The winds of change...: Hi everybody. I'm feeling a... - NRAS

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The winds of change...

bub124
bub124
8 Replies

Hi everybody. I'm feeling a bit shell shocked at the moment as everything seems to be changing...

As some of you may know, I've been thinking about returning to work after 10 years on incapacity benefit. Well actually, I want to jump before I'm pushed as I've been placed in the WRAG group for ESA. I've applied for a few jobs but it's really hard finding jobs I can do. I had my interview at the Job Centre and the guy I saw was really kind. He asked me about my medical history as he had just been told I had RA and nothing else. Three pages later, he was looking a bit shell-shocked! Anyway, he's said I'm free to carry on applying for jobs at my own pace and I only need to see him again if I want to. So I'll keep plugging away trying to find something.

But that's not the bombshell. I have three teenage sons (21, 19 and 16) and the eldest decided last week that he'd like to go to university - this year!! He's 21 and has had a rough time over the past couple of years - he saw a friend of his killed and he sort of lost his way for a bit (understandably). But he came home from work last week and said to me that he hated his job and wanted to go to university to study graphic design. So, on Monday morning because he was at work, I rang the shortlist he had given me over the weekend and he was given a conditional place at Southampton Solent and has to go for an interview on 4th September. So, as I'm still trying to get my head round the fact that he looks like he has finally got his head together and is going to move on with his life, my 2nd son announces that he too would like to go and that he has also contacted SSU and they have offered him a firm place to study Fitness & Personal Training. Now to say this was a shock is an understatement. He has just spent 3 years at college studying catering & hospitality and graduated in June as a qualified chef. He's always loved sport and spends alot of his spare time at the gym and had been thinking that he'd like to combine his catering skills with personal training to offer his clients a complete package - but to be taken seriously, he wanted to have a degree.

So, from having three teenage sons driving me mad, I'm about to send two of them off on their merry way and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I'm so incredibly proud of them but at the same time I feel strangely bereft. For the past 22 years, my life has been all about the kids and now they're off into the big wide world. I know that it shows I've done my job properly that they feel they can fly now with confidence but the house will feel so empty without them. My youngest son is feeling it too. He is 16 and has just got 10 B grade GCSEs and is off to college to study Art & Design but he says he's just started to have a relationship with them where they don't treat him like their annoying little brother and now they're off.

It's been so incredibly hard at times dealing with them and coping with my RA and all the associated problems I've had (hip replacements and such like) and I should be looking forward to having a reasonably tidy house and half the amount of cooking and washing to do but I also worry that looking after them is what has kept me going all these years.

I always thought I wouldn't suffer from empty nest syndrome as they've always been independent - they've had to be with me being in and out of hospital but now I the time has come, what will I do without them?

So now we've got just 3 weeks to find them somewhere to live, get all the stuff together that they'll need and get them down there.

Wish me luck :-)

B x

8 Replies
oldestnewest
sylvi

Your boys will always come home to see their mum. sylvi.xx

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Hidden
Hidden

I really understand this Bub. The combination of having your boys going off and leaving nest a little emptier day-to-day with your WRAG/ job idea is pretty major I agree. My three sons are around the same ages as yours but all one year younger. The eldest has already flown but the middle one has a year to go still - but a year suddenly feels like nothing. Mine have to leave our island and go overseas too which is a bit hard to think of when all three are at it. But the eldest is thriving and I'm sure the others will too and I'd far rather they went off and lived their lives to the full than stayed home as some of my friends' sons have done. I always worry.

