I am a 29 year old female who has an 80 year old father. To cut a long story short I live with my dad and help with his care taking needs now that he is older. My mother left us when I was in middle school and I stayed with my dad.
All these years I have spent by my dads side. In my early 20s I had a life, dreams, hopes, inspiration, and a serious boyfriend I thought I would marry.
As time went on things got harder, I got accepted to college but couldn’t afford it, so I didn’t go. Instead I doubled down working at my job to help my dad get out of a financial rut. At 25 my dad had heart surgery and hip surgery, it was a terrible year and during that year my long term boyfriend dumped me…..
Now here I am at 29……still living at home, and now stuck more than ever because of my dad’s needs. I am angry and bitter at what I’ve chosen for myself, why cant I be strong enough to take care of my life, and take risks, and be selfish. Instead I care too much about my dad, I have cared about others too much, and I feel like I’m wasting my life.
I would love to be married and have kids, but lets face it, who wants anything to do with me and my messed up situation, I dream that I could meet someone my age who understands what caregiving is like, who has done it themselves.
Within the first month that my fiance came into my life my grandfather started to suffer from heart failure. When it was clear that he was dying, and wouldn’t make it the next week, my fiance sat with him next to his bed and would just… talk with him.
He came with me to the funeral. He helped take care of me when I fell apart mentally afterwards. You shouldn’t trap yourself by thinking of all the people who wouldn’t want to deal with an aging family member who needs care. Why would you want to be with someone who would leave or get fed up with something that happens in everyone’s family?
If you met someone that was like “I like you but call me after your dad’s gone” would you trust them to hang around if something happened to you? It sounds like you really care for your dad, but also facing caregiver burn out.
You might think about looking into your local state resources about hiring someone so you can have more of a relationship with yourself and your life.
You should have a life and be able to go to school. Taking care of your father… caring for your father.. doesn’t have to be the end of your life, and being the kind of person who cares for him, but is also ready to do something else isn’t wrong.
If he needs such round the clock care, maybe you should find someone to help, so you can go do something for yourself.
I quit a professional career to take of my dad after my mom died. Almost 6 years. I totally understand what you’re saying. You are still young. If your dad’s care is becoming too much, please consider placing him.
You aren’t being selfish. It’s time for you to live. Look into college. Research something you are interested in and speak with a college guidance counselor. You most likely qualify for financial assistance.
You have time to meet someone and have a family, if that’s your goal. I wouldn’t panic. Create opportunities to meet new people…join a book club, go to gym…etc.
It’s not my place to tell you how to live. I’m making suggestions, but please don’t think you owe another person your life. You are noble for what you’ve done. Now it’s time to consider yourself and your needs.
Got some advice or had a similar experience? Please let us know in the comments section: