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Constant sadness and confusion

(28 Posts)
Foxgloveandroses Tue 05-Oct-21 18:55:40

I'm 51, my father died just before Christmas 2020. I feel so flat nothing seems to shift that feeling. The most troubling thing is though I miss my DS and DD so much. This started before the pandemic but got worse and worse. I live with my DH some 4 to 5 hours drive from them.
I have been wanting for so long to move closer but I know my DH will not be supportive of this. The pull towards them is overwhelming though.
I know I can't go yet as I have 3 years before I can retire from my job with a small pension of my own. I also have to consider my mother who lives and hour or so away from me. However in the future if I still feel this way I know I will just have to go. I don't want to live in their pockets maybe an hour a way, just so I can get to them if necessary and so I can meet up with them for the day.
I just need to know if I sound ridiculous, or is the way I'm feeling ok and does my idea of moving nearer to them seem unreasonable? I feel so sad and confused. If my husband would agree to considering this in future I think I'd feel so much more relaxed and settled, I don't know how to approach it with out him going stubborn and shutting down. If I still feel like this in years to come I almost feel I would have to up and leave him.

Grandmabatty Tue 05-Oct-21 19:01:42

I think you need to address the cause of your sadness before committing to a house move. You are probably still grieving deeply and looking for ways to lighten your mood. I'm not going to say, stay where you are, but actively research the pros and cons of such a move. Be realistic. Look at costs of houses, likelihood of getting a job, transport issues etc. Could you afford to move without your husband? If not, then why are you even considering it? I have a friend who has made many changes in her life looking for happiness. None of them worked because she took her issues with her. Best of luck.

Grandmabatty Tue 05-Oct-21 19:02:48

I also think you should consider the impact of the menopause on your feelings. It can have a significant impact too.

Doodle Tue 05-Oct-21 19:06:40

foxglove what happens if you move to live near your son and daughter and then they move somewhere else?
What happens if you live near one and the other moves hours away?
It just sounds as though you are not content with your life. Our children move on and have different priorities. I don’t mean to be unkind but are you looking at the world through rose coloured glasses.
I had an Aunt who moved abroad when she was young and all she ever talked about was coming back to the UK so she could visit with family. It made her life and her husbands unhappy as she always wanted to be somewhere else. In her mind she had this idea that the ‘family’ (my mum,dad and brother and I) met up with each other all the time and did things together. The reality is we all had our own lives and although we were a loving family we didn’t live in each other’s pockets and didn’t meet up that often.
Your children at 4 to 5 hours away are a lot closer than many families. Couldn’t you go and stay in a hotel near them every now and then so you could spend time together?
Are you anxious about giving up work and spending more time at home with your DH? Perhaps you could find some interests of your own when you retire. Sorry you feel like this, must be hard for you.

welbeck Tue 05-Oct-21 19:21:49

sorry you are feeling low.
losing someone can make us reconsider all aspects of our life.
but moving nearer to your children may not be the answer.
would they have time to see you much if you did so.
i often come across this scenario, where a parent, usually a mother, wants to be much more involved in their AC's lives, but the feeling is not mutual.
the AC are at a different stage and keeping company with their parents is rarely a high priority, except at xmas/bday.
and then this can lead to ill feelings, simply due to mismatched expectations.
for many adults, esp in the west, their children come first, then/ or if they don't have children, their partner.
they are probably fond of their parents, and wish them well, try to help, but they don't expect to spend a lot of time with them.
so there is a conflict, and it can be sad.
one's children are number one. from the parents' point of view.
but from the AC's point of view, parents are not.
it's either children and/or partner. usually.
all i am saying is, beware uprooting yourself at a difficult time and making yourself even more sad.
hope things improve.

