Dear Two Views,

I'd appreciate an opinion on the following, and I'll try not to drag this out!

I returned four years ago to a mid-sized western city in which I had previously lived in the early 80s. My mother, 73, moved here from the east after her mother died to be near me. I am 45, gay/single, HIV+.

Frankly, I have been consistently unhappy here; I have been unsuccessful in developing any meaningful relationships or even interactions of any consequence. My best sense of things is that my future is behind me if I stay here.

My father, 74, lives near DC as he has for many years [parents are divorced.] I grew up there, though no know one there now [I left 26 yrs. ago.] Though it is difficult for him to share his feelings, he did recently volunteer that he would be happy to have me there in the area.

Both parents are in reasonably good health. I am having some feelings of wanting to bag this place and move to DC area where I wonder if there would be more opportunity for me.

My struggle with this concerns what should be my sense of responsibilities. My mother is alone here, and really has no friends, though she indicates she's used to that and prefers it. We have been there for each other but really don't seem to spend much time together. I visit once a week, on my initiation; that's the pattern. If I weren't here, I would have the concern about her being totally alone geographically, ie., if she became ill and needed help. Of course my father's in the same scenario, he doesn't seem to have any close friends because I asked him. [As you can tell, we all seem to be highly social creatures!]

I have a sense of wanting to do the 'right thing, yet part of that, I think, is doing what I want or need to do. Yet I just don't know how to weigh those, and what should take precedence. Either way it's not easy.

Thanks for anything that can steer my thinking in a productive direction!

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