One of my closest friends lost her only child - a son aged 19 - 2 years ago - and I've been her main point of reference and counseling person to date. I realised the other day that although I love her to bits it's taken quite a toll on my own attitude to my sons because I know from her how terrible it is to go through such a thing as to lose a child so I tend to be overprotective and overbearing these days about the younger two and what they get up to. But the fact is that they grow and do leave home and what will be will be and we have to enjoy the feeling of having nurtured these young ones to this stage sufficiently well so that they can go into the big wide world feeling loved and knowing that you're there for them still in the background of their new everyday lives. Try and be excited and see this as marking a new point in your own life that could be very positive. You can go and visit them both and experience new places and hear their tales when they return home - and somewhere in this you'll grow too and find new things to preoccupy you that you never would have thought of. I don't know what but it will happen Bub I feel quite certain and it will be exciting too. Good luck! Tilda x

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bub124
bub124
in reply to Hidden

The fact that they have to go to the mainland must be doubly hard for you.

When N's his friend was killed, he was devastated and all I kept thinking at the time was it could have been him. They were in a nightclub and his friend greeted another guy's girlfriend with a hug (they'd been to school together). The boyfriend was on anabolic steroids so when he took offence and hit him, he did irreparable damage. N said he has never seen so much blood. He went and got his friend's mum and took her to the hospital and was there when he died. I don't think he'll ever get over it. From my point of view, his friend was the oldest of three boys just like mine. And his brothers are the same age as N's brothers so it really did feel like "there but for the grace of God..."

Like you, I've had to try so hard not to smother them since then. When they go out, I have to put it to the back of my mind. One night, N tried calling my mobile at 3 in the morning. I didn't get to it in time and when I tried to call him back, I couldn't get through. I went to wake up his brother in a panic but he'd already spoken to him. N had broken down and wanted a lift! I sobbed my heart out for about an hour I was so scared.

I am really pleased and very proud that they are going to do this. Not once have I thought that I don't want them to. They're caring, responsible and hardworking young men and I know they'll be absolutely fine.

It's a new chapter in my life now and I must embrace it as best I can. I'll be fine once I get over the shock!! A month ago I was moaning that they were never going to leave home - so be careful what you wish for :-)

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Hidden
Hidden

Just try and view it as a healthy and exciting time for you too Bub - I know it will be hard but if jobs aren't a serious option with your health/ RA then perhaps training or studying something you've always wanted to try might be a good undertaking? If you can do a course and perhaps do some voluntary work these things might divert you and also help you in other ways re earning some money? I think your eldest sounds like he's doing brilliantly at overcoming the trauma of a pretty awful event so it's all very positive although you'll obviously miss him, especially to start with. TT x

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Judi

Hi, I know how you're feeling about them leaving home. My 2 daughters both left home at about the same time and moved in with partners, so not for the same reasons as your boys will be moving out, I'm guessing yours will be home loads of weekends to get their washing done for them! My daughters were forever on the 'phone at first with 'how do you cook your such and such' or 'what's the best thing to use to clean whatever'.

I found that keeping their bedroom doors closed helped me. I couldn't see that they wern't in there! (the brain was confused into thinking they were) When they did live at home their doors were generally closed with music blasting away. I'd get to the top of the stairs and as their bedrooms were either side of the landing the music playing was different in each ear!

I'm sure they won't seem so far away after you've had a couple of 'phone conversations with them. And cooking dinner for less people is just like when they are eating out.

Judi

PS - one of my daughters was a graphic designer, (I say was because she's now a stay at home Mum)

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zannie

I know the feeling, as I went through the same when my three boys left home. I keep in touch with them regularly, and pray for their success and happiness in being able to settle down in their new challenges. They will visit you, and you can do the same whenever possible. Consider yourself blessed that the boys are really working towards rewarding goals. Best of luck to the whole family. Zannie.

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bub124

Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts. The boys were at an all-night party last night and, for reasons known only to themselves, felt the need to keep coming home at various points throughout the night to get things, each time setting the dogs off. By 5am this morning I was at my wits' end and praying for the 24th September :-)

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helixhelix

Might there be an element of your boys picking up on you feeling stronger , and so feeling free to pursue their own dreams now? So all credit to you for working your way through some bad times to get to a more positive place. And with the S-kids reaching late 20's now I'm really appreciating having a more adult relationship with them., so it's not that things are coming to a close, just a new chapter..... Pollyx

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