DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-year-old woman who recently bought my own home and moved out of my parents' house. I am delighted to finally be on my own. I can come and go as I please, entertain my friends and watch anything I choose on television. All of these new freedoms were "issues" when I was living with my parents.
My mother has recently been having trouble with my dad. She has told me that if the situation doesn't improve, she's going to come and live with me. She doesn't ask if she can live with me; she says she's going to.
I have urged her to talk out her differences with Dad, but she refuses. She says it's no use. I've told her that I enjoy being able to live my own life. She said, "Oh, you'll still be able to do that," but I'm not so sure.
Abby, if I say I'm happy on my own, she lays a guilt trip on me and says, "Fine, I'll go live with your sister ... she'll take me in."
I've tried telling her she is perfectly capable of living on her own and mentioned several women her age that we both know, but she gets upset and says I am a terrible daughter.
Abby, am I terrible to feel this way? At 29, I need my freedom. -- FEELING GUILTY IN THE DESERT
DEAR FEELING GUILTY: Your feelings are understandable. However, bear in mind that your mother is in turmoil at the moment. If the situation with your father does not resolve itself, consider offering her temporary refuge for a specific amount of time. When that time is up, if she is still determined to live apart from your father, help her find a place of her own, or let her move in with your sister.