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My dad's health is declining and I feel conflicted about my life plans...

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Hey fellow apostates! So I passed my NREMT exam, so once I go by the DMV later and get my ambulance driver certificate I can bail and finally apply for a state/county EMT license. Next week is when I plan on leaving but well, there have been some complications...

My mom is currently out of town to help my grandmother in Nevada after a surgery she had. But that's not the complication. Apparently my father(doesn't live with us, they are divorced) doesn't have a great heart, and his heart problems have gotten to the point to where he is in a county hospital currently. My sister told me earlier this morning and said there is the possibility he may die, and that I should go talk to him. I told her ''we'll see'' and she started crying and said ''there is no we'll see'' and started saying how he could die and started to cry. I didn't say anything to that, but went for my run.


Now I feel kinda conflicted. Quick background: I didn't have the worst upbringing by any means, but my mom and dad had terrible fights(yelling,screaming, getting physical), he was unreliable(financially and otherwise) and had a horrible temper, treated me like shit numerous times in middle school(verbally disowning me, once told me to go kill myself, tried to drag me out of my mom's car and prompting me to run away in fear), and my sister has tried to kill herself, fight my mom and runaway from home several times due to inheriting his mental issues and having that level of dysfunctional exposure. The police/first responders were have been called several times over the years for my sister, 4 which occurred in the same summer, when my sister attempted to overdose(she survived). My dad tried to attack/threatened to kill me just because I told him and my mom to not argue while we were in the ER with tubes sticking out of my sister.


And this wouldn't be the first time he would have given me a heart to heart ''I'm sorry'' speech. He did it several times back in my middle school days and around two weeks before my sister's overdose he did so again. And I am honestly tired at this point. I don't ahte him, even if I still do feel anger about my upbringing and growing up on the spectrum. We are talking YEARS of this kind of behavior, and even my mom will say I need to be forgiving and that me not talking to him makes things in the family worst including with my sister, yet she and him still can hardly talk on the phone without blaming each other for my sister's behavior, or insulting each other,etc.


My whole reason for trying to GTFO is I want to get my life on track both with my educational and career prospects, as well as to finally enjoy life especially with this pandemic slowly but hopefully coming to an end. I still have things to learn about myself and to come to terms with, and those things seem to be a better investment of my time and energy than waiting for my dad to be someone he should have been from the get go, plus my mom still bingoing me on both having kids and going back to church(she and my sister still have some spats). But in our society, ''family comes first'' and all that and part of me does wonder about my sister doing something crazy again if I bail especially now. Thoughts?

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It sounds like your concern for your sister's response is the primary thing here. I don't know that anything you do or say will change her emotions or reactions. She has learned toxic manipulation as a lifestyle. What she chooses to do with her life is up to her. You are taking real steps towards a far more healthy lifestyle, but the family ties are still tied. It's clear that your dad isn't about to change his personality, regardless of hospitalization, other than perhaps using his situation as an emotional club. Some families are so toxic that the best thing is to disappear from their radar entirely while embracing your own new way of life. Human traditions of family first are just traditions, like religions and holidays. If they do not represent a value to you, and in fact are dragging you down with guilt as their only means of feeling significant, then cut them off and go be free. 


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'Family comes first' ... sounds like a euphemism for 'put your own life on hold.' You are not your sister's keeper. Try replacing the word 'bail' with 'starting my life.' There are always options and other solutions that will present themselves when the time comes. You just arent aware of them right now. ZenPaladin is not the one and only solution to your family's issues. Maybe when you depart next week your sister will have to get her shit together and take care of your dad. Maybe dad will need to step being a moron when his caretaker is a nursing home employee, home health nurse or friend. 


Perhaps you have been told or believe you are the glue that holds the family together ... but an EMPLOYED ZenPaladin is much more powerful than an unemployed one. Your mental health will improve when you are physically separated from the mess. You can still be helpful to the family even though you are not physically present. When you surround yourself by other EMT professionals and have regular contact with front line medical people and first responders you will gain a community of people from which to get information about how to help sick dad and unbalanced sister. And that information wont cost you a dime. 


In law enforcement you will hear that officer safety is paramount to community safety. If an officer goes down, community safety is reduced. The same goes for you. If you are in a good place (physically, mentally, emotionally, financially), you can then help the family to be in a better place. You'll be more effective. 


You need to live and enjoy your own life. Now go be an EMT. 

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Trust your gut on this one, ZenPaladin.  If the idea of going to see your father fills you with negative emotions - feeling of dread, anger, queasiness - respect that and don't go.  This person threatened to kill you, and you owe him nothing.

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