Carrying Your Parents’ Weight

Stacie Dickson
Posted July 20, 2020 from United States

Ever since I was a child, I could remember arguments my parents had at night. I would be terrified while simultaneously feeling the need to protect my mother  at all costs. I would feel my stomach drop when my older brothers where not home, because I would think, who would protect my mom from my dad?  My father never hit my mom but it was a fear I thought could happen at anytime. Although I had a happy childhood filled with cheerleading, toys and Lizzie McGuire shows, I still battled the waves of anxiety that came with parents with a troubled  marriage . Although my father never physically abused my mother, he had a drug addiction and my mother did not like him to come home after a binge as he would disturb the peace in our home. 

My parents have been married for over 34 years as of today. In 2014, my father decided to clean his life up and live clean and sober dedicating his life to Christian Ministry and helping others . I admire my father and his dedication to serve the homeless and give those battling addiction hope .  He has truly helped so many people . I also admire my mother for her strength in showing my dad unconditional love. My father was sober from 2014 until spring of 2020. There has been a lot that has transpired in my father’s life since the passing of his mother in 2018, and going back to his drug addiction has been a coping mechanism for him. He also suffers from diabetes and has failing health . My mother also has had a stroke before and goes to many doctor appointments. I’m 26 years old now, although I’m not the little girl who was riddled with fear and anxiety from their arguments , I am now a confident woman who has to look out for the well being of her parents while not letting their problems become my own. I personally am advising my mother to separate from my father , which is hard because I want their marriage to last, but her peace and happiness is being lost in the marriage currently and you cannot change a man but you can only focus on yourself. I tell my mother to know her self worth, know that’s she’s worthy and that she has helped my father with his addiction for more than 3 decades and it’s time to release him so he can go on his own journey of healing and self-discovery . I encourage my father to go to rehab, to stop blaming others for the pain in his life , and to truly allow himself to heal and get the help he needs. My parents are both almost 60 years old, and I don’t want them to live another day in pain that doesn’t have to be. But at the same time, if my mother doesn’t leave my father or if my father goes back to drugs, I can’t let that be my burden . Even though I love my parents deeply, I cannot make their life choices my pain. I can only give them the tools they need . It hurts me deeply to see my father addicted , even though I know he wants freedom. It hurts me to see my mother go though the pain of a broken marriage, but I know real change can happen and sometimes you have to be broken in order for healing to began .

Here are some tips I have come to understand over my journey :

1.) Do not blame yourself for your parents situation. No matter what, they are adults who choices and consequences are their own. 

2.) Always respect them. You don’t have to agree with what they do, but honor their position as your parents .

3.) Do something fun for yourself. Self care is important and much needed when dealing with high stress situations.

4.) Talk to someone. Share your emotions with a trusted confidant. You don’t have to carry the burden by yourself.

5.) Know when to let go. You have your own life to live, don’t be stressed out from someone else’s problems- no matter how much you love them .

As I writing this , my father cried to me and told me how much he loves me and wants to change . He is own his way to a faith based rehabilitation program now. Although I don’t know the fate of my parent’s marriage, I am at peace that both of them are getting the healing they need, and that regardless of the outcome, it was never my weight to carry . 

In times of darkness, I find hope in my faith in Jesus, my family and my hope that things will get better if we only believe and put in the action needed today for a better tomorrow.  I love my parents deeply and I know the only way I can truly be a great daughter to them is to put my mental health care first, and so should you. 

Thanks for reading,

Love, Stacie 

*P.S keep up with me at http://www.staciecherill.com/?m=1

https://www.youtube.com/c/StacieCherill

 

This story was submitted in response to Moments of Hope.

Comments 13

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Shirin Dalaki
Jul 21
Jul 21

Stacie,
Welcome to World Pulse, I am glad to read your first story. You are wise and compassionate and ...
remind me of my younger years when I invested a lot of my energy into my parents drama. I think every family has some sort of that. We learn as we go through our journey in life. Parents are so dear and it is good to feel your love for them. I like the picture you posted.

Stacie Dickson
Jul 20
Jul 20

Hello Shirin,
Thank you so much for reading my story it means so much to me. Thank you for sharing your experience as well. I visited your website and it is awesome ! Have a great day and keep in touch !

Shirin Dalaki
Jul 21
Jul 21

Oh, how sweet of you Stacie, you are such a loving soul. have a great day as well and keep in touch.

Nab
Jul 20
Jul 20

The title caught my attention. I think some of us are duty bound to our parents. I am teaching myself that my parents decisions are theirs, and I should not let it impact me. The points you listed opened my eyes. I'm glad that you love your parents and want the best for them, at the same time you do what's best for you too. Thanks for sharing your story.

Stacie Dickson
Jul 20
Jul 20

Hi Nab,
It means so much to me that you read your story ! I’m so glad my story could inspire you. Keep being a shining light in the world !

Chi8629
Jul 20
Jul 20

Hello Beautiful Sister,
Welcome to worldpluse .
How are you doing ?
Trust you are good ?
Congratulations on your first post and Thank you for sharing . You are amazing .

Stacie Dickson
Jul 21
Jul 21

Thank you so much for reading my story . Thanks for checking in on me. I am doing fine, I’m so glad to be apart of this community! Hugs to you

Dr Anita Smith
Jul 21
Jul 21

Hello Stacie,
Welcome to World Pulse! What a beautiful story of faith, hope, and transparency! Praying for your parents healing, as well as your own. Keep the faith and know that God loves you! Be strong and encouraged.

Stacie Dickson
Jul 21
Jul 21

Thank you so much Dr Anita! Your words have blessed me

Hello, Stacie,

Welcome to World Pulse! What a joy that a new voice from the U.S. rising up!

Life comes in full circle. As our parents grow old, we become "parents" to them. You're such a strong woman to survive the trauma in your childhood and to be able to maintain a good relationship with your father.

Please keep on writing. We would love to know more about you. I hope you can connect to our global sisters and access opportunities on the Resources Page.

I'm looking forward to reading more from you. Welcome again to our growing sisterhood!

Stacie Dickson
Jul 22
Jul 22

Thank you so much beautiful for the encouragement and for reaching out to me. I’m so excited to be apart of this community!

You're welcome, dear! We're excited, too. :)

Nini Mappo
Jul 26
Jul 26

Hello Stacie,

It takes a certain degree of grounded-ness to see beauty in the broken, and to walk with others in their brokenness with persistent compassion and a vibrant hope. Your journey is challenging but also inspiring. May God bring healing to your family:)
xx