Follow
Share

Both of my parents are gone. My mother died at age 72 in 2007, and my father died at 73 in 2003. I feel they were much too young and that I've missed out on having the in my life during very important years. I was partly my mom's caregiver (Alzheimers) for a number of years and as for my dad, his death was sudden and he lived far away in Florida, while I was in Calif. I'm married and have one adult child. After my Father passed, his sister, my aunt and her husband needed care and had no children to help, so I went back to Florida to help them. It was exhausting but there was nobody else who could do it. After they passed away, and it was all over, I felt relieved to be back with my own family. Now years later, her sister, my last relative living, is alone; her husband passed away a few months ago. She's 85 and while I love her very much, she is probably one of the hardest people to be around. She's also in Florida and so I will have to put life on hold and make the trek. I've offered her the option to move back to the West coast with me because she is depressed, overwhelmed and doesn't have friends or children to help her. She is currently in an independent living place but is unhappy there and complains relentlessly but this is something she would do anyway, so it's hard to know what is and isn't true. I am her POA now and trying to take care of things from a distance until I get there, but I too feel overwhelmed with what is to come. I have worked professionally as a caregiver, so it isn't that I don't know this realm, but personally at age 53 am feeling worn out, isolated, lonely and that life at this stage is an endless journey through loss. To be more vulnerable than I care to here, I'm very lonely and am acutely aware of my own mortality, but more so due to a lack of connection with other real life friends. I unfortunately, do not have people to talk to, to be around or to connect with. I guess I just needed to get this out. Most people my age have more family and friends in their lives and while I don't mind being alone or even solitude, I do mind the sense that at this stage of my life there is nobody I can rely on to call "friend" in real time. My son lives in another state and has a busy life. My husband works a great deal and while we get along, we do both feel the loneliness of being connection-less. Now, with the possibility of having my aunt here, I see it as something to look forward to but for many reasons know it will not be rewarding. In other words, knowing how she is, makes it plain that my stress levels will be high because she is a difficult sort who creates stress, so much that no other family member will deal with her. Where I'm going with this, I'm not sure, but I guess I'm feeling an underlying sadness or depression coming over me. Since I'm not a very social person, though I do genuinely like people, there's always been this void in my life. Bridging gaps at this late in the game feels foreign and strange and I'm not even sure how to do it. In the past when I've tried to make or maintain friendships, it generally didn't work out.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Thank you for all of your thoughts and suggestions. CWillie, I laughed and growled all at once at your suggestion of my getting a pet "to love and nurture" because my sweet dear dog of 16 years old passed away this past Aug. A big loss right there and truthfully, I am not ready to get another pet. In time, definitely, but since I intend to travel, I don't want to have to worry about kenneling my dog; something I had trouble doing each time I traveled before. Yeah, I'm one of those "mamas," so I've told myself before committing to a new pet companion, I'd travel as much as I could.

Geevesnc, no I'm not offended at all. All good suggestions here. I am post -hysterectomy but don't sleep well at all in general. Some health issues but nothing serious. I do in fact volunteer with a mental health organization and from time to time with the public library as my schedule permits. I also work from home and while I'm a decent business owner, and a friendly person, long enduring and deeper connections haven't come easy for me.
I moved around a lot as a child and then some, so no childhood friends, I'm afraid. My marriage is always a priority and we are best friends, but we would both benefit from having outside connections. His family also lives out of state and we see them about once a year. Your suggestion to read to school kids is a good one. I like that idea!

Cdnreader, thankyou for your kind sweet words. I'm sorry for the loss of your Father. What you said about our 50's, in my case I think you are right. It feels more daunting than ever to make connections with people. We relocated to the PNW about 7 years ago and I haven't "found myself or my tribe" yet. When I was in Calif. it was the same but at least my son and the occasion to be in contact with other family members was easier. Without going into detail, much of these relationships are strained ones although with some of them, my heart will remain open. Back at you Cdnreader; love and hugs. :)

