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how do I start at this problem?
May 4, 2001
12:28 am
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bird77
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September 30, 2010
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My dad hasn't been healthy and happy for years. He has an uncontrollable son (my bro) and a wife that he constantly argues with, he is diabetic and has high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I get along w/ him fine, but what bothers me for years is that I don't do enough to help him. I don't schedule counseling for my family, and I worry that something bad will happen to my dad. (Just this past summer, he ended up in the hospital for weeks) After that incident I did change, but after 2 months I went back to my old self. My 18 yr old bro bothers him the most. What can I do to get some energy in myself and take control over this problem, and just get started. I keep telling myself I'll do it tomm but I never do it. It just keeps bothering me and I want it out of my head, b4 the worst happens to my dad and I'll regret it for the rest of my life.

May 4, 2001
3:34 am
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malaikau
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Dear Bird,

It sounds to me like you are working very hard to be a loving, helpful, and supportive child. I know you might be telling yourself you're inadequate because you can't make all the problems go away. It's hard to live in guilt and frustration, and it takes a lot of energy to carry around the burdens of such intense feelings all of the time. I can tell that you've worked so hard that if there was a way you could change things you would have already. Unfortunately, only your father can manage his health problems, only your brother can change his behavior in an attempt to live a more positive life, only your dad and his wife can change the things in their relationship that cause them to have constant conflict. These are all things that are beyond your control. It would be nice if we could all change the people around us, but at the same time, just think about it. If that's the way life worked, none of us would be who we want to be. We'd only be what everyone around us wanted us to be. I want to be myself--don't you? I hope you will find a way to accept the things you cannot change, and continue to love and support your dad. No matter what happens to him in the future, this is what he will remember about you!!!

Sincerely,

Mal

May 4, 2001
8:19 am
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Alena
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Very good advice Mal.

Bird, I can empathize with you. My father is now gone but I watched much of the same go on in his and my mother's lives for a very long time. Even now, I look at my mom and wonder what can I do to make her happier, how much can I do so that I will have no regrets when she passes.

I try to remind myself that I've done all that I can reasonably do as a daughter. In my mind, I am responsible for everyone in my family. I need to fix everything that is wrong with their lives. That's a heavy load. It's impossible.

Since your dad and you have always gotten along well, I think you can advise him, ask him how you can help him take care of his health. I don't know how you can help with his wife or his son, be realistic about it though. Don't saddle yourself with an impossible task and then set yourself up for regret. It's admirable and touching that you want to make it all better, but like I said, be realistic.
I know what your feeling, and remember to take care of yourself also.

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