Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Scared in the Sunshine

Posted By Anonymous.

I'm in a very dangerous place at the moment. I'm standing in a sunlit dining room with a rosy cheeked 21-month-old playing happily beside me, but my mind and my heart are in a very dark, dangerous, scary place.

I wish I weren't here. I wish I weren't anywhere. I don't want to die. I just wish I could cease to exist. I think everyone around me would be better for it. At least I wouldn't have to feel like this anymore. This sucks.

About a dozen and a half times today, I've had the unbearable urge to scream at my child. Or cry. Or just put her safely in her crib with a sippy cup, some crackers and a book and drive far, far, far away. I didn't do any of those things.

I'm exhausted. Tired from getting four hours of sleep a night. Tired from being everyone's support. Tired of feeling like I have to work stupid hours so we can live in a good neighborhood, save for retirement and maybe, *maybe* take a vacation or get a new car one day. Tired of hearing my husband say how much his job sucks. (Dude, maybe if you had gotten your shit together when you were 20, you wouldn't be trying to figure out what to do with your life and I wouldn't be in the position of being the major-income-earner-benefit-provider-and-everything-else-under-the-sun.) Tired of feeling like I've screwed up my life with a series of really bad choices.

My child threw a fit this morning when I wanted to wear a skirt. I'm tired of that, too. Tired of not being able to wear or do what I want when I want.

I'm praying that naptime comes easily today because if it doesn't....well, I still probably won't scream or drive away or stick my head in the oven. I'll cry into my pillow for a while, suck it up and go get the kid. Because that's what I do. For now.


flutter said...

Oh honey. What a world of difference a night of sleep, a day to yourself and hearing that you are amazing would do.

and damn it, wear the skirt.

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

Did I write this in my sleep and email Her Bad Mother's Basement? I totally feel for you. I am so sorry. Email me and we could chat more that way.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, let her throw a fit. Wear what you want. You are the Big Person and you are in charge.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you are clinically depressed, which is totally understandable given your heavy burden right now. Have you thought about seeking professional help? A little therapy and some anti-depressants can work wonders. Wanting to cease to exist bcause existing hurt too much is not a good way to be. I know, I've been there.

Lara said...

i agree with anonymous at 9:44 about not wanting to exist - i've been there too. i didn't want to kill myself, but i didn't want to be around anymore either. and then i overdosed on pills. it's a scary place to be, because it's hard to see how close you might be to the edge.

you're trying to be strong and put everyone else first. but sometimes, to take care of everyone else in the long run, you have to be "selfish" and put yourself first in the short run. you have to be healthy and whole to be any help to your family.

do whatever you need to be healthy - get professional help, try medication, institute a weekly "alone time" for yourself. whatever it takes. because you need and *deserve* it.

Christina said...

I've been in a similar situation, and felt like I wanted to run away from it all. I also recommend getting professional help and maybe antidepressants. They won't take away the cause of the depression, but they will give you what you need to cope with your heavy responsibilites and hopefully give you the ability to feel that you can make changes to your situation.

Do you ever get time to yourself to do something you enjoy? Do you have a family member who could take your daughter for a night so you could get a full night's sleep? One of my sanity savers is getting time to myself now and then to recharge my batteries. I've learned that I have to force others to understand that I need my time, or it will be bad for everyone.

You have to take care of yourself first.

Anonymous said...

i think all of us have had moments where we feel like screaming or running away.or....amongst all the joy of being a mother is all the daily shite you have to deal with.have you been to see your doc to make sure its not depression or something? you sound exhausted and like you could use some you have family or a friend who could help ?its ok to ask for help when you feel pick up the phone and call someone ok?LAVENDULA

Mimi said...

Oh, I'm so so sorry ... you sound like you are really suffering. Like you are just giving and giving and giving and not getting anything back. If you are wishing that you weren't around anymore you really *must* get some help: you are in serious crisis, and while you might be hiding it from everyone you are taking care of, you can't hide it from yourself. I'm so sorry you feel so awful, and I can understand why you do.

It's ok to need help and it's ok to ask for it. You clearly can't go on as you have been doing. You can't do it the way you're doing it. You need help.

I hope you will get it. Please let us know ...

Jezer said...

I spend a lot of time laughingly throwing around comments about how Zoloft saved my life and the lives of those around me, but the reality is this: It Did. I'm not saying to go rush out and find a doctor that will write you a prescription, but I *am* saying that I have experienced the feelings that you are describing--I've lain in bed for days wishing and praying that it would swallow me up so I could just cease to be. During another episode, I spent weeks walking around like a zombie, completely emotionless, because the only emotion that I could muster was sobbing sadness over nothing in particular. And this was *before* I had a baby. I cannot even begin to imagine feeling exhausted and completely tapped out and the need to take care of others in the midst of that darkness.

