Damn...you're old enough to have a daughter that old? I always thought you were like 25. *wink*
Sharon...tis not a time to weep!! It's time to rejoice! Your daughter is grown up and ready to experience everything in life that it has to offer her. You don't need to go into seclusion because of it! Sure it's hard for the first week, my parents went through it but damn 15 years later you'd swear they were dating one another again...THEY LOVE IT! You will too.
Also, this is not a time to "redefine" you but to REFINE yourself! There is no reason to change. Refine those attributes about yourself that you take pride in. Refine what it means to be SHARON.
As always, best of luck to you my friend. Keep in touch, you know how.
I'm sorry you're hurting so much, but as I've said before, you've got to let her fly and she will fly back to you when finished. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for her, a chance to see the world in such a unique way, a chance to form friendships that will remain for a lifetime and a chance for her to spread her wings and grow in ways that are yet to be seen.
It's good you're keeping yourself busy, enjoy the travelling, but when you get back please remember I'm always here to listen if you need it.
It's a hard thing I imagine having your child leave home, I still have a few years before experiencing that. It's so true what you said that you've always viewed yourself as their mom and knew exactly what position you played, but now it's your time girl! Your daughter will come back home an enlightened woman, and will appreciate you all the more. A relationship like yours with your daughter will stand the test of time.
My heart goes out to you and all my best wishes too.
Sharon, my sincerest sympathies go out to you and I don't mean it jokingly. My daughter and I lived for 19 years together and all of a sudden, she moved out of our house and in with friends. And to avoid the guilt of "abandoning me" so to speak, she convinced herself that I was a bad mother all her life and now she won't talk to me anymore and is rude and disrespectful when she does. It's like night and day.
It's a hollow sorrow that can't be fixed with Tylenol or even tequila. No matter what the reason, when our children leave, it's more heartbreaking than they'll ever know, because we won't tell them for fear of stiffling their right and their zeal to fly.
It's something they and others may never understand. You live years with a young person who is dependent on you being a survivor, keeping her fed, nurturing her soul and self-esteem, teaching, sacrificing, sharing and loving them unconditionally. A mother would jump in front of a train to save her child.
I share your hurt and hope yours fades eventually. It's unbearable at first, I know. I wish I could ease your pain, Sharon, but it's a loss that can't be replaced with an alternate object, dog or person.
Please call me anytime you want to talk. Many of us here know what you're going through. We all have ears and cyber-shoulders.
Come and visit me in TO if you like and we'll do something fun to take each other's minds off it. Maybe when you get back from overseas. YOU can afford it better than I can. LOL
I give you big motherly hugs Sharon. Sorry ... didn't mean to make you all soppy-faced.
Tho I am not a mother, I think I can imagine the heartship. Letting go is a hard job, but take pride in the fact you managed to raise an individual who's ready to take on the big bad world!
I wish you the very best, stay brave and enjoy all the things you've planned for yourself!