Carolina Counseling Services - Seeing the Empty Nest in a New Light
How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?
- Call: (910) 485-6336 (Fastest way to schedule)
- Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
- Email: Click to send email (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
- Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
- Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
- New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
- Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
- Some Therapists schedule appointments Mon-Fri 8am-8pm and Saturdays (if requested)
- Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!
Seeing the Empty Nest in a New Light
How many times have you said, “I can’t wait until the last child is all grown up and ready to leave home”? It isn’t just you—many parents have said the same thing when overwhelmed. The truth is, when the day comes for your children to leave, you may be crying your heart out and wishing they were small and clinging to you like they used to.
You may be filled with dread, fear, sadness, or guilt. You may feel lost and not know how to be alone, especially if you’re a single parent. If these feelings are preventing you from moving on, seek help. A counselor can help you see the transition and the empty nest in a new light and reconnect with life and other people.
Understanding Empty Nest Syndrome
According to Psychology Today, “Empty nest syndrome refers to feelings of depression, sadness, and/or grief experienced by parents and caregivers after children come of age and leave their childhood homes.” It isn’t a clinical diagnosis, but it is a stage when a parent can be overwhelmed by feelings of loss and extreme sadness. In a Net Doctor post by Dr. David Delvin, he says it is “a useful ‘label’ for the feelings of sadness and loss which many individuals experience when their children fly the nest.”
Professionals may consider it an emotional condition with symptoms of depression and anxiety. While not every parent may go through empty nest syndrome intensely, it may be more likely if you have complicating issues. Some of these complications could be an unstable marriage, a chronic medical or emotional condition, or other losses, such as a job, a loved one, or an opportunity.
While empty nest syndrome can increase your risk of depression, identity crisis, substance abuse, and conflicts in your marriage, this can also be a positive stage in your life, with professional help. Many recent studies show that it can be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with loved ones, improve the quality of your marital union, and renew old passions and interests that were forgotten or shelved when the children were growing up.
Re-Learning to Fly on Your Own
As a parent, you have taken it upon yourself to be strong for your children and encourage them to grow into independent adults, so they can fly on their own. Seeing them leave the nest should be a momentous achievement. So, why is sending them off into the world bringing you sadness and grief?
Part of it has to do with apprehension, worrying how they will manage without you. Part of it is about you forgetting how to fly on your own while busily preparing your children for independence and self-reliance. So, the question isn’t just how they will manage on their own or without you. It is also “How will you manage without them?”
Interdependence is built through the years between parents and their children. It isn’t uncommon for parents to put their own happiness aside as the family becomes the center of their universe. That secure world can be shattered when the children leave, one by one. If you haven’t prepared for the moment, you may not be ready for the feelings that assail you.
Beware the Pitfalls in Marriage
Many think that empty nest syndrome is more painful for a single parent. The truth is, it can impact married people just as much. Though moms are more at risk for empty nest syndrome, dads aren’t made of stone. They may experience the same feelings of sadness and grief, but show them less.
Other life events, such as menopause (for women), midlife crisis, or the passing of or caring for an elderly parent, can make the feelings more difficult to manage. Your children’s absence can make you feel helpless and lose sight of your other goals.
There are pitfalls to avoid when you are married and experiencing empty nest syndrome, according to Family Life. These are:
- “Critical spirit“—With so much time on your hands, it can be easy to focus on each other’s failings and criticize each other to fill the vacuum left by the child.
- “Emotional divorce”—People have unique ways of grieving, and couples may grieve over their empty nest separately and differently. The emotions can make any spouse seek solitude to heal. That can hurt your marriage and lead to “emotional divorce.”
- “An emotional affair”—The growing emotional distance between you and your spouse may lead to both of you seeking understanding from someone outside the home. What starts as emotional divorce can lead to a rift or full-blown separation, involving third parties.
Nothing can prepare you for the moment when your child leaves home, but it is something that you must brace for, because it is going to happen, “as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.” As the day draws near, you will realize that time flies so fast. Whether you are a single parent or you have a spouse to share your empty nest, the prospect can be heartbreaking, unless you can see it in a new light, as a source of many wonderful opportunities.
Seeing the empty nest in that way can be easier said than done, but it isn’t impossible. Once you recognize the signs of what lies ahead in your life and marriage, heed them and seek help. It isn’t weakness to call Carolina Counseling Services in Fayetteville, NC. It is a proactive decision that will help you recapture your purpose and thrive in your nest as a haven full of pleasant memories.
We can help!
Call now and make an appointment!
Confidential / Private Sessions
Carolina Counseling Services contracts independently with Licensed professional counselors/therapists/psychologists who provide a friendly, relaxed atmosphere to everyone. Carolina Counseling Services independently contracted therapists assist individuals, couples, families, and children with counseling services that will help put your life back on track. Working with both non military and military is a joy and the therapist you choose will be happy to assist you whether you are a "civilian", or if you are a dependent or retiree.
Counseling and Therapy are often used interchangeably in our English language. The same is true for Counselor and Therapist. It really doesn't matter which word you use. When you need help, it is best to talk to someone who is not only objective, but who has had lots of experience helping others who have been in similar situations as yourself. A friendly Counselor or Therapist who is trained, licensed and experienced is the one who can assist the most. You don't have to figure it out alone. All independently contracted therapists are licensed, friendly professionals. Call to schedule your appt now!
If we can't help you, we will be happy to refer you to someone who can. We look forward to assisting you!!!.
Evening and Weekend Appts Available with specific therapists
Evening and Weekend appointments: We have therapists available for appointments from 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday. Some therapists have Saturday appointments available if requested.
Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services
Counties: Cumberland, Hoke, Bladen, Sampson, and Robeson Counties, NC
Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Hope Mills NC, Raeford NC, Rockfish NC, Sliver City NC, Cedar Creek NC, Bowmore NC, Autryville NC, Parkton NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Broadway NC, Pineview NC, Lumber Bridge, NC, Rex NC, Lemon Springs NC, Johnsonville NC, Eastover NC, Stedman NC and Wade, NC.
Military Community areas: Ardennes NC Bataan NC, Casablanca NC, Anzio Acre, NC, Corregidor NC, Bougainville NC, Hammond Hills NC, Nijimegen NC, Cherbourg NC, Normandy NC, Bastogne NC, Pope NC, Ste Mere Eglise NC,
Zip Codes: 28301, 28302, 28303, 28304, 28305, 28306, 28307, 28309, 28311, 28312, 28314