BlueBelle Tue 05-Oct-21 19:29:49

I think you are focusing so much on your sadness and relying on the fact that if you lived nearer your children everything would fall into place and you’d be back to normal …and that is really beyond anyone’s expectations
You cannot build your happiness on someone else’s life it is not fair on them they cannot be responsible for your happiness you have to find your own
Children have to cut the apron strings as they grow up and parents have to do the same
None of this helps you but I do wonder if the loss of your Dad has affected you more than you realise have you had any bereavement help ?
You think your husband it being unreasonable in not wanting to uproot himself but I think he is being sensible it’s unhealthy to be so unhappy at being 4/5 hours away Many of us have children living the other side of the world

I think you sound quite depressed and need some help from the doctor or a counsellor

M0nica Tue 05-Oct-21 19:32:55

foxglove, your father died less than a year ago. It is far too soon to start making plans about things you will do in the future. Widows are always recommended to wait at least a year after the death of their husband before making changes in their lives, and the same applies to you.

As others have pointed out, if you are 51 you are at the peak time for hormonal changes during the menopause and again that is not a good time to be making major decisisons about the future. Then of course, if you are 51, your children can only be in their mid-20s at most, the age when everything, jobwise and relationship wise, frequently changes completely and without warning. Again, others have said, you could move to be near them, only for them to move away, because a new career/better job/new partner has changed everything. And then there hsd been COVID

When you loose someone dear to you like your father, it is quite common for the grief to open new channels and bring other worries to the fore, so that you think that is the problem, when it isn't. Grief is a very strange and wandering emotion.

I think you need to find another focus for your thoughts, perhaps look for new outlets and actitvities. Something as simple as going for a swim every week, or doing an eveneing class. take small steps.

You also sound depressed. I suggest that you try to see your doctor or find someway of accessing mental health support, or through counselling

JaneJudge Tue 05-Oct-21 19:34:49

How old are they? is her their Father?

TwinLolly Tue 05-Oct-21 19:41:52

foxglove I'm sorry to hear that you lost your dad. Sometimes things may feel overwhelming for quite some time, along with sadness and grief.

I lost my dad and then a year later my mum. That was 5 years ago and still miss them. I don't have children but do miss my sister a lot - she is a long international flight away. I now communicate with my sister more regularly by phone, and it helps when I hear her voice. I had counselling and it helped to talk to someone who was non-judgemental and compassionate. During my bad spells I go back to the basics of taking each day as it comes.

Everybody deals with grief differently.

I truly wish you all the best. flowers

Shelflife Tue 05-Oct-21 20:23:52

foxglove , I am sorry you are feeling this way and I am fairly sure the comments posters have made is not want you want to hear. However I am inclined to agree with what has been said . Certainly the menopause may have apart to play and losing your dad is a added complication . Please reassess your feelings , see your GP and counselling could help enormously. Your adult children have their own lives to lead and even if you did move to be close to them you will take any anxieties with you. I wish you well and hope things improve for you, be kind to yourself , seek help , good luck!

Foxgloveandroses Tue 05-Oct-21 20:25:15

Janejudge my DS is 29 and my DD is 27. They both live in the same city where they went to university. My DS is in a long term relationship and his partner is from that area, her parents live there too so she wants to settle there to be near them. My DD married this year, her husband is also from the area and all his friends and family are there so he also wants to stay in that area. All have good jobs.
My children's father lives there too and they all have a good relationship. He and I have always been amicable there is no bad feeling for each other.
My DH gets on fantastically with my AC and indeed his DS and DD live up in that area too, they are also very settled there and have a child each of their own so my husband's GC.

I really appreciate everyone's comments. I'm not thinking of doing anything rash, I'm thinking maybe in the next 6/10 years.

I think people are right, I think I am depressed and your comments are encouraging me to see my GP about this and HRT possibly.

I appreciate all your comments and view ponts and welcome any further, it's all helping me a lot. Thank you.

Forsythia Tue 05-Oct-21 20:53:23

As others have said, you are still grieving for your father. That, together with menopausal changes, means you are feeling a bit low right now. Your GP should be able to help you and counselling is also a really good option where you can explore your emotions in complete confidence. In time, perhaps you DH will want to be near his children and grandchildren and may be more receptive to moving. Meanwhile, take care of yourself and I hope you will be ok. When I lost my father, it took me 2 years to process it all. Luckily my GP at that time was a wise traditional doctor who didn’t prescribe medication but told me it would take two years to grieve and he was right. I found going for a walk every day helped me.

