Can’t Pull Myself Together

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“Looking for suggestions and or advice for myself as an empty nest mom, again…

Three kids, all grown. One lives one hour away and feels that it is just way too far to come and visit.

One currently moved in two months ago to go back to school. Has the whole basement, bedroom and bathroom to herself. Just yesterday found out that she is moving back out to live in an RV and blames her decision on me. Apparently asking her to keep her three dogs quiet at night and not slamming doors is too much to ask.

I spent one year, lots of money and time getting the basement ready. Even buying large kennels for the three dogs. You know… wanted her to be comfortable and happy.

Having the blame put on me is what hurts the most. Heartbreaking. Tears have been on and off for several days now. I have tried to fill the void with friends, horses, chickens and my dog but nothing is even coming close to healing my broken heart. What can I do now? I can’t seem to pull myself together.” -Anonymous

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24 thoughts on “Can’t Pull Myself Together”

  1. Anonymous,
    I’ve been there…. 3 daughters, 2 oldest move at around 18, youngest lived at til she was 26, moved out angry with me over something ridiculous, which we quickly moved past it, but she stayed gone a year. Then came home for a year, then off again to see the world…I would lovingly suggest that you allow yourself time to feel your feelings. It’s a huge change, empty nest is a big deal. If you feel like crying-cry, if you feel tired-rest. But don’t stay there. Paint a room a bright color that YOU like. But a new set of dishes that you love. Make time for yourself to do something you enjoy-eat lunch in the park, go see a movie, take yourself out to dinner. It’s okay, you’ll be okay. These aren’t just random suggestions I read some where, it’s what I finally had to do because I was driving myself crazy. It took me almost 2 years to realize how depressed I had gotten, you don’t have take 2 years. Be kind to yourself.

  2. I haven’t experienced exactly what you describe, however, I have had times in my life when a counselor has helped me get through the inevitable bumps in the road of life. Please consider finding a good psychologist who will listen, not try to fix your problem. (Keep looking until you find a good fit with a psychologist) By talking, crying and working through this painful time in your life, you will find your own answers and wisdom. Everything will feel clearer down the road. It’s getting there that’s painful. Good luck.


  4. I think a good counselor would be so good for you just to talk this all out. I know it’s helped me a great deal. When I was 17, and the oldest of 7 children, I was told my Dad had cancer and would only live a few more months. I gave up my college plans and got a job to help my Mom. We were able to keep the house until Mom thought it was a good time to move. Anyway, it kind of left me with a desire to have family around me. I know things change and children grow up and make their own lives, but that old longing is still in my heart. I suspect you have some of it too. Think about things close to your heart and realize the love that is God. He’s always with you and loves you unconditionally. That has been a big comfort to me. Try journaling – that helps too.

  5. It isn’t easy and I can relate. My daughters didn’t even come for Christmas. Too busy, too sick or just going to the outlaws for Christmas.
    Keep busy with new projects, travel, and friends. Think about yourself. We spend all our time taking care of our children’s every need and don’t know who we are when they leave. Go out and get a mani, change your hair style, find a new hobby. My husband bought a motorcycle and we go out almost every day. Little things help and I know they are making a life for themselves. It gets a little easier.

  6. Have you thought of renting out the spare space to students or lodgers?
    You meet some interesting people and it’s never boring.
    Just make sure you get proper references and lodger agreements in place first.

  7. Life will always be dynamic. Our inherent desire to care for our family seems to outweigh our need to care for ourselves. Use this time to rediscover “you”. The beautiful thing you have provided is sanctuary and unconditional love. Your children know this, and during those critical times in the future when they are unsure, they will know where to come back to, to feel strong. Stay blessed and find again your joy and purpose.

  8. All anyone can do is our best and to give ourselves permission to accept that’s what we’ve done. Blame, while often well-placed, is also a common deflection from accountability. So many have offered sound advice. Protect your peace, remind them they are loved and open a new chapter for yourself. You have a new life blooming.

  9. It seems right now that this situation is tearing your heart apart but we all have to grow in our own ways. You & your children you have brought them this far now it’s up to them.let her go. Just let her know you love her and you always will & you will always be there for her. Eventually she will come back many not to stay but let it be her decision.

      1. It’s time to start doing for yourself, your kids know you love them, but they are finding their own way in life.
        Remind yourself everyday that you have to let them live their own life’s, don’t pressure them to be part of yours. Honey, life is too short to be sad, enjoy your freedom and be happy. Take a trip to some place you’ve always wanted to go and experience new thing, let your heart soar.

  10. The more you do, the more gets taken. Your pride, your respect, your vulnerability. There must be a reason you are doing so much, perhaps you always have given, endlessly, unselfishly. That doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to be appreciated. You cannot buy love. Has a void been filled by giving so much to your family, it is not necessary to run on empty and be the one who seeks constant approval. It shouldn’t be necessary. It is hurtful to not be appreciated of course, but there never is guarantees of mutual love & respect, sadly. You can’t do much more, time to recognise that and begin to relish your own freedoms.

    1. Your children love you, but all have lives they are creating for themselves. Your kids really don’t mean to hurt your feelings.

      Continue to invite them to your home, be thankful and happy when they come home for a visit, and make plans to go visit them.

      It’s time to change your focus to yourself. Connect with friends, plan trips/vacations with them. What have you always wanted to learn how to do or someplace you’ve always wanted to go?

      The best vacation we had as a family was when we (mom, my brothers, sister-in-law’s & their kids) planned a family vacation to Florida. We all pitched in and were able to rent a a really big (4 bedrooms) condo, on the beach, for a week. My mom loved it because she had everybody together for the whole week. Maybe you can plan something like this. Even if it’s just a long weekend. But be sure, if you decide to do this, you make it clear it will be Dutch. You don’t want them thinking you will be paying for where you all stay; unless you can afford it and want to treat them.

      When all of us were on our own, mom started traveling…Ireland…Italy…China. She and her cousin made these trips together and they had the best time! Mom lived in Baton Rouge & her cousin lived in Las Angels. So it is possible for you to do the same with your siblings, cousins or friends, even if y’all don’t live in the same city.

      Have fun and enjoy yourself and your new life!

  11. Don’t allow someone else’s moods (even your daughter) permeate your inner peace. I know it’s hard not to let it eat at you, but try to keep yourself busy and distracted with friends and positive, supportive people.

  12. Sometimes an event puts us in a downward spiral. Please don’t make any major changes until you feel you are back to being you! I did this after my husband died and it was a very expensive mistake! And try to remember that blaming you is simply guilt throwing! You didnt do anything wrong and she knows it but she feels badly about leaving you and instead of apologizing she is blaming.

    1. You are never truly alone. You sound lonely. My thought is that you will need to learn who you are and were before you became a parent.
      Your feelings are hurt, I hear this in your post. Do whatever is comfortable for you right now. Heal from what was said to you and when you are ready let the one who hurt you be aware of this. You too have expectations on how you want to be treated. ❤

  13. Sell everything and find a place that calls to your heart . You only get to do this once . Time for you . A cottage in the country a home by the sea or a long road trip in an RV ?

    1. Her loss. Time for you to do what you want . What is it that you always have wanted to do? You are depressed by the sounds of it and may need to talk to someone besides us . Mamma there’s a whole beautiful world waiting for you!

      1. I was told “never fear they will come back when they are hungry, have no clean clothes, or broke. And lots of time, bring someone with them!” So get your grieving done and be ready when that happens!

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