Empty Nest Syndrome and Depression

My youngest son moved out in September because he was to be married soon.  On October 25th he was married and his new bride moved in with him.  I like her very much and am totally happy for my son because he was always a loner and unhappy with his life until he met her over a year ago.  I wish them both the best in the world.

The problem however is that I seem to be going through a major depression.  I don’t know if it can be attributed to empty nest syndrome but I feel that is a big part of it.  I was a mother first and foremost for 23 years and now I don’t know what to do with myself anymore.  I used to be an artist, a pretty good one too but for the past 4 years I have had a creativity block and I can no longer create anything and when I try I find it to be a chore.  I miss being an artist terribly.  I miss having things to do with my hands.  I miss my creative mind.  It is difficult for me to even compose this blog .

I have been on Prozac, Wellbutrin and Buspar for many years for my chronic depression and other psychiatric problems although I don’t feel like the Prozac does anything for me.  I no longer think my depression is caused by a chemical imbalance but by my current life situations or lack there of.  I have fears at trying new things and getting involved in new situations and I have only one friend who also suffers from depression and is usually done with her day by 12noon.

I feel lonely and alone and sad all the time now.  My children no longer need me.  So what is my purpose now?  Household tasks have become to difficult to do.  My attempts at art are also a chore.  Someone told me to have faith in god but I am an agnostic and do not believe it is probable that there is a god.  I envy those with a true belief because it must make life easier to bear if you believe there is a higher power looking after you.   I am alone, I have no significant other although I wish I did.  I don’t do anything to meet anyone new so most likely I will be alone until I can get over my fears.

My depression is so severe that it is considered a disability.  Therefore I don’t work.  I very rarely get out of my house and into public places where I could possibly meet someone.  I recently worked up the courage to get involved with a local theatre company and do volunteer work.  I went once and they told me they would call me if they needed me.  To date, I have had no such call.  I go sometimes on Sunday mornings with my one friend to an AA meeting as support for her.  I am not an alcoholic although I am a recovered heroin addict for over 12 years now.  The meetings don’t do me too much good however because they are based in a belief in a higher power.  I know I would not likely relapse because my greatest fear is death.  Although this is a great fear it is also a blessing that it keeps me from wanting to relapse into my old lifestyle.

All I really have in my life to care for anymore is my dog.  She is my world now.  But I want to be involved in a bigger world.  I need people that can talk with me and spend time with me.

Has anyone else been in such a depression from their children growing up and leaving?  Please tell me how to deal with it so that I may overcome some of this depression and be able to function as a responsible and reasonable adult.

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Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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About the Mother

My Confession
first, HER

She had me for the freedom.
She thought she married freedom,
Then she had another baby girl.
She never stopped her “roaming”
She always kept on roaming
And then we got a brother when I turned three years old.
So, I got me a present,
A lively birthday present
And then my parents gave us their divorce.
So then Mom she left Daddy
Or rather Dad he left the mom
And we were left with Dad’s ex-best friend, Rod.
Now Rod he was a pervert,
A stinking nasty pervert
But who knew anything at six years old.
He always played his tickling,
We didn’t like that tickling.  Did she think that all the screams,
and our little tear streaked cheeks,
and the wriggling that we did were all in joy?
And why did she take the pictures
of us naked from our bellys to our toes
while he stood grinning in our doorway?
I was happy when he left her.
I don’t know why she cried,
why she carried on so depressed and all.
Cause he beat her oh so often, how he
left her black and blue
And the suppers he sent flying
as we flew into our rooms
and we’d hear the ruckus roaring
But the cops we soon stopped calling
Cause her strap was mighty heavy
even on our calloused skin.
And I think cause they were younger
And I was their example
after all, I was their caretaker and
homemaker and wound healer
So I was the one responsible for the messes we were in.
And when the strap could not be found
There were other things around
you could use to teach your precious children with.
Like a broomstick or a bootheel, irons, cookware
worked real well, folded up extension cords
and curtain rods
could do the trick.
And when there’s nothing there to grab
She always had her hands and fists, a foot
could give a good swift kick to send you
flying down the cellar stairs, or a head
through the front room window pane.
Then pitting sister against sister,
making me the punisher
until the time I whacked her and made her spit up blood,
not really but by then our acting had much improved.
The belt and sticks became a joke but
we’d pretend to cry.
Put the show on for the mother
cause it only stopped when – but then
Wendy refused to shed a drop and even
assisited in the beating,
bashing her head from wall to wall.
She won, she wore the mother down.
I was proud but I was angry
After all it took so long and the
yelling and the screaming, the
intro to impending doom,
How it always made me cringe,
how I hate it, I still hate it even now
Wendy was the lucky one,
the first one to get out, the escapist.
She was strong enough to go against the mother,
the anger.
And the prize was her freedom, foster care,
group homes and juvenile hall.
All of which far better then home.
I was the chicken, and Jerry, the boy,
the loved child barely a beating did he get.
But then again he was protected all the way around,
my little brother, my sister’s comrade
and the mother’s baby boy.
But I think he got screwed the most
maybe even literally, and after I left,
it got even worse since he was all she had left.
He became her crutch, her companion, the man of her house.
I left finally at almost sixteen years old.
I felt I was a prisoner escaping from jail.
Finally, away from her face, out of her view,
over the phone, I could say NO! No Ma
I’m not coming home – I’m staying with Dad.
She hated losing.
She hated losing her laborer, her telephone screener,
housecleaner, man magnet, and babysitter.
But most of all she couldn’t stand losing
those few piddley dollars I was worth from the Welfare Department
and the extra twenty five a week
she made Daddy pay for child support.
He always gave her checks.
She always wanted cash.
Then when AFDC came calling on him
to pay them back for all those years they supported us kids –
all those old cashed checks saved him quite a bit but Ma,
Oops, she lost even more of her precious cash
and foodstamps too.
And you know, it was all my fault.
That’s all for now but isn’t it enough?

