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Tilly
02-06-2011, 14:15
Just a personal problem if you don't want to read on...

Plan for this summer: Quit the job that I am tired of, hike the Colorado Trail, along with some hiking in SD, ND, MN, and Isle Royale NP.

Wrench: Ma calls yesterday and says that she and my father are getting divorced (after 34 years.) Ma lives in another state and has a skeletal support system, compounded by the fact that she is disabled and can't get around by herself. She needs someone with her at lawyers/to drive her around/to eventually pack up and move out.

I have a distant relationship with both of my parents, but enough exists that I feel I should be there (more for her, but also for my father if he needs anything.) It's bad enough that I am 700 miles away but being out on the road for 5 months I feel would be irresponsible.

I guess I know that I should stay at work and at least be available if I am needed, although my job situation does not appeal to me anymore.

I guess I just need to vent now that I can't go and hike this year. I'm tired of living in Indiana & my job & very much looking forward to hiking this year, but I suppose that will just be the way it is until it's resolved.

Sigh.

Mongoose2
02-06-2011, 14:19
You're 700 miles away, nothing you can do while you are there. Either move and help your mom or go hiking, don't stay in a miserable job in a place you dislike.

PennyPincher
02-06-2011, 14:36
hike. it might sound cold but this is not for you to fix.

Appalachian Tater
02-06-2011, 14:40
Don't force yourself to make a decision about this right now. It will be easier in a few weeks.

Snoring Sarge
02-06-2011, 14:54
I am both a child or divorced parents and a divorced man with grown kids. Go hiking, do you have other siblings? Are you ready to take on the role of long term care giver?

You mother and father are going to have to learn to deal with their new lives. It sucks but that is the high cost of divorce. If you go back without a job you will be sucked into the caregiver role which will make it even harder to leave and go hiking.

No easy answers

ZeroC
02-06-2011, 15:01
Obviously this is overall a personal thing and not knowing details or financial situations or religions, etc... BUT, being that you have a distant relationship as is, you're young, go hiking. There's not really much you can actually do. There's no use dragging yourself down into something that you have no control over.

Namaste
02-06-2011, 15:29
Wow, that's tough but I agree with all of the responses. There are many unknown factors here but I'm recently divorced with a grown daughter out in San Francisco and I would never expect her to stop everything for my sake. Of course, my divorce was mutually agreed upon and amicable and took all of 3 weeks from start to finish, TG. I think you should hike.

Awol1970
02-06-2011, 15:41
...and has a skeletal support system, compounded by the fact that she is disabled and can't get around by herself.

That right there is the wrench. The trail won't go anywhere. Patience grasshopper.

-SEEKER-
02-06-2011, 15:54
I understand feelings of obligation, but family and the problems they bring on themselves can suck the life out of you. If your distant relationship is caused by their past issues and/or alcohol then getting involved will only be poisonous to you. Was you mothers call just an announcement or did one or both of them ask for your help? Don't let guilt mess your life up.

GracefulRoll
02-06-2011, 16:17
Distant relationship and 700 miles between you?

Hike. No question. This isn't your problem. You finally have the chance to do something amazing for yourself. I don't think a parent would want you his or her child to give up on such an awesome adventure. If it were my children, I wouldn't burden them unless I were completely out of options.

Tilly
02-06-2011, 16:53
Well, since I'm airing my dirty laundry...

You're 700 miles away, nothing you can do while you are there.

This is definetely true, but currently I have personal time, vacation time, etc. built up, so here and there I can be there if needed. If I picked up and moved I would have none of these benefits.

this is not for you to fix.

Absolutely, I 100% agree. Unfortunately I anticipate their divorce becoming extremely nasty and expensive. I do not want to put my 2 c. in the mix, I just want to be available for my disabled mother who is not exactily at 100% cognitive function (and forget physical function.)

If you go back without a job you will be sucked into the caregiver role

Someday this may be the case but not right now. I'm guessing that she will go into an assisted living type situation after this is settled. I'm not prepared to be her caregiver.

I would never expect her to stop everything for my sake. Of course, my divorce was mutually agreed upon and amicable and took all of 3 weeks from start to finish, TG.

My mother doesn't expect me to drop everything for her. Actually since I am in school and working right now she debating about even telling me.

While their divorce is mutually agreed upon (and a long time coming to be honest) I think it will drag on for a long time. 34 years of marriage to a person who has NEVER had a job and is definetely without a doubt disabled and unable to hold any type of work will spell huge alimony payments that the courts will have to work out.

My mom will not be able to handle all this on her own. She has her own lawyer, but lawyers do not understand the needs of disabled clients (and of course they are only after their fees anyway, but that's another subject.)

