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My oldest is leaving for college, and I'm a wreck. Advice, please!

By November 20, 2009 - 8:16am
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Hello everybody, just wanted to ask if anybody out there can give some advice. My thing is that I have two boys ages 18 years old and a 2 year old. My oldest son will be graduating high school this year, and is going away to college. He will be going out of state, I am having a difficult time with this. I want my son to succeed but I am an emotional wreck. I try not to think about it, but as times goes on, ( ordering cap and gown, graduation pictures etc..) it is hitting pretty hard. I try to preoccupied myself with my school work and my other son, but I still think about it. You see my son and I have been through so much, and for me to see him going away to better himself and become successful is very emotionally hard. I now others have gone through this, so any advice you have is greatly appreciated.

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I believe it is because we have been through so much together, and he has always been there for me. You see his father has been incarnated since he was 6 years old, we are divorced. I know that I will get through this, but it is emotionally hard knowing that he will not be there every morning when I wake up. I know I have to let him spread his wings and fly....but, I will miss him terribly. My boyfriend says I am crazy, but I'm just so in love with my two boys. My boys are my world, each one is special in their in own way in my heart. My oldest because like I stated previously we have been through so much together. He changed me in so many ways.

Thanks so much for this website, it has helped me in writing out my thoughts knowing people will not tell me I am crazy.

December 1, 2009 - 2:52pm
(reply to house)

You are very lucky to be so in love with your sons, and they are very lucky indeed! It melts my heart!

The "letting go" process can be taken in baby-steps, depending on what your older son's wishes are. I remember being so excited to "finally" leave my parent's house for college (only 1 hour away), and I think I lasted two days of being independent before calling home...which I did every day (or twice a day), as well as drove home on the weekends (the excuse was to do laundry).

You sound very close to your boys, and your son's moving to college may actually bring you two closer with new, mature topics of conversation. You will miss him terribly, and then each day will be better and easier as you talk with him on the phone, and realize that you can enjoy some time away from him too. All of your feelings are OK, normal and very healthy!

Take care...we'll be thinking about you.

December 1, 2009 - 3:33pm

How are you doing? I've been thinking about you and your medical issues (Her Option) that you posted about, while trying to physically heal from this procedure you are also trying to emotionally manage your son's leaving for college. This is a rough time for you, and I'm glad you are able to talk with us.

Susan provided some great advice and resources, and I wanted to know what you found helpful. Also...do you enjoy journaling, or think this would help you? I'm wondering if you have been able to sort-out your feelings, as it sounds like your sense of loss (from your son's leaving for college) is compounded by the fact that you and him have "been through a lot" together.

You also mentioned, "...and for me to see him going away to better himself and become successful is very emotionally hard."

These are some profound feelings that you are having, and perhaps writing them down (or speaking with a counselor) to help sort out them all out would help. You no doubt have feelings of sadness, loss, physical fatigue from your medical procedure, but are also feeling some mom-guilt that you should be happy for him, or shouldn't be thinking about how his leaving effects you. Is this some of what you are feeling?

If so, I think it is very helpful to sort out and identify the different thoughts and feelings, even the "yucky" ones that "moms aren't supposed to feel" (you know--the ones that makes us sound selfish because we're actually thinking about ourselves and not just our kids!). What specifically are you worried about? If you can identify the gamete of thoughts and feelings, then you can specifically problem-solve each one and it really will provide some guidance to how to move forward. You can problem-solve in many ways: journaling, talking with a trusted friend or family member (who won't judge), or a counselor.

Please let us know what you decide to do, and I hope you will hear from other parents who have gone through this same thing.

Another resource for you: many colleges and universities have Parent Groups, as all of the parents are going through the exact same situation you are, at the exact same moment. These groups are typically run through the Student Affairs/Student Life (or similar) department; you can call and ask!

November 24, 2009 - 3:19pm
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