I don't think you're crazy at all. If I hear about a traumatic story involving children, it grates on me for days, sometimes weeks, constantly popping up in my thoughts. I definitely think it can be a mother thing, I have dreams almost every night about losing one of my kids or them just disappearing. After the really vivid ones, I get really clingy and don't want to let them out of my sight. I try not to watch criminal news or criminal shows, especially those involving kids and for the most part, I don't. But every once and a while one of those shows comes on and it's like a train wreck, I'm glued because I have to find out what happened, then I'm tortured about it and my stomach is in knots afterward.
Please help me feel normal, a little. WARNING, may be Triggers - Page 2
Oh yeah. I pride myself on being 'well informed' but not long after our first child was born I stopped watching tv news. Then I had to discipline myself not to open the metro section of the news paper. You're right, victims and their families don't benefit in any way from me being emotionally blind-sided, sent into storms of pain.
i am the same way. i hope the following isnt out of line.
1. stop watching the news. just quit. if a thread title looks upsetting, do not read it. yes, moms want support, but they dont want to scar someone either and they will forgive you for not reading/commenting. ok? seriously. the only news you really need is your local weather.
2. do you take a vitamin? you should at least add some b12 and D to your diet. they go a long way to improving mental health. i take extra on top of my multi. i have a digestive thing that keeps me from absorbing all my vitamins. so my emotions were craaazy. i feel so much better now. people have commented on it. you could also try to eliminate foods that cause mental upset. dairy, wheat etc and see if that helps.
3. therapy. if you can. if you cant then get a book to read. dont know which ones but look into it. esp if these stories are reliving themselves in your head and you are crying every time. that is a sign you are being traumatized by it. which leads to post traumatic stress. which leads to wrapping your kids in bubble wrap, blowing on every bite of food, and never letting them leave the house... until they are 35. which i have seriously thought about doing.
DS gets mad at me bc i get scared about him being home alone. every time i read a news story i get worse. i cant go to sleep at night unless all the doors are locked and the alarm is hanging on the doors. all the doors inside the house need to be open so i can hear everyone breathing. if one of them even rolls over i wake up. i am baaaad. but i already had ptsd before my 2nd was born. :shrug
and if none of this is for you.... i am sorry. just putting my 2 cents out there.
Gina, I hope it's OK if I ask this. Why did you describe those various crimes in your original post? And prior to that, why did you frequent victim web sites? You don't have to answer here. But you might think about what's compelling you to write about it. And I'm not scolding or judging you in the least. I think the interest is entirely human and normal. I just think we all benefit by understanding clearly what motivates us, understand and then accept . I know when I do that I'm better able to deal with ...life.
Best of luck.
I just wanted to offer some understanding (((HUGS))) - since I had my son, oh gosh, I'm the same way. I cannot handle hearing about bad things happening to children. Just can't. I watched one episode of a new tv show - the very first thing was about children. I refuse to watch it anymore.
And yes, anything about losing a child? Oh heck no, can't read/watch it.
I'm the same way about women losing their husbands.
And I sleep much better on nights DS sleeps with me.
DH gets so annoyed with me because I refuse to watch any action shows/movies, forget about crime shows. They make me sick ever since I had my first child almost 8 years ago. I am very picky about which CNN articles I will click on. Some of the feelings are certainly normal. But I also agree with la mamita that maybe your worries have progressed a little further.
OP I think it's normal to have some anxiety about your children, however I think you may want to seek professional help. I've been there done that, and it helps so much to talk to someone. We all feel awful when we hear about tragic events but it shouldn't be affecting our everyday lives yk? In the mean time, try getting a really good magnesium supplement. I can't tell you what a difference it makes for me.
I understand. And while it may not be as bad, anything about kids dying is like a punch to my gut. I am almost superstitious about my children staying alive. I feel like I have to acknowledge that it is a possibility so that I won't jinx myself but also can't even entertain the notion by seeing it.
I can't really think of a concrete example at the moment.
I just love them so much I am terrified they will be taken from me. But at the same time I live my life every day and we have fun and friends, so it doesn't hamper me noticeably. But I can't think about it or watch/read things about it. I will cry at a moment's notice if I do. I am fighting crying right now.
