My parents have two children. Several times when they had a failure to communicate, they somehow were meant for each other enough to work things out. And now they've been married for about 32 years. They treated my sister and I as well as possible, and I have no reason to hate them or resent them.

But when my sister left my family, and my parents had no way to understand the whole thing, it put an inordinate burden on me to make up for it and assure them it wasn't their fault.

But that's really hard. I feel I must shield them from so much of the truth about myself. Because they'll be forever bruised and vulnerable from the pain my sister caused.

They were always religious, but became even more so in an attempt to cope with my sister's departure. I don't want to keep bothering them with the fact that they failed to instill any of their most important values in me: their agnostic son who sees no need for God.

They're so proud of their successful relationship that I don't want them to realize I'm such a failure. That I am weak and immature emotionally, and fall prey both as a victim to emotionally abusive, selfish women and, in my most recent failure, as a practitioner of emotional blackmail because I'm too incapable of dealing with the pain and couldn't stop my emotions soon enough from making me beg and plead. Thus causing me to lose forever the most incredible woman I ever had in my life.

I don't want them to be reminded that the perfect son they're so overly proud of can never be loved by women. That I'll probably be destined to forever be alone with nothing but geeky computer crap and wonderful, platonic friendships in my life. Their one hope to actually be a part of the continuation of their family is pretty much lost since I can't figure out how to make such things work.

It hurts me when they dote on me, and I have to hide from them anything that might increase the damage my sister caused to their parental pride.

I keep some distance from them for these reasons. The only time I ever am anxious to see them is when I think I have finally turned my life around enough to make them really proud. Of course it didn't help that when I finally thought I found the right girl and I introduced her to them, she then kicked me out of her life for 5 months as a prelude to finally kicking me out for good later on for being too stupid to understand her.

My father and my mother got married when my mother became pregnant for my oldest brother. They were both in their 20's so fairly young. My father went to school to become a computer programmer while my mother stayed home to take care of my eldest brother and eventually me and my youngest brother.

For a portion of my childhood my father worked days and my mother worked nights. Depending on how stable my family was or how tight my parents were for money my mother went back in forth from the work place to being a stay at home mother/housewife. She had numerous jobs from working in a photo lab developing pictures to working at a phone service provider. My mother has wonderful social skills and for the most part has enjoyed most or jobs. She once told me she enjoyed her job working at the photo lab the most because it was like being the internet, she got to see the strange things people did or felt the need to photograph. She saw everything from men dressing as women to the tragically awkward family photos.

I love my parents and I know how hard they worked, when my mother worked nights and my father worked days they rarely saw each other, they gave up a loving relationship to keep a happy stable environment for me and my brothers. Sadly these days my mother feels like a failure.

My oldest brother dropped out of high school when he was 16 and has some drug related problems. I am in my final year of high school and going to be their first child to graduate. Sadly I have no ambition to move on to go to university to be a "something" to be a "somebody". My youngest brother suffers from a learning disability and is also rather lazy.

Tonight I watched my mother break down in to tears. She watched us grow up happily watch us make friends be friends and now our whole family is a mess. My brother has moved back in do to his numerous problems, my younger brother failed one of his classes within his first 5 months of being in high school and I have expressed my strong desire to move out and be away from all their problems.

Growing up I had fantastic parents. Now I have to hold my mother as tears stream down her tired face. It is times like these that I worry for my parents. They feel they have failed they have lost hope. Times like these remind me of when all they did was work hard for us and now who is there to help them out.

I love my parents but there is no rule book to how parenting works and there is no guidelines set out to say what is right and what is wrong. So for tonight My mother will feel as though she has failed and my father will bury his emotions down and ignore these obvious problems. Getting a night job will not solve this problem it is much deeper than that. So here is where I ask, what do you do for your parents when they have lost hope in parenting?

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