ON THE COUCH

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

fast be­com­ing an im­pos­si­ble sit­u­a­tion.

I don’t want to cut my par­ents out of my life, but they live more than 160km away, so I can’t just pop in on my own.

They seem to drag every­one down with anger and bit­ter­ness and I feel sad we can’t just have a nor­mal fam­ily life. They are the only rel­a­tives we have, but it’s so dif­fi­cult. Should I just see them alone – or not at all? ANNA Re­cently, I have re­ceived more than the usual quota of let­ters about mis­er­able fam­ily sit­u­a­tions, and it’s al­ways my hope that read­ers can learn from the stress and pain of oth­ers.

As a 21-year-old Aus­tralian girl just wrote: “I have learned so much from you – es­pe­cially about the mind and pos­i­tiv­ity in stress­ful sit­u­a­tions.

“All we can do is try to help each other, learn from each other.”

So the first les­son I take away from your email is that, in spite of an un­happy child­hood, a woman can learn to for­give her par­ents.

That is what you did a long time ago, in es­tab­lish­ing the “peace” – and now you’re called on to give for­give­ness once again.

The sen­tence that jumps out from the start of your email is: “I do care for him and my mother deeply”.

De­spite what you have gone through, in child­hood and adult­hood, at your par­ents’ hands, that pow­er­ful state­ment is the be­gin­ning and end of what you are – and there­fore what you will do in this sit­u­a­tion.

You have been brave all the way through this – in com­ing to terms with an un­happy past, cre­at­ing the lovely, happy fam­ily life you lacked in child­hood and cop­ing with se­ri­ous ill­ness.

Your par­ents took care of their grand­daugh­ters when needed and then, in the emer­gency, re­fused to do more.

Pre­sum­ably, they were back at home by then, which

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.