I am in my thirties and I’m still living with my parents. It’s embarrassing. I want my own life and my own family but I don’t know how to go about making that happen. I’m in a job where I do not meet new people that often. My parents both have their share of issues. Their marriage isn’t great and they fight a lot. My dad has some health concerns and we are worried about him. I feel they both need my support and that it helps them for me to live with them. I feel too guilty at even the thought of leaving their household. I feel trapped.
It sounds like you’ve taken on a great and undue sense of responsibility for your parents’ welfare. Family is wonderful and incredibly important. But when you support your parents at the expense of your own life and independence, you are unwittingly practicing martyrdom.
In reality, you’re not being loving to yourself or to them, because healthy love and support does not require that we sacrifice having our own needs and goals satisfied. While you may feel that your remaining at home is helping them, consider that you may indeed be protecting them from themselves and thus enabling them to remain unaware that their relationship needs some work. You may in fact be acting as a buffer for whatever problems exist in their marriage and thus unwittingly contributing to their being in a somewhat of a state of denial over such issues.
It would behoove you to consider whether living on your own brings up any fears of your own of which you’re not fully aware. It may be easier for you to justify living at your parent’s home based on their situation rather than confronting your own fears of doing the work that separation and independence require. Everyone follows his or her own timetable and path. So you need not feel embarrassed. But you need to recognize and really embrace the fact that what you?re doing by living at home is probably neither healthy for you nor your parents.
Ultimately courage is required for you to move forward. Courage is only courage when it is exercised in the presence of fear.