New to Forum..sending my first off soon, too soon for Mom

<p>I'm just looking for a place where someone can tell me I'm not losing my mind, and can perhaps just relate to my feelings.
I'm not usually an emotional person, but from about a month before my S's graduation from HS (graduated first week of June) I began to literally become absentminded, have anxiety about absolutely nothing (just anxious feeling), and extremely emotional about anything related to his graduation and impending departure for college.<br>
My S got into the school of his choice, which is only about 4 hours drive away from our home, and we are pleased with his choice and feel like it will be a great fit for him. We just got back from his 2 day Orientation yesterday and had a great time. He is very excited about beginning this new phase of his life and shows only momentary periods when he seems a bit unsure about certain aspects of college life.<br>
He wasn't interested in applying himself any more than he really had to in high school so he was only in the top quarter of his class. His SAT's were respectable, but certainly not National Merit worthy. We have absolutely no doubts about his abilities, from an intelligence perspective, to keep up with his class load. I do suspect he will have a pretty rude awakening about the amount of time he will need to devote to simply keep up with the reading and I am a little worried about the fact that he has never really needed to cultivate many effective study habits he will now be needing. But he is extremely resilient and I know he will cope.
He got a little wild in high school. Nothing over the top, from our POV, and he learned a lot of hard lessons, but nothing that had any long term negative consequences for him. So frankly I'm not one of those parents who really has to worry about their child cutting loose for the first time in college now that they are away from Mom & Dad's ever watchful eyes. He's already been there, and done most of that, and the appeal just isn't what it may be for kids who have not. Not to say he won't probably be having some serious party action on occasion. I'm just not worried about it.
I just almost feel like this is a death to me. This part of my life is literally dying in many respects. We won't be empty nesters yet, still have a D who turns 16 next month. And my feeling are really surprising me. While I think we have a good relationship, I don't feel like my S and I are unusually close. Like many typical high school seniors, he was so busy this last year of school that we rarely even saw him! So, I've gotten used to basically not seeing much of him. But that just isn't the same as knowing he LIVES somewhere else, someone ELSE is feeding him, someone ELSE gets to hear his voice every day and see his smile, someone ELSE gets to listen to him when he needs to be heard. And most importantly, to me, someone ELSE gets to witness this next phase of his life. Up to this point, I've had a front row seat for everyone of those phases.
I feel like I'm on the verge of tears all the time. And I can't seem to find the words to explain it to my husband and I don't want my S to know how hard this is for me, any more than he may already sense. I just think it would help to know that other Moms may be going through the same feelings that I am going through right now. To know I'm not alone would help me tremendously.
Sorry this has been such a long post. And thanks in advance for anyone who may be willing to share, either having already gone through this or someone currently going through this. Thanks!</p>

<p>You're not alone. I think I had a little bit of post-partum depression after my daughter was born. Sending her off to college feels exactly the same.</p>

<p>You're definitely not alone. I'll be facing it in a year and I'm terrified (my son isn't on CC or I wouldn't write this!). He's growing up beautifully, and I've done my job, but I don't want to be fired!</p>

<p>You're going to find a lot of support on this site for your feelings! There have been some great past threads on this topic....I just can't remember which ones they were.</p>

<p>But...I remember one poster talking about how much she had enjoyed the "job" of being a Mom, and didn't feel like it should be over yet. It was a very eloquent post....and I'll post on this thread if I can find it.</p>

<p>The following thread is a classic, and...based on what you've said about your kid and your own feelings.... chances are very good you're going to be looking for it in a few months!</p>

<p>"We miss him, maybe he doesn't miss us" started by Helms2Lee</p>

<p>Welcome to CC.</p>

<p>It can be an emotional time when a child is "leaving the nest". Some things will never be the same again and we mourn that loss. </p>

<p>{{{{ hugs }}}}</p>

<p>A Dad's perspective...</p>

<p>I have cried three times in the last 30 years, and one of those was dropping S1 off at the airport to fly two time zones away for college. He just finished sophomore year, and there are times I still miss him, although not so acutely. He is home for the summer, and then off for a six month study abroad.</p>

