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I care for my parents…

And now it’s too late to have my own life.

Our elder has some ideas of how a letter writer can stop resenting her elderly parents and start building the life she wants.

 

Q. Dear EWC

Thanks so much for your attention. I am really irritated with my situation and I am frustrated and filled with regret. I made the deadly mistake of taking care of my elderly parents and now I wish I had never done so. I am applying for jobs while also accepting the fact that I might not be prepared for it. I am nearing 40, unmarried, a complete failure in life. People disrespect me and my parents keep on being selfish and self-centered. I think they want me go fail so that my life will continue to be miserable with them. But they cheer others on their successful lives and try to convince me I cannot cope and then say I am to blame for my choices (like they had not benefited from it). I’m anxiously waiting for a job non interview and I hope they do have difficulties going forward. I am filled with resentment and anger going forward. I hate so many people and I wish to do many people bad. What’s wrong with me?

 

A. Elder Ms.Mary replies

I’m sorry, you are so angry, resentful, and discouraged. You don’t deserve to feel that way. It is no wonder you hate so many people. You’ve been treated horribly by your parents and others, so it is natural that you want to lash out. Your feelings are valid. You feel as though you have no choices or power, so wanting the worst for others gives you a sense that you have the power to at least wish ill for others. Of course, that doesn’t make you happy, but it feels like it is the one thing you can control (even if it isn’t a good thing).

You will feel differently once you take positive control of your life ­– and you will. It isn’t too late – and 40 isn’t old! You do that first with your mind, then your actions will follow. Continuing to regret the past won’t help. Fortunately, the past won’t prevent you from creating a happy and successful life for yourself. However, first, you must believe in yourself. Don’t say you are a complete failure, and don’t believe anything negative that your parents say about you. Don’t let them define you. You can be who you want to be. Again, it isn’t too late.

Taking care of your parents was a kind and thoughtful thing to do even though they don’t appreciate it. You can cope (you’ve put up with them), and it hasn’t been easy. Please tell me what you do like about yourself and what you do well. How would you describe yourself? (e.g. capable? Reliable? Organized? Dedicated? Thoughtful? Strong? Smart?) It sounds like you haven’t had much time to enjoy yourself, but when you do, what do you enjoy (e.g. cooking? Music? Creative endeavors? Reading? Nature? Animals?)

In order to feel better and find a job, instead of giving your attention to everything that has gone wrong, please give your attention to what you want. Whatever we think about gets bigger whether we like it or not. What do you want? (e.g. job? A boyfriend? Friends? Relief? Time to yourself?)  

What kind of job would you like? Since you have experience taking care of your parents, your skills would be conducive to working in an assisted living home or even one-on-one with an individual who needed assistance. Likely, whoever you helped would not be mean like your parents (but would be appreciative). When you interview for a job, you must be confident about your skills and experience and have a positive attitude. You will want to present the best version of yourself, not the one that resents her parents. 

Before you can do any of that, you must respect yourself. Answering the questions I’ve offered would be a good start. Things won’t change immediately, but as you start to appreciate and believe in yourself, you will notice a big improvement. At first, it might only be something as simple as a stranger smiling at you, but as you feel better about yourself, others will sense that and treat you differently.

I read a book that might help you: You Are A Badass – How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life, by Jen Sincero.

I have asked you lots of questions and have given you much to think about. I hope I will hear back from you so that we can take this a step further. You are also welcome to seek help from other Elders if my advice doesn’t resonate with you. Please take gentle, tender, loving care of yourself. You deserve to be loved. 

 

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