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Grandmother Struggling With Leaving State Where Grandson Lives

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  • #409293
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hello everyone,

    I would appreciate any constructive input, guidance, and support in my 2-year struggle with “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

    Background: I am 57, retired young, left NH in mid-2020, where I was living, volunteering, and had friends, drove across the country, and moved to Los Angeles to be near my new grandson. It has been an amazing gift to spend time with him for the past 2+ years.

    The Struggle: I love so much about California and all there is to do in LA. However, I just do not like living in the areas close enough to be near my grandson. If you aren’t familiar with LA, the city, the population, and how it can take 30 mins to go 6 miles –and are sensitive to noise, like acreage, don’t have an endless budget… It is not for you either. I have tried many ways to get over these issues but they continue to bog me down. Now that my grandson is in a terrific Pre-K, I only see him twice a week and it’s just not enough for me to get over the “CONS” of living here. My main source of joy is the time I have with my grandson. My daughter and son-in-law work and have their own lives. They have lived here since they were 18 and have a great circle of long-term friends. I’m so grateful for this.

    Note: Both my daughter and SIL want me to do whatever makes me happy. I feel guilt and worry when I think of leaving LA but also know I need to “let go”. I have to do what’s best for me. I do not like feeling as I have and know that taking care of myself benefits everyone involved in this matter. I wish we could buy land, have a home somewhat close to each other, and be able to easily visit each other without spending so much of our lives in traffic I did traffic for 11 years in DC, before retiring). However, I have no control over this.

    Your thoughts on my struggle. If I haven’t been clear, just ask. I don’t mind directness either. There’s a lot more to this matter but I’ll share if needed.

    Thanks in advance.

    #409303
    anita
    Participant

    Dear D:

    Your thoughts on my struggle. If I haven’t been clear, just ask. I don’t mind directness either. There’s a lot more to this matter but I’ll share if needed“- from your organized, well thought of original post, I can see that you gave the topic a lwhole lot of thought, for a long time, you see the bigger picture and your thinking is balanced.

    You concluded the following: “I have to do what’s best for me… (I) know that taking care of myself benefits everyone involved in this matter“- reads logical and reasonable!

    I feel guilt and worry when I think of leaving LA… I have to do what’s best for me“- what’s best for you is not only to not to get stuck in traffic ( (I know, I lived in LA most of my adult life), and to live in a quieter place, and to spend less money on living expenses .. and to not suffer from guilt. Can you elaborate on your guilt: what is it about?

    anita

    #409308
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    <div class=”bbp-reply-author”>Anita — Thank you for your response, kind words, and question… I put a “D” in front of my responses.</div>
    <div></div>
    <div class=”bbp-reply-author”>“Your thoughts on my struggle. If I haven’t been clear, just ask. I don’t mind directness either. There’s a lot more to this matter but I’ll share if needed“- from your organized, well thought of the original post, I can see that you gave the topic a whole lot of thought, for a long time, you see the bigger picture and your thinking is balanced.</div>
    <div></div>
    <div class=”bbp-reply-author”>D—-Thank you. It has taken me a while to follow through but just my daughter reassuring me to do what makes me happy and that they’ll be okay helps me move forward. I almost moved to NH last month, had a lease and everything… then, on the day I was supposed to leave (the day after my Grandson’s birthday, I couldn’t do it).</div>
    <div class=”bbp-reply-content”>

    You concluded the following: “I have to do what’s best for me… (I) know that taking care of myself benefits everyone involved in this matter“- reads logical and reasonable!

    </div>
    D—-Thank you for this. Sometimes it’s difficult to see our own bravery, insight, and ability to move forward (even if delayed)!
    <div class=”bbp-reply-content”>

    I feel guilt and worry when I think of leaving LA… I have to do what’s best for me“- what’s best for you is not only not to get stuck in traffic ( (I know, I lived in LA most of my adult life), and to live in a quieter place, and to spend less money on living expenses .. and to not suffer from guilt. Can you elaborate on your guilt: what is it about?

    </div>
    D—-Thank you for your question…  Wish I thought to join this forum long ago. Chatting & writing about it helps a lot.

    D—-I forgot to mention that I was a single parent (by choice) and a retired Veteran. Both play a role in who I am and what I do.

    D—-The guilt (and concern) I feel stems from the following…

    D—-What if my leaving makes my grandson sad? We spent a lot of time together for his first 2 years — I don’t want him to think I “left”.

    D—-I feel quilt because I can’t get over (quickly enough) my preferences, quirks, sensitivity to noise & chaos, severe loneliness, and dislikes, in order to make this all work. My life-long battle with depression also contributes. I need solitude, space, and privacy. I am an HSP. I love cities but not full-time. I could handle them when younger and have lived in various countries and states. I am fearful of sharing all of my feelings with anyone.  Wow – I didn’t realize all that until I wrote it. This is a big one and affects many areas of my life.

    D—-I worry about possible emergencies arising and my daughter needing help (even though I know she has a good network here and her Dad is within 2 hrs).

    D—-I would say — the need to help and possibly control (with good intentions) is part of it. I was raised in a very large, Italian family with more females than males. We are always helping, we get things done, and yes, we often provide advice (unsolicited most often and with good intentions).

    D—-I will miss them. I will visit… for me, short visits are better. Ah, ha. One of my “ways”.

    That’s all that comes up for now… Thank you again.

