On their own

I got some meds from my oldest daughter tonight, so I had to drive up to Denton where she lives. It’s a little over 30 miles from where I live.

It was my first time visiting her. She still wants to invite us over more formally once she feels more settled and has her apartment more furnished.

Still, it was so great to see her again and see how much she’s thriving in her new environment. Her apartment is really cool (especially for a first apartment) and the location suits her very well.

Just as she told me, she lives very close to (like across the street) the Denton location of Spiral Diner, a local vegan eatery. She’s also right by the train station, so she can take public transit instead of driving. She also lives by a totally vegan grocery store and a totally vegan Mexican restaurant.

She was proud to show off where she lives and I was suitably impressed and told her so.

Tomorrow (err…I guess in a few hours) I’m going down to pick up Dylan from college and bring him home for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to seeing him again. I think he probably needs it, too, because he’s been struggling with his mental health again (or still.)

It’s really tough because he absolutely loves college but it’s also pretty terrible for his mental health. He’s under so much stress and it’s causing him a lot of physical symptoms.

It’s kinda funny because he usually tells my husband about all the good stuff at college and tells me about how much he’s struggling. I feel incredibly grateful that he trusts me enough to tell me about his struggles. But I also admit that I’m glad that he tells my husband what he likes about it, because otherwise I would go into full-on rescue mode (which isn’t a healthy tendency of mine.)

I don’t know what the future holds for him at college, to be honest. I don’t know if he’s going to go back next year or if he’s just going to try to get through this year and then take time off or transfer somewhere closer to home.

At least his arrival home for the weekend is an Event we’re all looking forward to. Even Amy and her boyfriend are planning on coming by on Saturday to see him.

In the back of my mind, my mom’s words still echo: maybe I’m too close to him and it’s making it harder for him to separate from me.

At the same time, though, I don’t think it’s a bad thing that he feels close to me. In fact, I’m very grateful for it—especially from a son.

But I admit that it’s been hard for me that he’s so far away, too. I miss talking to him. We only usually have brief text exchanges once a day and talk on the phone once a week. That’s a far cry from when he was coming into my office every night to talk about his worries and just to shoot the shit.

My role is different, too. I used to be able to talk about some of my worries (not in depth but just acknowledging them) but now I feel more like it’s my job to be strong for him.

I didn’t tell him about the last results of J’s CT scans, for example. They weren’t good and I figure it’s already hard enough for Dyl to be away.

I don’t know if that part of our relationship is gone forever or not but I miss it a lot.

In the meantime, I’ve been getting closer to Chloe and that’s a positive thing. But my relationship with Chloe is still different from my relationship with Dyl. Chloe is naturally more introverted and closed-off than Dylan is, so we just don’t get to talk as often as I talked with Dyl.

We’re all struggling with our own separate things now and there’s only so much I can do to help. I worry a lot about Dylan and hope he doesn’t become suicidal—that’s my worst fear of all the kids, because I know they all deal with occasional suicidal ideation (as I do, too.)

I can’t lose any of my kids and my husband. I just can’t. So each day, I say another prayer to the universe, asking to give them—and me—the strength to keep going.

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