Published in: on December 22, 2008 at 4:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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All Grown Up

My youngest son got married Saturday the 25th of October, 2008. My son is now married to a wonderful woman.  I wish them the best that the world has to offer.  What a joyous occasion until I got home.  Then even though I was happy for my son and for seeing my nieces, I hadn’t really thought about how much they had all grown up.  And I realized how much I miss seeing them.  My nieces live in North Carolina and I live in Massachusetts. My oldest niece has four children, the oldest one being ten and the youngest isn’t even two yet. How quickly time has flown by.  But there they stand all adults and on their own now.  My two older sons I see on at least a weekly basis.  My youngest was living at home with me until this past September.  Than he moved into the downstairs apartment.  I still see him everyday but it’s not the same.   So after the reception I came home and had myself a little cry for times gone past .  I have been quite nostalgic these last two days and it makes me sad but then I think of how wonderful they all turned out and it makes me happy.  I suppose I will always miss those days though.

Published in: on October 28, 2008 at 12:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ranting…

Hey you guys.  I’m talking to those of you that I can’t have a decent conversation with.  Why does it seem like 99% of the men I talk too always turn the topic to sex.  I know it’s not just the men.  A lot of women also seek sexual gratification on line.  I, however would like to have a intelligent conversation that doesn’t turn x-rated.  I know there must be people out there who feel the same way.  Where are you?

Published in: on October 8, 2008 at 3:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Being Called Baby, Again

Why is it that every man I talk to on line ends up thinking of sex.  I refuse to believe that all men are like this .  I thought I was pretty good friends with this last fellow until he asked me to do something sexually explicit.  Just right out of the blue as he’s saying goodnight he says this to me.  Then to make matters worse he ends the conversation by calling me baby and I have always made it clear that I don’t like being called baby or sweetie or honey.  I like them to use my name when they are talking to me.  I like my name and I like the user to show they are aware of who they are talking to by using it in conversation.  To many times I have been called one pet name or the other and come to find out they don’t even remember my name.  How insulting is that!  Here is a blog I wrote in myspace on the very same topic:

Being called baby…
Current mood: irritated

Why do you insist on calling me baby when you write to me?  Do you not know my name?  If you don’t, then you aren’t reading my letters because I always sign them with my name.  Maybe I should type my name bolder or bigger.  When you call me baby or sweetie or honey it makes me think that it’s a generic letter to every girl you write.  Most of the time your letters don’t even respond to what I’ve written.  Maybe I should do the same and copy and paste my letters to all of you.  It would save me a lot of time and thought.  But, I won’t call you baby.

Published in: on September 30, 2008 at 5:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ring the Bell…

I got to ring the bell that signified I’m all done.  I had my last radiation treatment today.  After six long weeks it’s finally over.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I went through a week of open and weepy skin under the breast.  Now it’s just all peeling like a bad sunburn.  I suffered no tiredness either.  All and all I did fairly well.

