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Stress from Worrying About Parents

My husband and I are seriously considering relocating to Florida. My parents are elderly, still able to get around, although my father is blind in one eye. They have other health concerns but are still able to manage to live on their own.

I have been suffering from major depression for the last two years, although have been told this has existed for quite some time. The reason for this involves my growing up with a mom that expected me to be perfect and feeling very unloved by my father, who never really showed me what a father's love is. They do not respect me as an adult and had played my daughters (now grown) against me during their adolescent years. To this day, they worship them and manipulate all that they can.

The fact that I am an extremely sensitive, loving, and compassionate person seems to cause problems for me. I have been in therapy for the last 16 months and have learned new ways of coping with family situations. I am on anti-depressants, stomach, migraine, allergy, and sleep medications and have fibromyalgia. I feel that my quality of life right now is very poor, and it has been suggested that getting out from under all of the stress would be very beneficial to me. My husband and I feel that moving away and living our own lives would be the best thing for us now while we are still young enough to pursue employment elsewhere.

I feel very bad about leaving my parents. I am really the only one they have available to oversee things and, when possible, offer help. This weighs heavily on me and I feel like I should be there for them.

Is it realistic for me to think I can relocate to another state without worry and/or guilt? What do you believe the chances are that we can truly start living for us, making our life a priority? I struggle daily, weighing the pros and cons of whether I should stay here, or if I can truly make this move. I cry about this, I pray about this, and I guess I just don't know what to do. Please, can you help me?

I would like to say that one might consider it a very beautiful thing to suffer for being so compassionate. Christ did and Paul wrote about it, saying, for example:

1PE 4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. [13] But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.


RO 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

RO 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. [19] The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. [20] For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope [21] that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

It is possible that your suffering is a tool of God to make you perfect in him. But I would personally not go the route of taking anti-depressants etc. Our body is a temple of God and I believe the Spirit should be enough to heal. Your worry and compassion for your parents and those around you might lead you to stress, which itself may be the cause of many sicknesses. You cannot save the world, and therefore you should not be stressed out about it. We could say Christ saved the world while at the same time being the most laid back person ever. You should perhaps instead try to find joy in your suffering and learn from it.

But I believe you also have a right to live a peaceful and rewarding life. It is good to think of others and it is good not to let your selfish ambitions for a better life for yourself lead you to a point when you stop thinking of others, but such a sacrifice is a willing sacrifice made by you that God looks fondly upon. Your health and welfare are important too though.

Perhaps moving away will make your parents realise how they should appreciate you more. It could give you a chance to express your feelings to them, at a time when they will be willing to give you their undivided attention, perhaps after some time of separation.

The best solution might come later once you reunite yourself with your parents and you all live in happy harmony together. They must consider your feelings and treat you as an equal. Your children are your children and not a tool for their manipulation. You do not need to count their past faults against them and they on the other hand can learn to treat you as you deserve.

Another line:

RO 12:17 Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. [18] If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

But maybe it is simply not possible. Or otherwise, perhaps the temporary separation will lead to this.

You may feel indebted to worry for their health, considering that they brought you up and cared for you your entire life. The bible says that society should tend for its widows, but I do not remember it saying anywhere that we are responsible for our parents. On the contrary,

GE 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

You are now united as one and you are both independent of your parents.
Nevertheless, your compassion is beautiful and it should be looked at that way.
Pray to be healed. Perhaps take this vacation from your parents; it may open their eyes as I said before.
Find peace.
And one last happy line,

1PE 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. [9] Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

1PE 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. [11] To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

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