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I am 26, full time working RN, raising a 16 month old son and baby girl on the way with my fantastic husband who stays at home and takes care of house, family, and does mechanic side work for extra cash. My mother is 48 with history of back problems and mental illness. My dad is 47 and works full time.


Life growing up in the household was highly volatile to say the least, but after me and my younger sister moved out and started finding wonderful, sweet emotional and financial independence their behavior started spilling out of control. Among other behaviors, physically abusing each other enough to both receive assault charges and going to jail on multiple separate occasions, as well as almost getting into a physical altercation with my mother in my own home 6 weeks after giving birth, kind of sealed the deal for me as far as what I'm comfortable with in being around them and having a relationship. Basically I'm not talking to them until we all get some professional help.


Now as a nurse specializing in neurological and cancer care I've seen my fair share of disease. Enough to realize that my mother is NOT all the diagnoses and level of physical dysfunction she says she is. Not saying she doesn't have medical issues, but not everything she tells us, and the majority of her symptoms I can identify being attributed to lack of care. Strictly from the nursing perspective, which is not all knowing, and with limited knowledge of what's really in her charts.


My sister is also an RN and 22 years old, just starting out in her career. She has always been viewed by my parents as "the sweet one" and I've felt like a bit of the black sheep of the family. She definitely takes more crap than I do. But now she's spending all this time taking care of my mother when she should be focusing on herself and living her youth.


I think my dad should be the one taking responsibility for my mom if she's truly mentally ill, but he continues to work out of the house on long contracts and leaves her alone, just like always.


I grew up in the role of survivor and protector. Withstanding my mother and father's cruel comments about how terrible I am to prove them wrong in what I do today. Now I'm trying to focus on my own family and let go of people I can't help. But the feelings of guilt and sadness overwhelm me at times and distract me from what I need to do. I'm scared for my sister not living her own life and continuing to be twisted by my parents. I'm scared for our upcoming baby girl and if I have what it takes to be a good parent. I still love my parents and desperately want better for them. Anybody out there with words of wisdom or encouragement?

Focus on yourself and your family. You have a good career and are contributing to a better world and helping the sick who have cancer. This is an incredible gift to the world. Please do not let any detractors pull you down or distract you from a beautiful life. It's sad that you sister is being held back, but, that's her decision. Be careful of people who are violent. They could harm you or your family. I would not take that chance. Be safe and I wish you well.

One of my favorite pieces is Desiderata. I don't think we are allowed to post most things due to copyright laws, but, you can look it up. It has been an inspiration to me, since I was a teen. One of my favorite parts is to Avoid loud and aggressive people.

I wish you all the best.
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Freebird92 Aug 1, 2018
Wow yes I looked up Desiderata and what an incredible choice of words for somebody writing in the 1920s! Thank you!
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There are some people who cannot be fixed. They have to want to change and do what needs to be done. You do not want to enable these people. Be there for your sister but keep your distance from Mom. These type of people want to bring everyone down with them. Your responsibility is to your husband and family.
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Freebird, you cannot possibly be all things to all people. Your parents are, and from what you wrote always have been, totally dysfunctional. I would keep my kids far away if I were you. You cannot “fix” your mom. She’s been like this a long time and without batteries of tests and evaluations, no one can be certain just what her issues are and to what extent. It’s not your responsibility to arrange for these tests or force her to go have them.

As for your sister, she is a grown woman. She has medical training and no one grabbed her by the hair and locked her up in your parents’ house to keep her prisoner and force her to care for them. It was her decision. If and when she wants out, that’s her decision as well. It’s a shame that she will spend her early career caring for a mentally ill person and not polishing her skills in a hospital setting, but that’s up to her too. Support her but don’t interfere. You said she’s the Golden Child and if you do interfere, it will be looked upon as jealousy.

Live your life. Put your lousy upbringing on the back burner. Get therapy if you need it. Devote yourself to your own little family and learn from past mistakes. Prove that you’re strong enough and capable enough to be a great nurse and an even greater mom. Dysfunction stops now.
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Freebird92 Aug 1, 2018
Thank you so much for a well thought out response! It helps me feel stronger! It hurts to hear I should let people I love go but the more people that say it, the stronger my resolve. I'm tired of letting these problems distract me from my beautiful life and adorable family!
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