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Old 05-13-2008, 08:45 PM   #21
 
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And he is leaving me to take care of my little sister, who is developmentally disabled.

Well...you may not be judging him, but I am. He is leaving you to care for HIS disabled daughter?!?!?!? That is just wrong. Just wrong. You deserve a chance to get your life started without the huge burden and responsiblity of caring for someone who can't care for themselves. I'm sorry your dad has on-going responsibilities for his daughter (and you), but that is his lot in life, and, from what you are saying here, he is abandoning his responsibilities. I just hope he comes to his senses before he does some real damage to you and your sister.
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:14 PM   #22
 
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First let me thank everyone for their supportive posts. I teared up reading some of them. I do share some personal things on this site, probably because I have some degree of anonymity as does everyone else but am still interacting with real people. So this does help me a lot

A part of me feels that I have no right to my feelings because I'm an adult (25), though I still live at home primarily to help out with Jillian and household chores. I guess it seems different when one is in their teens or childhood, and it seems to be more fair to consider their feelings. But once you hit adulthood, all sympathy and consideration for how you'll fare emotionally seems to go out the window. We are expected to suck it up and fend for ourselves.

To address the issue of my sister, I honestly don't mind. I think I'd go crazy with loniliness if I didn't have her once my dad leaves. She'll be all I have left of my mom that is local, because my other sisters live over 400 miles away. I seriously and truly need to be close to family. I was overseas when my mom went into cardiac arrest, planning to be in England for 3 months by myself as an au pair. Now I can't imagine living somewhere without a family member nearby. I've considered relocating to the city he plans to move (with my sister) just to be by him. Not to butt in his 'new life,' but just to be a near distance.
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:53 PM   #23
 
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I've considered relocating to the city he plans to move (with my sister) just to be by him. Not to butt in his 'new life,' but just to be a near distance.
I think this sounds like a good idea if you do not mind relocating. Please don't feel like you'd be butting in on his "new life." You (and your sister) are a HUGE part of his life and will always be. Just because he is in a new relationship, it does not mean he wishes to put his family behind him. You have been his daughter for 25 years, and I doubt he wants to start a new life in which you are absent. Have you talked to him about how you feel about being close to family? From other things you have posted here, I think you are pretty close to your father, so he may be feeling the same way and want you and your sister close to him, too.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:03 PM   #24
 
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I've considered relocating to the city he plans to move (with my sister) just to be by him. Not to butt in his 'new life,' but just to be a near distance.
Hi,

I'm sorry you are going through such difficult times, and wish you better soon.

But if someone is moving, it should be your father and his new wife. It is his responsibility to care for your sister, in the absence of your mother. Not yours. It is noble of you to help out and care for her. But, the duty is HIS. And, his new wife, should be willing to help him out.
The way you put it, seems your father is "running away" to a new life, and counting on you to help him.
This is terribly wrong, don't let him get away with it.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:10 PM   #25
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If you do decide to move to be nearer to him, I don't think you'll be able to bite your tongue anymore. You'll have to talk to him about what you're feeling - and rather candidly, I'd say.

In addition, is there the possibility that your dad needs to relocate not just to be with his fiancee but also to help him grieve. I've only lost one person close to me and it wasn't a spouse but I can imagine losing a wife could drive you mad with grief and at some point a change of scenery would help you clear your head.

Last edited by Kimchee; 05-13-2008 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:46 PM   #26
 
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II don't want to feel this way! I want to be happy, truly and genuinely happy for him and his new fiance!! I'm supposed to right? So why can't I be??
Because he didn't include you and your sister in his new life project?
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Old 05-13-2008, 11:59 PM   #27
 
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It sounds like you are the responsible one considering moving closer to keep the family connected. He doesn't seem to care less. You need to stay where you are happy. There is no guarantee that if you move closer that he will be in your lives. Looks to me like he is moving on & leaving you with the responsiblities. Be honest with him about your feelings & look at his reaction to it. This will tell you who he is really thinking of.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:19 AM   #28
 
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First of all, I think it is VERY commendable of you to choose to take on care for your sister by yourself. It shows you have a genuinely kind heart!

But, please don't do anything that will cause you regret, bitterness and resentment 10 or 20 years down the road. You may appear content with taking care of your sister now, but based on your posts it seems like you are repressing some of your hurt (and possibly resentment), because you feel it is wrong or you won't be the good daughter anymore.

You very young. And you have previously expressed a desire to settle down and have a family. This shouldn't change. If you have a father and two sisters, then there is no reason why you should carry the burden of taken care of your father's child--which HE brought into the world--alone. Your sister is your father's responsibility first, and it would be great if your other siblings contributed also. Just don't try doing this alone.

Are you getting any support for your sister from any agencies? Is she part of a respite program? I remember you saying that you lived in the Chicago area. I used to work for a non-profit agency that provided excellent care for people with developmental disabilities in the near west, western, and southwester suburbs. Let me know if you need that information.

God bless and I'll be praying for you!

