Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Asking for help

Curled into a fetal position, incapable of even willing myself to sit up. Repeating my children's names over and over, just to remind myself that I must endure.
It doesn't even hurt.
I am numb.

I hear them cry, daddy is in charge and one is tired and the other is needing cuddles.
Mommy cannot cuddle, she is too busy holding herself.

I knew these few weeks would be hard. I knew that I was pushing myself too much without taking the time for self care. So it's not surprising that I find myself here. Balled up in my numbness.
Still willing myself just to sit up.

I manage to open my eyes. The tears abated a while ago, the numbness persists. I feel empty. I feel lost. I feel like I am continuing to fail. Taking care of everyone but me, losing myself a little more each day. I am fighting a losing battle. The comforts of "home" lost in our transition from Kentucky to Georgia. I blame myself for all of this.
I see my pain reflected in my son's frustration. His tears are my tears.
I know.

I beg for help, and then I realize why I am home. To be helped.

I am at least sitting up now. Baby steps.
Maybe tomorrow will be easier.
Maybe tomorrow I will run again.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Are your ears on?

I read a post recently about why women are more stressed out than men. It included suggestions on how the two genders could eradicate the inevitable escalation that typically occurs when men just "don't get it" or make the fatal mistake of responding "calm down." The article was written by a clinical psychologist, so please don't get your panties in a wad thinking I am wasting your time quoting some random blogger with no backing other than their glorified opinion.

But then again, here you are reading mine....so... ;)

Anyway, the validation of emotions struck home for me. More than anything I loathe being told I am overly emotional, or that someone else doesn't feel that way. Fabulous, since I was stating how I feel I can totally see why it matters that you don't feel or think the same way.
Um, no.
In that moment you have the option to sympathize and listen, thus connecting on a more human level.
I am not asking for you to agree or be my therapist, just for you to hear that I am expressing verbally how I feel.  What ends up happening when you respond with an explanation of how you don't feel/think that way is that I translate what you said in my head as I should not feel/think that way either. Whether intended or not, that's how it is received.

Clearly we should live in a world of automatons that all think and feel exactly the same way. Why are you telling me this? I am sharing a vulnerability of mine and you are swatting it down. Maybe you are actually thinking you should feel the same way, I don't know.
I simply feel invalidated.

Now let us for a moment further transition this to how it affects someone not fully capable of processing their emotions, whether due to depression or anxiety or some other reason (maybe developmentally they aren't there yet, any parents of toddlers?). The emotionally charged mind now feels inferior.

How would someone take such an assessment of themselves? Perhaps they would agree with being incapable of controlling how they feel or how they are analyzing certain situations. This might lead to thoughts that being irritated by something so irrational means weakness. Strong people don't lose control.
Only the weak cry.

Wrong.

You see it does not matter how you interpret it; which is not to say you don't matter, of course you do.
When I am sharing with someone how I feel all I really want is for them to listen.
Typically ANYONE yelling how they feel or crying is only asking to be heard.

My latest attempt at not being a yelling parent is to turn listening into something fun. I will ask my two year old if his ears are on, he even goes so far as to pretend to turn his ear knobs.  It's pretty darn cute, and is occasionally effective. But it is not only toddlers who need reminding to turn their ears on sometimes.

Are yours on?