Empty nest syndrome

Iv been having panic attacks on and off for a while now. Yesterday my eldest son came to stay with my grandaughter which was lovely. When they went home today i felt such panic and could quite put my finger on it but something feels missing from my life. My son lives only 35 miles away from me but i miss out on the day to day things and have never really got used to not seeing them both often. I think what makes it worse is that because i am not well i cant just get in the car and take myself over to see them.The other thing is i feel im not needed, that they get on with their lives which is great and what i want them to do, but i still have this need to be needed. Im divorced and happy to be, not looking for another relationship and always thought i was happy on my own, which i am , just a little emptiness inside.

19 Replies

  • I don't have children so don't really know how you feel, but I have a lot of issues with family that mean I feel alone and unwanted a lot of the time too, so a little bit of empathy and a hug coming your way xx

  • Thank you...i feel quite pathetic at the moment bursting into tears......a big hug to you to..its not a nice feeling and feels worse when our health is not good.xx

  • Of course it does, it makes everything harder. Try to be kind to yourself x

  • Yes trying to keep myself busy..body permiting. I dont even know where its all come from, my sons been left home years.

  • Doesn't matter though I guess, I think everyone feels more vulnerable when they are poorly x

  • Hi I agree with HarryE we can all feel low sometimes especially when we are not well. I hope that once you have more energy you will be able to get out and about and see friends and family, then your life will be fuller and you will see life in a more positive light. In the meantime be kind to yourself and remember these feelings will pass.

  • Thanks....im sat here now trying to plan do to something even if its one day a month to try to go back home and visit family.

  • Have you thought of seeing if you could move somewhere nearer to them? Doesn't even mean you have to sell your house - you could rent out your house and rent somewhere nearer to them. That way, if it doesn't work out or they move you can go back to your own home. Just a thought.

  • I had my house up for sale a couple of years ago and nothing was happening.

    Yes isee what you mean about renting. The other problems i have is my daughter lives in the next village and is my main source of support, My 16 year old son lives with me and at the moment hes undergoing test for asperges, somtimes i think has my illness contributed to his problems,, i dont know. My eldest son is 28, must be a sons and mother thing and im over emotional at the moment.

  • Aspergers, I used to help children and adults with Aspergers, offer supply. Pm me if you need more info. X

  • Will do thanks x

  • Oh, I do so feel for you and understand your feelings. I too am alone, but never lonely. Do you have lots of photos of your son and grand daughter? I have a rogues gallery of photos of my children and late husband in my hall, and crowded on my dressing table, as well as a constant stream of them on my screen saver. I find they do help me at low times and bring back wonderful memories. When I'm with my kids and children I hold them tight and it's like recharging the batteries! My family has always been the most important part of my life.

    As for being needed, this may not be an adequate replacement for your empty nest, but your valuable comments in helping others on this site are very much needed. Thinking of you. Jane x x

  • Thanks Jane for those kind words. Its strange how its hitting me now....last night we all had afish and chip supper played frustraion then everyone was on their mobiles and doing their own their own thing but i was in my element just having us all together.

    My eldest sons a typical male(sorry guys) when i ring him and we have talked about the reason for the call...thats it , no more conversation.

    I never thought i was lonely but maybe i am.. i dont get bored and potter around and read alot.

    Until a couple of years ago i was working in domestic violence and supporting others was what i did and when you connect with someone and try to make a difference you also make a difference to your own life. So yes youe comments about me helping others on here really do make a difference to me..thank you xx

  • If you read Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride's book Gut and Psychology you will find much interesting data relating to the autistic spectrum, I also have a grandson with Aspergers but sadly his mum is not willing to look at healing the gut as a way forward. To be fair, one has to be very dedicated in the kitchen.

    As far as empty nest syndrome is concerned, I have empathy with you, when you are not in the best of health you look forward to the visits of family, which can be few and far between these days. I have not seen my little granddaughter for six weeks but they are coming over today, I am so looking forward to seeing them. When they go we are left with the isolation of ourselves once again and need to keep a close watch on our thinking not to allow ourselves to get depressed. The practice of "Mindfulness" is extremely helpful in this regard as is realising we must not be over-dependent on our families but find as much as we can do to help ourselves. This long winter I have got into card making and have spent many happy hours messing around with pretty coloured bits and bobs. As difficult as it may be we just have to find resources to fill the gaps. Have you thought about installing Skype on your computer whereby you can having a viewing chat with your family.

    Take care, there are thousands out there feeling the way you do, you are not alone. x

  • Thanks..i didnt realie there was any connection between asperges and the gut. Weare still at the very beginning of the assessment process.Iv never thought of skype and dont know why i havent,maybe i should look into that.

  • I think 'empty nest syndrome' is something that is not well understood. I do feel for you. People who are about to retire from demanding jobs are often offered pre-retirement courses to help them make the transition. Bringing up children is about the most demanding job there is but nobody expects you to grieve when they leave - they just say 'it must be nice to have the place to yourself again' or suchlike. I had 4 children within 7 years so they have left home over a similar period of time. I thought ahead and when they were teenagers I began rebuilding my career and taking up new pursuits, not solitary ones. I now play in 2 brass bands, am active in a church, and have lodgers in the house. With a full time demanding job too I feel I may have over done it a bit! Having said that I still miss my children, but they all skype me for advice, or sometimes just for a chat. There isn't a magic fix for what you are going through, but little things help a lot. Do you like dogs? My friends who go out walking their dogs get into conversation with other dog walkers all the time, and the fresh air and exercise is good. Or if you aren't well enough to go out much are there any elderly people in your village who would like to be visited from time to time? Age UK might be aware of some kind of volunteering like that which might make you feel needed again. Thinking of you.

  • I have a staffy who like my youngest son no longer wants to go out...she thinks shes getting into the car and walks about 10 yards and thats it.My youngest son with susspected asperges dosent go out at all. He had amagor op inly last year for abone tumour but his mobility is fine.

  • Hi Yorkshire girl, we are funny things us Mum's aren't we, always looking to worry about stuff! I know you mention ure health isn't great but have you though about volunteering at your local hospital? I work on a children's oncology & surgical ward, we have some amazing people who come in for a couple of hours week to do stuff with the kids who's parents maybe have to work during the day. It can be reading to them, helping feed them, starting a craft project together or giving someone a make over or painting their nails or just watching a DVD together or looking through magazines.

    All our volunteers say they get so much from the experience & we really wouldn't function as well without them. Just an idea, it also gives you stuff to talk to your family about cos funny things are always happening & there's never a dull moment.

    Also seeing how resilient the kids are & how they remain upbeat despite their treatments gives people who work with them a lift & makes you count your blessings.

    Hope things get easier for you.....

    Take care


  • Thanks..i have thought about volunterring in the past but just need to get a few good days first, at the moment not very mobile with scaitica, waiting to see specialist about having lumber disc removed.

    I also practice in reiki healing and clairvoyanceand would love to be able to help others again it does help make things fel worth while. A friend uggested i dod telephone readings but at the moment im on benefit.

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