    #409309
    anita
    Participant

    Dear D:

    You are welcome. I quickly read your response and I would like to reply further when I return to the computer today, if I am focused enough (if not, then I will reply again tomorrow).  For now, it seems to me that it would be a good idea for you to move out of LA even though it will make your grandson sad because (1) he is spending significantly less time with you now that he is in pre-K than he used to earlier, (2) your daughter and son-in-law have “a good network” in LA, so there are other people there for your grandson, as well as the new people in pre-K, (3) with today’s technology, it is possible for yu to communicate with your grandson virtually, if  you and him feel comfortable doing so.

    anita

    #409314
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks again, Anita. You are right. I love to write hand-written letters and create mail-art. I know he will enjoy both and hopefully, he will carry on the tradition to write instead of texting or email! Also, we do enjoy Facetiming (I do that now)!!!

    No worries about responding later. I appreciate your time and everything you have said.

    D

    #409328
    anita
    Participant

    Dear D:

    You are welcome and thank you for your appreciation and grace. I will be back to you Sun morning (we are on the same time zone).  I hope that you have a good night.

    anita

    #409350
    anita
    Participant

    Dear D:

    “I almost moved to NH last month, had a lease and everything… then, on the day I was supposed to leave (the day after my Grandson’s birthday, I couldn’t do it)… The guilt (and concern) I feel stems from the following…What if my leaving makes my grandson sad?… I don’t want him to think I ‘left’… My life-long battle with depression also contributes…  I am an HSP…  I worry about possible emergencies arising and my daughter needing help …  I was raised in a very large, Italian family with more females than males. We are always helping, we get things done, and yes, we often provide advice (unsolicited most often and with good intentions)”-

    – you were raised in a large Italian family where advice and help were often provided with good intentions and things got done.. but I get the feeling that something was lacking, or something was wrong: someone left you, physically or emotionally, or maybe no one was there for you the way you needed someone to be there for you. As a result, you were too often a hurt, sad little girl who needed help but didn’t get the help she needed. Maybe you see that hurt, sad little girl in your grandson and you want to help him the way you needed to be helped. You want to be there for him the way no one was there for you.

    Any of this rings true?

    anita

    #409400
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi again, Anita!

    Thank you for your valid question and insight.

    Yes, some of what you said rings true and I’ve reflected on it a lot more in the past few years since moving to LA.

    I was born in the mid-60s and raised in a terrific family. Like most families back then, things were done a bit differently, parents didn’t tell us everything, some matters were kept private or “within the family”, and “mental health” wasn’t really a thing. I feel my parents definitely did their very best. This is not to excuse anything but rather to see both sides and to empathize with their stories too (that we better grasp as we get older).

    In summary and without getting into details… I just wish I had KNOWN that the person who violated me (when I was around 8 years old or younger) was in fact disciplined. The problem — I didn’t know this until I brought up the issue when I was in my mid-30s.

    That’s too many years to not know… the impact was great and is still with me. As a therapist once told me, (not quoting exactly) — It is critical for kids to KNOW they are safe and rescued when something (that shouldn’t happen) happens. Especially from those who they are supposed to be able to trust most (their parents/caregivers). Although not knowing sucks for me — I made sure my daughter knew (when age appropriate) that if anyone violated her – in any way – and regardless of who they might be, it was okay to tell me and we would handle it together.

    With regard to how I feel about moving away from LA — my daughter and husband are terrific new parents and have a great support system. They will all be fine because they were raised more aware and know that I am always here for them. No matter what.

    #409401
    anita
    Participant

    Dear D:

    You are welcome. I am sorry that you were violated when you were 8 or younger, and I wish that the violator was indeed held accountable and disciplined. If I understand correctly, your parents knew about the violation, but they kept it a secret and did not seek justice. When the violator was not held accountable, week after week, for months and years…  it felt (?) as if your violation was not a big deal to your parents, not important enough for them to do something about it. Alone with the violation, the impact was not soothed, or lessened.

    “I made sure my daughter knew (when age appropriate) that if anyone violated her – in any way – and regardless of who they might be, it was okay to tell me and we would handle it together“- together is key. You were alone with this growing up, for years. (You did right by your daughter!)

    This is relevant to your current struggle this way, as I understand it: you project your sad, alone-feelings to your grandson, imagining that if you leave LA, he would feel as alone and as sad as you felt growing up (during and post-violation). If you remove this projection- and assuming that he was not violated and unsupported himself- .. then you would realize that after you leave LA,  he would be far less sad and far, far less alone than you imagine. Separating your experience from his would make leaving so much easier.

    Further processing your violation will help with this separation. This is a sensitive topic, of course, and I understand your unwillingness to provide details. I wouldn’t feel comfortable reading about the details (or sharing such details myself), especially being that this is a public forum. But if, and only if-  you want to talk about it here to one extent or another, without the details, you are welcome to do so. I also have the experience of being violated in childhood and onward, with no justice sought or served, a painful experience indeed. We can talk about it- or not. Regardless, you are welcome to post again on this topic or on any other topic.

    anita

    #409431
    anita
    Participant

    Dear D:

    I am sorry to see that you deleted your account. I was hoping to continue our conversation for our mutual benefit. If you ever change your mind, you are welcome to re-activate your account.  Otherwise, goodbye, D; my best wishes for you and your family!

    anita

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