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08/04/2011 05:53 AM

Empty nest is horrible

Posts: 246

I belong to the bipolar type 2 forum and just stumbled upon this site. Empty nest syndrome seems to be part of the depression I'm feeling, so I think this is a good place for me.

I'm 51 and have been married for 30 years. My oldest girl is 25 and married living an hour from us. When she moved out, it was not too hard to take, I still had another daughter at home. Now she's been away at college for 3 years, graduated there and just started medical school this month and now lives 3 and a half hours away from us. I have left her room just the way she left it, with college leftover stuff all over the place and things she didn't want anymore. Now that she is gone, and most likely rarely to be home due to her schedule, I've started cleaning out her room and am going to redecorate it. This is so hard.

Anyway, I am soooo proud of her. We have always been close and I've never expected her to live near me because of her goal of becoming a doctor, but my gosh, I miss presence so much!! I'd never want either of my children to hold back on their dreams to live near me, that is not what I want, but I don't know how to get past the empty hole I have in my soul now that they are grown and gone.


08/05/2011 11:55 AM
Posts: 158

My daughter once sent me a Mother's Day card with a handwritten note that said,

"Thanks for giving me my own life to live in." It was bittersweet. I'd done the right thing, I was not the suffocating, sabotaging Mom like my Mom was...and yet, here I am with 2 disabilities wondering what the future holds. She was such a late bloomer, didn't take advantage of an entire college scholarship when she was younger & now struggles in her 30s to make ends meet while going to college, far away. Like you, I belong to another site here. The week was bad as I battled illness. Today I took my kitty cat outside and watched her eat grass & play. If anything happened to her I'd be smushed. I'm sure that your MH challenge & my physical challenge keep us down a bit but hopefully, things will improve & we can get out more--movies, plays, museums. That would be great. I'd even go alone.

10/19/2011 12:49 PM
Posts: 10
New Member


I was so sad when my daughters left, too. Daughters always come back!

But being a doctor is very time intensive. It might take a while.

Before you had kids, what did you like to do? Sports, art, cooking, sewing, fishing, hiking, travel, dancing. Now that you don't have your kids 24/7, you have the time to do something for yourself with some of your time. Think about some things you would like to do.

Let me know what you come up with!

Best wishes,

zmc Smile

11/13/2011 09:54 AM
Posts: 10
New Member

Hi PM,

Just checking to see how you have been lately. What have you been doing to help you deal with the empty nest? Have you joined any groups or reconnected with old friends or family? Have you considered taking any classes 'just for fun?' Let me know. I care.


01/01/2012 05:58 PM
Posts: 2
New Member

I have such a difficult time. My kids are both born in 1990 and they are 21 ages (not twins 10.5 month apart) I'm so lonely. I was in a bad motor cycle accident in 2008, not seeing anyone. Oh how alone I have felt ever since. This X-Mas I spent alone with my 2 wonderful poodles. They try so to fill the VOID but takes less care to love the hell out of them. If they could talk maybe?

I've become such a loser in their harts mostly because I have no $. It hurts me so bad. I have PTSD from the accident my injuries catastrophic. My depression gets bad I feel they'd be happier with my life insurance if I didn't make it.

I now have so much anxiety I'm medicate not doing anything alone if it requires leaving the house.

I married the first man to come along who'd marry me. What hell, he's the most miserable man. He's pretty much everything I'd worked so hard to stay away from as a single mom. Their dad killed himself in 1998. All I mean all of their anger for him I've had to shoulder. I really just want to run away to start over?

01/02/2012 05:07 PM
Posts: 12

you are not alone, people in this group are swell and it helps starting a diary, sharing and reading others posts. I really wish i could have pets, they make the quiet, lonely times so much better and caring for pets is really theraputic. Take care,

02/19/2012 08:55 PM
Posts: 35

I am new at this too, we will be an ear and a shoulder for eachother with out our child! Thinking of you and what you must feel also!

