Thursday, 5 February 2009

It's a snow day!
And even Miss Trix on going for a walk at 7am, only did what she needed to do before turning tail and heading home!
I've used the only bit of power I relish and I have made the decision to close the school across the road from me. Not as far fetched as it sounds I am chair of the board of governors! Mind you the decision is not as exciting as it used to be when the boys where there and they would be asking me to close it so they could go sledging instead.
Right now youngest took one look at the weather, and rolled over in bed rather than battle the 10 miles to college.

And it is the boys where my grief has been focused recently. More initially related to my eldest. He is 23 he lives in London and now has a good job that is secure for the next three years as he's on a fast track management scheme.

Herein lies the problem, the realisation that he is a man, and no longer lives at home at all. From here on in, his visits will be flying ones when he sees a reason to come home. He no longer wants to talk to me in the way we used to. All of this is of course perfectly normal and as it should be. But emotionally for me it's been really hard. I have always talked to my eldest, probably more than I should have done.... but hey hindsight is a glorious gift eh? Hasn't helped over the years, that my family support network is no longer there in the way that most people I know have either a parent of partner loitering around somewhere!

And because of my current stresses I have felt very isolated, whilst at the same time trying to cope with the changing relationship with my eldest son.

This has meant that I have tried talking to my youngest, cause one of the two big stresses has, and is the dog. But he doesn't want to listen to me, he thinks I'm pathetic when I get upset. His best form of defence has always been anger, so he gets cross with me, when I have tried talking about my anxieties.

Don't get me wrong Trix in the house is the most loving, soft and gentle dog anyone could wish for. But outside is a different matter. Her socialisation skills are just not there. Now we knew this before we got her but the effort of dealing with her is tough.

Particularly since we had the dog for Alex, and he assured me pre her that he would be pulling his weight. Of course I knew he wouldn't, why on earth would he get up at 7am to walk her???? Don't get me wrong I actually like doing that as there is no-one else about, so walking her is more relaxing then.

But I needed to be heard and the more I tried to get heard the more upset we both got and reverted to our ways of dealing with high emotion. Me crying, Al shouting.

I actually do know that he does hear me, as always after a time like this he is gentler and more considerate of me and now is no exception.

I continue to worry and he continues not, I continue to be the main carer and him not. But at least I feel I've had my say and that has helped me to feel better.

Added to that he has said he doesn't want me to go to Devon yet, and would prefer if I was around for another year. That has not caused me the problems I thought it would. As the waiting was always about him getting to be 18, which happens next month. So that the time line can now be more fluid inside me as I have reached the point where there is nothing other than my own choice that stops me going. Which feels fine I'm no longer trapped by waiting. So I do feel ok about staying around for a while longer.

Anyway up here the chances of selling are pretty remote anyway!!

And my other big stress has been about one of my new jobs. The upline managers have all been very supportive and so that stress has lifted from my shoulders as they are happy that I do the job my way and don't feel forced into buying into the pressure that I felt I was under before.

And because I did find the wherewithal to talk to my friends I now know that is is with them that my future confidences lie, not my sons. They are there own people with their own lives and my time as being part of our little triad is over almost. And will become increasingly so as Al needs me less and less this year.

I don't for one minute think they will ever stop loving me, just they unless the shit hits the fan for them won't need me. As it should be.

It's just been another steep learning curve! Possibly more than for some others as single parents don't have anyone else to bounce off. Not that mums all over the world won't be having empty nest syndrome happening right now. I suppose I've just been dealing with the very final part of my eldest growing up. And like all learning related to children it happens to them first and takes the parent a little while longer to understand the new development!


Natalie said...

Another of life's big moments is upon you.

I have found that my eldest son uses anger to cope with me too. :(

Change is VERY scary, it is true, but somehow, we all get from here to there in the end. From what i have observed ~ you are treasured by your friends. Maybe that is the next phase....

Thinking of you.xx

Val said...

not having gone the parental route all i can really say is that everything that happens - good and bad - is an exercise for our conscious mind to learn and grow. When there is three of you doing it at the same time there are bound to be clashes - but focus on your plans and dreams and 'this too shall pass'; as you say its all as it should be.\It sounds like you are a fabulous caring mother - and no doubt your boys appreciate that while they are spreading their wings. How are your wings?? thoughts x

e said...

