Dear Burned Out,
Wow, just wow. I can see why you are about to pull out your hair. Hon, you have so much going on that I am not even sure how you breath. I must say that your heart is amazing for taking on so much and helping so many. You are truly someone I would love to have in my corner.
I can definitely see how you can feel so overwhelmed and start losing yourself. The first thing I would like to suggest is to consult and attorney because of what your ex husband has done. You could be able to recoup some of that education money. I have been looking and looking for more resources for being able to get your PhD. The only resource I have found would be to search Military OneSource. You can speak to one of their counselors who are amazing at finding the proper resources to fit your needs. I did find it concerning that there are so few scholarship/grants to help with higher education like PhD’s. Perhaps this is something that you or one of our readers can start pursuing to make it larger?
I love that your sister-in-law/best friend is so helpful around the house. I have seen far too many that are just plain lazy and mooch. I want to applaud her and her family for really stepping up. Also, that they are willing to go back to school to better their lives for their children. I know taking care of multiple families can be expensive and that finances are very tight. I know there are many government programs that can be very helpful like food stamps. So many try to put down that program, but in reality it can be amazing to supplement items. Both families in your household could apply and please do not feel ashamed of doing so. I have had to do it on several occasions when we were newly married with a little one. If you do not qualify, then I highly suggest talking to a financial counselor at your closest military facility, they have a ton of resources that can assist you, even no interest loans.
As far as your grandmother, I know what a burden that can be. I have taken care of my grandmother who had dementia and now has alzheimer’s. It can really take a toll on your mental and physical health. I know you love her so very much. She now lives with my mother who is also refusing to put her in a nursing home. It has started to cause my mother serious health conditions including having heart surgery. The hardest part about making the decision to have nurses care for them is the feeling like you are giving up on them. However, sometimes it can be for the best. There are trained staff that can make sure our loved ones get what they need. I know there are many horror stories about homes, but with the proper research and tours you can find one that can be the perfect fit. This is in no way telling you to home her, it is just to help ease your mind that it may be a decision worth pursuing when you are ready to make the choice.
I know you have heard this a million times but I will say it again, you need YOU TIME. Even if it is just a 10 minute soak in a hot bath. I would really seek out the counseling from Military OneSource just to talk to someone and vent if needed. There is also Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN). They can point you in the right direction as well. I would also seek out a chaplain, you would be amazed at the resources they can provide and it is 100% confidential.
You are such an inspiration in so many ways. Overcoming your own disability to help so many in your school and home. It is so hard for me to imagine what you have done to get where you are today. I am so beyond proud of you for all you do. Never forget that you have helped your community, so do not hesitate to reach out to them when YOU need assistance. I know I always had a hard time asking for help from the community that I helped. I always felt that I was supposed to be the strong one. Every once in a while we need to swallow our pride and reach out to keep our heads above water.
If any of my readers also have suggestions, please be sure to comment below. Every resource counts to someone.
We’ve Got Your Six!
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