06/28/2013 09:23 AM
credwi882002Posts: 12
New Member

I'm so glad to read your post that is honest. why are there tons of groups where people can share their grief over: losing loved ones; divorce grief; even 'menopause is horrible'. i guess not all mothers experience empty nest the same, i am so glad i am not alone. (not glad you are hurting) -but when the normal 'phases of life' happen, like cancer, divorce, losing parents etc., -in order to 'get through it' we FIRST have to be Honest about how crushingly painful it is, and all we really need is to talk to others who say, 'i feel the exact same, it hurts,' -we don't need 'Tips' on 'How to Get Over It' , -'go take a pottery class', -or actually the most cruel: "you shouldnt feel this way! its not That bad-This is the BEGINNING of YOUR life for YOU!".... uck! Ever heard that saying, "Grief shared is grief cut in half; and Joy shared is Joy Doubled." -The Fact is, for a lot of us who have spent 100% of our time, energy, life, our purpose for living, our unspeakable joy and fulfillment, 24/7, ...for the last 25-30 YEARS, -being loving mothers and the Incredible blessing that it is, ... when all of a sudden your home is now empty and quiet, your children are becoming wonderful adults and there is no pride like it, knowing your tears, pain, love,-your greatest mission in life, -is succeeding, -then trying to 'Adjust' to- -what? -not just a 'new phase', -Your Complete Identity and Purpose for Being is Suddenly GONE! -? Its not just 'now take a pottery class'. It's more like, 'Okay for the past 30 YEARS your name was SUE, you live on EARTH, you had 2 Legs and 2 eyes...Well, From now on your name is #trwwsd33, will now live your remaining life on planet Saturn where the sky is Black and grass is Purple; now have 1 leg and 67 eyes; -oh you'll get to 'visit' earth & your family, once in a while, ...but things will NEVER, EVER, the same. -Good Luck!" -I KNOW empty nest is part of life, it actually means I did my job Well. I KNOW I will go on living, I KNOW I need to 'find a New Me' and blah blah,... but can't we express the UNBELIEVABLY HEARTBREAKING GRIEF First?!?!? -it's like saying 'oh both your parents just died,' -yes life Goes On, -but there is an EMPTINESS There, that lessens over time I guess, -but it Never Goes Away! -will you ever pick up the phone & chat with your mom again? -no. -walk in her kitchen & she cooks your favorite thing? -no. -will you visit them every week, talk, laugh, hug? -No! It IS what it IS! It's Grief, Heartbreaking, Totally Confusing, Tears, Crying, Memories, you know life goes on but, -Nothing,...NOTHING...will be like 30 Years of mothering and knowing "This is what I was put on Earth to do, it's All my Identity, all my Heart, Strength, Emotions, -my daily Schedule, my blueprint,"... it DOES take Time to Grieve, it knocks you off your planet, -you'reTOTALLY Confused, -25-30 CONTINUOUS YEARS is an ExtrEMELY LONG TIME!! -I married H.S. sweetheart at age 19, had first son at the age of 19, had beautiful second boy age 21, -prayed & prayed for a third for 2 Years, -finally blessed with youngest son at age 24. Always wanted to be a mom. I took it Very seriously. -(wasn't 'teen-mom') -extremely hard, -yes; more stress than I ever thought was possible-yes; extreme financial hardships-yes; rough on marriage being so young, responsibility so soon-yes. Motherhood was excruciating and hard almost like childbirth. -but in the Same way, -oh you moms know what I'm talking about. It's so Wonderful you can't put it in words. -Worth every Second of pain. -So precious and awesome, you Forget the pain and DO IT all OVER AGAIN! -Yes my life has to go on. No I wouldn't trade one birth pain, one of thousands of nights of Anguishing prayers for my boys; one gray hair or one ounce of 50+ pounds since age 19; -Nothing. Yes, I see my sons ( and grandchildren) often, -church, Christmas, etc. -But I'm sorry, I am STILL GRIEVIVG. Big empty Hole right in my heart.( sorry, i'm not saying it's like this for everyone. but this IS how it IS for ME. and that doesn't make it any less valid.) My youngest son left for college 8 years ago, -wonderful wife, children, career, so so blessed. my middle son moved to college 9 years ago, -the house has been officially 'empty' for 8 years. At first I thought 'okay I deserve At Least 2 Years OFF -I'm Exhausted!' -then, the pain, missing the noise & laughter & life that was my constant for 29 years, but even worse, I had NO CLUE who I was! What was I supposed to do NOW? -what's happening? -This is ALL I KNOW!! -I knew it was going to be a grieving process and take me from 2-3 years, to work through it & get back into life again. -Well, that accounts for 4 years. -Five Years Later, -I am Still Struggling DAILY with heartbreak, grief, anxiety, trying to 'get with it' but repeatedly falling, failing, -I was a Good Mother. -It Fit me. -The love I felt for the kids PROELLED me through life. -what's gonna propel me now? How do I get out of bed? How do I get through days, weeks, Years, -of utter Lonliness and Boredom?-when All I know is 29 years of laughing, chaos, noise, talks, problems, solutions, -getting So Sick of Cooking and Cleaning but yet, having the Happiest, Funnest Time of my life when I'd get their 'favorite cereal' at the store! -or surprising them with Pokemon Cards when we had no money! -or the joy of-watching them encounter pain & worried sick how it would turn out, -and then seeing as they Conquer It and figure it out! -the utter Silliness! -that actually keeps your SANITY- sometimes! (all moms know this one-) ...having our 'mom-tantrums' once in a while " You All take me for Granted! You have No Idea what I DO for You!" ...and then, surprise...they do something like buy you a teddy bear & hug you for 5 minutes, or write you a card so beautiful, you think you've died and gone to heaven!... Sorry so long. I WANT to 'get on with life'! I've been trying for 9 years. but i still havent found my 'new purpose' & I'm surely more sad & depressed than I should be, I have no passion for Anything.... and even my family who loves me most, -are thinking I'm 'wasting life' & 'stuck in grief' & I'm 'wallowing' & 'I've had More than Enough time' to 'get back to life' --and I AGREE! -I don't Like It!! -It's just taking WAY longer than I thought, hurting WAY deeper than I thought, and after 29 years, I don't Remember what 'pre-motherhood-Me' was like!! -It just Hurts, I wish I could hurry up & 'feel better' again, -but it's like, losing the "30-Year-Love-of-your-Life" or something! -and I wish I could go back & have 3 more precious joyous beautiful babies all over again. -credwi

Post edited by: credwi882002, at: 06/28/2013 09:24 AM

02/07/2014 11:10 AM
Posts: 4
New Member

I understand. Even though our circumstances are different, they are also much the same. I don't want to moan and groan, just connect with others who understand. I hope you don't feel alone so much knowing I DO understand and that a stranger also cares.

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