I am a 51-year-old single working mother of three daughters, two of whom are college graduates and one about to graduate.
I have not been in a relationship for over a year now, and my daughters have no time for me anymore. I feel lonely and afraid of the future.
What if my octogenarian mom and aunt pass away? Since we live with them, I will be left with no one. I can’t even bring my kids to the mall nowadays because their boyfriends take all their free time.
I am suffering from anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Every time they’re out of the house, I end up texting and calling them to ask about their whereabouts. I panic most when night sets in.
They say I am choking them and stalking them but I can’t help it. I fear for their safety. They tell me to get a life, or find a partner.
What should I do? I feel so alone and lonely. I am also a hypochondriac. I have this great fear of sickness and death.—Mara
Shouldn’t you be jumping up and down with joy—free at last from the encumbrances of micro-parenting? Isn’t that worth anything? Unhappily married women with bundles of kids will give an arm and toes to be where you are.
But look at what you’re doing—stalking, nagging your girls, whose lives you’re piggy-backing on! What does that tell them about their mother? That she’s supposedly this mature adult they can lean on, but couldn’t, because she’s riddled with anxiety and panic attacks over her phantom fears?
Talk to someone you trust and have them steady, comfort and assure you that you’re the only one who can help yourself. But confidence in yourself should come from inside you—nowhere else.
Your aging mother may go anytime soon, and so will your beloved aunt. But there’s nothing you can do about the inevitable.
And, how can you attract a prospective love if you project this overwhelming insecurity? The message you project to the world about yourself will come back in kind. Just give it a chance.