Future on Hold

by Jigna
(Philadelphia)

Hi, my mom suffers from paranoia, depression, and probably an eating disorder. My dad became a hoarder and fell into a lot of debt.


It was hard for me to go to college pay my own way through without any support and be self reliant. When I was in college, my older brother came back from his college and couldn't finish his degree due to finances. So I tried to be there for him, and it worked out well.

He is now moved away, in grad school, active and respected, and has a stable girlfriend. I thought it was hard to be there for my brother but that ended up being nothing compared to what I would end up dealing with when it came to my parents.

And I can't help but feel angry and resentful towards my brother for throwing everything about my parents on me. He isn't even a friend to me. I have no one truly close I can share with. Often the person who takes cares of others never gets it when that person needs taking care of.

My dad was falling in more and more debt since I was in high school but he managed to have an income until he lost his business in 2012. Which he lost due to his carelessness and being unorganized with finances. It got to a point where his commercial property, 3 stores were full of hoarded things instead of being rented out.

I was only 23 years old and working at my job. I hated my parents since high school. And I didn't feel close to my brother since he left to go to college when I was 15. It got to a point where I could not hate them anymore. All I felt was compassion.

All the abilities and skills I wanted to use for my future and career I used towards them. I cleaned out the property, I moved out but went home for breakfast everyday. I bought the groceries and made my mom cook everyday. I bought them shoes, clothes, things for the house, paid for their social activities, paid their friends back and supported their friendships, and cleaned the house.

To help them at least be happy and healthy. And it worked in some ways. My mom went from 67 pounds to 100 pounds. My dad found 1 renter and is working on the other 2. My dad also started working 2 part time jobs and now they have a little bit of an income again. They are a lot more socially presentable then they were a few years ago. But all this took 3 years.

I am now 26 years old and despite my best efforts I am not doing well. I feel so empty and sad inside. I try to keep things together and take care of myself but my needs are not being met. It gives me peace to see my family doing well, but I also know I can be so much more in my own life if I didn't have these responsibilities and actually had a family that supported and listened instead of taking and leaving me empty.

I used to be 3rd out of 650 students in high school, loved to study, loved math, but now what's left of me are fragments of focus and lost dreams. I worked so hard in high school but my efforts were wasted because I had no support to go to a university that I deserved to, so I made a life for myself by going to a small catholic university.

Had friends and fun and it was nice. I have the opportunity to go to graduate school in fall, but care taking and grad school together would be impossible. My family says go but no one actually offers to do something to help. And add on I'm burned out from working, taking care of parents, applying to schools.

I can't leave them at this point because all of the work I put in will be wasted and not dealing with these problem now will only cause them to reappear even worse years down the line.

My hope was if I could get them to a stable place then they could enjoy their senior years and just maybe I could move away and start a new life for myself. I feel like I have nothing left to give, that I am losing myself, my positivity and I don't know myself anymore.

My parents are 63 and 61. On other days, I feel like I grew so much as a person and learned empathy and compassion. I learned that actions and needs are stronger than words, thoughts, and outside things.

I will never forget the feeling I felt when I truthfully saw the real stare my parents were in. I would help a stranger even in that state. These are my parents, despite their mistakes, I care about them and there was a time when it was good.

That every person deserves to be treated with respect. That keeps me going with them, but I am not personally doing okay at all. I am tired of not being listened too, of doing it on my own, of putting my life on hold.

I can't get in a relationship while I am taking care of them. emotionally my family makes me feel crazy, sad, and angry. I don't have the support needed, especially with my mom's paranoia and my dad's debt.

It makes me sad sometimes to see others my age in a relationship I would have had. My 20's are almost over. But I guess that's life. People have had to lose a lot more.

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My Goodness
by: Anonymous

You are too young to be in this situation. Do you have a POA for your parents. They are sick, and unfortunately are also making you sick right along with them.

I care for my 92 year old aunt, and I am watching my mental and physical health decline. I am about to have to make some hard changes due to my own health and family needs.

Number one...take care of you...advise your parents to sell off rental properties or hire a real estate manager for the properties which would limit your parents chance of hoarding again and mismanaging the properties.

Number two... Take care of your career...you have gained tons of experience as a care giver, social manager, and life coach in dealing with your parents...use that to your advantage as you develop an extrication strategy.

Finally...you deserve to get a life... I am 56 and I feel as though I'm a hostage...I long for my life back, my bed, my own house...my family...especially my husband.

So, you are a loving child, you have done more than was ever required...and now you need to take stock of the situation and see what you can do for you wile not sacrificing all you have done for your parents to their poor choices.

Best of luck to you!

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Keeping your life on hold
by: Anonymous

You definitely need to get counseling. Your floundering and allowing your circumstances to rule your life.

I understand your responsibility to your parents, but there comes a time when you have to take care of yourself.

I feel for you because of the situation you find yourself in and you feel there's no way out. Look for help and some answers


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