When it's too much
Wow! The guilt is strong.
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I’m a single mum, have ptsd which means that if all the other stars don’t align properly I’ll end up ‘crashing’ now and then with overwhelming stress, agoraphobia, nightmares, anxiety- all the good stuff.
The last 3 or so years have been bad, but I know I’m still a good Mamma. I’ve been underemployed, living in a tiny bed sit, socially isolated.
On more than one occasion I’ve gotten so sad and angry at my situation that I’ve either inferred or said directly that the kids would be better off with their Dad full time and indeed that’s what they would prefer. I’ve projected my own anger, sadness and shame onto my 12 and 15 year old kids. I’ve made amends, or tried to. But it still makes me feel ghastly. Partly cos I still believe it. He’s gainfully employed with a gainfully employed Mrs in a 4 bdm house and doing all the right things...
I’m still struggling.
At least I’m teaching the kids to never give up.
- Oh yes, all the time!
Studying full time, getting home late while someone else makes my kids tea and no... Not their dad
I did not know I could yell until I became a mum and looking back I had undiagnosed PND. I was just angry all the time. The realisation came that I was not as in control as I should have been when holding my new baby and yelling at my toddler, he said "don't hit me mummy" (I was also a smacker!) A moment of clarity and shame for my behaviour and the start I had given him in life. Upon reflection and with many good people around me I have a beautiful relationship with my 2 teenagers now and feel very blessed to have been chosen to be their mum. They have been my best teachers x
My PND with a newborn and toddler was uncontrollable anger too. We’re not taught to look for that as a sign of depression, so I went 15 months without treatment, even though I presented to my GP at 4 months. The right treatment was life changing. There were more ‘losing it’ moments than I can count before that.
Yesterday was too much. I was sick, kids were not. Playdates fell through. No one wanted to do the same thing. Inflatable world? One yes, one no. Supatramp? One yes, one no. Park? One yes, one no. Stay home? One yes, one no. Whinging galore. Kids cried. I cried. I swore. Can't they see I don't feel well? I hid in my room. I apologised, kids apologised, we had a hug. I came up with a plan - park for an hour then a movie. We all went. Blessed quiet for an hour and a half. Felt wretched. More whinging post-movie. Fighting in car. Why aren't they more grateful? Pulled over and breathed. Took them home, sent them outside for half an hour, went to bed. Twenty minutes later: "Mum, are you asleep? We want to watch tv". Caved on tv, felt guilty then decided I don't care, but I do. How do people do this on their own? How did my mother do it, with no tablets and twice as many kids? Why can't I do it better? Why can't I feel better about doing the best I can?
- Dear Anon, reading your post you did and are doing an amazing job.Look what you achieved yesterday. You survived ALL that, park and a movie. You might need to get your favourite music going in the house. I'm hearing you are stretched, give yourself permission to be emotional, sick and tired. If everyone is in the house, you know where they are. Listen to this one it's a mantra for me.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UUWkr4FUlo We hear you and think of you. Sending supportive thoughts.:)
I remember one time, not the before, the circumstances, other than the consent whirl of demands/crying/fighting/nos..... that became too much, I wanted to scream, cry, run away. I shut myself in my bedroom....just for five minutes i said to my self...i just need to be alone....i just need it to stop. but small children don't understand that, only what they need so the knocks on the door and the voices calling through quickly came. I said 'mummy just needs five minutes' or something like that, but they didn't stop, i repeated it again and again, 'Mummy just needs to be alone....please go away'....please please let mummy have 5 minutes'....crying the words, rocking on my bed, my voice rising to get the point across...but it didn't stop and a in a split second I was up opening the door and scream crying at my children at the top of my lungs 'I just need to be alone for 5 minutes' and slamming the door, and crying and they were crying....I'm not sure exactly what happened after that, but i think it involved cuddles and tears and 'mummy's sorry but she just needed a break' and probably a call to my mum and somehow we pulled it together and moved on.....
Right now the mental load feels too much. My ten year old left me a page torn from her notebook with the questions...
Why have a life if you’re gonna die anyway?
If you want to die but you can’t, what’s stopping you from dying?
I want to die, but I also don’t. What do I do?
Why do good things happen in life?
Why do bad things happen in life?
Why do something and be scared about it, when it’s worth nothing cause you’re gonna die?
There was a capital A after each question for me to complete an answer. I asked if we could speak about it, because I probably wouldn’t be able to explain it in the one line she gave me to answer each question.
I tried to address the huge questions which seemed insurmountable, and encouraged her to talk about how she was feeling. It was quite a calm and beautiful conversation. And she left in a pretty bubbly mood.
BUT right now, I’m in my bedroom balling my eyes out, not knowing how to face the world, because in the last two weeks I’ve had two of my children tell me about their desire to self-harm or suicide. And I’ve said Yes to more work than I can probably do, meaning I’m going to be away from them more, and they’re going to cling and cry and ask me to not go to work, and when I am at work my brain’s going to be with them.
So yeah. I’m imploding rather than exploding.
- it's wonderful that your children trust you to have these kinds of tough conversations with, as extraordinarily hard as those conversations must be. I hope that when my kids are older they will ask me their tough questions when they have them rather than hide from me. big hugs to you mumma
- We have brought children into a pretty ghastly world. These children who think like this and ask questions like this and FEEL like this give me hope.
It’s abnormal NOT to feel like this in todays world. Adults that get around pretending otherwise are deluded.
Kindness, contribution and friendship. If we can cover those just to get enough resilience to survive and show them how it’s done we can maybe get through. I struggle with the last one- because I feel like your kids do.
Love to you and your beautiful kids.