It's been just over 2 weeks since my 11 year old DSD came to live with us full time. I expected that she would need a lot of attention, and I was willing to give it. However, she requires almost constant attention. If she is not the center of attention at any given moment, she is unhappy. She is jealous of her baby brother (if either my DH or I give him attention), jealous if my DH gives me attention, etc. I've been trying to give her the attention she needs, but I honestly don't see an end in sight. I know it's early still. However, the attention she needs is so great that both my DH and I are not doing well. I'm having anxiety and stomach problems, along with dropping weight like crazy. I don't have ANY time to myself. Neither does my DH. We want DSD to feel secure, but there really needs to be more of a balance. I've never seen a child her age require this amount of attention. DH and I feel like we're constantly expected to perform.
She manipulates the environment so that she is receiving all of the attention, even if it means dragging dinner out for over an hour so that DH won't have time to call her sister (who lives far away). One time I was talking to my DSD who doesn't live with us on the phone and DSD2 was so jealous that she made a big scene about needing some alone time at that moment because she was so sad.
We're homeschooling her because we believe it's the best thing for her, at least for this school year. But now I'm wondering if it's the best thing for me. I need a break, a serious break. I get absolutely no time to myself. DH used to come home from work and play with DS for a little while, but now he doesn't do that. He only spends time with DSD for the most part. I find the more attention we give her, the more she requires and the least happy she is. I just don't know what to do, anymore. All I know is that I have to start meeting my needs. I feel like I have nothing to give at this point. I've been completely drained and it's only been 2 weeks. My DH left work early yesterday and is home sick today. Yes, he's been hit with a couple bugs, but I feel this is strongly related to stress. I weigh 109 pounds, underweight for my height. There is nothing medical causing me to lose weight; my doctor attributes it to stress. I've never been underweight my entire life. Even as I type this, I have butterflies in my stomach. I am not well.
I want to have positive energy to give again. I want to have a little time to *connect* with my DH. I want to pay attention to my DS without feeling guilty. I want to do fun things with DSD, but not feel like I have to give her my full attention all the time. I know that sometimes the scales will tip in one family member's favor, but I really worry that this is too much and we're on a very unhealthy road. :-( I want to deal with it in a way that is loving and kind. I just need some kind of a balance. I'm feeling so overwhelmed here, out way over my head, and I don't know what to do.
Thanks for reading. I welcome advice or just hugs, but please no one tell me how wicked I am. I can't even put into words how much I do/will do for this child. I just can't give all of myself, all of my time and energy. :-(
Edited by PoetryLover - 12/7/10 at 10:57am