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Monday, 22 June 2020 at 11:20pm
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Thread: Living with a difficult parent during PhD

04-Jul-20, 18:11
by OttoK
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posted about 1 month ago
Thank you for all the support everyone! All the points brought up really make sense to me and now it feels less intimidating and less like I would be doing something bad. I can find a way to gently break it to her but still be very firm. If she doesn't take it well, I will still plan to live on my own and check in with her from time to time. At the end of the day that is a healthy decision for myself. If not, I'll probably end up blaming myself and even her when things get rough.

Thread: Living with a difficult parent during PhD

23-Jun-20, 00:10
edited about 5 seconds later
by OttoK
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posted about 2 months ago
Hi everyone,

I'm thinking of applying for a PhD and I'm unsure of how to think about my living situation. I have a single mom who is quite difficult to handle. She has undeniably been through a lot of challenges but she expects me to be responsible for her emotions. During my undergraduate and current master's program, I did have the luxury of living apart from her but having to frequently mediate heated family arguments (between my mom and sibling) left me with suicidal thoughts and it took a long period of counselling for me to somewhat feel in control.

Recently I told my mom I'm planning on pursuing a PhD and she wants to move in with me wherever I go. We are currently in the US and she justified that we'll be saving money by living together. My mom just doesn't want to live alone in the US or be alone back in our home country. She either wants me to move back home with her and apply for a PhD later or she will stay with me in the US. Both options make me feel very nervous because I know she has a rough time emotionally handling unpredictable/unideal situations that come up and I don't know if I could handle a PhD with family stress. At the same time I feel very guilty because I'm supposed to be taking care of her emotionally and financially (she's estranged from my sibling and other family members).

I would definitely financially support my mom but I'm afraid of hurting her feelings by expressing my need to live alone. I've also been entertaining the idea of getting her settled back in our home country and applying for a PhD somewhere else next year. I would appreciate any thoughts or perspectives on handling these types of situations!

Thank you!
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