Originally Posted by thegoodearth
Thanks for your response. Its nice that there is this place where I can put this out there and nobody really can know who I am.
The part you talked about "what do I need?" really resonated with me. Exercise has really helped me in the past. But as you probably know, its not easy to do when you have 2 kids and your husband works. I'm working on finding something that I can do - even if its only 1 or 2 times a week. I used to run a lot, but after a car accident I can't really do that anymore.
I too grew up not really being taught to care for my own needs. My mom is mentally ill - she has schizophrenia - and I think I'm really mourning the loss of a mother-daughter relationship with her. Her illness really took a toll on my family - to the point that my siblings and I really don't have relationships at all anymore. I'm just so sad about the whole thing. I guess with how down I'm feeling b/c of hormones or whatever, I'm really wishing my immediate family were there for me, but instead I feel abandoned. And that really can't be fixed, can it? How could I get my need met there? I'm not really sure that I can.
I'm afraid to really tell my therapist how I really feel b/c I don't want her to tell me that I need to get on medication. Also, maybe I don't feel comfortable with her. I've thought about finding another one... I just want to close my eyes and sleep for a year. And wakeup when its better. That sounds ridiculous. I also hate asking for help. It is scary.
My baby just woke up... be back soon.
I'm glad the anonymity of the forum makes it possible for you to talk about what is going on. That's why I come here too.
It makes sense why you would be afraid to talk to your therapist, especially if you feel like she might pressure you to do something you feel might be unhealthy for you. In an ideal situation, what would you hope her response would be? And then, how likely do you think she is to offer that, if you were to be totally honest about your fears and feelings? And if you were to look for a new therapist, what do you think you would need to know they would honor your fears and feelings? Perhaps some mamas in the PNW finding your tribe might have recomendations for a non-medication oriented/centered practitioner.
As far as your relationship with your family - It also makes sense that right now when you feel down, you want to have someone you can trust to help you out in some way, nurture you in some way and yeah - I really do not know how that can be fixed. I really wish I knew what you do there besides mourn and grieve. I feel the loneliest when I come to some difficult situation where I know that "most people" are able to turn to their parents and I can't. The nastiest trick is that so often, not only am I unable to turn to my parents, but I've come to realize that I am often unable to turn to anyone else because I do not know how to trust someone else or let someone else help me (particularly without feeling horribly selfish). (I am able to trust DP but I have to broaden my scope a little so I am not only leaning on him.) I only realized this recently, and I recognize that is a pattern and a thought that is consistent with my upbringing (it's protective), but not with reality. I have begun to know there are people who want to help me and love me, who I can have honest boundaries with, who will respect me, but I don't know how to connect with them yet. But I hope that in the next few years I will begin to have the bravery to learn how. I don't think I ever could have gotten to the point of knowing how deep my yearning to connect with others was until I had had ample space to mourn how much I'd lost as a kid, in terms of safety and kindness. And am still mourning it.
So all that is to say, OP, yeah, I really don't know what you do with that. It's painful and it really sucks. I think on some level being able to acknowledge the pain like you are doing is really important. To be able to say, like you've said, that this is lonely and you feel abandoned. And that you are allowed to feel sick and sad about it, because anyone would. That you aren't a mess just because you are going through a period of stress and you need help but there aren't a lot of places for you to get that help. And you have the additional barrier of not exactly knowing or feeling comfortable with reaching out for help because that help has probably never really reliably been there. You are just having a normal human reaction.
Is there anyone in your life that you feel safe with and trust that you can call on for the tiniest favor, like to sit with your kids, or just your 2.5 yo, while you go on a fifteen minute walk? Even if you think, "Oh that person is too busy for me to ask," or "It would be an imposition," can you trust that they can say no to you if it really is something they can't do, and that doesn't mean you were bad or selfish for asking?
As far as resenting your husband.... I went through that after I had DD. I would always just get huge with rage when I did the dishes, which I did all the time. I would get so mad and think about what an a******** my DP was. And then I would judge myself for hating DP, and I would say to myself, 'Why are you such a b&&&&? Why can't you get over it? He doesn't have to do them when you think he has to do them. Why can't you just be happy? Why is this such a struggle?" We tried all sorts of things to keep things fair and I kept score, etc. And one day, I learned about just stopping and paying attention to my body. So the next time I went to wash dishes, I was just dizzy with rage. And instead of going right into my old refrain of "he is a jerk, no I'm a b*****" etc, I just stood over the counter and felt everything my body was feeling. My heartbeat, my flushed skin, my hands, the sound of my blood. I said, "Here is my anger. It's trying to protect me. But from what? What is dangerous here?" And I tried to notice my anger without judgment, without trying to keep it or push it away, but treat it just like the sound a barking dog makes. There is something out there, but is it a cougar or a squirrel? My dog is a little sensitive because she's had a lot to protect me from. My anger and resentment aren't trying to hurt me or anyone else... they are just trying to tell me something.
And then I remembered what it was like to be a little kid constantly being physically punished because I hadn't wiped every drop of water off of the sink after I was done washing, or I didn't do all the pots, or I didn't do it right, or I was lazy, or irresponsible or bad. And so on. And then I was like, "Oh my god, of course I hate doing the dishes. Of course it makes me furious. It's like I'm about to be hurt all over again. It is like my mom is standing right there with a stick." And after I realized that... I realized I didn't have to do the dishes. I didn't have to stand there with my own mental stick punishing myself until I "did it right."
I could say, "Hey honey, can you do them," or I could just let them pile up, and it was ok and I wasn't bad or lazy, or selfish, or irresponsible. I was a grown up and it was my house and I could do what I wanted. And I stopped hating him for not reading my mind and doing them when I thought they needed to be done. And I stopped feeling bad washing the dishes. When I went to do them, if I got mad, I'd stop washing them. And then sometimes I'd think, "But I hate how messy it looks or how it smells in here." And I'd wash them for me, because it made me feel good, not for anyone else. I'd wash them because I wanted clean dishes, not because it said anything about my character. I'd set a timer and wash for ten minutes and then pat myself on the back for a job done "good enough."
So that is the other thing I would recommend if you haven't heard of doing it (I never had until my therapist recommended it) because it's helped me with so many of my feelings - just stop, and notice what your body is feeling when you start to get sad or mad. And trust that what you are feeling is for a reason, even if the reason is not immediately apparent.
Tons and tons of internet hugs for you, mama. You've got a difficult situation and you are doing the best you can do. I really believe that. We are always doing the best of what we are able to do, even if it doesn't seem like it. When we know better, we do better. When we have the resources to do better, we will do better. You are doing your best and of course you want to sleep for a year and wake up when it's better. You don't sound ridiculous - you sound very in control but underneath overwhelmed.