Hi, dear mamas,
I have a beautiful awesome 6 m.o. daughter who has been such an angel throughout a very very tough time. When she was 6 weeks, my father had a heart attack and died suddenly. My world was totally upended: even though I was not very close with my dad, I just fell into a state of fear, grief, anger, and almost constant anxiety (the last one being due to whether I was doing things right, was I ruining her, what if I didn't get her down to nap at the EXACT right moment, etc.
I will not tell the whole story here (though at some point I think I should write another post), but I will say that things got VERY bad, but now seem to be lightening, with the help of therapy, a serious regimien of natural meds, support from my husbad, and some hardcore honesty with myself about my own issues.
One really significant issue remains and I don't know what to do about it. I had gone almost three weeks without an "episode", but then it happened two days ago, and I realized that this is still a major issue I need to work with. I get triggered by issues around her sleep: when I am having a hard time getting her down, when she wakes from naps early, and when she wakes several times close together in the middle of the night. I become very upset, but also often feel enraged. Yesterday I had an experience where I was trying to get her down to nap and she wasn't having it. I got so angry and frustrated that I put her down on the bed (resisting, as always, the urge to drop her) and said several times very loudly "I HATE YOU", and then when I put her in her co-sleeper almost asleep at some point and she woke up, I banged the foot of the cosleeper to the floor, which I am sure did not hurt her in any way, but definitely upset her. When I am trying to get her to sleep and she cries in my arms, I sometimes get so upset that I want to squeeze her and my whole body goes rigid as I hold her very tight. I get triggered when she is groping around and pinches my neck or my nipple or my lip or pulls my hair while I am holding her and I am very abrupt when I grab her hand to stop it.Yesterday, I came downstairs for over twenty minutes while she wailed in her bed because I couldn't look at her. I felt so ashamed, and so full of anger and frustration. My husband had to talk me down until I could finally go to her.
I need to say here that I realize that what I am saying sounds awful, and I feel like a monster. I do not have the URGE to hurt her, per se, it is more that I have these hair triggers that set me off with her. I need to know from other women who went through similar things, what did you do? Did you have a sequence of thoughts or things you would say to yourself or actions you would take?? Does anyone have any advice? It is so painful.
I need to request that if you are going to respond with your judgements of me, that you absolutely say nothing. I will not injure my child, and I will get over this, and being honest is part of our strength here. I hope that some woman reads my words and can realize that she isn't alone.