Jeannegibbs, our relationship with our son is sometimes tenuous. He's an only child and doesn't make much time for anything but work and his girlfriend who we've never met, but not because we haven't tried. I speak with him on the phone about every two weeks and love him dearly. I'd love to go visit him and have made the suggestion, but he's put me off more than once. He's been here several times for the holidays and brought his previous girlfriend, a sweet girl who took to us and we to her, but they were not well matched. After 5 years, they broke up - the best thing for them both, but we lost that connection too. The new GF tends to be difficult, and he doesn't want to create waves with her. I feel him drifting further away and it doesn't feel good at all. We've had "the talk" with him about these things and let's just say, there is nothing more that can be said or done as he is an adult. I'd love to go back to Calif - I know the area well and feel comfortable there, and have always entertained myself, but I'm afraid I'll feel nothing but rejection if I do try to schedule in a visit with him. Yes, it sounds pathetic doesn't it? I use to feel anger about his attitude but no longer have any left - nor tears over what I can't control.
As for my aunt, yes, I would like her to live in independent living but have to know her income in order to help make that decision. Currently in Florida, her rent is due to go up to $4000 and here in the PNW, the rents are roughly the same as far as I can tell. I'm also considering finding an apartment for her although it would have to be a distance away as I live in a more isolated area and there are literally no apartments. Since I'm just recently involved with her financial situation, I'm trying to build trust with her. If it doesn't work and if she hedges me too much, I will drop being her POA and she'll have to go it alone. That much I've already decided.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

If Aunt is willing to move to the West coast, would it be to a care center where all of her day-to-day needs would be met? Being her advocate and visiting as convenient for you might satisfy you longing to be useful and make a difference in someone's life. It would involve stress, for sure, but not a fraction of the stress that having full responsibility for her would cause.

Whether she moves west or not, focusing on yourself and your marriage should be a high priority now, as all the other posts so far have suggested.

Does your son live somewhere fun to visit? Maybe he'd get a kick out of showing you some of his favorite spots, and you could amuse yourself at museums or shopping, etc. while he is working. Reconnecting with an adult child is worthwhile.

Most of my close friends I met either at school or (the majority of them) at various jobs. There is nothing to say you can't make a new friend at a volunteer or paid job, or taking community ed classes, or joining a bookclub, etc. You don't need dozens of friends -- one or two close friends will do nicely.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Dear Gia,

I'm sorry to hear how you feel. I hear you. Someone said the 50s are a tough decade due to death, disease and divorce. But I'm starting to think every new decade will present challenges. We as human beings all need connections. All of us. It is a struggle to find like minded friends in all stages of life.

Please do not give up. There are still good people out there. I have to believe that. Other posters have suggested looking at volunteer opportunities, finding a part-time job, checking out MeetUp groups, finding a new hobby, or joining a church group.

I'm still mourning my dad. And I know have to adapt to this new phase of my life, but it is hard. Baby steps. Please know we are all here to listen and support you. Thinking of you. Sending you love and hugs.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I understand your feelings. It's hard to develop relationships at this stage in our lives. I would think long and hard about having Auntie move back with you. Like the previous comment, expending energy on her is not going to improve your life in any way. I know you love her and probably feel a bit of obligation but, you should feel a TON of obligation to yourself and your husband. Think of things you enjoy doing. Go take some classes or join some groups that feed those passions. The best way to make connections is over mutual interests. I've even found some great friends on Facebook that I have never met, but truly feel connected to. Go to a local elementary school and volunteer to read to the children. Nothing changes one's outlook like a child. And lastly, you are probably at menopause age. I know that phase of our lives can give us yearnings we haven't felt in a long time. It's the passing of the ability to have children. Sometimes makes one wonder - is that all there is? Maybe see a physician and have hormone levels checked. It could help. This suggestion may seem that it's coming from left field, so I hope I don't offend. Just offering suggestions and maybe a little hope. :-) Hugs!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

When I saw your question my first reaction was "good lord I hope not!".

I can certainly understand the feelings behind your post, the yearning to make a connection and do something that matters for someone, but if you put the time and effort into yourself and the few relationships you already have that you will be expending on this Auntie then you would probably be farther ahead in the long run. By all means, be her caregiver... from a distance. If you do move her closer it doesn't have to be in your home, she is used to being independent so she should continue to live that way, either in IL with caregivers or in AL. If you want something to love and nurture get a pet. Seriously.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter