DEAR ABBY: I’m 24 and not where I want to be in life. I have goals and dreams I would like to accomplish. However, my family is super family-oriented. I work for my dad in a family business. He always talks business with me.
I do not want to go into the family business. I have my reasons, one being his side of the family works there and we don’t get along. They’ve never accepted my mom so, therefore, they don’t accept me. The other reason is I’m not interested in the business.
My problem is, this is the best I’ve ever gotten along with my dad. I’m worried he will want nothing to do with me if I quit. On the other hand, my mom has always been supportive. I worry that if I moved away, we wouldn’t be so close. I just feel like if I go after my goals and dreams, it will ruin my relationship with my family. What do you think? — EYE ON THE FUTURE
DEAR EYE ON: You are no longer a child. You are an adult who is overdue for a serious talk with your father about those goals and dreams of yours, as well as the treatment you have received from his side of the family. Write your thoughts down before approaching the subject with him. If your father loves you, as I am sure he does, he will want you to be happy as well as successful.
If you can’t find the courage to approach this on your own, consider enlisting the help of a licensed mental health professional to help you create some emotional separation. Wanting independence is not a rejection of your father, nor would gaining it guarantee you would no longer be as close to your mom.
DEAR ABBY: I have hard feelings toward my oldest son. A few years back, I was diagnosed with cancer and needed radiation treatments. The hospital is in my son’s hometown, so I asked him if I could sit in their living room between my two treatments a day for six days. He said he would talk to his wife about it.
I tried to call him the day before my treatments started, but he wouldn’t answer his phone. I had to sit in my car in the cold of winter for six hours between treatments.
I can’t seem to get past this. I don’t bring it up to him, but I resent him and his wife for letting me down in my time of need. How can I get over this and let the resentment go? — SAD IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR SAD: Are you and your son and daughter-in-law communicating now? Have they ever explained why they acted the way they did? Did you and your daughter-in-law have some kind of falling-out before your diagnosis?
That you were left sitting in a car between cancer treatments on a cold winter days seems unconscionable. That you also “can’t get over it” seems rational to me. This may be something you should discuss with your religious adviser, if you have one. Should you need medical assistance in the future, I hope you have found other resources, because if you reach out in your son’s direction, all you should expect is more silence.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)