I feel like I'm losing my identity.

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SHould not be the case, and as stated in another thread, it's largely my own fault for not getting out more since being here.
I haven't made any friends locally and often I'm just too tired or just don't have it in me to go out and be social. So I know I need to do that and sometimes and just trying to conserve gas because I don't have much money. So I don't get out o the other, 'non-retirement" side of town.
I was feeling crowded earlier just being stuck in here with mom all the time. I have been getting out for a few minutes when I start to feel agitated so that I can go calm down on my own and not escalate things in the house. SO I left and went to Barnes and Noble and walked around which is a place of sanity for me and one of the few things in town that could be considered halfway stylish. There's something healing about being drawn to books or subjects that mirror what is missing in your life, something grounding and informative about it. The subjects change at different times. Today the ones calling me were nature books (hiking field guides of local plants), travel books (take me away please) and books on exploration. Also a book on self-control/impulse control, Joyce Meyer's "Battlefield of the Mind," (bad attitude), some books on history and science, and the display with some wonderful-smelling soaps and bath items. (That's my favorite thing, luxury baths the tub here is awful and very tiny and the bathroom is beige and brown and eighties). These all pint to things that are missing now since I"ve been here. I don't do anything for me anymore, it's all about keeping mom company. And it's not her fault. She's lonely and dependent, but doesn't need 24 hour care. I'm just being lazy in not getting out. She told me to get out and get a life.
I guess i"m feeling like there's not much of a life to be "gotten' here. I miss my friends, the outdoor activities, the freedom of my own place, the grounding of little things like having a place in my living space (in this case,, a room) for mementos that things that are meaningful and inspirational. I miss my furniture, photos, personal items that are in another state at this time. There's not room in here for the ones that are with me, nowhere to put them out . No room for a bookcase. The room is functional but old, small and not very inspiring. My space is a big deal - a sunny reading nook would make a huge difference, as would a simple spot to put up mementos and decor (in this case, one large picture) and there' really isn't a space in here. And even when I can find a little nook to relax here, mom is always here because she does not go out. Ever.

The other strategy used in the past was to get out to an inspiring coffee shop and spend the day working there, and there are a few chain ones here but they don't do the truck. I try to make it work. I feel like I"m losing touch with the world, touch with myself, and I'm rotting in a retirement area and just need something new and fresh and stylish around. I feel old and very plain. I could rot here and never have an intelligent conversation again The world is passing me (and this town) by. I'm turning into a vegetable. Lettuce. Rutabaga.
And have gained 20 lbs.

This is mostly a vent, I'll pull out of it and try to build some kind of life. Just feeling trapped tonight. Thx


I know the feeling. I take care of my husband so I can't exactly run out and find someone to hang with. I work full time out side of the house and my husband goes to adult daycare. That helps in that I don't worry about him while I'm at work, but there really is no life outside of working and caring for someone with no empathy. Today is just a day of feeling sorry for myself as I don't have anyone to talk and share with as I did with my husband. Tomorrow should be a better day.
Oy, this reminds me what I was thinking earlier. I left my life and everything I owned in TX to move to AL. I am so out of place here. Today I was thinking that I was in the wrong house in the wrong city in the wrong state. But at least I was in the right country.
an exiting " outing " for me is a trip to the indy va . so socially im a real flat tire probably with a bent rim but in my defense , man i see more pee hole up there than 20 gyn docs on their busiest day ..
I know how you feel. When we combined households with my Mom, of course we had duplicates of everything. Furniture (except for our bedroom set) we kept Mom's (she had higher quality stuff).Most kitchen stuff is Mom's, although I insisted on keeping some of mine. At one point, I said to her, "Do we have to get rid of EVERYTHING I own and only keep your stuff?" She looked startled then, and started making more of an attempt to choose our stuff. But the fact is, the paintings on the wall, the furnishings in the house (with the exception of my recliner) are all Mom's. I don't have a single wall hanging. Even in our bedroom, Mom found a fancy expensive painting that would go with our comforter set (replacing the original John Wayne that my husband used to have hanging in there that I hated so bad - he's now agreed to sell it).