<p>Very real feelings you are having, just part of the bargain of parenting. Don't try to mimiize them, and say they are not real. Get in touch with them, and work through them because this is a major life passage.</p>

<p>You are certainly not alone. I think I felt this way when my second (my son) left for school even though it was only an hour away. The distance doesn't matter that much- we didn't see him except for holidays. But we did have him back in the summers while he worked from home.
I'm not sure why it was harder for me when my second left than my first, except that with my daughter I always felt closer to her wherever she was. My son has always been pretty self-sufficient, so I didn't get any tearful phone calls or even excited ones when something great happened. He really didn't seem to need us emotionally at all. </p>

<p>Life really is different when they leave. There is a void that is difficult to fill with something else, no matter how busy or involved you become.
I have a friend who recently lost her Labrador- a beloved dog she adored and had nursed through cancer. Buddy has been gone for months but she's not ready for another dog quite yet. "It's him that I miss, not just having a dog."
That's exactly the way I feel about my kids being gone. Rationally, it's overdramatic and silly, as they are both very much alive and doing well in the world. I am proud of them, but I also miss them terribly.</p>

<p>Texasmomto2: I know exactly how you feel. And to make matters worse, my D already left this week for her summer job at a camp in another state (although I am picking her up three times - once for prom, once for graduation and once for her new student orientation). Then she comes home for about 4 days before heading to college (3-4 hrs away, depending on traffic). I am an emotional mess. I have a S who is going into 10th grade, but I am very close with D. H does not understand at all: "we did a great job with her, aren't you happy that she has the summer job she wants, is going to the college she wants, etc.?"</p>

<p>Just because it's good for her, doesn't mean it is easy for me. (This has been my mantra since I first brought her to sleep away camp when she was 12.)</p>

<p>It does feel a lot like post-partum depression.</p>

<p>I have no advice. Just want you to know that you are not alone!</p>

<p>Oh my. I feel your pain. I go through this every time I send one of mine off to school. I can still remember dropping off my oldest. We had a family dinner after moving him in to his apartment and were on our way back to the university. All of a sudden, my oldest says "Well, I'm really going to miss you guys and burst into tears." You have to understand. He is 6'2" and an athlete. It came as a total shock to us. We had to pull over and there I was hugging my kid in a parking lot with tears streaming down my face. This is just a tough time for everyone. All kinds of emotions are involved - joy, sadness, pride, uncertainty, anxiety, excitement, etc. It is completely normal to feel as you do. I would worry if you didn't feel that way. As mothers, we spend 18 years "working" to raise competent young adults. It's so very difficult to let them go. What I discovered is that in letting go, they come back.... I've been through this twice and am getting ready to go through it again with my youngest who is going the farthest away. I cry just thinking about the fact that I won't be able to see him much, but this is all part of life. I knew very early on that with his brain, he would be the one to go the farthest and he is. Even though I knew this, it doesn't help me much now. You will cry a lot, but you will eventually stop. I promise you it will be okay. Your relationship will change but it will change for the better. Hang in there and know that moms everywhere are crying right along with you.</p>

<p>I feel the exact same way. Right now he is in the backyard rolling around with the dogs. He is still my little boy. This morning he was trying to talk me into getting him the new Apple G4 Iphone that comes out next week. I shot him down and ignored him until he used these magic words. "Mom, if we both got one then we could video talk anytime we want to, cause you know I will NEVER use SKYPE in front of my roommate, but i could go outside and just visit with you. Don't you want to be able to see if I am all right". His little scam just might work. Now if I can just come up with $800 to buy two phones!</p>

<p>Texasmom..I could have written your post myself almost..I have a D who is an only child. She is only going 3 hours from home and I know that she is going to have the time of her life..but it is still so sad..heck, I started tearing up from just reading the posts on this thread..I am a mess and so are my friends who have daughters that are leaving too..everytime we get together for a "girl's night" we all start crying when we talk about our kids leaving..it is normal and you are not alone..as someone eles stated earlier..I cannot offer you any advice, because I am in the same "boat"..you are definitely not alone!</p>

