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Question
Posted by: Leona | 2005/06/20

Family falling apart

Dear Doc
My father use to have a good job when me and my sisters and brother were very young. He use to take good care of us and things were okay. He lost his job when I were in our early teens (me and my other two sisters), my brother was still very young to undestand and my youngest sister wasn't even born. Things changed and we struggled a lot. But he always was desperate for us to at least get education. He got jobs that didn't last long so it was an on and off situation. I was quite smart at school so even though my father could not pay for my university education, I was able to get a government loan and now I have a bursary.

My father currently has a job but it doesnot pay that well, but we are just greatful that he has it. He has always shown some favoritism towards me and whatever I ask for I get, not that I always ask for things, I like to take care of myself but there are times when I really need his help so I ask. My two other sisters were not as fortunate as I was so my older one had to get a job and the one younger than me could not get one and stayed home doing nothing for 3 years. Right now, however I am paying for both their tertiary education and my father does not help at all. My sisters are so angry, everyone is. They feel like he does not care about them and they even threaten that he should not ask anything from them once they are well off.

This puts so much pressure on me as I feel like right now its my responsibility to take care of them, at first I took the responsibility to pay for their fees cause I felt sorry for them and I know its a tough world out there so they need something to survive with. I love them so much but there is so much anger and hurt. Sometimes I feel like at some point we are going to just fall apart and I don't want that. I want us to hold on together. Even my brother he doesn't get along with my dad, they are always fighting. How do we get peace and get out of the situation we are in? I am so scared for all of us. I even feel I might have to give up my dreams so I can hold us together. What does one in my position do?

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Our expert says:
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That must be a very difficult situation for you, leona. Have you talked with your dad about this ? Maybe if he is fond of you, he will listen to you explain. And by doing nothing to help your sisters with their education, he i not helping you, as you are picking up the difference by supporting them yourself.

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