I understand feelings of obligation, but family and the problems they bring on themselves can suck the life out of you. If your distant relationship is caused by their past issues and/or alcohol then getting involved will only be poisonous to you. Was you mothers call just an announcement or did one or both of them ask for your help? Don't let guilt mess your life up.

Yes this will probably suck the life out of me. My distant relationship with them mostly stems from personality differences, and the fact that our household was full of constanting fighting, arguing, yelling, instability, unpredictability, and a general lack of trust and love. Compounded by a general incompatibility b/t my mom and dad (clash of cultures, social background, and expectations.) No drugs, abuse, etc, but rough all the same. Only as an adult did I realize how dysfunctional it really was.

Her call was just an announcement, and I offered to help. It's been dawning on me today how long and awful this process is going to be, though.

My brother is there but he is immature and unreliable.

If it were my children, I wouldn't burden them unless I were completely out of options.
I understand feelings of obligation, but family and the problems they bring on themselves can suck the life out of you. If your distant relationship is caused by their past issues and/or alcohol then getting involved will only be poisonous to you. Was you mothers call just an announcement or did one or both of them ask for your help? Don't let guilt mess your life up. Today 14:41

This is understandable, but trust me, my mom actually does not want to burden me. She really is not like that. The problem is that she is disabled, and in her condition she will be simply unable to handle every single thing on her own. This is where the guilt and obligation come in. If she were able to be independant, than I probably would not be considering all this.

I don't think a parent would want you his or her child to give up on such an awesome adventure.

I don't think that she does, but again, obligation. (My dad, on the other hand, thinks that I am a crazy failure.) I feel it would be selfish of me to go out and leave her all alone. I'll be able to hike eventually...(but I wanted to hike NOW:()

I'm still digesting all this since I only found out a few days ago...

max patch
02-06-2011, 17:06
Tilly, it sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and I'm sure you'll make the right decision.

The trail will waiting for you when you're ready.

Skidsteer
02-06-2011, 17:16
Don't let your Brother off the hook even if you decide to help. That wouldn't be good for anyone in the long run.

Good Luck.

Awol1970
02-06-2011, 18:36
That right there is the wrench. The trail won't go anywhere. Patience grasshopper.


Tilly, it sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and I'm sure you'll make the right decision.

The trail will waiting for you when you're ready.

Exactly. Tough spot to be in I KNOW. But we are often dealt cards we don't like. This is called life.

Tinker
02-06-2011, 19:12
Family first, comfortable and convenient or not.
The Trail(s) aren't going anywhere.
You'll be glad you did.

TNjed
02-06-2011, 20:00
yeah bro, the trail ain't going anywhere, take care of your mother, she won't always be here man, and regret is a bitch

Namaste
02-06-2011, 20:31
Yeah, there's more to this story than we'll ever know. It's a tough situation but go with your gut. As mentioned, the trail will always be there. If you're gonna spend every day out there on the trail feeling horrible about not being with your mom it's not worth it.

DapperD
02-06-2011, 22:16
Trust your feelings and be there for your mother and father. As other's have said, they won't always be around and you will probably regret not being there for them if something was to happen. As for your job and location, if you feel you are tired of them and need to make a change, then take action to make it happen:-?. Good Luck

GreasePot
02-06-2011, 22:58
You've got to be all stressed out from all this. May I suggest maybe doing a little yoga, or massage, or treating yourself with some long walks to help you deal with the stress. That's a tough situation! Good luck.

4eyedbuzzard
02-06-2011, 23:34
Lousy situation.

1) But she's your mom. You may regret not hiking. But you may well regret not being there for her as well. Having choices certainly opens the possibility of having some regrets. Having lost my mom to cancer almost 20 years ago when I was only a few years older than you, I wish I'd had more time with her.

2) If her lawyer doesn't fully understand her needs regarding her disability, she needs a different lawyer. Yeah, they want their money, but the attorney / client relationship shouldn't be THAT cold.

3) Are you going to be able to hike, and enjoy it, knowing that all this is going on? It's a lot of extra weight to be carrying on the trail.

skinewmexico
02-06-2011, 23:46
I vote for being a grownup, instead of a selfish child. Sure, life sucks some time, but you do what you gotta do. Hike next year.

WisconsinHiker2011
02-07-2011, 01:15
If you do not choose to care for your parents and something tragic happens while you are on the trail, you will never forgive yourself - no matter how 'distant' you feel you are.

Family always brings up powerful emotions.

If you choose to hike, ask yourself if you could live with yourself if something tragic happened to your parents while you were gone. If yes, go hike.

