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Strawberry Letter 23: A Young Woman’s Fear

DEAR STEVE AND SHIRLEY,

I AM IN DESPERATE NEED OF YOUR ADVICE. I AM A 19 YEAR OLD FEMALE LIVING AT HOME WITH MY DAD, WHICH I HAVE DONE ALL MY LIFE. MY MOM IS IN ANOTHER STATE WE COMMUNICATE BUT THAT ONLY GOES SO FAR.

MY DAD FOUND OUT HE HAD KIDNEY FAILURE 2 YEARS AGO SO EVER SINCE THEN ITS BEEN HOSPITAL VISITS ON A REGULAR BASIS. I LOVE MY DAD WITH ALL MY HEART AND SEEING HIM SICK BREAKS ME DOWN. I’M STRESSING ALL THE TIME, LOSING HAIR, AND GAINING WEIGHT. I JUST FEEL ALL THE TIME I’M BOXED IN TRYING TO GET OUT.

I KNOW I HAVE TO BE THERE FOR HIM BUT I FEEL OVERWHELMED WITH ALL THIS AND I HAVE NOBODY TO TURN TO. HIS FAMILY DOESN’T CARE ENOUGH, SO ALL THE PRESSURE IS ON ME, I JUST FEEL AS IF I HAVE THE WHOLE WORLD ON MY I SHOULDERS EVERYDAY AND I’M TRYING TO MAKE IT. HE IS TO THE POINT WHERE HE NEEDS SOMEONE TO BE ABLE TO WATCH HIM ALL THE TIME AND I CAN’T, I WORK AND I’M GO TO SCHOOL PLUS I’M 19 I LIKE TO GO OUT.

I WANT TO TALK TO HIM ABOUT MAYBE CONSIDERING A NURSING HOME BUT HE’S SO HARD HEADED AND STUBBORN THAT I DON’T THINK HE WILL GO FOR IT.

PLEASE HELP ME