I had my daughter when I was 21, and her dad left when she was three. From then on, it was just her and me. Over the years, as she got older, she and I became best friends, and I sort of just let my other relationships die. It was easier. I’m awkward, and relationships aren’t easy for me. With her, it was. I feel like I kind of grew up with her…well, as much as I’ve grown up. We had a lot of fun. She was this bright light in my otherwise very dark life.
Last summer, I met this guy. He was younger than me. I was 40. He was 27. My daughter was 18. We would go driving around late at night, and I always asked my daughter if she wanted to come…you know, to be nice. We didn’t have a vehicle at that time, and late-night drives were always one of our favorite things to do. Eventually, the guy stopped talking to me, and I would talk to my daughter about it…wondering what happened. It wasn’t a great love affair, by any means, but we were having a good time, so I didn’t get why he suddenly disappeared. She and I would run into him once in a while, and he would smile and say hi and seem very happy to see me. Me…or so I thought. Maybe you can see where this is going.
In the months after this relationship ended, my daughter’s and my relationship progressively got worse. We still hung out and had fun, but I could feel her becoming more and more disconnected. Right after New Year’s, a girl my daughter worked with messaged me and told me my daughter was bragging at work about how she was seeing this 27-year-old her mother used to date. As you can imagine, things blew up pretty badly after that. I was unbelievably angry, hurt and betrayed. After anger, though, my main concern was saving my daughter from this guy who I assumed was using her for sex. He ended up giving her an STD, and she agreed it was time to end it. Right. Again, so I thought.
Anyway, long, long story short…she’s living with him now, and it feels like so many kicks in the face…in the heart. I tried so hard with her. We lived in a pretty ghetto’y neighborhood, thanks to my inability to work, and I fought every day to make sure she stayed on the right path. She’s 19, has a job, goes to university, doesn’t smoke or do drugs…she bought a car, paid for her own braces…needless to say, I was a ridiculously proud mother. Now she’s living in a filthy, moldy basement with this sex-obsessed loser, and she thinks she’s madly in love. I won’t even get into the fact that she recently found a laptop in his closet with child pornography on it. That’s currently at the police station. He and his mother don’t know, and she’s living there. That’s not going to go well…and she refuses to come home.
So that’s that. My relationship with my daughter is over, and I now live alone for the first time in my life. Other than visits with my mother and occasional talks with my sister, both of whom I’m not very close with, I’m completely alone, and day after day the heaviness of this loneliness is becoming less and less bearable. Knowing no one is going to walk through the door…going to bed alone…waking up alone…I can’t take it. Just today, I finally had to close her bedroom door. I feel like my daughter died, and I’m mourning her alone. But she didn’t. She just decided I didn’t matter. I don’t know which is worse, but the feelings are all the same. It’s sort of like empty nest syndrome on speed.
A year ago, I was feeling good, dating, getting back into photography. And now, I spend my days crying and researching suicide methods. I’m completely broken. I always knew that the day would come when she would leave and start her life, and I always knew that if I was alone at that point, I’d have no choice but to kill myself. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not just her leaving. I’ve always been depressed. I’ve always felt this darkness around me and in me. She just lightened that for me. I loved being a mother and everything that went along with that. Having a bright and energetic girl in the house makes it a whole lot harder to retreat into the darkness.
I’m in a lot of pain, mentally, emotionally, physically, and I don’t have much fight left in me. I don’t want to hurt my mother. She’s already lost two kids and a husband. And I don’t know what will become of my cats. Yeah, I am a crazy cat lady. I’ve had them for nine and ten years, and I feel I owe them good final years. No one in the family would take them, and I can’t count on my daughter. She may do the right thing, but I don’t know. I can’t live for cats, though. Even I’m not that crazy.