Gulty for leaving my Dad - feel trapped...

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2013
Gulty for leaving my Dad - feel trapped...
12
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 12:18am

No way to delete my posts, so editing instead!!

 

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 3:44am

It is your job to leave your father and be out on your own.  It is his job to prepare you  to do so.  That is the way of life.  You love your father but you need to find your own life and one that supports and nourishes you.  Your father giving what you needed to get to the States and find your own way is not a loan. It is a gift and what loving parents do if they are able   All you owe him is to treat him with respect.

Heck, SF is a short trip so you can visit him once in a while.  No need to say anything about how depressing it is in his home.   That is just his lifestyle which is not suited to you.   Thank him very much for everything he has done for you and how that has helped you realize what your next step in life is.  Tell him you love and apreciate him and will miss him.  And make your plans to go! 

Will he be disappointed and miss you? Of course. Hurt? he should not be.  He should be proud that you are clear about what you want to do next.  No matter what he may feel, his feelings are not your responsibility.   

Is the gult coming from you or him?  Neither is appropriate in this case.  You are not doing anything wrong unless you trash him before you leave.  I just don't imagine you would do that, though. You seem like a caring person.

California here I come!  I left my heart in San Fransisco.........Go find your heart, your bliss, what you are meant to do. Jump at this opportunity to spread your wings.

If you live in Eugene or Portland there are cool thngs to do there but those cities are not San Fran.  If you are in Eugene, give me a call, I'll take you out for a coffee or a drink before you head south.

Best to you....

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 4:18pm

I think that before you say anything to your dad you need to develop a plan, an exit strategy. One that is better thought out than the one that landed you in your current situation. When it is underway you then sit down with your dad and explain to him that you think you will find more employment opportunities in the Bay Area. You give him your timeline for when you plan to leave his home, and let him know if you anticipate needing any more help from him. You thank him profusely for the help he has given you.

I think you may find that your father will be relieved to know that you have a plan and a date to move out (and his wife may be even more pleased). (I have grown kids of 27 & 30 which is where I get the parent's POV). As parents we like to be supportive and help our kids as much as we can, but we recognize that the ways we can help are more limited with an adult kid (and usually involve money) and some of us also recognize that there can be a fine line between helping and enabling. And no matter how much we love our kids, having one move in to our empty nest is disruptive. Parenting involves a lot of sacrifice and it sounds like your dad has offered to do that at this late date in order to help you get established in the US, and surely with the hope that you and he can have a warm relationship. But that doesn't mean that he wants you to live with him indefinitely! And he probably realizes that his town is not much fun for a single woman of your age. He will likely be very happy for you that you are getting on your feet and ready to be on your own---as a 28yo should be. 

The reasons you are depressed are clear. You have put yourself into a situation in which you were completely dependent on someone else, like reverting to being 14yo again. Add to that homesickness and some culture shock. Sometimes depression is the symptom of anger turned inward. And frankly, there is a lot here for which to be angry at yourself....and I'm a little surprised that your dad didn't ask you some tough questions before buying that plane ticket. Did you have enough savings to support yourself until you get a source of income?(as stated in your post, no). How did you not have a SS# ?( most people get them as infants because they're required to claim a child as a dependent on taxes here) And upon learning that you didn't have one, why didn't you get it through the Embassy in London so you would be legal to work when you arrived? Had you researched the job possibilities in your father's town? Are your job skills transferrable for the legal system in the US? Obviously a lot of questions, which an adult would typically consider before making a major move. So if you don't have good answers for them, of course you would be angry at yourself. But, when you get a job and start developing a workable plan you will probably start feeling a lot better about yourself and your prospects.

About that exit strategy. You didn't ask for this piece of advice but I'm going to give it anyway. DO NOT move in with your friend's parents as a "rent-free springboard". Do not even go to the BA until you have enough money in your pocket to support yourself for at least a month (preferably several months), and have a job lined up or at least some interviews. Ideally have a place to live (find a sublet on Craigslist to tide you over until you can find another housing situation). When you visited SF you probably noticed that it is ridiculously expensive. Rents are high and getting an affordable apartment (in a fairly safe neighborhood) is crazy without connections, because of the competition. Public transport is good but expensive, especially BART. Groceries are expensive, restaurants too, and while there is a lot to do there most of it requires money. Not a place where you want to just show up and hope for the best. And not a place to again put yourself at the mercy of parents---in this case people with no sense of family obligation to kindly let you sponge off of them for months. Regardless of what the friend's parents offered, don't stay with them for more than 2 weeks, if even that long.

