Choosing Family Over Self
by Monique C.
(London, Ontario, Canada)
I am a 22 year old girl who is trying to care for my 79 year old grandmother and 50 year old mother. This is becoming such a major problem because I can't go to university, so I am studying at home.
The stress of this has caused my already problematic anxiety level to reach new heights, and I had to quit my part time job. In the past 6 months, I have left my apartment complex only twice or three times. I have developed what I think is full blown agoraphobia.
I don't know what I can do because I'm basically holding our little part of the family together by a string. To top it all off, no one has any respect for me because of my age and the fact that it seems I am not going anywhere in life at the moment.
No one seems to be able to see all the work and sacrifices I have been making over the past few years in their interest alone. If I were to simply give up, move out, get another job and start university, it would mean leaving my mother and grandmother to fend for themselves and I would never be able to live with myself. I feel like I'm drowning.
My grandmother has been the only one there for me my whole life, and my mother gave birth to me, so I feel indebted to them for life. I think if I could cope with the anxiety, just that one improvement would make my life much much better.
The constant arguing and fighting is really getting to me, I'm breaking.