Hi Everyone.. I could really use some guidance here. I am 47 years old and an only child. My mother died a year ago, and through therapy I learned she was a narcissist. My parents were married 50 years before Mom's death, My father definitely enabled Mom and the main focus of our lives was always to make sure Mom didn't get upset, and that we did whatever was necessary in order to keep her happy and keep the peace. Everything was always about her, and if she felt i was getting too much attention from my Dad, she would manipulate the situation so the focus was back on her. I was very resentful growing up as well as into adulthood. I have spent many years in therapy learning to heal from my Mother's abuse and forgiving my father for not being there for me. This is still a work in progress.
As a child and young adult, I believed that I wasn't allowed to make choices in life that were best for me. I was taught to always do what was best for my mother and not to upset her. I wasn't allowed to go away to college because my Mom wanted me close to home. I wasn't allowed to move to NYC because I was told that I am supposed to live close to my parents so I could care for them in their old age (this was when I was 20). I was not allowed to move out on my own unless I was married, so I got married young and wound up divorcing years later. When I was married, I didn't think I would be able to move across country for my husband's job without upsetting my Mom so we didn't go. Later on, a move only one state away from my parents set my Mom off into hysterics and she was crying and always talking down about the state I now lived in. When I got divorced, the immediate question was am I moving back to the state they are in, to which I said 'No'.
Fast forward to now, and I have been engaged to a wonderful man for the last two years. My fiancé needs to live in Georgia because of child visitation arrangements from his divorce until both of his children are 18. This is 6 years from now. I have asked my father to consider moving closer to us so we can spend more time together, and so I can help him if he needs anything. My Dad refuses to move and is always saying bad stuff about GA in hopes that he will sway me not to move there. He also tries to convince me that living alone is OK and that I don't need to be with anyone (trying to get me to end my relationship). He will throw comments out there about me being buried with my parents someday, because there is a chance my relationship won't work out. And before my Mom passed, she told me that my fiancé wasn't real family and that I needed to stay close to my Dad. When my Mom passed away, I told my Dad I wouldn't move for a year so I could be there for him, to which I got no thanks as this is what was expected of me.
My parents have always believed that children are responsible for caring for their parents, and while I want to do that I also want to finally have a life of my own. I feel stuck in my life and very angry. I want to be there for my Dad, but I feel I have to give up the relationship I have in order to do that.
Any advice on what I should do at this stage? My Dad is currently in good health at 74, but he has no friends or family other than me. I know it's only a matter of time until he does need me and I don't know what to do. What to do when Dad refuses to move, and my fiancé and I need to live in another state? Thanks for listening.