Red Responds: Forced to Live With Her Mother

Carol in Lucasville writes:

I’ve had the worst past 13 years. A divorce, followed by one failed relationship after another, I’ve now been completely alone for the past 10 years. I am forced to live with my mother — 1,300 miles from my children — and don’t have a job in the profession I was trained in, nursing. I’m 53 years old, and all I wait for is the day when all of this is over. I lost my house and 90 percent of my personal possessions. I find no joy and no bliss anymore. I recently survived a double aneurism, and know I’m lucky to be alivebut I simply don’t care anymore.

Dear Carol,

When life seems to be kicking the crap out of you, it can be hard to see the bright spots, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look. Life is part circumstance, part choice. While no one can control all of the circumstances we find ourselves in, each of us does have to take responsibility for how we choose to handle things. You, my friend, are at a pretty significant crossroads. Acknowledge it, wallow in it a bit if it makes you feel good, and choose to take control of your life.

You know that you are very fortunate to be alive, so make the conscious decision to have a life. A good first step would be to address your frustrations, your depression, and your apathy. I strongly recommend that you investigate some of the psychologists in your area. There is an older gentleman with an excellent reputation that can not only help you see the light at the end of the tunnel, but he can also get you jogging toward it.

It totally stinks that you’ve pretty much lost everything, but that cannot be changed. It’s an emotional blow, as well as a material one, but objects are replaceable. The emotional side is something you are going to have to work through. It’s not going to be easy, but you have the capability to rebuild your material world, and reconstruct your emotional world. Your current lack of desire seems to be what is holding you back.

I don’t see you working as a hands-on hospital nurse for quite some time, but you can use this time to your advantage. You can be working in a local doctor’s office this summer, as long as you watch for the opportunity. While there is a lot of clerical work associated with the position, it is a very positive environment for you, and it will provide a livable wage. I see you staying in your mother’s home until closer to 2011, but out of choice, rather than necessity.

Your love life is presenting as less than thrilling, but I’m not seeing you doing anything about it. In a way, this is good. By taking this time to focus on yourself and work through some issues with your therapist, you will be able to make better choices when it comes to your romantic decisions, as well as create healthier bonds and relationships. You don’t have to go through life alone, but you will have to put forth work toward a stable relationship.

Very often, life is what you make it, so be proactive. I can see how things are, and I can see how they are going to evolve. What I can’t do is make certain things happen. That part is strictly up to you. You have the power and opportunity to better yourself and your circumstances, and that is what you are supposed to do. The lingering question from where I sit is ‘will you?’ I want to help you all that I can, but the really hard work and how your future evolves heavily depends on what you decide to do.


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