Dear B. Scott:
I am 24 years old, originally from Ethiopia and I lived in the U.S for about 9 years now. I am trying to figure out my life, but things seem really uncertain at times. I am working really hard so that my life could have some sort of shape and direction, but it has been and more lately harder as the days go by because of my parents. They are good people who seem to have it all; a career, good health and children who are healthy and bright, but love and compromise between them is not one of it. Their negative attitude towards one another really affected me personally. I am the oldest of three and I feel as though I got stuck between them trying to make both of my parents happy and not being focused on my own life out of guilt— every foreigner’s child guilt: “Because my parents sacrificed their life for me to be here I have to pay them back.”
I feel like their problems cannot be solved by me or by my family members, they need some type of professional help. They have a problem rooted way back when and I think that they are just using silly little things to argue and get back at each other. All this negativity is making me and my siblings depressed and withdrawn from looking forward in life. I don’t know what to do at this point and I need your advice.
My Dear Love muffin,
First of all thank you for your kinds words and support over the years! Now let’s get into your the issue at hand.
What you have to understand is that your parents made their choice to give you an opportunity. What you choose to do with that opportunity is completely up to you.
It's important that you set goals for yourself. At the end of the day, you need to be able to look back at your life and find solace in knowing that you led the life you desired. You're only 24. You're life is just now starting to figure itself out.
I also think it's important for you to talk with your parents and let share how you feel. It probably won't fix their issues, but it may keep them from involving you in their problems. We all want strong relationships with our parents, but sometimes that means distancing ourselves from them so that we can focus on what we need to focus on.
My parents have had plenty of up and downs over their 50 years of marriage and I realized all long time ago that I have to live my life for me because they have already lived the majority of theirs. Often times two people have an understanding between each other, that even their own children can’t understand.
If you truly believe that your parents need to speak with a professional, start with the one who may be most receptive to your concerns and ask him/her how they feel about the issues between them. Also, consult a local family counselor or therapist about how you may best be able to encourage them to seek professional help.
By you living your best life and doing what makes you happy, hopefully some of your positivity will rub off on them!
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