Mom doesn't need 24/7 care either most of the time, but some days are worse than others. Some days she has horrible pain, some days she forgets things, some days she's likely to fall and need more assistance. Other days she gets along pretty good. The problem with going out somewhere is that you never know when her episodes are going to occur. If I go out for some "me" time, and spend a couple hours socializing (what's that?) or shopping or going to a movie or whatever, I may come home and discover that my mother has had a bad spell and fallen or been in a lot of pain and needed help while I was gone. It's not uncommon for her to be having a good day, then call me frantically from the bedroom needing help. Sooooo..... I don't get out much. It's been a couple years like this. Getting worse all the time. But the worst thing I can think of happening is Mom dying. Right now we're planning on moving up to the Vancouver, WA area, so I can get more help from my family. They all live around there. If nothing else, I can invite them all over for dinner once a week and socialize that way.
It is a balance, isn't it? I'm in a more positive state of mind today, but it's definitely jarring to the identity to find yourself in someone else's house, looking at someone else's pictures, doing things someone else's way because it will be a struggle/escalation any other way.
There also seems to be this resistance when I go anywhere. I'm here trying to generate work from home, so I get criticized for being home and on the computer for long hours. Yesterday I left for a few hours, and after coming back, mom started getting on my nerves again with little things, so I decided to remove myself and go to the bookstore for awhile and chill, I was feeling really cagey and trying not to let it come out at her. And then she went off about how i shouldn't spend the gas, how it was hard on the car (the bookstore is two miles away) and how I didn't need to go out "every five minutes." I can't win. She seems to feel threatened when I leave and critical when I stay. Everything is very extreme with her and what would be hardly ever leaving, to most people, is "every five minutes" to her. But I do know that getting out of here and getting a life is not optional when it comes to maintaining sanity. I've just gotten into a rut here, to the detriment of my sanity.
trapped, same here. I work on the computer. My mother says that it's not really work. I can leave out carrying things to mail each day, and she will say I never sell anything. I can buy myself a pair of shoes, and she says I need to stop spending my money like crazy. She comes up with a list of things that need to be done, then say I need to get out and meet people. Worse thing is that sometimes I get so upset that I lose the muse -- something I have to have when I work. It makes working a chore, because I'm having to work without the muse. It is never as good as when the muse is with me. Usually I try to let her words go past me like the wind. It's just that sometimes her words are like straight line winds or tornadoes. Very upsetting.

On the brighter side (in a way), as her dementia gets worse, her poking at me is less. On the less bright side, she is requiring more of my time. The good news is that I made two sales today that will pay the bills. That's what I try to keep my eyes on. We have to take care of ourselves while we're taking care of them.
I can understand what you are going through, Trapped. Even though my parents are still independent on their own in their own home, I still feel trapped. I haven't been on vacation, not even a weekend away, in six years.

It's guilt for me because one time I was away and Dad was taken to the ER... Mom called me and left a brief message to call her... I tried to call back but the line was always busy.... talk about panic city. I flew out on the next flight. Every flight thereafter became more and more stressful as I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Eventually I was *grounded* by guilt.

Thank goodness I am still employed, it gives me sanity, and other people to talk to... and I feel so lucky to be working for someone who understands the trials and tribulations of helping out a loved one who is house bound.

Trapped, is there any way your Mom would consider an independent living facility, where she would have her own apartment, and be around a lot of people of her own age group... I bet she is feeling lonely herself, and to talk of old times with others would be great.
----Trapped, is there any way your Mom would consider an independent living facility, where she would have her own apartment, and be around a lot of people of her own age group... I bet she is feeling lonely herself, and to talk of old times with others would be great.----
I wish! Nope. Not a chance. And getting her to socialize is darn near impossible, perhaps because she's a bit odd and on some level she knows that her social attempts are not going well, Mostly though she refuses to go out anywhere - except occasionally to the store - because of the stress and anxiety it causes her. She will only go when I take her.
She flatly refuses to get any help for her anxirty, saying she can 'handle things herself." She will not go to social outings even if I take her. Only to the store and that is a struggle. I may be able to get her out to some yard sales though.
Going to try to get out and do some things of my own today just to get grounded and sane.

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