Straight Talk With Danice

Danice Akiyoshi

Danice Akiyoshi

Dear Danice Akiyoshi,

My dad is a widower. He has 5 kids and I am his only daughter. He relies on me in lots of areas of his life. I’m the one he calls on when he is sick, has a banking dispute, doctors appointments, insurance or social security questions, gift shopping for other family members.

Last week I took him to his attorney to add a new asset into his trust and he was discussing with me how he wants his assets shared equally with his 5 children. He said he has never played favorites and that he always tried to keep everything equal. I had to bite my tongue and I find myself feeling angrier every day because things are not equal when it comes to taking care of my dad’s needs. It all falls on me. My brothers assume I will always be the one to handle everything and I am tired of it. I have a job and I’m busy too. Should I speak up? I don’t want to make waves, but if my dad wants things fair then I think our family needs some changes.

G. G.

Dear G.G.

I understand your irritation. You’re upset because you’ve allowed yourself to be taken for granted and underappreciated. This is happening because you are a poor communicator. We all reach a point in our lives where we have to take on the task of teaching others how we would like to be treated and what we will tolerate. When others don’t comply then they don’t get to share in our personal time and resources. Your time belongs to you. If you choose to share your time with someone other than your own dependants then you should look at that as a gift and the receiving person should view that as a personal favor.

I am in favor of helping loved ones and family members, but not if you feel deeply diminished in the process. Send a letter to your siblings asking for a family meeting. Explain how from this point on everyone in the family must pitch in when it comes to your father’s needs and errands. Create a schedule. If they cannot do their part when it’s their turn then it is up to them to arrange a replacement and this does not automatically fall onto you. It is not your responsibility to play this role in the family just because you are a female or kind hearted. Let them know that your dad expressed his desire for the family to operate in a fair and equal way. You are probably angry on some level because you realize you are betraying yourself. Your days are just as valuable as those of your family members. Remember this.

Good luck.

Danice Akiyoshi ND

Danice Akiyoshi is a Naturopathic Doctor and the head of Candid Coaching Service. She offers personal coaching services relating to all types of issues and concerns. This is a letter she received from an anonymous reader. To send a question to Danice, email her at straighttalk@ candidcoachingservices.com. You can also visit her website at http://www.candidcoachingservices.com