Monday, April 23, 2012

Honesty. Startling.

For as beautiful and sunny of a day as it is today, I am uncharacteristically sad. I know this blog seems depressing of late. Apparently that's what this blog has become; when I am happy with life and feeling joyful and grateful, I write in my family blog, for all to read (or, more realistically, I don't write at all. I just get up and enjoy my day!). When I feel down, or honest, I write here.

I feel like being totally honest today...

I am overwhelmed. My kids are too much. My loneliness is heavy. My health problems make my days difficult. I am failing as a mother; I don't know what to do about it. I despair.

I don't know how to help my son deal with all the turbulence and tumult he feels all the time. I don't know what to do with his energy, his volume, his intensity. I don't know how to love him. I LOVE him...oh I love him deeply. But I don't know how to show him I love him, when playing with him hurts me, and talking to him stresses me, and I constantly just feel so exasperated with his behaviors.

My daughter is about to be three, which should suffice as an explanation. I go to the bathroom, and when I return, she has dumped a ($30) bottle of cod liver oil all over herself and the floor because she couldn't wait for me to get off the toilet and get it for her... She plays quietly; I dare to do a load of dishes. When I finish, she has painted over the newly-painted green walls (and the towel bar, the HVAC vent, and the tile floor) with white latex paint. On their own, I can handle these antics. When added to the constant state of agitation and anxiety I feel because of my son, I can't.

Writing, even thinking, that last sentence tears me up. I try not to let him see that I am in a constant state of agitation and anxiety over him. I care so deeply about his tender little spirit, and I want to protect it. I never want him to doubt that I love him with my whole soul, because I do. But parenting him is proving to be my biggest trial. I pray and I fast and I study, and I still don't know how to handle it. And it makes me loathe myself. Because if I am failing at this most important task, what's the point of anything else?

I do, give everything for him, and still he tantrums, he screams, he cries, he demands more. What's the point? Why do we go outside to play, take a walk to the park, go to the library, do a craft, play a game? It all ends the same. Him in a tantrum and screaming and crying, fighting with his sister, and me with rapid breathing and an elevated heart rate and wanting to scream myself, pulling out my hair. The possibility that any activity will end this way saps any motivation for me to do anything. We need groceries today (and actually have for a week), but the thought of trying to fight him in public panics me.

I am sad. I want another baby. And yet... The reality of adding another sibling-relationship paralyzes me. The constant bickering is too much. He pokes, she wails. I don't have the energy or ability to deal with the two I have, and so I won't have any more. My identity has always been so linked with my love of children. I always wanted a big family. Being a patient and connected and involved mother has always been the one thing I could count on doing and doing well. And I'm not. And I hate myself for that.

I have no one here, and I don't foresee this changing soon. I have felt lonely for so much of my life that I am very guarded with others. It takes me a very long time to trust others with my true self and my true feelings. I know that's something I struggle with, but I don't know how to change it and open myself up to making new friends. I have a very small handful of people I have ever let into my life, really and truly, and sadly not a one of them lives within 800 miles of me.

On days like today, when I let it get me down, it *really* gets me down. All of it. I try not to let these days happen very often. On most days, I cope. I get up and we go about our day. We cook and clean and play games and be outside, and we manage. And then there are the many days when I want to cope, but my health adds another stumbling block. Migraines, terrible itchiness and blistering on my hands, exhaustion and lack of energy. And I can't take care of myself, because I have no one to take care of my kids.

I am stuck in this cycle: my kids' behavior causes me anxiety--->anxiety causes me to have no energy/feel sick/feel depressed--->not having energy/feeling sick/feeling depressed causes me to not have the ability to deal with my kids' behavior--->my kids' behavior causes me anxiety--->and so forth... I don't know how to break it.

When you have an issue with your car, you go to a mechanic. When you have an issue with your washing machine, you call a repair-person. When you have an issue with your health, you call your doctor. When you have an issue with your marriage, you see a therapist. What do you do when you have an issue with being a parent? Who do you see? How do you get it fixed?

1 comment:

-A said...

Just want you to know that I could have written this post 4 months ago. All of it. The despair, the isolation, the anxiety, the overwhelming sense that I am failing at the only (and most important) job I have. Even the yearning for another child and lacking even an ounce of faith that my mental and emotional capacities could take one more strain.

And today, I can still sense those feelings (and know very well they may surface again), but don't actually feel them. Little by little some of the tantrums have subsided. Day by day some of our interactions have become more reasonable. Ever so slowly, some of the dust has started to settle.

I miss your guts.

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