New here...I'm 54, married for 19 years to my second husband (first one left me for someone else 27 years ago). We have one child, a daughter, who is 18 and starting her freshman year of college in two weeks. She chose a local school and will be commuting.
My husband makes an excellent salary and I've been a successful private piano teacher for 15 years teaching at home. We're happily married and our daughter has a close, loving relationship with us. She excelled academically through her entire public school career and is getting a free ride to college this year on a merit-based scholarship thanks to her grades. We have money in the bank and no debt except for our mortgage, which will be paid off in five years. On the outside we're the "perfect" family but I've been battling a deep depression for the past three years that's getting worse despite therapy.
Here's a synopsis of the past three years:
12/31/14 -- My father 94-year-old father died. He had been my 88-year-old mother's caregiver right up to the day he had the stroke that put him in the hospital for the final 26 days of his life. Mom was in the early stages of late-onset Alzheimer's and couldn't get out of bed without assistance. But she was still fairly lucid and could feed herself and use the bathroom. My 65-year-old brother is on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum and can take care of himself but my parents never encouraged independence, and as a result he never left home, nor married or had kids. He never even had a girlfriend. He has social anxieties and is afraid to leave the house. He has no friends. He was suicidal at age 19 and has been on medication since then. He admirably took over the physical caregiving of our mother while I managed their finances.
5/1/15 -- My husband and I moved my mom and brother into senior housing three blocks away from our house while I attempted to sell my parents' house. Getting the house sold was a nightmare; there was asbestos in the basement that had to be removed and the oil tank that was never removed from the property when my dad converted to gas heat had to be removed as well. The tank had leaked and contaminated the soil...the soil had to be remediated and we had to wait six weeks for a letter from the state confirming that no further action was needed. Six stressful months culminated in the sale of the house. We closed on 10/26/15. I mourned the loss of my childhood home.
5/23/16 -- My mom's Alzheimer's had been rapidly progressing...she was hallucinating and becoming verbally abusive to my brother and me. Although he had his own apartment in the senior building, he stayed with my mom in her apartment in the same building. I hired a private aide to help him take care of her 40 hours a week during the day while my brother and I split nighttime caregiving duties. During an assisted trip to the bathroom my mom fell and broke her hip. She had hip replacement surgery and was transferred to a nursing home for two weeks of rehab following a five-day hospital stay. We were warned that the anesthesia from the surgery would accelerate Mom's dementia but she would return to baseline in about a month. She never returned to baseline and was admitted into home hospice care when she went home.
12/31/16 -- Mom died peacefully at home two years to the day after my father died. Her final six months, particularly her final weeks, were traumatic for all of us and one of the most painful things I ever had to witness.
Three years of stress and loss...then this past June, shortly after her 18th birthday and right before her high school graduation, our daughter got her first boyfriend. She'd been too focused on school to date but now she's in love. She's been working all summer and saving up for extra college expenses. Between work, her friends and her boyfriend we never see her anymore. She comes home to take showers and sleep. She and I have always been very close and spent a lot of time together. We're still close, but now that she's never home I miss her terribly. I know I have to let go and let her spread her wings and fly but I feel abandoned, left behind and lonely. My friends have all scattered; only two of them remain nearby and both of them are too busy with their own families to get together. We text each other every day but I haven't seen either of them since my mother's funeral nearly eight months ago. My husband works long hours and doesn't understand why I'm so upset about the lack of our daughter's physical presence. I feel a tremendous sense of loss and can't pull myself together. I can function but I've been doing an awful lot of crying alone and feel as if I'll never be happy again. My therapist has been great about assuring me that our daughter's behavior is normal and has nothing to do with me. She still loves us both but it's natural that she wants to spend more time with people her age and her new love. She'll always need us in some capacity...I haven't lost her. Some days I truly believe that; most days I don't.
Words of wisdom, anyone? Will this eventually pass?