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Should I Leave?

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When I was 4(18 years ago this year), my Dad was stabbed and murdered by a man on the street that I now live on. I’ve been teying to move house and escape it but the council are not much help. The man that killed him is now back in Perth and has been harrassing my Mum who is scared obviously for her and myself and my brothers. She is moving town and wants us to go with her. I’ve just had a baby 6 months ago and I’m scared for her safety also, but my partner and his life is here and the thought is difficult for him right now, im not sure if im selfish to leave everyone or if i should just go.

Should I Leave?

Answered by on -

A.

First and foremost, if the man who killed your father is now harassing your mother, this needs to be reported to the police. You mentioned that the “council” is not helpful. Perhaps that’s because they’re not the authorities. The police should be made aware of his harassment. This is especially important because the harasser has a history of extreme violence. Generally, the best predictor of future violence is past violence. He clearly has a history of violence and is acting in a way that is threatening. Report his behavior immediately to the police and continually do so until they take action.

Understandably, your mum wants to move. She is making the choice to move. You have a partner and the new baby. You shouldn’t abandon your new family. Your partner needs you, especially with a new baby. It’s not fair to abandon your new partner and your child for your mum. Obviously, you want to protect your mum but you may not be in the best position to offer the right protection. The authorities are in the best position to offer her protection.

The expectation in adulthood is that one develops their own lives, apart from their family of origin. It’s not only expected but if one does not develop intimate relationships outside their family of origin, it is considered problematic and could potentially lead to unhappiness in one’s life. This is not to say that you should cut yourself off from your family of origin. It simply means that you develop relationships with others outside your family of origin. For many people, these relationships mean marriage or partnership, and the birth of children. The development of a new family can be a challenge for people who are overly connected to their families of origin.

Your situation involves a unique circumstance. Most people have not had their father killed and the perpetrator, now out of prison, harassing their mother. Obviously, there’s good reason to be concerned. You may feel guilt for not moving with your mum. But if you do go, you would be essentially choosing her over your new family. Is that a choice that you’re willing to make? It’s not fair to your new family and it may not help your mum much either. You mum needs police protection, which is more help than you can provide.

Perhaps you can assist your mum in setting up her new home. You might consider installing surveillance equipment to give you and she some peace of mind. Informing the local authorities about your concerns would also be wise. If you have the funds, you might consider hiring a security guard to watch over her when you’re not there. To give up your new life and family, in an effort to protect your mum, seems unfair to your partner and new baby. Had your partner known that you would choose your mum over him, your partner may not have wanted to remain in a relationship with you. It’s possible that should you move with your mum, your relationship with your partner would be damaged, perhaps irrevocably so.

Only you can make this decision. Consider consulting an in-person therapist to discuss this issue in more depth, should you feel it’s necessary. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Should I Leave?

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Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2020). Should I Leave?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/03/12/should-i-leave-2/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 11 Mar 2020 (Originally: 12 Mar 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 11 Mar 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.