I wrote a letter now I feel bad and vital inside...
...but the best part of it, is that both my mother and my boyfriend thinks it was a good idea. I hope that my father also thinks it was a good idea.
The letter came from a "friend" of my father who told me openly that my parents were old and litterly had unuseful bodies and that the garden was falling appart and becoming like a garden were no one have lived like in 10 years or so. My mother is long term depressed probobly as long as most of her life and finally she takes care of her inner life, I know it is hard. My dad is light multidisabled and have bad sight, is deaf with hearing implant and really bad legs. They have no energy. The friend told me who have my own problems and lives 10 to 12 hours away by car that I needed to get back home more and take care of the garden. I don't have any idea of how to care for a garden and I must say that I like to live here and take care of my self and get myself a good life. And that lead me to write a letter to say to this "friend" of my fathers that he who has got a fine garden and loads of experience and that are unemployed should think about the fact that a "good" friend who has got a car, under 1 hour to drive, time on his side and loads of knowlegde in gardens should take care of the garden instead of saying bad words about my parents and myself.
I feel so strange, but this feeling is having tow sides. First I feel so bad, it was my first real "NO" letter in my entrie life. And I feel somehow proud and somehow even sad. I am an internal mess, but I guess I will feel so much more happy now afterwards and the more days that comes.
No one calls my parents rotten even if their bodies are a bit broken. And no one calls me indirectly a bad daughter either, because they don't know what I've done for my parents health and happiness...So if this "friend" wants to be friend with my parents they have to accept my letter and think about it and act accordingly to it. If not, they are not allowed to send me more letters and expect answers from me!
Tell me this was a good thing to do...tell me it was a good way of saying No for the first time for real...
Do I understand you to say that your parents have a garden but it is getting out of control and a friend of theirs wrote to you to tell you and suggest you come and tend it?
It is hard to comment without reading the letter, however, yes we do have a right to set personal boundaries.
However, if they are concerned for your parents and the condition they might be warning you of something they feel you have not noticed. Are there other siblings? If not, in a way you are the one to arrange help for your parents. Perhaps this person is suggesting it is time you stepped in as things seem to have gotten beyond their control. Perhaps changes need to be made to the garden or hired help needs arranging.
If the letter was mean spirited then yes you should not get involved in a toxic relationship with the complainer.
The letter was a bit toxic. And the words and underlines made that sertain that it was not just a letter to let me know of the situation.
No I don't have any siblings and I know that my parents garden needs to be tended. I am also aware of the very preassure from familymembers from far away in my big extended family that is also very small and also friends (that are connected to my parents) that constantly tells me whenever I go to my former hometown that I need to help my parents.
I am not that strong to help them (parents) out on my own and whenever I try, I get in the middle of them and have to choose side many times. So I try to stay out of it as much as I can because of my personal boundaries, I get so exhausted otherwise and fail on my personal growth programme to get better self-discipline, like today I got nothing really important done just because out of anger of this letter...
Do your parents want you to take care of the garden?
If they don't care about the garden, your neighbor is just being annoying.
Though I'm sure your parents love to see you as much as possible, you deserve to live your own life too.
Last time I visited my parents they wanted very little of me, when it came to the garden, I just had to do two things mainly and those were just what dad wanted to do but had too bad sight to do, and I helped out. That may not have made the garden look anyway better, but it sure was making my dad happy. I cut some grass where it was hard to cut it and I shuffle some gravel-part of the garden...my mother also thought that it looked good and I think she thought that I did a good job. I was on the other hand more happy to clean up the kitchen and the toilettes instead because that makes me happier when I am angry or stressed out...and I even taught my mom a few tips...
I am so perfectly aware of my mom and dads situation and what they need and don't need and I also am mostly aware of what I can do and can't do...I said no to stand on a ladder and help out with something on a high level, mostly because of my back. So I don't just say no or yes without thinking about it when it comes to my parents...
This job was made this summer and I was showing my parents that there were new techniques that they could try out, and new ideas that they also could think about, trying to be the good daughter but giving them the power to know what to do and not to do, according to their situation. When I left I was exhausted and happy that I had shown my parents that I was adult enough to see things and act on it when I could and when I wanted to help. My main priority was to help out indoors with things that was too high to do. But I always asked if I was doing anything right and if they liked my job when I did it...mainly getting the good cheerfull approval and thankfullness that I so wanted when I was a child and never got the change to get.
I hope that my parents are happy that I have grown up to be the lady I am today and that they are proud of me handling things good even if I am not the best angel on earth.
But like I said before I am so happy that I live where I live, so I can choose when to go back and help and when to not help out. And I am also very happy to think about the positive sides about my relationship with mom and dad, trying so hard to act like the adult daughter that gives advice on the phone and helping out in that way with things they can do to improve their lives...I think I do so great here that I feel like a good daughter.
So yes why shall I feel like a bad daughter when I do what my parents what me to do, get a good education and eventually a good job after that. And then getting my own family with my boyfriend and live the good life on my side. I feel that my parents want the best for me, and if that means that I need to live my own life in a town a bit far apart from them, they understand and respect that.
Actually I've got a good pair of parents...
So why can't that friend of my father become a good friend and help out instead with the garden when I may do wrong because I can't understand what is right and wrong all the time when it comes to gardening? Why can't people understand that my parents need a adapted garden to their needs and their ability to take care of it, lots of grass and no gravel-parts and just a very few flower-decorated places...probobly just a few pots infront of the white house that is the neighbouring house, and then some flowers infront of the two enterence to the yellow house they themselves live in? An easy garden not too bad looking that they like?
Wow this went on and on and on...
What a load of responsibility you must feel and yes you are wise to set boundaries.
Really the problems are theirs and they should be made aware and responsbible for caring for things. Do you think things in the garden had gotten out of control?
Is there a way for them to pay a gardener?
I think I'm hearing a sad little girl that didn't get affirmation. Chances are you were of a personality different than them. Maybe a gene passed through another generation. One of a more sensitive nature for whom approval and affirmation were very important. When coming to terms with this sometimes one merely needs to accept that their parents brought them up the way they knew and they knew no better. If their personality isn't as sensitive as yours they would also have no clue the level of attention you were lacking.
Also if you are a more sensitive compliant personality you may have seen the world as much harsher than it was or than it would be for a strong willed child. So as a grown up it is important to balance all of this and come to a place of forgiveness and acceptance.
Just do your best. You don't need to do it all.
Throw out the letter and every time it creeps back into your mind change the channel.
You definitely must set limits for yourself and living 10-12 hours away you obviously can't be driving home enough to take care of your parents' garden. I also like living far enough from my parents to not feel obligated to visit too often and I think it makes our relationship better. But it is not a good idea to get into a toxic exchange with someone over this issue. It sounds like he attacked you and you felt very defensive and so lashed out with a counter-attack; this type of exchange is unlikely to have any positive results.
You admit that you got all worked up over this exchange and it made you angry and unproductive, so it sounds like you need to find a better way to say NO in the future. Erin had a blog entry recently where she shares her favorite NO response, “I’m sorry, I’m overcommitted right now. I’m unable to help you.” Wayne Dyer has shared his favorite NO response, "Thank you for considering me, but I am not able to take that on at this time."
I would agree with Clarity that if possible it would be nice to hire someone to help. I hired someone from craigslist recently for only $10/hour and he worked so fast that he did a job that it would have taken me about 20 hours in only 6 hours. What a bargain!
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