Foxgloveandroses Tue 05-Oct-21 20:58:12

Thank you Forsythia.

M0nica Tue 05-Oct-21 20:58:30

How nice to here back from you Foxglove. So often when we respond to someone in deep distress, as you clearly are. we never hear from them again.

BlueBelle Tue 05-Oct-21 22:01:38

Good luck Foxglove I think you are now feeling a little bit more positive and realising that there is light at the end of the tunnel
My mum and Das died 6 months apart it was a dreadful year and the one that followed too, you never stop missing your mum and dad
I hope you get some help and start to feel better within yourself soon

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 05-Oct-21 22:40:19

I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad Foxglove.
It’s helpful that you’ve explained some more and I can see that your children and their partners’ families are all in the same area and seem settled there, though of course things can change especially with work opportunities coming up elsewhere.
You say you will retire in three years when you’re 54. (Gosh, lucky you!). What about your husband, when does he expect to retire? Is he resistant to moving because of work? Do his family live near you?
There’s also the matter of Mum. Would she be able to manage with you being further away? Would you find that difficult?

Sorry about all the questions but there’s a lot to think about isn’t there?

Foxgloveandroses Tue 05-Oct-21 22:55:54

Thank you Germanshepherdmum, I can retire from my current job but will then need to work part time realistically as my pension will be only a small amount. My DH had already retired but is currently working again. We are in an incredibly fortunate position, I realise that and I must sound so ungrateful and whiny. I am not usually like this and I usually count my blessings and 'snap out of things'.
My DH parents have passed away so no connections here.
I wouldn't leave my mum, I'm the closest in distance from her put of my sibling and I. I would never leave her while she was alive, she's in her 80's so this is why I'm saying this is a long term goal.

DiscoDancer1975 Wed 06-Oct-21 08:52:10

“ If in nowt”. My granny used to say.

I think it sounds like you may be hovering around menopause, which changes you, and puts things out of perspective.

You sound like you would consider separating from your husband, to be closer to your children, but then there’s your mum to consider. All sounds overwhelming.

You’re very young still, so I would suggest you concentrate on your work for now, and don’t make any other moves until things are clearer.

It may be worth talking to your doctor, who could hopefully advice you further.

I’m always mindful of making drastic changes, so as to be near/ help/ be with someone else. Your children could very easily move once they have families. You just don’t know.

Look at yourself first, and then outwards if that’s still what you really want.

All the best x

Teacheranne Wed 06-Oct-21 09:16:36

I was in a similar situation as you 15 years ago following the death of my father. I was living over a hundred miles from my family ( mother, siblings and one daughter) who were still in the area where I was born. I made the decision to move back home when I retired and began to make financial provision etc. Then suddenly, while on a Christmas visit, I changed my mind and decided to see if I could find a new job back home immediately as I realised I had more ties back there than where I was living. So at age 54, I upped sticks and within three months was working at a new school and living with my Mum while my house was sold.

I was stunned at how everything fell into place, I never thought I would get a new job at age 54, in teaching it is difficult for experienced, expensive teachers to move schools, but I can honestly say that it was the best thing I did.

Like you, I had been thinking about the move for a few years, it just happened to be possible about six years before I’d expected. It helped me to have a long term plan, I was able to work out my finances as I also took a cut in income by taking a less responsible job role, and while I was planning, it helped me to think of a brighter future.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 06-Oct-21 09:41:20

Hello again Foxglove. Thanks for coming back, as MOnica said so many don’t.

You don’t sound at all ungrateful or whiny. You’re still grieving for your Dad and the bonds most of us have with our children are very strong. Also you might be menopausal which affects all of us differently, and you sound depressed.
As others have said, it’s never a good idea to make big decisions such as moving too soon after a bereavement but you’re not intending to do that, you’re looking ahead to the time when you will retire from your current full time job.

What I’m going to say will be very controversial, but this is what I would be doing were I in your position. First I would go to my GP, tell him/her how depressed I feel and ask for help with it. I have had depression for many years and take antidepressants which help me enormously. Or if your sadness is caused by the menopause, again the GP can help.

