Opinions please....be kind
I am a mother of two beautiful children. My 10 year old son and I live in the desert of southern california with my husband (his stepfather) and my 16yo daughter lives in the Northwest with her dad and her SM.
I have Lupus. 7 years ago, when living in the NW I became very ill which eventually rendered me disabled, at 33years young with a 3 year old and 9 year old I was raising alone. I was no longer able to work at my government job where I was easily supporting my children. My rheumatologist predicted that if my condition didn't improve, I would probably not make it another 5 years. At my team of doctor's suggestion, as well as that of my parents, I moved to the desert of southern california with my 3 year old son, and moved in with my brother. Within weeks, due to the dry heat...no humidity, I was able to walk without limping or crying in pain from the arthritis that had ravaged every joint in my body. I was able to get a job and support myself and my son again. My daughter, even at 9 has always hated hot weather. She would break out into a heatrash if the mercury topped 70. She was and still is a "daddy's girl". SHe didn't move to the desert with us.....yes, my heart broke then but we both did adjust. Her dad is a great dad, he was just a terrible husband incapable of remaining faithful during our marriage. My DD has blossomed into a beautiful young woman. We see each other only 2-3 times per year sometimes for weeks at a time though during summer, every christmas, and sometimes spring break. We have marathon talks on the phone. 2-3 hours straight a few times a week. I love her more than anything and I know she loves me. I've told her how hard it was for me to move and how hard it is for me to not be with her daily. She tells me not to worry because she understands and loves me.
My Lupus has been in remission completely for 4 years. I'm able to work, and take long walks in the desert with my son. If I were to stay in the NW, due to the incredible humidity, cold and many other factors I would surely be in a wheelchair or possibly not even alive at this point. When we do travel to the NW for our month long vacation during the summertime (at which time we take DD to a wonderful cabin and do all sorts of fun family thigns. It feels like I just saw her yesterday because we remain so caught up with each other). During these visits, my aches and pains return immediately......not as bad as before but they are dull reminders of the past.
What I'm getting at is, we go on. We may not have a conventional mother/daughter relationship, but we talk about everything. I know when I was 16 I barely spoke to my mother let alone talk to her about my deepest feelings. She can tell me anything.....I'm always here for her.
I do feel guilty every day of my life. Last winter, my daughter decided to try the desert life. She moved down in November. It was 80 degrees. She was miserable....she missed her friends, missed her life in the rain.....that's where she wanted to be. I of course was heartbroken....but, of course I couldn't force her to stay somewhere she was physically miserable. She moved back after a few weeks. She understands completely why I don't live near her. Physically I can't. What can I do to alleviate my own guilt? My husband and I have talked about moving back to the NW and building a big dry sauna or something in our house. I couldn't live in the Sauna. I would get sick again.... again be bedridden and tied to numerous medications.....
Does anyone have any ideas? I know I'm just beating myself up. My sister still lives in the NW and she thinks I should have stayed there regardless. We don't talk much. I know I need to drop this feeling as it's so unhealthy. Sorry for the long post.... does anyone have any ideas?