And, while I love cosleeping and my kids didn't sleep well by themselves I was partly happy (although a couple of hours at night before I come to bed would be nice! ) about that b/c I honestly can't imagine leaving a tiny infant by itself all night, I would be checking on it every 10 minutes. I still check on my 4 y.o. when she's in her own bed if she doesn't wake up, since she is The World's Worst Sleeper. I think I will still be watching for that rise and fall of the chest when they are 16!
OMG I am pretty much the same way!! Ever since becoming a mother, I can't stand to hear or read about any type of child/domestic violence. It tears me up. I don't read the paper or watch the news because of this. I read The Road without knowing what it was about - I'll never get over it. Seriously - I know just how you feel. I'm not so sensitive about other things, but child abuse makes me come undone.
Hugs - it's good to know I'm not alone!
Funny, before my dd was born I loved crime thrillers, CSI and the like. I liked "solving" the puzzle. Now I don't watch it. I have the DVD set and I've thought about watching it but I can't. I agree with the previous posters about it being mostly normal for moms. But I did want to add that some people are predisposed to anxiety. Anxiety runs in my family. When dd was born, I had postpartum anxiety really bad, but the sad thing is, I didn't know it at the time. I was in a hyperalert state and would have serious anxious trains of thought about what would I do if such and such happened. You have to be aware of your own thoughts and seek help if you notice your thoughts swerving towards the unhealthy anxiety side. Questions to ask yourself:
Does it keep you up at night?
Do you have dreams/nightmares about it?
Does it cause you significant stress?
Does it cause to do things/behaviors to alleviate the bad thoughts? (like checking the locks many more times than normal)
Are your thoughts intrusive? Do you have control over your thoughts or are they like a runaway train once under way?
Are you drinking/eating/shopping (etc.) to distract yourself from these thoughts?
#1 Thank you all for validating my feelings. I tried to talk to a (childless) friend about this 2.75 years ago, and she basically told me I should seek help and possible meds. I was a bit at the time, but what did I expect, right? Its just that I was so blindsides by the anxiety, I wasnt even sure what it was. we have since talked about it again, and for reals, it really does come and go. And i have tried the praying suggestion, and it helped a bit.
#2 Sorry I didnt offer a warning in the thread title. I have since put one there. I apologize to anyone who was effected by my OP.
#3 I think the weather has ALOT to do with my moods and anxiety. It just occurred to me that we havent really done anything or gone anywhere (except the grocery store and the rents) in a few weeks now. Plus its been very cold, grey, and rainy (now snowy) for the last few days. It sounds silly to be so effected by the weather, but I trully always have been.
Hugs, mama. Have you considered getting a full-spectrum light box to stand in for the sun during these long and bleak winter months? I have one, and it does wonders for my mood during the winter. It helps lessen my anxiety. Other than that, do your best to stay away from news stories such as the ones mentioned upthread. It's difficult, but you need to avoid your triggers so you can concentrate on giving your boys your best mothering.
Honestly, your reaction to such occurences is HEALTHY, though I'd say your sympathy is clouded by severe anxiety. As a matter of fact, I avoid such stories because I'm afraid the constant onslaught of stories about child abuse/rape/murder will desensitize me to the horror of these occurences, when in fact I should be shocked, horrified and outraged when people harm children. I don't know if that makes sense; I guess I feel we lose a bit of our humanity when we stop feeling revolted by instances of children being harmed.
The birth of my second child made me feel the same way . I couldn't watch CSI, the news, or read the paper anymore. The anxiety became extreme for me though, affected my functioning. I had panic attacks getting in the car, scared we would wreck. Basically, if i was in an environment that i felt i couldn't 100% protect my kids, i would panic. I had to take sleeping pills to sleep at night, because the worries wouldn't go away. Everything was a trigger. It was terrible. I ended up on medication for nine months, and now i feel i'm at the same place you are. I chose to not expose myself to things that are disturbing anymore.
I think what you are experiencing is normal, motherly instinct. I think if it gets worse or interferes with your life then therapy would be smart.
