Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ThreeShadows, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I'm so confused right now. difficult child 1 drove off this morning, leaving home for the umpteenth time on an other one of his spontaneous adventures. He's moving to NH, he has New England in his blood. Never mind that he left a job which payed him $17/hr for being a mechanic, that he has no prospects for another job, no real home other than couch surfing at his brother's fiancée's grandparents' house. He's 23 y.o.. It's time for him to grow up. I know I'm supposed to detach.

    I cried when I lost sight of his car as it turned the corner. First I thought that it was because his twin had aborted himself so destructively from our family. Then I realized that the pain went further in time, back to my father leaving for all his trips through Europe, leaving us yet again. Twenty years of therapy and all the losses are still present in my soul.

    I miss those magical years raising twin boys. They were so much fun. They saw the world with such fresh eyes. I enjoyed their terrible two's, their three's, all the noise and laughter. Childhood is over so fast, I don't know where it went.

    I don't know how I got to be sixty so fast , all I know is that those good times only live in my memory. All my childhood homes have been sold or torn down. The difficult children' laughter and love for each other, my father's voice, all my dead relatives, the lemon trees, the olive trees, the wind filled with the smell of thyme, these all live in my head and when I am gone those moments of joy will be gone too.

    I guess this is what they mean when they talk about empty nest syndrome, though I still have one fledgling at home and she still is still growing her flying wings.
  2. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Many hugs - maybe journaling or doing some art (drawing, coloring, whatever) would help ease the grief a little? along with a cup of tea perhaps?
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I've noticed that when I suffer a new loss, I re-grieve past losses. The old ones just bubble to the surface, wanting to be acknowledged again.

    I'm sorry for your pain, ThreeShadows.

  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Have you thought about writing? It would be a good outlet for your emotions and I suspect many people can relate to your words. I'm sorry your memories bring you such sadness. Hopefully your sons adventures will enrich all of your lives. He is young and has no obligations, perhaps this move will be a positive one.

  5. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Your writing doesn't just read 3T - it takes you there. It makes you smell things, and see things and feel things. Very prolific. I'm not much of a reader because I have a hard time getting into stories that PUT me in a place, but you spent a short amount of time and WHAM - I was there.

    I'm not the same age as you, and I don't pretend to have had as many experiences. I have however crammed a lot of life into my years and in some ways lived two lifetimes. Some of which I would gladly give back in exchange for almost anything...Cracker Jack prizes, baseball cards, bird feathers. But my hope or thought was to raise my son and have youth still on my side to enjoy some of my life. Odd thing is that it sounded like a great trade off at the time, but now that I'm here? It's just more time looking to fill more time.

    Instead of being a typical empty nester I'm trying very hard to create memories NOW that will be things to look back on when I am 60, 70 or 80. When my now memories are way behind me. I keep telling myself that someday I won't have the things, the people, the time that I do now - so if I make MORE memories and NEW memories now? I'll have THOSE later.

    So maybe there is a method in that madness? Perhaps it can give us all a little something to look forward to instead of constantly looking back. Looking back is essential to making the future work. I just know if you're constantly looking backwards you tend to run into a lot of walls. You have a lovely daughter that is growing wings - Make this YOUR time together. Grow HER memories, share EVERYTHING you can with her. Give her something to recall when she is 60 - smells, houses, tastes, sounds...that can be your legacy. You think about what your father and your relatives left - now it's time to start thinking about what footprint YOU are going to leave. It's never too late to make memories.

    I'm sorry for your heart hurting. Nothing can make a child leaving easier for a parent, so I won't even try - but ...this is where you get to teach her everything....and leave your mark so that someday when she's talking to her support group she'll tell them about wonderful you. ;)
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I can so relate. So relate.
    I have nothing profound to say tonight..........except...........I am sending you many hugs.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I find myself missing those little boy days too. I never found myself fully enjoying them when I was in the midst of raising the little hellions. I was too young and they were so hard and times were very tough for us.

    Now, Tony and I drive around and see places we lived or look at places the boys played ball and we can almost see shadows of our former lives. Ghosts of times gone by. Just last weekend, we went to the beach with Keyana and saw 4 places we had lived and played. We kept saying how hard it had been, how we had eaten fish he had caught for days on end but also how happy we had been. How little the boys had been. Remember when?

    I feel like I am getting somewhat of a "do over" with the grandkids. I can take things more slowly and really enjoy their childhoods. I take them places and play in the sand, swim in the ocean, watch them climb and swing. I take more pictures. I laugh more. I watch the football games with her or the "race cars grandma...race cars!" I buy her the expensive juice because she isnt with me all week.

    The other day Cory said he wished he could have a do over and go back and start his life over back at around 10. He missed being a kid. He wished he could have done things right. He missed being his daddy's little boy. LOL.
  8. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Thanks, you guys! I knew you would understand.

    Why is it so hard to appreciate what we have while we have it? Life seems to be a balancing act between the past and the future. If there is one legacy I want for my children it is for them to enjoy, taste and smell the present, to really be in the moment because that moment is so temporary.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont think anyone ever really knows what they have till its gone. Or maybe till they get some maturity on them or get the bejeebers scared out of them.

    We appreciate the small stuff because we have all been through the fire. We can appreciate it if our kids graduate HS or get a GED as much as some parents of more easy child kids do if they graduate from a university. Lord...Cory is talking about taking a course to get his license for heavy equipment. I would be celebrating like a mad woman! That would be like a masters degree to me. I celebrate any forward progress. Others would think we are
  10. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    It's so true Janet, I love that: We appreciate the small stuff because we've been through fire. I think about how far away my difficult child was from normal, and how are lives were so far from normal. My heart was broken in a million pieces. How would this kid ever function as a productive citizen? But, now a few years later, this board has been a godsend, he's doing it, all by himself. He doesn't live here, we see him, he supports himself, he has friends, girlfriends.. I'm proud of him.
  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I joined awhile back. OMG, what a PITA it is...still...when I share my "resume" the thing I always go back to is what a gift Rob gave me...the *gift of appreciation"...........for 10 minutes of peace....for a smile...for no rancor in our conversations.

    PP and families will never understand. Ever. It is a gift.

  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Isnt that true Suz. I dont need Harvard anymore. Oh it would be thrilling! But it isnt something that I dream about for my kids. Those dreams are long gone. Now I just want happiness. I am thrilled when I can get a phone call and have Cory ask if I want breakfast from Shoneys on a weekday morning. Just him and I.

    Or watching the game on Sunday afternoon with the boys cheering for our teams. Even if we have to do it by cellphone!
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Perhaps your son is "turning a corner." Can you think of it this way?

    Yes...I think we all want a life with-o "rancor." A life with- some peace...more happiness. This is HEALTHY.

    Definition of rancor:

    "bitter, rankling resentment or ill will; hatred; malice"

    I think you should let him turn the corner...and you run toward happiness...enjoy your happy memories, be with others who make you happy today and hope for the best with- reference to your difficult child...

    Life is short ...forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly,
    Laugh uncontrollably...And never regret anything that made you smile.