• Troubleshooter

My parents Robbed Me of My Life’s Potential


Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female part-time worker in my 50s with an older sister and a younger sister. My mother thinks my family is stable in comparison to my sisters’ living situations. She said I should pay some money to help her move into a nursing home. But I feel this is not fair.

My father, who was self-employed, went bankrupt and my parents lived separately. When it was time for my older sister to go to university, my father was alive, so she could go to a national university far from home without any inconvenience.

After we became a single-income family, I went to a national university with a three-hour round-trip commute. I had to work part-time all the time, which was draining. But my younger sister went to a private university without any inconvenience after my mother started her own business.

My older sister stated working after turning 50, and my younger sister recently started her own business. My family is stable because I have worked hard to balance working and raising my children, and I have endured hardships in my marriage.

I feel that my parents have limited my options in life and robbed me of opportunities to do the things I wanted to do. Do you think I should tell my mother how I feel?

— Q, Toyama Prefecture

Dear Ms. Q:

After your mother began living separately from your father, she started a new independent business that seems to have done well. I can imagine that she has a strong and carefree personality. I don’t think it would affect her as much as you think even if you told her that it wasn’t fair and that you were being deprived of the opportunity to do what you wanted to do.

Compared to your sisters, your living situation seems to be the most stable right now. Of course, this is due to your efforts and hard work. I’m sure your mother understands this.

However, it is a common occurrence in the world that hard work and effort are not accompanied by results.

Through your efforts in the face of hardships, you must have been fortunate in your family relationships, work, health and many other areas. You could consider yourself lucky after graduation from college. At least, I believe your mother thinks so.

Therefore, even if you complain about the unfairness, I think she would say, “Why are you talking about such things from a long time ago? You are happy now.”

By the way, what did you want to do? Can’t you start working on it now? You are almost finished raising your children, and you seem young enough to start over.

I hope you will spend your time and money on what you want.

— Yoko Sanuki, lawyer