Rocket Jones
02-07-2011, 07:49
Last year, I had planned to take two weeks to hike in Shenandoah, and then my Dad got sick. I shelved my plans and made three driving trips from Virginia to Iowa and back to spend time with him. He's gone now, and I'm grateful for doing what I did. Your situation is much different but probably full of the same stresses.

Like others have said, the trail will still be there when you're ready. I'm doing Shenandoah this year, and I'll be thinking of Dad some while I walk.

Toolshed
02-07-2011, 21:18
If you do not choose to care for your parents and something tragic happens while you are on the trail, you will never forgive yourself - no matter how 'distant' you feel you are.

Family always brings up powerful emotions.

If you choose to hike, ask yourself if you could live with yourself if something tragic happened to your parents while you were gone. If yes, go hike.
Total BS. Paint the worst case scenario to try to use emotions and guilt on someone. You can say that about almost any situation.

WSHiker - How about starting with the fact that most who enter adulthood have learned how to manage with the resources they have or have learned to become adept at utilizing resources from other areas to help them get by sufficiently in times of need?

Tilly, I understand that your mom has some disability, but if you go home to what seems like a not-so-pleasant environment, you might fall back into the family role you played before you left. I'd hate to see that happpen to anybody.

Here is my thought. If the divorce proceedings drag a bit, and they probably will, why not let little bro hang out there for the first 7 months or so. According to your father's opinion, it doesn't seem likely to change whether you are there or not. Is it possible he wants you to come back to let him off the hook soooner, as a caretaker?

Here is another thought, go hike for a couple of months and let things get settled. you can always take off from the trail for a couple of weeks to jet home and offer some support and help. Then, depending on things, head back for the trail, or not....

The fact that your mom was hesitant to tell you because she doesn't want to burden you kind of works OK in the process above. You don't need to come rushing home, you can monitor from a distance, and if you need, you can get off the trail for a week or a month and go check on things and help her out.
I wish you the best
Toolshed

mkmangold
02-07-2011, 21:22
Get one of those mother-carrier backpacks.

The Weasel
02-07-2011, 21:28
Tilly ----

This one is a toughy, and not a hiking question, which you already know. But you asked, so here's my take:

1) Ask a lot of friends and strangers their opinions. If you do it right (looks good so far as there are a couple dozen opinions here so far!) you'll get one that you like. Follow that one.

2) Go find a really good Ph.D. psychologist (ignore the others; honest) and sit down with her/him for a couple of sessions and get some professional advice about how to deal with the needs of three very separate adults who are in very fragile and difficult situations right now.

3) Go with your guy, which is sort of #1 without the waiting time.

Me, I'd vote for #2, but I wish you well in any event.

The Weasel, who knows.

The Weasel
02-07-2011, 21:29
3) Go with your gut, which is sort of #1 without the waiting time.

Me, I'd vote for #2, but I wish you well in any event.

The Weasel, who knows.

Typo in #3, changed above. Sorry.

TW

mweinstone
02-07-2011, 21:37
once again you have begun to become foolish without my presence!lol.

the answer is:
this is not about what you belive its about. its about you not trusting in your mothers abilitys. she may be handicapped, you are handicapping yourself by beliveing she cannot learn to arange a complex life of helpers and shuttles and apointments. you dishonor the good lawer who would give you a confidence and trust allowing you to be free to hike. you underestimate goodness, ability and this mother of yours all under the banner of injury and disability. we know not the very depths of another. to guess and then adjust our actions based on assumption leads to imprisonment and true disability. you give your mother the space to learn and acomplish or to fail and need,....or you define the space she lives in. that is nothing you as a hiker can do and this is the center of your pain. you believe and yet you hurt. try for a moment disbelieving your judgment rather than trying to change it. see that you want the good for her and you. not one above or below, not neither, makeing you both miserable,...but find out if you may be wrong about her depth. you may hike in my opinion but only if you set her free to fail knowing shes perfectly able to survive that. she is you know.

Erin
02-07-2011, 23:17
Tilly,,,,,,Age: 31 Year of thru hike: 2009

Tilly, you are young and have had a great time thru hiking.
Take care of your mom for a bit, then back to the trail and a job you can stand for more than six months. Or not.
Find yourself and your answers. And that will not be on this blog.
Good luck and good journeys.

DapperD
02-08-2011, 20:13
Tilly, you are young and have had a great time thru hiking.
Find yourself and your answers. And that will not be on this blog.I don't think the majority of poster's to this thread gave Tilly bad advice. I understand that ultimately it will be her decision whatever she decides to do. But she did start this thread, and advice for whatever it is worth has been offered her:-?

Erin
02-08-2011, 21:21
You are right, Dapper D. Very good advice all around. My point and I may not have made it well, is she will need to find her own answers from within, not from strangers on forum.