Hi Charlie's Angel:
I've always tried to avoid putting scary junk into my head. I've always hated horror films or anything with violence. As you know, my son and I experienced a break-in attempt a year ago, and after that I have been absolutely unable to read/watch/listen to anything crime related. Of course this is a little different because it's a PTSD related problem, but the end result is the same (anxiety, intrusive thoughts, etc).
I tried reading The Road too because I LOVE post apocalyptic fiction, but I absolutely COULD NOT HANDLE the single dad and his son being in constant danger. I felt like I was going to hyperventilate just reading it! I was soooooooo triggering for me because I was a single mom with my son and I in danger. I would think it would probably be scary and stressful for you too.
Not sure if you were looking for suggestions, but here are some suggestions anyway. Feel free to disregard them as needed!
As far as things to help, the number one thing that has helped IMMENSELY reduce my anxiety is acupuncture. I never believed in it prior to trying it, but I got so desperate that I was willing to try anything, and I was scared about going on the addictive meds they prescribed. I looked it up and found it was scientifically proven to help anxiety and depression. It worked great to the point that it completely eliminated my anxiety with no side effects! I am lucky that we have a school here and I can get acupuncture for $22 for an hour and 15 minute session. Have you ever tried this? Do you have an acupuncture school where you are?
I am also affected by the weather. I live in the Pacific NW where it gets dark and rainy for sometimes entire months at a time. I have never tried light therapy, but I think that might be good. I've heard you should use a full spectrum light bulb. I also take 2,000 units of Vitamin D per day, and this really seems to help. It's not silly that you would be affected by weather. It's biological!!!!
Another thing that has helped me cognitively with those obsessive/anxious thoughts is just saying, "This is NOT happening to my son or I now. We are safe. Everything is ok right now." And then if you get into a "But what if a, b, and c happened?" you just talk to your self mentally and say, "But that is not happening right now. Everything is fine right now."
One technique my therapist taught me when I'd be in PTSD mode at night and thinking about the break in was to start listing something, like kinds of fruit, names of movies, or whatever. What this does is engage another part of your brain so it doesn't allow you to think those scary, anxiety causing thoughts. Mine was always listing dog breeds in alphabetical order: Afghan Hound, Basset Hound, Corgi, Dalmatian, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Greyhound.
It may sound weird, but it works like a charm! If you start doing that stressed out thinking, try to find a way to stop that thought process. Another thing that can work is grounding yourself by noticing things in the room, like identifying sensory details. "I can hear the clock ticking. I can hear the rain outside. I can smell the lasagna cooking in the oven. I can feel my soft sweater on my arms." All of those things take you out of that crappy anxious mental place. Some of these work better for some people than others. I always found the listing technique more helpful than the sensory observation technique, but I tend to be analytical.
You can always PM me if you want to talk more about this. I think many of these feelings are normal for lots of different kinds of people, but especially mothers.
I know what commercial you're talking about and I HATE that commercial! They actually staged this so the child REALLY thought he had lost his mom, so his reaction was real, but they said it was ok because everyone was actors around him and everyone was screened (no criminal history) and they were watching him, and that he only thought he was lost for a few minutes. Oh, ok. It's ok to completely traumatize a child for a commercial and make him think he's alone in a huge airport, without his mom, because it was only for a few minutes???
OP-- Thank you for posting, and PPs for the responses... It's reassuring to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.
I, too used to watch alot of CSI-type programs, and as a teen I would love to watch horror movies. But since becoming a mom, I enjoy those things less & less. In fact, I can't watch a horror film at all. I avoid the news, too. I can't stand to hear about moms who do terrible things to their children. And I get really unnerved hearing about tragedies involving children at all. I fight to get rid of those mental images because they're so disturbing.
I am particularly interested in the PP's suggestions about listing things and the sensory observation technique. I think I'll try that.
Thanks for posting. I'll subscribe to keep up with more posts.
If you really feel it's debilitating, though, then it might be time to look at addressing it.
And, for the record, I grew up in upstate NY and went to RIT. Those winter blues are NO JOKE. Definitely look at supplements, ways to get outside, diet, whatever in order to make it through to the spring (which comes in June, right?)