Dear Annie, as many of your readers, I never thought I'd be writing to you for advice. But here I am.
After retiring at the age of 61, my youngest child was well-known for her ability to perform her physical duties. I had graciously invited her to come live with her, because she knew that the amount of Social Security I was drawing was simply inadequate to live on. I allowed her to leave her mobile home after a loss and moved in with her and her two sweet teenage daughters. It is now just me, my daughter, and our poodle.
I have had a lot of problems with my daughter, but I am also concerned about how the problem might be resolved. I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2020, and my daughter became completely sick and disillusioned with it. Despite this, she has developed a sense of isolation and a lack of fear as a result of my illness. Today, she has put her daughter on hold to say, "Because I didn't tell you to."
Annie, these are just a few of her statements, but this letter is already too long. I know that these are likely to be difficult for elderly people and their children. But I've reached the point where I want to live by myself when it comes to them. I just don't know how to proceed with checking low-income housing for the elderly.
Is it so wrong to want to live in peace and quiet and not be treated like a burden? -- Want Peace and Quiet
Dear Peace and Quiet: It sounds like the past two years have affected your physical and mental health, and I'm certain that the global epidemic did nothing to alleviate those anxieties.
You may certainly check out low-income housing in your region, but it sounds like things were normal between you and your daughter; perhaps there's a way to return to that place.
First, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your depressive episodes, including your ability to get out of bed and bathe. I'd also ask for counseling. Many health insurance companies are waging copayments for mental health services. With the help of a skilled therapist and, perhaps, antidepressant medications, you might be less lethargic and more proactive about your own well-being.
Next, I'd establish some tight boundaries with your daughter. Discuss how you will divide up responsibilities around the home and the ground rules for respectful communication.
When it comes to it, whether you are living with your daughter or on your own, you must take control of your mental health.
What Happened to My Cheating Partner? The second anthology for Annie Lane, which includes her favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication, and reconciliation, is available in a paperback and in an e-book. Contact us for more information.