My STBX has been in rare form the past two days, and I am completely, utterly drained and demoralized. I've been holding up well, one day at a time, since we decided to separate a little more than a month ago, but I am having a bit of a breakdown at the moment. I spent most of last night crying after DS went to bed, and all I want to do this morning is crawl back into bed and cry some more. I am exhausted. Besides being upset by DH's behaviour over the past couple of days, I am grieving the loss of my marriage, my "intact" family, my ability to pay bills without wondering whether I'm going to have enough money to pay them, etc.
I have to go to work, and I have to parent this beautiful child of mine. I can close my door at work, but I can't sit in my office and cry - I actually need to get work done.
Do any of you wise mamas have coping strategies that you could share for times like these?
If you feel you need to grieve, then grieve. It is an important step in the healing process, so take the time you feel you need to go through it.
When you reach a point of knowing that you really need to start moving forward and more positively, then start by finding things that you can feel grateful about (and most of those will probably include your child). When we start to focus on what feels good, what we feel happy about, what we are grateful for, things seem to feel a little better and brighter.
Hang in there. It is tough, at times, but it does get easier as you move forward.
Hobbies, hobbies, hobbies. I say (and do) find things I enjoy doing and do them often, with our without child in tow (I am lucky to have steady, affordable childcare). Sports, books, tv shows, magazines, knitting, drawing, writing, whatever interests you/you're into.
However, as previous posters have pointed out, you can't run from your emotions. You will eventually have to deal with them, let them wash over you, let them have the effect they are going to have, then make the best of what's left when they leave. There is no other way. Do not repress! It will only make the situation worse/prolong the inevitable (trust me on this one).
What I'm trying to say, ungracefully, is that emotions can be painful and draining, but they don't have to be the enemy. If you approach them as important signs and cues, of necessary growth, they sort themselves out after a time.
Hope that helps. You're going to make it. I promise.
Do things for yourself! When you find your life revolving around problems with stbx, remind yourself it's over and work on you, care for you, put you first. Any time you think of him, stop yourself and think of you. I did this and was surprised how much of myself I had lost, while focusing on him so much. Use your energy on only you and your son. All things you can't do when you're being drained with a sucky man in your life! Be prepared to continue to be drained while living together, and having your energies interact so much!
Good movies, good books can inspire you. Have short term milestones to count down to. Find some women to chat to about adult stuff, when ds can't over hear.
Remind yourself why you aren't with him, and be thankful that eventhough it might get harder, at least you are free and although scary, are starting new and anything can happen. There's a lot of power and possibilities in that. I know you're entering into dangerous waters, but you've come far and at least a lot of bs is over with! He's not going to get it, ever. That's why he's not for you. Remind yourself of that so that you're aren't so sad that your intact family is over. No more wasting time in your life. It's gonna be hard to parent alone when the going gets tough. It's exchanging one set of tough stuff for another, but so worth it! Once you aren't living together, you will be even further along, with more behind you. All this has to happen, just get through it so you can get to the other side.
lower your expectations way much. My kids watched a TON of tv, just a ton and I bought a bunch of convinece food that I didn't usuaslly and I drank a lot of coffee and bought good sunglasses and eye cream. Really - eye cream - will help with not looking like you've been crying so much and feels good on the eyes too. I still don't even know what eye cream I have - walked into a store and asked the lady at a cosmetic counter for really good eye creams and bought what she handed me w/o looking at it. Still don't know what it is - but it helps.
Mamas, thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience. I did grieve - I cried on the way to work, and closed my office door several times through the day to just sit, be quiet, and occasionally cry. And by the end of the work day I was ready to take it all on again.
Love the suggestion about eye cream! Definitely got a couple of comments about bleary eyes at work yesterday. Of course, I know nothing about eye cream, but it sounds like someone at a decent cosmetics counter would.
Several divorced mommas have suggested antidepressants to help with the "change of lifestyle". I'm getting a prescription tomorrow because I am drowning in the pain right now and my kids need me to be at least a little of the momma they need. I'm fine with feeling the pain but I can't function even at normal stress levels and if I can't work soon, we'll lose our home.