Oh erin, I am so saddened and sorry to hear this. However, I am really honoured that you trusted me enough to share your story. A problem shared is a problem cut in half so they say. Well if I win the lottery, you will be one of my first contacts to share with.
I totally agree with everything Flopsie said, so I will not repeat it. I just say hurray for Flopsie, she expessed it so well. I also want to add that you are a wonderful person. You ask for so little in life. You are bubbly and you lift everyone's spirits. You have lifted mine so often. You "get me", and accept me with all my fears and faults. That means so much. Words will never express the gratitude I feel.
And BTW congratulations are in order. Congrats on becoming a forum moderator. I hope Oreo is still with us too. But great big congrats to you. You are a natural for this position!!!!!
Anyway you have also touched on an area that I am very sensitive about
I have actually considered bring this up with my local member of parliment. I have seen it so often.
It is part of my "why? oh why?"
I have seen far too many parents who decide that once their children reach 18 or 21 their obligations are over.
For many parents, this is reasonable. If their child is no longer at school, is healthy and just chooses to live off mom and dad whilst they lay around all day and stay up to all hours on the computer or watching television, then perhaps some reality therapy is called for.
I have seen some young adults who are legitametely suffering, and their parents cut them off at 18 or 21.
One of our neighbours had 3 children. Their youngest son hung himself when he was 14. They had taken him to the hospital but the hospital insisted nothing was wrong. The father of this family had seen his own brother take his life at an early age. He knew something was wrong with his son. The eldest of the family was born with cognitive difficulties and had very inappropriate and immature social skills. She managed to barely pass high school with a lot of accomodations. The middle child, a son, seemed to be relatively stable.
After the father had taken the youngest son back and forth to the hospital all weekend, he was not able to convince the psychiatric team that anything was wrong. They just said to not leave him alone and keep an eye on him. Both parents worked shift work. There was going to be a small time block from about
9 in the morning until noon when neither parent could be there. They insisted that the eldest daughter stay with him. She did. He did not go to school that morning.
After watching him for about
two hours, the eldest daughter felt that all the abusive language that since her younger brother was dishing out to her, he was scting like his typical teenage self and that he was okay. So she went into her room and called a friend. When she got off the phone she noticed that the door from the house that led to the garage was
open. She looked all over for her younger brother and could not find him. Then she looked in the garage and saw he had hung himself. She called 911, and they came. he was in a coma for a week.
Needless to say this caused unbelievable stress in the family and about
three years later the parents divorced. The father bought a townhouse with 3 bedrooms, one for himself and two for the kids. His wife bought a very high class one bedroom condominium and took all of the brand new furniture.
The father suffers from horrible arthritis. Yet he goes to work everyday and provides for the two kids. The eldest daughter is now around 26, but she can only get a job working part time in a discount store. This store is known for hiring slightly cognitively delayed persons. She has worked there since she graduated high school. She does get extra hours at Xmas etc. However she never makes enough money to support herself. The middle boy starts university, then quits, works, quits goes back to school, suffers major bouts of depression, so he too is not able to support himself.
The mother has disowned her children. She lives a very good life financially. She has an excellent pension, lives in a beautiful new home etc. She never has to spend a cent on the kids. She does not drive so she calls the husband to drive her grocery shopping weekly. He can barely put food on the table for the kids and himself but he does not have the heart to tell her to take a taxi shopping.
Meanwhile the father is nearly bankrupt trying to keep his head above the water.
So. my question is why is a parent allowed to just drop their obligations to their children because of their age.
If the parents had had the oldest daughter declared dependent before the divorce perhaps this would not be the case. However I think the father felt both kids would do better in time and with family therapy. The therapy has not helped, and they are just such a financial drain, and the mom refuses to help, but she goes on nice vacations and she does not have any health problems.
The same with my son. My whole family is so angry that he dropped out of university, that they no longer speak to him. Even our old family doc, who was also my personal friend, felt I should use reality therapy and kick him out. My second husband's family also think he should get the boot because when they visit from England he does not have long conversations with them. He will say good morning and speak the basic politeness, but does not engage ccnversations to these people who are really strangers to him.
I just can not do that. I know he is ill. I know he should do more around the house, but I can not kick him out. I know part of his behaviour
is a cover for his fear that since I got sick so suddenly that I might die like his father, grandfather, aunt etc.
I can not write about
all of the case studies here. However one of my previous partners at work and I are considering documenting some cases and bringing them to the government.
Another case i can think of quickly is a young girl who graduated with her masters and then got the severest form of ms. But she is well over 25, so her parents owe her nothing and she scrapes by on the disability payments from the government. I know her parents live in a beautiful home and go on regular vacations, drive brand new cars, have a cottage that is paid for and their house is mortgage free. Her parents are recently retired. By the way her mother was a doctor. Who pays for the disability from the government? The taxpayers????? What happened to family obligations. Why do they sometimes stop at 18 or 21.
The reason I hear about
some of these cases is because when myself and both of my previous partners worked at schools, counselling kids, we would often get close with the students and their parents. So sometimes they come back and talk to us, or sometimes the parents will drop by and fill us in on what one of the parents is doing.
Please forgive my ranting. But the case in point is your dad has treated you so poorly and now he has a chance to help you out and he cuts off your health insurance!!!!!!
I am fuming!!!!!!
I would love to have a chat with him but know I can not and please do not worry I would never do that unless you asked me to.
I notice that a lot of the people on HW, who are dealing with so much in their lives, are still there 100% for their children and grandchildren, despite their own physical and emotional pain.
Post Edited (effie) : 7/14/2005 7:43:18 PM (GMT-6)