The syndrome affects 35% of mothers. Yes, more than a third of Western mothers, married or unmarried, suffer when their adult children leave home. They may know it is “normal” and they even envy some parents who dream of seeing the heels of their stubborn Tanguys, these women, often at full menopause, a provocative factor, give birth to children and make their world cry.
Marie-Jose Astre-Démoulin was one of them. In 2014, the communicator, who lives near Geneva, described his frustration Empty house. The story of mother’s suffering. These days, Favre editions are releasing this Odyssey for the third time which is interesting in its sincerity. A narrator, fictional but very inspired by reality, describes how, already weakened by the departure of his three sons, he broke down when one of them told him he was going to get married and live in Bogota. And how he tried “everything” to get up.
“I’m seriously injured.”
“I’m seriously injured and no structure knows how to take care of my pain.” “It’s not an empty nest that is suffering, it’s an empty communication.” “I miss my kids near my bones, who have been developing massive osteoarthritis for five years.” “I have raised three sons alone. In adolescence, cigarette butts, wine, weight scales, grass everywhere. I have met people who, today, want to rewrite my prospects or tell me that I have invested too much, I rebel. “I feel completely abandoned. Missing. In the middle of the desert. “” I dream of a man who asks me on my cellphone “Where are you?”
The author explores the expression of his suffering and the issue is more complicated in the case of boys, he says, “because Western society legitimizes the separation of boys”. “When a man speaks of his love for his daughter, it is touching. It is disputed that a mother would do the same for her son. The communicator feels this injustice even more painfully because he will be “respected” under other skies. “My Rwandan colleague once told me that the mother of boys in his country is a queen. The daughter-in-law learns from him, mingles with him, respects him.
While there, in Bogot,, at her son’s wedding, which she describes at the end of her story, Mary-Jose thinks “a vase that is already stigmatized by the lack of light, placed beside my exiled little blonde. Adopted by strangers, though I never Didn’t! – Signed waiver form. “
Is education also child-centered?
Her sons’ departure coincided with the sale of the house. Due to being too expensive and too large, the building was replaced by a smaller studio in town. Double the damage, of a place – a matrix that has memories of its wonderfully cloudy and noisy boys – and an appearance – too busy, her boys rarely call her.
The author is a little wrong in this regard. He thinks the very child-centered education that has prevailed since the 1990s has not made the little king ignorant of the needs of their parents. “It simply came to our notice then. They owe us nothing. “However, without the” stroke “, the transaction analysis says these acts of recognition of others, we die. There is a basic need for human recognition,” the author explained.
“And don’t get me wrong with all this nonsense claiming that all you have to do to gain confidence is to love yourself! There is no existence without the work of given, received, exchanged love, only survival.
There is no way to Photoshop
The book bites voluntarily. “Joined the club for hiking, sightseeing, photography”, list Marie-Jose, 55 at the time. “I’ve made myself beautiful. I’ve followed a diet. I’ve been chatting on the Internet at bars and teahouses. My profile isn’t appealing to anyone. And I’m not just talking about sexual temptations. Statistically, I have a life expectancy of about thirty years The media treats me as if I have nothing left to contribute.
With the search communicator, we then explore the wonderful world of dating sites. “In one month, I received four visits and one message on my profile. Just one. Ego at half mast. But I don’t want to do Photoshop to express myself like yogurt on supermarket shelves. I can’t be present anymore, I have to be.
Then, we joined a session of violent, love coaching. “You have given up all temptation. No wonder your kids zap at you, their survival depends on it. Otherwise, you will drag them into your crypt. To reconnect with your femininity, your only salvation is to take a sacred sex course. You still have a chance to be able to register for this summer.
Sexual and sacred grunts
Even if the trainer’s diagnosis is shocking, we secretly pray that Mary-Jose let herself be tempted. A Mandala workshop and another drawing lesson, Alleluia: In the center of summer, “in a magnificent corner of the south of France”, fifty-something throws itself into it. Initially, the program of this sacred sex course is divided into whispered confidence, sun meditation, and scattered rounds where the narrator “jumps like a child.” Then come massage, nude or clothes. Olive’s instruction, “Guru, or rather gourmet of places”: “Women line themselves up. Boys face each other and choose a mate. Woman, you will be masculine. You can use all parts of your body to massage. Be creative, your mate.” Please.
Marie-Jose scoops Janes, “a silent, reserved and enraged Dan”, who falls off the entry slip. A few minutes later, the group reported “screaming, heavy breathing, shortness of breath, wrinkles and sighs” to our heroine. “I thought I was working on sexuality and this thing went too far. I feel like a rabbit getting caught in the headlights of a car and heading straight for it! ”
On the way back, Kathak combines evening sessions of physiotherapy, sophology and a biodanja. Then try a “self-medication course”. The game of genocide, there too. “You can’t pay your kids for not making the right decisions,” shouted Jethro, the leader. “I was crucified, humiliated, cut off in a public place”, Marie-Jose loose.
This therapeutic tour is at the heart of the problem of empty nests, as mothers who are suffering from the departure of their children are invited to “visit themselves”, to “rediscover themselves.” “However, in times of fragility, you run the risk of being influenced by gurus in the guise of experts. If you start a new activity, keep a cool head and a healthy distance, ”advises Mary-Jose, who has found her sacred grill in words. “Writing workshop is my valve, an inner joy. The personality shines there, the anecdotes charged with originality. Laughter erupts, complication ensues.
Resolved in writing
There is no doubt that the word written at the end of the book is mainly one of the anti-rumor solutions. “When a negative thought arises, write it down on a piece of paper and then tear it into a thousand pieces or burn it on top of the sink.” “Also make a list of what was unpleasant before the kids left. Complete it regularly and be careful. “And again, make a beautiful list of what you’ve done in days and moments when you came across beauty.” “Finally, add another list: your achievements, even the old ones, such as the results of explosive games, family hosting, successful trips, etc.”
Buy flower socks!
Marie-Jose’s advice is not limited to just words. “Buy flower socks, avoid heavy or judgmental people, surround yourself with positive people and ideas, go in search of character with amazing destiny!” After all, “don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel. You’re in mourning. “
About children, the unwilling agent of suffering, what attitude should be taken? “You need to talk to them like adults and not hide your emotions from them.” Tell them, for example: “You understand that this departure sparks for me things that are very deep and where you often have no role and above all no responsibility. I live an essential moment in personal, social and family questions. I always have my point of view.” I can’t control myself, but I want you to know that I am waiting for your happiness. “
Today, at age 62, Marie-Jose is out of mourning. In addition to her commitment to ecology and gender equality, love spread throughout her life. For her kids, they often come to find her with their own kids in the new home she bought. Is it just a pity? That none of her sons live near her house …