I feel my life is out of control. How do I feel in control again?

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I'm 53 & raised my 3 kids with out any help from anyone. I have a son who served in the US Army for 8 yrs, a son who is the manager of Safeway, a daughter who is a nurse. I work full time at the same job for 14 yrs and when I get home I have to deal with my mother, who has dementia and lives with me. She has been living with me for 4 1/2 years. She has a negative, nasty, opinionated attitude. My son who has PTSD from serving 3 combat tours also lives with me. He has been living with me for 2 years. He lives for his video games and just started college. He ignores his grandma but she is nasty to him. I have to play mediator. My daughter is going through a divorce & I help her emotionally & financially. My house is always in need of repairs because it was built in 1941. My life plan went in the toilet when my dad died. I was planning to travel. That is no longer an option. My 3 week backpacking tour, which I had to cancel is a bitter memory. I live day to day knowing by the time I'm free, I'll be too old to do the things I always wanted to do. My mother physically is in good health despite her whining. I need to enjoy life again & have something to look forward to. I feel my life is not mine any more.

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IMPearl, promising to take care of a loved one doesn't just mean caring for them at home, you can also take excellent care if that person is in a retirement community.

I've been trying to get my parents to sell their large home and move into an 3 bedroom apartment at a wonderful retirement community where they would be around people closer to their age, and make new best friends. Right now they are stuck at home grumbling that they are bored. Well, I am not going to quit work to become their entertainment, I am not a cruise director, far from it.

Since the store has given your son a lot of responsibly being a store manager, they are quite confident in him. That should also transpire over into his home life. Playing video games isn't the answer. Hopefully that habit will limit itself once he starts college... until then, give him more responsibly at home. Let him think of ideas on how he can interact with his grandmother, if there is something he can do that she would like.... sounds like your Mom is still upset that she no longer has her husband, that quite a lost, not uncommon for one to lash out.
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It does not sound like your life is out of control. It sounds like you have made some decisions and you are in charge of how you handle them. Putting an elderly person with disabilities in some kind of care center IS an option. You have decided that in your case it is not an option. That is within your control.

You have made some decisions about your son's care. You have decided not to be away from him for a few days. That is your right. But, again, it is your decision.

You haven't lost control. I don't think you need ways to take it back.

What you need, probably, is the chance to vent about how unfair it is that you've had to make these decisions at all. You are proud of your son's service but disturbed by his PTSD. Vent away! Mother is not a pleasant companion. Vent away!

Just recognize that your responses to these life situations are within your control. If you wanted to handle them in some other way you could. (I'm not suggesting that you should -- just pointing out that you could.)

The ten years I cared for my husband, at home, with dementia, were very expensive. Now that I am a widow and mostly have my energy level back I can't afford to do the travel and the entertaining that I would like to. I regret that, but I am not bitter about the decisions I made. No one forced me into it. And I would do it all over again.
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You go. You back pack and you tell them to handle it for three weeks. My daughter never let brain cancer and leukemia hold her back. "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." She spent the last week of her life on the OBX. She would tell you GO GO GO.
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My mother has Social Security only, which pays for elder day care. My father made me promise to take care of my mother while he was dying of cancer. After I told him I would, he died 2 hours later. He is currently on my mantel at the request of both of them. Putting her in a home is not an option. My son is currently attached to me because he lost so much. (Close buddies & friends to insurgents) in the Army. He is uneasy when I'm gone from him for long periods. I've thought about taking a mini vacation, but the stress of worring about my son would make it pointless.
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I've been asking myself that same question. My plate isn't nearly as full as yours, but at times it is overwhelming for me because of my own age decline. I'm not a spring chicken anymore but my parents still think I am... waving my Medicare card at my parents still doesn't register with them that I, too, am a senior citizen :P

I don't think we can gain control until our parent(s) finish the final chapter. Start traveling? We would be too exhausted to even pack a suitcase :(
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What kind of income does your mother have? What is she paying for? At the very least, set yourself up for some respite care and do at least some of the travel you want to do now.

Have you considered placing your mother in a good care center? Spending the rest of her life living with her nastiness does not sound appealing to me.
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