<p>Hahahahaha...... ^^^ I love this! I have become very talented at texting. I found that this was the best way to communicate with my kids because their roommates don't know that they are talking to mom! :-)</p>

<p>Kajon...that is hilarious about the I-Phones..I am just hoping D doesn't think of that...she already has the I-phone..she just wants the upgrade...</p>

<p>I'm with you Texasmomto2. My first son is going 2 hours away. It's hard. I like the distance, far enough so we are out of his way, but close enough if we're needed. I've done a good job hiding my misty eyes from him, but it is so emotional.</p>

<p>Kajon, that so sounds like something my son would say - He likes trying to convince me that something he really wants will benefit me.</p>

<p>^^^don't they all? LOL</p>

<p>Just a few words to the OP. CC is indeed a <em>wonderful</em> resource for information, wise opinions, hand-holding. So much empathy to be found here.</p>

<p>All I can say is we've all been there. (I don't even want to tell you how p*ssed I was that nobody warned me that as sad as it is when they leave for first semester, you cry again when they go back after Thanksgiving, after semester break, for sophomore year, . . . . When is it supposed to stop?)</p>

<p>There are a few things to keep in mind, however. Your child is not sick. He is not going to jail. You are not sending him off to war. Think of the mothers who are dealing with those. There are so many worse reasons to be missing your boy.</p>

<p>So. Be as sad as you want. Cry 10,000 tears. Post often. (I started a frantic thread about two weeks into my son's freshman year when he came down with the worst tummy bug he'd ever had. So many comforting responses.) Just keep in the back of your head that this is a really good reason to be miserable.</p>

<p>Ugh. The day that I have been dreading for 18 years is two short months away. Children #3 and #4 (twins) will be starting college. While I know I will be sad, I feel that I won't be inconsolable. I will be ok...it may take a bit...but I will be ok. </p>

<p>This situation is not the heaviest on my mind. My oldest, upon college graduation 2 years ago, picked up and moved 3000 miles away. I thought that I would be used to it by now.... but I'm not. We see each other at Christmas and 1 week in the summer. If I'm lucky, and timing works out maybe some years I can see him during spring break.</p>

<p>Our "summer week" is next week. I can't wait to see him. I have tears and a heavy heart right now because I know how quickly it will pass. I think it's horrible that I'm anticipating his leaving before he even arrives home. My family is increasingly uncomfortable at my weepiness and think I should "see" someone. I'm like this immediately right before and right after a visit (understandable worse after). In-between visits I'm fine. I feel guilty because my son is actually super-happy with his life, has great friends, and has a nice situation where he is. Am I on my own feelling this way? I can't even imagine the brave families who have military children going off to war? Too hard for me to imagine being in their place.</p>

<p>I used to think that time will heal me....but so far it hasn't. Should I seek medical assistance? Like a prescription or something? Or just give things more time to settle? </p>

<p>Thanks for listening and good luck to everyone.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Should I seek medical assistance? Like a prescription or something? Or just give things more time to settle?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Oh I don't think you need a prescription for vodka. ;)</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parent-cafe/681300-so-what-do-you-do-empty-nest.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parent-cafe/681300-so-what-do-you-do-empty-nest.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>It's been two years.... That is a while. Do you exhibit other signs of depression? If so, I would see someone. I battled depression for at least three years. I knew I was sad, but I didn't realize I was depressed. It got to the point where I was crying every day (alone so no one would know), I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't laughing (I usually laugh all the time), I had no energy and no reserves. I felt like I was watching my life through a film. I was there, but not there. Do you know what I mean? Anyhow, I finally gave in and went to my doctor. Between peri-menopause issues and depression, I was a wreck. He prescribed a very low dose antidepressant and a low dose birth control pill. I did not want to go on the antidepressant but I did because I trusted my doctor. I can't tell you how much better I felt almost immediately. I didn't realize how bad I had become until I started to feel normal. There is no shame in seeking help. Please do so. You don't want to be so sad all the time and really, you should be feeling better by now. Two years is a while....</p>