I can feel the pain in your words. I know it took courage to write this, but it helped me to read it and reminded me of something I learned but tend to forget.

We only imagine we have control over the fates of others. We imagine we can or could have made them safer, healthier, or in some way better off. But the truth is that we humans aren’t nearly so powerful as we imagine.

I hope you can remember that your mother’s illness existed even when you were a child. It probably predated your birth. You couldn’t have changed things without taking over her life and making her decisions for her. Would you have had the right to do that because she was a hoarder?

I wrestle with this regarding my daughter. She is a drug addict. It may kill her. The only way she stays sober is when she is locked up, put away. I don’t have the power to do those things to her, and if I did, would I have the right? Even though her lifestyle may kill her, as much as I love her, it’s not my life. We each have one, only one, of our own.

Struggling to change or control the life of another adult is seldom successful — and do we even have the right? Even if we think we know what’s best for them?

I hope you find peace in knowing we aren’t as in control or as able to take control and influence outcomes as our ego leads us to believe.

You have a powerful talent. Your writing is beautiful.

— Carol

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.

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