I am not a parent, either but I do remember the difficulties my mother had with empty nesting, despite being adamant about my leaving and her denials to the contrary. She would get angry, pick fights, cry, and as a young person I did not know what to do for her.

As others have said, change is an opportunity for growth, and while you may no longer have parents, you do have friends and colleagues.
Building an extended family this way may feel harder to you than the "built-in" variety, but you have the power to choose, as do they, which often makes it sweeter for all parties.

Trixie said...

Ahhhh hon. Just catching up on your recent posts. So sorry you've been feeling down, but I'm glad you've figured out why and coming to terms with cutting the apron strings. One thing I'm not looking forward to! Boys seem to be different to girls. Girls seem to always need their mothers at some time throughout their lives. Boy just cut and run!

Love ya!

Mel said...

The girl is the eldest, the boy--the youngest.

And they very much operate as yours, I must say.

Interestingly enough--while it's been uncomfortable to let go, I've gained in doing so. It's just been------uncomfortable. Necessary, but uncomfortable.

But the girl and I are going shopping for 'stuff' this weekend.
I'll buy, of course.....LOL

((((((( the byrdie ))))))))

Lady in red said...

Aww Honey I feel for you. I found that I can talk very easily with OJ but although I could talk to DC when he was much younger and still can to a degree if I have any issues and I know you are aware there have been issues with him. I tend to write to him so that we don't get into a shouting/crying match. I get an uninterupted chance to have my say and he gets to read it uninterrupted. After a time we can then talk about it.

As for the emptying nest I have 2 of my boys going off to Uni in a few months and my third possibly joining the RAF so my little nest could go from 5 to 2 within a few months, I am just starting to realise how empty the house will suddenly seem.

janis said...

Oh, I wish I could introduce you to my therapist she has helped me so much through some of this same thing.
With two girls I do think it is different. Emily is 20 and off to college, however, I was ready for that step for her, we worked toward it. In the two years she has been away, I feel we have grown closer but in a different role. I am not so much the disaplinary but becoming the confidient. She actually comes to me more now than before. The youngest, Annie, is 18 and we seem to struggle much more. She is a senior at high school and she is bitter at our situation. Moving away from her childhood area, causing her to drive long and far to get to school & friends, as well as the finanical change and my depression has built resentment in her. She is still loving but she is not so much supportive.
Hang in there. This is just a part of living and we will grow from it. Take a breathe and enjoy that beautiful snow!
I love the photos!

Sorrow said...

It's good to know that you have de-stressed. I am sure that raising your beautiful boys has never been easy, but you sure did a marvelous job.

Barbara said...

Our lives are in a constant state of evolution as we learn to let go of what we once held onto so tightly. I have no doubt that my children will be back from time to time, but they too have flown the coop for now.

Anonymous said...

Awww, another kindred spirit. Their growing up is what we set out to accomplish, but it still hurts when they do.

Lori ann said...

Love and hugs and wish we were neighbors so we could compare "son" notes.My son walked in tonite, the first time i've seen him in his "work"clothes, shirt, tie. He'd driven up from L.A.(where he lives now :( But everythings as it should be i really think. Parenthood and all its scars and is good.

Mei Del said...

it has yet to happen but i'm being prepared for it - mix, my eldest is going to south america for a month, but i'm hoping she'll be going to art college in london next year for the next 3 years and continue living at home. but no. 2 might be going across the pond next year, and who knows for how long!

anya said...

Byrd, I'm sorry you've been having a bad time of late. And it's so difficult when we single moms and grand moms start obsessing on the fact that we are alone and don't have a family support group. But you are learning as I have in the past year that friends can play that roll as fully as family members once did, perhaps actually better.

Don't necessarily think it will always be this difficult with your son. My son used to be quick to anger and get defensive. But here he is at 38 now and we seem to be getting on better than ever in our lives. He has stepped in when I needed him. Like Lady in Red, though, I occasionally begin discussions of touchy topics by email where I can carefully construct my sentences to best effect. It does seem that afterwards, we are both much calmer and it feels like we are closer to the end of a disagreement rather than locked in the heated middle endlessly.

Change is scary, but it's always an opportunity too. An opportunity to come out better on the other end.