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A broken heart: was I in too deep when I opened my wide heart and attached it to my new family?

A lil over a year ago I met 2 young sisters who each have a child. I became very connected to them and accepted them into my family as my daughters. They, along with their brother and older sister, where raised by their grandmother who died 4 years ago. After becoming connected and attached to them, we began to do normal things as a family: spending holidays together, birthdays, and so forth. Not long from that tragedy struck the young ladies lives. From loosing jobs to having to move in with their grandfather after they couldn't pay their rent. The worse tragedy is when their grandfather's house burned and the grandfather died in the house. They practically lost everything including their grandfather. They were the ones caring for their grandfather and doing what they could for his well-being. Their aunties, uncles, other family members, and father all live in other areas, most out of Texas. After the funeral, things with the young ladies family got out of control. The grandfather had death and life insurance, and he also had home insurance, and the family started fighting over the money. All the young ladies wanted was to replaced what they and their children had lost in the fire. They had to live in a hotel. After the siblings started fighting over the money, there was a hold put on it. The young ladies and their children had nothing. I became very connected, because they were really devastated over all their losses. They ended up in their own apartments only for things to get worse. One sister had her apartment broken into, and her car was stolen. On top of that, her job cut her hours. She moved in with me for about a month, and I became very open and available for her. She was very unhappy, so she moved back to California. It took some time for me to get use to her leaving, but I did. The other one loves Texas, but also faced hard storms: from losing her child for 30 days to CPS because of her depression to losing relationships and her job. Many times she wanted to leave, but was not like her younger sister.  She toughed it out up until today when she finally moved back to California. She felt moving was just for a year so she can get a job, then she will come back. This one I really attached to a lil more than the other one. My heart was ripped and broken when she left. It has been very hard to accept her leaving, but I know she has to do what's best for her and her child. I told her I had to protect my heart because too many times it had been ripped out. I know it wasn't her intentions, but still it hurt like crazy. She promised she would come back, because she did not want to raise her child in California. I know she loves us, but felt this was best. I told her running from her problems will keep you running. But she felt she needed to leave for a year. In my spirit I felt if she leave she will not return, because according to her the cost of living is much better, although its higher. But bad things happen when she lived there, which is there reason why she moved to Texas.  But she continues to promise she will be back. I decided to protect my heart because I feel its easier to say my farewells than to expect her back next year. She didn't want me to be sad, and I tried even the kids not to, but it was too hard. Was I in too deep with my new extended family lives?  

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:13 PM on Aug. 14, 2013 in Adult Children (18+)

Answers (12)
  • Wow, it sounds like that family went through a lot, and you were there when it counted. Feel better nowing that, and also know that if you get your heart broken, it means you reached out. You loved and were loved. As painful as it is, love is its own reward. It's probably best not to expect anyone to move back into your life, and that way you won't be disappointed if it doesn't happen. I've had to let go of some people like that, and it never stops hurting completely, but I have the satisfaction of knowing I might have made a bit of a difference in their lives.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:18 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • Thank you so much Ballad: I felt i was being a lil selfish feeling the way I was, I guest because I wanted to continue helping her until she was back was she was before their tragedies. Thanks, you made me feel so much better. God bless!

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:21 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • I'm not sure I am understanding this fully. Families who deeply love each other, and want to stay together, often have to move apart. I have three sons I love with my entire being but I don't live with any of them now. They grew up and their lives took them elsewhere. It didn't change our love or the fact we are family so why do you feel your family has ended? You can love and miss someone simultaneously

    Answer by Nimue930 at 5:22 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • Hi Nimue930,
    Thanks for your comment, but I don't think my family ended I felt the daughter who just left only left because she no longer wanted to face her problems. I believe God put me in her life to help guide her, but instead she chose a easier way out which could set her back where she was before she moved here. My heart was broken because I had to say farewell of ever seeing her again. She wasn't living with me, she had her own place. But she move to Texas to get away from the life that was destroying her in California. Although she promised to come back, I'm afraid because she ran from these storms, she might have to face the same storms but worse.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:31 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • Maybe she did choose an easy way out and is trying to ignore her problems - but you can't force her not to do that. If you care about her as much as you say you do, all you can do is be there for her. Be supportive, be a shoulder to cry on if she does find herself facing more problems where she is now, and be willing to be there for her if/when she decides to come back (or not).

    It's good that you care about them, but it does sound like you might need to...I don't know that distance yourself is the right way to put it, but it's the only way I can think of to phrase it right now. You have to let them live their own lives, just like you would your own children as adults. Be supportive and be there, offer your advice and suggestions if you think they'll hear you, and then step back and let them do what they feel is best for them.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:54 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • Thanks wendythewriter: that does make since. I will always be here for both of the girls. My shoulders will always be here when ever the need it. But I also have to protect my heart so I can remain strong for them, my minor children here at home, and myself. I just didn't want to sound as if I am selfish guarding my heart to say farewell instead of setting here waiting for her to say, ok mom on my way back. I also wanted to encourage her to understand stability is what children needs so they can grow and learn stability. Going back and forth will only make things worse and harder. That's all. Thanks so so much for your comment. This is really helping me.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 6:08 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • This is a unique situation. Life is hard and those ladies had to make big decisions based on their own needs. Did you put yourself out there too much? No. You cared, helped and loved them. That is what we're meant to do in life. Sometimes people leave and our role is fulfilled...sort of like ships passing in the night. Some friendships don't last a lifetime but are very meaningful in the moment. Don't quit doing good things because these girls moved away. You can be at peace knowing you did your best for others. I applaud that.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 6:23 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • Thanks jeanclaudia, i do care. And yes, just maybe God has fulfilled in my life for the girls what he wanted me to fulfilled. But sometimes I feel I get in too deep and attached. I have to learn how not to do that so when separation do come, I am well prepared. Thanks these comments are really helping my bleeding heart. God bless.......

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 6:29 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • If "guarding your heart" means reminding yourself that this is out of your hands, that you can't control another person's actions/decisions, and that you shouldn't be ABLE to control another person, that this means this young woman might NOT honor her intentions to return to TX, and that your caring & support aren't conditional on her meeting your expectations, then I don't think "guarding your heart" is a bad or selfish thing. I think it's mostly adjusting to reality and taking responsibility for yourself.
    If "guarding your heart" means closing off to a person who didn't do what you wanted her to, or closing off to her in HOPES of influencing her behavior, then I don't think it's healthy or responsible.
    It sounds like a lot of this is about expectations, and disappointment. You can't really control what expectations you feel (what you deeply WANT people to do) but we all have choice about our responses TO feelings.

    Answer by girlwithC at 8:40 AM on Aug. 15, 2013

  • I agree with girlwithC. I wonder also if these young ladies are as nice as you think they are. When I was reading, I saw a lot of red flags. So guard your heart and don't feel guilty. Also, try to find some friendships within your own age group. Friends are out there, you just have to be willing to see them.

    Answer by lilangilyn at 3:53 PM on Aug. 15, 2013

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