Your dad may feel hurt or used when you leave, but less so if you get to work on building a relationship with him now. Its awkward because you're unfamiliar, but you become familiar with someone by making an effort and opening up. It seems like you both were wearing rose-colored glasses when this scheme was put together, as to how it would play out, but now its time to face reality. Get a job and start saving for your move, and meanwhile start talking to dad about your hopes and dreams and plans. Start researching the Bay Area, job possibilities, etc so you have a realistic idea of what you are going to. Let your dad see that you have a logical workable plan that he can be supportive of, if he feels involved in your life there's less chance he'll feel used or hurt. Instead he'll feel excited for you and happy to be part of your evolution.

Parents have a much easier time letting go when we know our kids are going TO something rather than running FROM something.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 7:59pm

This is an excellent response.  Yes, it is much better to be planning going to soeplace than running away from a place.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2013
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 8:37pm

That is interesting to comtemplate. Every move I have ever made, I am running away from some place. And that is a lot of moves.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2013
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 8:39pm

I don't really know where I want to be. I don't have a plan. To be frank, I think I've run out of steam.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 8:44pm

Ok that was a long response but I do have to add a couple of things--first of all you have to decide where to live and what to do based on what you want to do--you can't do it out of guilt.  IT's too bad that when your parents split, you were so far from your dad, but you didn't make that decision.  You really can't make up for lost time.  You can only have a relationship now.  It's nice that he asked you to come live with him & you are trying it out but if you end up not liking it here & want to go back to the UK, don't feel like a failure.  It was something that you tried and you don't know whether something is for you until you try it out--sometimes things don't work out.  That being said, I think you should also give it a chance before you decide.  Of course you're going to be lonely for a while until you make friends here & it's a lot harder to make friends w/o having a job.  I do think SF would be a better fit or some major city that may be likely to have big law firms with a branch office in the UK--I'd really research those firms.  You must know that the job market here is not that great and there is a lot of competition for law firm jobs (I'm a lawyer) so you might have to take a job doing something else.  I don't understand why your father was go gung-ho on you opening a food cart if you don't have a background in the food industry, not to mention that it's hard to start your own business.  But you have to do what's right for your career.  My DD is 24 and a nurse--she had to move out of state to find a good job.  I don't like it that she's an 8 hr car ride (or short plane flight) away but it was important for her to start off on her career.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2013
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 11:37pm

I am going to delete my posts now because I think it would be really obvious who I was if anyone I knew happened across this thread! Thank you all very much for your responses, they were gratefully received. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2013
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 11:41pm

No way to delete posts so editing instead.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Mon, 08-26-2013 - 3:55am
Maybe another trip to SF to visit your friends there will energize you a bit and help you get your head clear. Yes, it is good to have a plan but sometimes when following what feels right, the plan reveals itself, step by step. One plan was to come to the States to try out your wings, live with Dad a while and in his town. That is not working. Right now SF ------is calling to you and you have a friendly place to stay while checking it out, getting the feel for it. Getting yourself a bit energized would be good. Sounds like you may be a bit depressed. I was in my 20s when I felt I was ready to move from my home town. I left my job and took the summer off to travel around and visit friends and check out different places. That completely change my life. One of the places I visited I fell in love with, so i applied for work there and got three job offers. Another place I visited, I met the man I ended up marrying. The marriage did not work out so years later, I went back to my first love. Life is just not a straight path to somewhere. It is usually very zig zagged. Years later when I wanted to move back I intended to do it the right way, get a job, find a place to live and then move my family there. I did not get the job I wanted, they wanted someone who lived there. The family member I'd hoped would have the kids for a week or so wile I went job hunting and house hunting bailed on me. I was certain that that is where I wanted to live. So when my lease was up at the old place, I loaded all my belonging, two kids, two dogs, two cats and a bird into the car and a u-haul. Made reservations at the Motel 6 and an appointment with a house hunter and hit the road. Exactly two days later we found the perfect place in the neighborhood I wanted to live with the rent I could afford. It was one of the best moves I ever made. If anyone you know happens across this thread you have nothing to be ashamed of. Oh dear, I just realized that it is now obvious who I am if anyone I know happens across this.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2013
Tue, 08-27-2013 - 3:00am

Hey Karenbfree, thanks for your supportive response. It was just that i didnt want people to be hurt or offended reading some of the comments I made about them.

I'm going to think on it for a little longer until I make a decision. It may need to be a move I make in the near future and not immedietely, but if i mention now that it's something I would like to work towards, rather than just saying I'm leaving and go right away, I think it might be less traumatic for everyone involved.

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