Then I would make a plan towards moving to be nearer my children. Yes, they might in time move somewhere else but you can’t plan for every eventuality. Of course they have their own busy lives to lead but by being closer I would have more opportunities to see them without having to plan what must currently be a very occasional long journey around work commitments.

I would consider whether I actually needed to wait until I retired or whether I could give up my job earlier than that and find work nearer my children - at 51 I would feel able to secure another job fairly easily. I was a solicitor and moved to my last firm at 55.

I would also consider whether my Mum could move with me. The older she gets the more difficult would be so I wouldn’t be looking three years ahead, and unless she has firm ties to where she currently lives such as family and friends, she might relish a move closer to her grandchildren and perhaps in time great grandchildren, and of course you.

I would then put that plan to my husband. In my experience men don’t understand the maternal bond and that the cord is never really cut. I only have one child and he and his wife are currently three hours away. We are very close emotionally and I hope in time to live nearer to them. And of course in your case (like me) your husband isn’t the biological father. If my husband refused to do what I asked, for my own happiness, then I would leave the marriage and move nearer my children with Mum, or if Mum wouldn’t come . It isn’t as though he would be leaving elderly parents or ruining his career. Like me you’ve been through a divorce before so you would have your eyes open.

You are still young and should do what makes you happy.

I wish you all the luck and happiness in the world.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 06-Oct-21 09:43:38

Teacheranne, you were posting whilst I was typing. Well done. Perhaps my post isn’t so controversial after all!

Hetty58 Wed 06-Oct-21 10:03:53

Foxgloveandroses, I think you need to address the 'sad and confused' feelings first, before making any decisions about the future.

Please see your GP as you really do sound depressed. If your work is getting you down, is there an option of early retirement?

Foxgloveandroses Wed 06-Oct-21 14:36:54

Oh my word Germanshepherdsmum you have hit the nail right on the head. Thank you for taking the time to write that, it helps so much.

Thank Teacheranne as well for you message.

Thank you to everyone, I am overwhelmed how people I don't even know are giving me the time with all your thought provoking words and kindness.

JenniferEccles Wed 06-Oct-21 16:53:17

I pretty much agree with Germanshepherdsmum and was thinking along similar lines.
To me, a lot of this hinges on your mum, who you quite rightly say you wouldn’t leave.
I know it’s asking a hell of a lot of an 80 year old to up sticks and move to your offsprings’ area, but I thought the same that she may well love being near you, her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Then of course there is your husband, but as you say his family live in the same area as yours, I would have thought he too would have an incentive to move.

I think too much these days is explained away by suggesting anyone who feels a bit sad about their life must be depressed and should see a doctor.

Obviously like everyone else on here expressing an opinion, I can only give you my thoughts from what you have said, but I can imagine feeling exactly the same as you about wanting to live nearer my children and grandchildren if it were at all possible.

I wouldn’t automatically think I must be depressed to have those feelings!

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 06-Oct-21 17:32:58

So glad we’re on the same page Foxglove. We’re always pleased to do what we can for each other on here. Sometimes sympathy and support, others a kick up the backside as appropriate! You can always be sure of a good range of views to sift through!

Perhaps have an off the record chat with Mum soon if you can trust her to ‘keep mum’, to test the water as far as she’s concerned. Personally I would be looking to make this move before too long if she’s up for it and not wait until you retire. I do realise you will lose out pension-wise and will need to find another job, also that Mum is recently bereaved and needs time to think about any move.

Your husband will probably come round if he is made to understand just how much this means to you and that if need be you will do it without him, as I expect you could if necessary though I hope it won’t come to that. I can understand your feelings perfectly, I think we may be quite alike with our attachment to our children, and I think I would feel particularly unhappy if all the family was at one end of the country and I was at the other. They must all have a lot more opportunities to meet up than you can manage and that would make me very sad. But if my husband effectively tried to make me choose between him and my son I’m afraid he would lose. There’s no bond like a mother’s with her child no matter how old they are, and if your children have babies you will I think feel the distance even more profoundly.

Follow your heart and I hope you and Mum and your husband will be with you.
Do let us know how you get on and do feel free to send a PM any time.

I have everything crossed for you at this crossroads. x