Sunday, March 24, 2013

Things I Struggle With

The emotional struggles I've been facing lately have, at times, debilitated me to the point that I thought I wasn't going to ever feel peace again. The thing is, I honestly can't even say why. I can't put a finger on what exactly is causing me to feel sad. I hesitate to use the word depressed because it just sounds so ominous and this isn't ominous, it's just.....sad. Maybe even lonely. Yeah, lonely makes more sense.

For the majority of my life I've had people around me - family growing up, always a boyfriend, in a relationship at 17 that became a marriage of over 14 years and then raising four kids all with very little alone time. Three of my kids are now adults, working full time, going to college, hardly ever around - all of this I am SO very proud of. That is the result you should want as a parent. You WANT your babies to grow up to be productive adults and have a life outside of you. The thing is, you don't ever really realize that there will come a day when you have more and more quiet nights alone with your dog sitting next to you on the couch than you have with so many activities going on that you crave a day of nothing.

I will admit that, once my first child was born, I was all about them. My entire day was consumed with taking care of them, making sure they had everything they needed, and neglecting my marriage in the process. Truth be told, after a while, they were more fun to be around than he was. After my divorce, I would only go out with friends or on a date when the kids were off on visitation with their dad. Otherwise, I was home with them. They were my number one priority. I don't know if that was a detriment to me not finding someone special because I absolutely now have the man that I feel certain I was meant to be with. I believe the last nine plus years of my life have happened the way they were supposed to. No regrets.

Now I find myself in a long distance relationship that will continue this way for at least another 14 months, two kids off at college, one son who lives in my house but is now a roommate and one son who is 14 and still going to visitation with his dad twice a month. I have a mother that I need to visit at least once a week and a father who is well but not in the best of health. Things are busy in my life but they seem to be things that require more emotional investment than I really have right now. I've been going to counseling to deal with some issues that I can't really talk about on here. I see my future as having to learn a whole new way to live. I don't see me living here in the same town I've always lived in, the same area I grew up in, the place where my kids can come home at any time and know I'll be around. They have separated themselves from me but I'm still working on separating myself from them.

 So I struggle with letting go of my kids, knowing that one day I will probably not be living here and not sure how often they would come see me in my new home and having ailing parents who might need me around just about the time I'm ready to start my new life. To think about doing what is best for me is not easy for me at all. It feels selfish but I know people do it all the time. People retire after their kids are gone, sell the family home - the house the kids grew up in - and move off to the country or another state or whatever. That's what I'm going to do. I'm fortunate to have enough time to process all of this, right? For now, I will wake up and be grateful. And repeat this over and over and over.
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