DEAR ABBY: I am a 36-year-old single man who has boomeranged between living on my own and with my parents during the past three years. Finally, I'm planning on moving to a permanent place of my own.
The problem is my mother appears to deeply resent my leaving. Ever since the moving issue came up, no matter what I do or say, I cannot do anything right by Mom. It's brought out the worst in her.
My new apartment is closer to my job, and it's only 30 miles away, so I will be able to visit my parents often. I understand that Mom has health problems and needs help, but I have five siblings in the area, and I could always be at my folks' quickly to help with any emergency.
Because I am not married nor do I have children, I sometimes think this makes my family feel as if it's my job to take care of our parents. I love them, but these past three years have created resentment and frustration on my part. I feel I would be a healthier person living on my own, but I don't know how to communicate this to Mom. Please help, Abby. This is tearing our relationship apart. -- FRUSTRATED SON IN FLORIDA
DEAR FRUSTRATED SON: Sometimes relationships need to be torn apart before they can be successfully reconstructed. Consider this move a period of growth for you and your mother. You are a loving son who has the right to a life of your own. However, your mother may have greater fears about her health than you realize. Speak to your siblings and urge them to stay closer in touch. She needs reassurance that someone is nearby to help her if she needs assistance.