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Its come down to my parents or her...whom do I chose?

Tagged as: Dating, Family, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 July 2016) 4 Answers - (Newest, 29 July 2016)
A male India age 22-25, anonymous writes:

I have been betrayed by people around me all the time. There haven't been many people who supported me. My mother was sometimes abusive towards me (hitting mainly) during my childhood. I was always scared to be in a relationship due to my trust issues, so much so that till a year back I had never been in one.

About a year back I met this girl. She was sweet, beautiful from heart, loving, caring and what not. But there was a reason why she was like this, she was mildly intellectually disabled. Mentally she is very young and maybe she doesn't understand a lot of things such as relationships etc. She had an abusive childhood and her parents first neglected her and then died a few years ago. She was living with her aunt, who died recently, so I'm the only person right now to take care of her.

After I met her I felt a huge difference in my life. I was happier than ever before. I felt her to be one person whom I could always trust (maybe because of her condition). I have been in a platonic love with her. It is an unconditional love between us and she is currently living with me. I don't earn much but it is sufficient for the two of us.

My parents got to know about her a couple of months ago. It has been a tough journey since then. They don't want me to live with her. They told me they would cut off all ties with me if I don't get rid of her soon. They can't accept her with me. I don't want to hurt them because today whatever I am, I am because of them. They have always loved me (though being abusive at times) and supported me through my studies. Cutting off ties with them would mean betraying them, and somehow that's not going with my conscience. At the same time I don't want to lose the person who makes me feel alive. At times I feel her to be the reason for my existence. I have thought of putting her in some home for mentally disabled people, but I find it difficult to think of even a second without her. I tried talking with my parents but they won't comply with what I want.

I am scared of losing this girl. I would also not be able to forgive myself for cutting off ties with my parents. What should I do?

View related questions: disabled, my ex

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 July 2016):

I can connect to you when it comes to Indian parents.I really respect your love for this girl and your feelings for your parents but you are young still and the girl is a huge responsibility as she isn't even sane.I feel you should should first make proper arrangements for the girl untill you are independent and well settled with a proper job.And after which get back with the girl, and by then your parents also can't force you to leave the girl.You are too young to handle a girl who is unstable mentally. Why don't you first settle down yourself and then take her responsibility.Maybe then your parents wouldn't mind.I wish you have a blessed life.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (29 July 2016):

I think you misunderstand the position your parents have taken on this issue. Perhaps from a cultural and parental aspect; they see it wrong for you taking guardianship and full responsibility for a girl who is mentally challenged. You are not romantically involved; and from your description, she doesn't have the mental capacity for it. Therefore; it seems to be an unhealthy relationship from every respect.

You are not licensed or trained to offer her rehabilitation or teach her the skills she requires to take care of herself. She should have access to an institution which can care for her, educate her, and offer her professional care. She is at your mercy, and cannot survive on your pity.

At the same time, I wonder how much of your parent's disapproval comes from shame, cruelty, and prejudice? They seem to have no sense of compassion. Not to be expected from parents who were physically abusive to their son as a child. I agree only as far as it is not a good thing that you hold yourself responsible for her care, when her needs far exceed what you can provide. She is a human being, not a pet. Just to keep you company, while you take advantage of her naivete and limited understanding; because you can't handle someone of equal mental capacity due to your own insecurities. Having someone totally dependent on you makes you feel powerful. You don't have to worry about opposing opinion or constructive criticism; because she doesn't challenge you or make any demands. That is so totally wrong.

That is the same relationship one would have with a dog.

I think she should be with other girls like herself, in an environment structured to help her to grow and reach her potential. I know India is limited in offering such assistance to women and girls; because of some cultural differences that sometimes may not be understood from other cultures. If you love her as you do, you will find a place that will help her; and visit her as frequently as you can.

As for your parents, you don't have to worry about them disowning you. If they could, they don't love you enough.

They have to respect you as an adult capable of making your own decisions; not blackmail you with the threat of disowning you for disobedience. They aren't the world's best parents to start with. They would suffer as much as you would to turn their backs on you. After all, who will take care of them when they grow old and frail? Their karma will catch up with them. Manipulating children through threats of disowning them only comes from the cruelest people. In most cases, it's just an empty threat. I suggest you grow-up and call their bluff. They need you, as much as you need them.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (28 July 2016):

Tisha-1 agony aunt“she was mildly intellectually disabled"

“Mentally she is very young"

“she doesn’t understand a lot of things such as relationships”

“I have thought of putting her in some home for mentally disabled people"

Perhaps there is a huge cultural divide here but from what you write, you are not her guardian, or boyfriend or husband. You have no business deciding how this vulnerable person’s life should go forward.

You said her parents died. Then her aunt.

You’ve moved this vulnerable person in with you and wonder that people might question your motives.

You are 18-21, you’ve moved her in with you and you don’t have a plan? If you think you are an adult capable of being responsible for the life of another human being then act like it, make decisions like an adult. If you can’t do that then you have no business making decisions for her.

Based on your description of this vulnerable young woman, you should certainly NEVER get into a sexual or romantic relationship with her. That’s off the table because she’s not intellectually and emotionally capable of understanding what that means.

Sorry you had awful parents who abused you. Does that mean you are entitled to make major life decisions for another vulnerable human being, to make you feel better? Um, no.

Stop making decisions because you feel a bit sad about life and what it’s dealt you. Start making appropriate decisions to help a person who is as vulnerable as you portray.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (28 July 2016):

aunt honesty agony auntIt would not be you cutting ties it would be them. I am sorry but I do not buy it, if they loved you they would not ask you to choose, they would be happy that you are happy. You have met someone who makes you happy, yes she may require some care, but if she makes you happy that is all that should matter. Your parents don't seem to care about your happiness, do not allow them to take away someone important to you, if they are willing to cut off all ties then let them, it just shows they do not love you as much as they should.

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