Last edited by Costenya; 05-14-2008 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:57 AM   #29
 
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How old is your sister? Is your dad leaving her with you because it's what you want or it's what he wants or what the lady friend wants?
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:51 AM   #30
 
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To address the issue of my sister, I honestly don't mind. I think I'd go crazy with loniliness if I didn't have her once my dad leaves. She'll be all I have left of my mom that is local, because my other sisters live over 400 miles away. I seriously and truly need to be close to family. I was overseas when my mom went into cardiac arrest, planning to be in England for 3 months by myself as an au pair. Now I can't imagine living somewhere without a family member nearby. I've considered relocating to the city he plans to move (with my sister) just to be by him. Not to butt in his 'new life,' but just to be a near distance.

I know you don't mind. You're a good person. But taking on the care of your sister for a lifetime is a huge responsiblity and may very well mean that you don't get to have the life you want, ever.

I hope your father is at least keeping financial responsibility of your sister, even though he's apparantly abandoning physical care of her.

Ugh, I'm just sick for you. Good fathers don't leave dependent disabled adult children to the care of their other children and then leave town for a new woman. It would be different if your sister wasn't in the picture, but she is.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:01 AM   #31
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We can't say he isn't a good dad. There's probably a lot going on here we don't or can't know.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:03 AM   #32
 
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We can't say he isn't a good dad. There's probably a lot going on here we don't or can't know.


Good dads leave town and abandon their disabled adult daughters? I don't think so. I don't think there is any way to spin that into responsible parenting.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:14 AM   #33
 
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I'm sure there is a dynamic with the family that's been left unsaid and it feels harsh (to me) to hear from other posters that your dad is abandoning his responsibilities to pursue a new life. Perhaps he is, perhaps he isn't.

One thing I would do before he leaves is talk to him about your feelings, tell him you're going to miss him, tell him that being responsible for your sister is a tremendous undertaking, tell him of your tears and of your grief. Then ask him to share what he's feeling.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:27 AM   #34
 
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You said "A part of me feels that I have no right to my feelings." I'm not sure if this idea is something your dad has put on you or something you are taking on yourself, but the fact is that you do have feelings. Expressing your feelings is a healthy response to pain; not expressing them means internalizing that stress and causing even more damage to a wounded person.

Are you familiar with the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance)? I've found through counseling (for an unrelated issue) that we go through these stages any time we lose something that was important to us. Through caring for your father and your sister at the time you lost your mother, you may not have allowed yourself to grieve her loss. Now, losing your father to another person/place, even if you are happy for him, is another loss for you to grieve.

Regardless of whether your father is right or wrong, I encourage you to take the time you need to allow yourself to cry, to be angry (at God/ the universe/ the unfairness of life, at your father, or just in general), or whatever you need.

It sounds like you have done a good job of taking care of your family, but remember that you are part of your family and you need to be cared for too. ***hugs***
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:20 PM   #35
 
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So I talked with my dad tonight...per his request actually

And it didn't go over well.

He had asked me how I felt about him marrying this woman. I told him I didn't mind him marrying her, but I didn't want to be forgotten or kept out of the picture (which is a fib...I DO mind) He got very angry at my response and said he deserved happiness as much as anyone. I think he knew I was lying. What am I supposed to do though? I seem to lose either way! Then he went on and on about how all he wanted to do was to sell the house and get the heck away. My little sister heard all this and cried her eyes out. He looked at her with a straight face and told her, "You need to be on your own." At that point I got very angry and asked him to leave her alone. Then he yelled, "Maybe it's time YOU figure out what you're going to do too!"

I don't know what to do. When it comes to my sister I get extremely defensive. I love her too much and hate for anyone to hurt her. He can say whatever he wants to me but she is truly my everything.

Ughhhhhhh
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:26 PM   #36
 
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kindred, you're a dearheart, hugs to you, no words, but many {{hugs}}.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:34 PM   #37
 
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Originally Posted by Dancing Queen View Post
You said "A part of me feels that I have no right to my feelings." I'm not sure if this idea is something your dad has put on you or something you are taking on yourself, but the fact is that you do have feelings. Expressing your feelings is a healthy response to pain; not expressing them means internalizing that stress and causing even more damage to a wounded person.
In complete and total agreement, more than I can even express.

kindred, you don't necessarily need to act on your feelings, but please feel them. Don't push them down and don't discount them. You've got a long life ahead of you and this is a very bad habit to pick up — it will ruin you, emotionally or physically, or both.

Allow your feelings to be, without judgment or adding any internal dialog about them. Then, once that energy has cleared, you will be better equipped to make intelligent decisions about the situation you're in.

I wish you the best in this very difficult time.

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Old 05-14-2008, 10:35 PM   #38
 
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Kindredspirit,

I am sorry really, your father's behavior is selfish and unacceptable.
In the absence of better advice, maybe you could contact a lawyer and expose the situation, to make sure you and your sister get financially secured at least.

His behavior and his intention of selling the house suggest that he is running away from the situation.

Be aware. Find a lawyer asap.

Best wishes.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:25 AM   #39
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That is so sad. How could he say something like that in front of your sister, not to mention being cruel to you as well?

When your mother was alive, was she the one who looked after your sister? I'm thinking your dad just doesn't want the responsibility and is pushing it off on you. It's wonderful that you love your sister and want to help her -- but it shouldn't be solely on your shoulders.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:43 AM   #40
 
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Kindred, how disabled is your sister? Will she ever be able to be independent?

If she's going to require lifelong care, I think consulting with a lawyer is a good idea.
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