Live Your Own Life

Hi everyone, this is going to be a story that basically sums up my entire family life. Thank you in advance for reading. I’ve put the whole story in a comments.

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, studied family dynamics formally and informally all my life

I agree with Les Mikesell’s comment below the story posted by Anonymous. I have been in a similar situation, minus the immigrant status. I’m not sure if, or how, the immigrant status plays into the situation because families do get tangled up like this all the time no matter what their ethnic background or where they live. Let me correct that; maybe it doesn’t happen in East Asia—I have never been there and I don’t know the people who do live there, but it does seem to be part of the human condition.

Having said that, I was not that much older than you are now (maybe five or ten years) when I realized that I cannot fix my mother and the way she interacts with the people around her. All I can do is live my own life. If she wants to be miserable, I have to let her be. Since you claim to be a busy man, I assume you’re working and earning a wage. In that case, since you are of majority age, I urge you to move out of your mother’s home and live your own life.

Regarding finances, depending on your feelings you can inform her that you will not give her a home even if she ends up destitute from paying her daughter’s airfare, etc. You may want to draw up a legal document regarding that. It may sever or seriously harm the parent-child relationship but like Les Mikesell suggested you could explore reconnecting with your father. Beyond that, I don’t think your mother’s finances should be any of your concern.

I realize this is far from the happy family situation all of us desire but none of us get to choose our parents and siblings. We must make the best of what we get. Sometimes, depending on how things impact us, we decide the best solution for ourselves and future generations is complete separation from our family of origin. For me there is no “future generation” but there is me and my life. I could not continue living in the situation I was born into and expected to live my life in. I know I am far from the only one. This is a decision you personally must make for yourself.

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