings about my family because no one has been around enough to really call them family. It isn't hatred. It is just that I don't have any respect for them. My brother who lives halfway across the country has been here as often as the one who works 30 minutes from here. Both are friendly enough, but it is like being acquaintances and not family. One will show up at the hospital and the other will show up at the funeral. And they will both feel like they did their part. There will be no ties to hold us together after the estate is settled.

I really don't mind much that the brother nearby is not more involved. I get along with his family, but I don't really care much for them. They're odd. They probably feel the same about me.
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Kaykay, it is called free will and personal choices. You are choosing to care for your grandma when you should be out in the world. You state your parents forbade you from seeing your grandfather but you chose to do so any way. There is a certain point where parents who try to let their children make their own mistakes just get to the point where they need to say something which gets misunderstood. To this day, when my mom starts bitching, i ignore it. She just sounds like an adult from those charlie brown cartoon and all i hear is wah wah wah., i just block it out. If it were my son in your situation, I would go off on him for making poor decisions. So, i guess what i am trying to say is your young, trying to do the best for your grandma but is that decision really the best for you?
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