I moved country to escape my strict parents – but they want me back

DEAR DEIDRE:I MOVED to the other side of Europe to escape my family, but they still manage to make me feel like a disappointment.

I’m a 26-year-old man. My parents always favoured my sister. They’d say, “Why can’t you be more like her?”

It got worse when I came out as gay. As strict Catholics, they thought my urges were unnatural.

After sixth form, I moved to Greece. I thought I’d be happy once I got my own place and found a good job.

I am happier, but when I think of my family, I feel miserable. I hate the fact that they are no longer in my life.

This isn’t helped by my mother’s frequent emails asking me to come home.

She writes: “We don’t agree with your choices, but this silence is hurting us all.”

DEIDRE SAYS: It’s understandable that you miss them, but bear in mind you could be treated as before.

Try emailing them an update on your life and ask them about theirs – the response will indicate if they’re willing to change.

Only you can know if you are happier with them in your life, or out. If you cut contact completely, reach out to standalone.org.uk who support adults estranged from family.

For more advice from Dear Deidre

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