Published in: on September 19, 2008 at 2:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Divorce

I finally started the paperwork for my divorce a few days ago.  Being married to Robert has not been one of the smarter things I’ve done.  We were married when I was thirty-nine and he was twelve years younger then me.  I guess he wasn’t ready to be in a lifetime relationship.  The beginning was terrific.  We got along great.  We had things in common.  We were both artists.  We had fantastic sex.  As the months wore on Robert developed a “friendship” with a female friend of ours, Karen.  He swore they were just that, friends,  and I wanting to, believed him and I think they really were for a while but then temptation came into play.  It wasn’t just her, I caught him one day kissing another girl on my front porch.  She swore he had told her we were just friends.  It didn’t matter, he was busted.  I found out through subtle hints that he and Karen were seeing each other.  He would buy her stuff.  He would rush off to be with her and spent more time with her then with me.  Then I asked her one day and she told me the truth that yes they were seeing one another.  By the time she told me I had gone through enough bad situations with Robert that I was sort of relieved to be done with him.  Robert smoked crack and whenever he would get his check it always seemed to mysteriously disappear or get lost or stolen.  At first I believed him.  I didn’t know about the drugs until later on.  Things started disappearing from the house.  I had my son, who was in jail at the time, storing his possessions in my attic.  His stereo and jewelry went missing.  Then my DVD player managed to sneak out of the house.  I was becoming more and more aware.  One day he overdosed and went to the hospital, when he came home he still had the I.V. in his arm and tried to get the rent money from me telling me that he had to pay the hospital bill with it.  The last straw was when my car was “stolen”.  I found out he had traded it for drugs.  The police found my car parked downtown in an area where drugs were frequently dealt.  It wasn’t just the drugs and the cheating.  He couldn’t get along with any of my sons.  He disliked the youngest especially and fought with me about him.  My sons didn’t like him either.  I even tried having my son move to his father’s house but that was a lost cause.  My exhusband wasn’t much of a father to him and he had difficulties with his stepbrother.  I only lived in this uncomfortable situation for a few months.  One day I came home and found out that he and Karen were moving in together.  What a relief it was.  I don’t remember crying over this, I had cried enough during the time we were together.  I wasn’t even angry with Karen.  However, I did let her know what she was getting into.

Now, five years later I am finally getting around to applying for the divorce.  I have no idea where he is located.  I have to put an ad in the newspapers to try to find him so that he can be aware of the divorce proceedings.  The only thing I want from him is to not be married to him anymore.

So now I have to mail in the paperwork, do the advertisement and wait to hear what happens next.  This will be my second divorce.  I doubt I will ever be married again.  I haven’t been involved with anyone since Robert and I don’t foresee anything in the future.  It’s not that I want to be alone, it has a lot to do with being able to trust someone enough to let them get close.   I  don’t go anywhere to meet anyone anyhow.  I’m pretty much a loner.  I attend two art groups a week and was going to the YMCA once a week but I had to put the Y on hold because I was going for radiation for a breast cancer that I had.  My radiation will be complete next week and I do plan on going back to the gym soon.  I do hope to meet someone someday that I can enjoy spending time with but it’s difficult for me because I’m not a talker.  I just don’t know what to say to people.  I’m always at a loss for words.  I am however a great listener.

Published in: on September 14, 2008 at 1:16 am  Comments (1)  
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Video Gaming

Could playing video games have caused me to lose my creative edge?  I’m an avid video game player.  I play on a daily basis sometimes for 10 hours or more in a row.  I generally play role playing games like the Final Fantasy series on the Playstation systems.  Lately however I’ve been playing Fable on the Xbox system.  Oh yes, I’m so much a player that I have the following systems, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Playstation, Playstation 2 and now recently acquired, the Xbox.

I’ve been trying lately to cut down on my game playing time.  But like any addiction it’s hard to break. Yesterday however, I went all day without touching any of the games.  It’s hard because it is also the only way I have besides the computer, of keeping the boredom at bay.  I know there are plenty of other things I could do but I just don’t have the energy or drive to do anything much else.

I read when I can find something of interest.  I recently read four books by Stephenie Meyers.  It was a series about vampires and werewolves.  I really enjoyed her books but it only took me a week to read all four books.  I tried reading her fifth book, The Host, but I couldn’t get into it.  I’ve also read quite a few of Anne Rice’s novels and Dracula by Bram Stoker.  As you can see I have a thing for vampire stories.  I also like Stephen King, John Saul, and Peter Straub, all horror writers.  But I seem to have run out of things to read.

I am also an artist and that’s where my problem comes in.  I seem to have lost my creativity.  I have artist’s block.  It’s like a wall is up and I can’t seem to find any way to break it down.  I thought it may have been medications I was taking but I’ve cut out two of the culprits and cut down on two others but to no avail.  So this is where cutting back on the video games comes in.  I have to wonder if the instant gratification from playing them has cut into my ability to think and create.  I do believe it is a possibility.  I wonder if there is anyone else in the same predicament.  And if so have they overcome this and how they did it.

