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On Parenting
Posted at 11:18 AM ET, 09/16/2011

Ask Amy: Caring for aging parents who failed at parenting

From elsewhere in The Post: A 50-year-old man has healed from the sexual abuse he endured from his stepfather in his teens. What he can’t do is forget how much his biological parents failed to protect him. As his mother and father age he asks Amy Dickinson, of the Ask Amy column, if he should help care for them.

“Now that my mother and biological father are elderly (my stepfather committed suicide), what kind of ‘allegiance’ do I owe my parents, in terms of caring for them in their declining years?
I have been on my own since leaving home at 15, and the thought of spending time and money on two people who were such poor parents makes me angry. Then comes the guilt,” he says.

Amy points out that that forgiving his parents and caring for them are not one in the same.

“... my perspective is that the fact that they have survived long enough to be elderly should not confer any more obligation upon you than when you were an abused 15-year-old victim, with no parents to protect and support you,” Amy says.

Read Amy’s advice for overcoming a horrible childhood, and moving forward to a brighter future.

By On Parenting  |  11:18 AM ET, 09/16/2011

 
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