My husband and I are in our late 30s and live across the country from my family. I moved away for many reasons, chief among them that I was tired of being a caretaker for my young siblings, who both have developmental disabilities. My young sister is largely self-sufficient, but my brother requires a substantial amount of care. My parents have always seemed to assume that I would take on responsibility for my siblings once they were no long able to do so. I have never agreed to this and have told them on many occasions that I don’t think it’s a good idea.
My father is retiring later this year, and now he and my mother are talking about moving to my city so my brother and sister will have time to “settle in.” I have told them I am not comfortable with this plan and that it doesn’t make sense to move them to my city because I will not be a caretaker. They don’t seem to listen or care! My mother says that when the time comes she knows I’ll “do the right thing” and “step up to the plate.” I feel like my whole childhood of having my needs forgotten because of my siblings is coming back to haunt me! I was so burned out on taking care of my siblings growing up that I moved across the country and decided never to have children of my own. Short of moving to a new city and not telling my family where it is, how can I stop this from happening?