Published in: on September 13, 2008 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Your Big Black Boots

Your big black boots trampled my soul and left me for dead in the cold winters snow and a cruel callous laughter chilled me inside more then an icy wind, I closed my eyes to hide, to shut you out, to slip away and you thought you’d done your job and turned in your haste to walk away.  The thud of those footsteps in the blood packed snow sounded the same as the steps and the kicks so filled with pain, I stayed where I laid, afraid, I stayed.  The brazen sun rose in the early morn but did not warm my bones, it burned my eyes, I had to rise, pick up myself, go home.  The door has been closed, locked up tight, to keep me safe, I’ll be alright.  And knocks I avoid.  I pretend no ones home, I won’t let them in, it’s better alone.  And you, do you remember the night of the kill, the night that I loved you the way I do still for this new feeling tugging at your heart, scaring you, changing you, tearing your life apart.  Up an down all the time, a roller coaster ride, you didn’t know what to do and neither did I.  So now we face the world alone, barely alive, hard heart, tombstone and your big black boots packing down the dirt with every heartbeat recalling the hurt.

Published in: on September 13, 2008 at 2:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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I was a Heroin Addict

The first time I tried dope, herion I was almost thirty years old.  My son had come to me and told me about himself being molested by the babysitter.  This babysitter was also my best friend at the time.  I had no doubts in my mind that he wasn’t telling the truth.  I mentally freaked out.  It wasn’t until two nights later that I tried dope to make things easier to deal with.  What a huge mistake I made.  I fell in love with the drug.  It didn’t make me sick like it made other people.  It just made me happy and made life tolerable.  I confronted the woman who had touched my child and she didn’t exactly deny it.  Her face dropped and she got all tongue tied at first then she said well you know what a little liar your son is.  Her husband was standing behind her and even he didn’t seem shocked by my allegations at all.  I was asking her for my house keys back.  You see we were so close that we had keys to each others apartment at that time.  I remember throwing her keys to her and asking for mine.  She was asking why when I informed her that I knew what she had done to Danny.   I didn’t hit her or even yell at her.  Then two nights later I was well on my way to becoming a heroin addict.  Where did I get the heroin?  Well my boyfriend at that time was an addict and I found it rolled up in a pair of socks in the dresser drawer.  The first time I did it I ate it.  It made me very mellow.  The second time I tried it I had asked Glenn to shoot it into me.  He refused at first but I threatened to go ask one of the junkies on the corner to do it for me so he decided it was safer that he do it.  That was the beginning of the end for me.  I fell head over heels in love.  I only did it twice the first week but I quickly became a frquent user and before I knew it I had me a habit.  At first I was okay with it but when it started getting to where I had to wait for it,  it started to bother me.  Within two months I was a full fledged junkie.  I started going to my first detox center.  It was at Fuller Memorial Hospital and it was hell but 10 days later I was clean.  ON the way home however we stopped and picked up some more of the drug and I was off again.  I didn’t go slow this time, I dove right in and a month and a half later I was back in Fuller Hospital.  I had attempted suicide by way of Zanax.  I took about twenty to twenty five of the little pills and my eight year old son found me and told Glenn who called an ambulance to come and get me.  I gave them the run around literally but they finally caught up with me and struggled to get me in the rig.  I was off to St. Lukes to have my stomach pumped which I wasn’t aware of because I had lost consciousness.  From there it was back to Fuller and this time I was in a psych. unit with a dual diagnosis of depression and addiction.  I was there for almost three weeks.  The day I was released, once again I used heroin.  I ended up calling D.S.S. on myself so that my son could be put somewhere where he would eat three meals a day and go to bed at a decent hour and go to school everyday.  I had my regrets about what I did and I told myself it was for the best but to this day I don’t know if it was the right thing to do.  I still have my regrets.  Well after a about six months my boyfriend decided we should go on the Methadone treatment program.  I didn’t do so good for the first couple of months.  Methadone is an opiate blocker and so even though I tried I couldn’t feel the dope anymore so we switched over to cocaine.  Another big mistake.  It was a nightmare at times.  Sometimes I would do too much and nearly overdose.  Other times it was getting ripped off by dealers and street junkies.  But the methadone clinic was the best thing for me because I did stop and I have been drug and alcohol free for at least 10 years now.  My son is 24 now and I believe he has forgiven me for what i did with the drugs and D.S.S.  I also have two other sons but they grew up with their dad and stepmom.  They have a different father then Danny does.  I can’t say the addiction goes away because it’s always with me but today I fear death and worry about what my kids would feel about me.  Plus I have a dog that I know would be neglected if I started ever doing drugs again and I can’t do that to her, to any of them.

Published in: on September 7, 2008 at 6:32 am  Comments (1)  
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