My point is that you are not alone. And there is hope. At this port in the storm, I would say that it is very important that you call your doctor, even if your only doctor is your ob/gyn. Tell him/her what you're feeling and ask for recommendations or referrals to someone who can help you. Do not feel selfish or silly making that call. I'm pretty confident that what you're going through is not The Blues. Help is out there, whether it be in the form of counseling (I've done that, too--it's actually very nice and helpful, even) an antidepressant, or both.

You can feel better. You deserve to feel better. I wish you all the best. And if you need an ear, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email at jezewhiz[at]gmail[dot]com.

Anonymous said...

a million and one hugs.
I nearly started screaming at my baby the other day when she was sick and i was sick and my husband was sick too, but only one of us had spent the entire day in bed (the adult one with a penis) and one of us had spent the entire day dealing with vomit and diarrhea and all of the laundry that comes with it (me).
get some rest. can you somehow get a weekend off to be ALONE? or at least a night? in a hotel maybe?

margalit said...

I'm very worried for you. Does your community offer mental health support services? Those are usually free or very sliding scale, and they also work with most insurances. They can help you determine if you are clinically depressed and need medication, and/or whether you need parenting support. In many communities they have visiting support services that come into your home just to help you articulate how difficult things are for you.

Please make the phone call. You deserve a happier life. Everyone does!

Anonymous said...

i think more mothers of little ones have felt this way than you even can imagine. i certainly have. there's a reason the army uses sleep deprivation to break people down and make them go crazy...cuz it works!
First, you need sleep.
Second, you need to talk to someone, a good friend, a counselor, someone who will offer you the support and love and a good ear to hear what you have to say, to validate your feelings and offer some compassion.
Third, you need a break frmo the overwhelming 24/7 responsibility that is motherhood. the pressur eis intense and especially more so for you the primary breadwinner with seemingly little support and understanding for the huge role(s) you are filling.
I also suggest that perhaps some antidepressants could help lift this fog. I've debated for 2 years now about whether I should get on some, it has helped many of my friends. I haven't quite made the leap but those hwo have say it is extremely beneficial.
Do whatever you need to do to get a break. When I find myself so exhasuted and resentful and bitter that I spend more time yelling at my kids than enjoying them, that's when i know it's time for mommy to GET AWAY. I sincerely hope you have some resource where you can get away, whether that means 1 hr or a weekend away. You need a break.
Sending big hugs your way, i KNOW, deeply, what you are feelign and wish you the very best. Hang in there.

Jodi said...

hugs to you. I have been there, done that. I agree with everyone's else's comments. Get some sleep. And go and talk to somebody. Please come to my blog and email me if you would like to chat. I feel your pain, I really really do.

Mel said...

I don't have anything to add to this that hasn't already been said, but I will chime in: You are not alone. And it will get better. I have a thirteen and an eight-year-old, and when they were small (and difficult) I felt like my life was out of my control and that I would never get it back.
But it does. It gets better.
And also, (((You)))

Kate said...

Wow, there are parts of that I could have written myself. I was at that same place about 4 years ago. I'm currently the ONLY income earner in the household, and I can relate to the tremendous pressure of it all. And don't be so hard on yourself. You haven't made bad choices. You are providing for your family, and that's the bravest choice of all. Don't walk away. Try and work it out, you will thank yourself in the end. (((HUGS)))

Pgoodness said...

You're not alone, no matter how much you feel that you are. Many of us have been there; some of us still are there. You have to take care of YOU. How about calling in sick to work and not telling anyone and taking the time for YOU. Get a room and sleep. Go shopping. Sit in a park with a coffee and breathe. While medications aren't cure-alls or for everyone, Zoloft has been a very good friend to me since my boys were born. It helps keep me calm and in the right frame of mind. Stress is still present, but the anxiety is lessened.
There is nothing wrong with putting the little one someplace safe and walking away for a little while. You do what you have to do.
Exhaustion makes us all a little crazy. Sleep during naptime - screw the dishes or whatever else "has" to be done. Just lay on the couch or bed and let yourself go for a little while.
And hang in there. It gets better. Not easier, just better. HUGS

Matt said...

"Dude, maybe if you had gotten your shit together when you were 20, you wouldn't be trying to figure out what to do with your life and I wouldn't be in the position of being the major-income-earner-benefit-provider-and-everything-else-under-the-sun."

I think I'm the only guy here, so I'll just say that (if you don't fear physical retaliation from him) - you should say that to him. Then add "Our child needs TWO adult parents."

Also, my wife has suffered from clinical depression for years and has been well served (and a better, happier, more confident mother) by anti-depressant meds.

You certainly aren't alone. Take some of these nice women up on their offers and "talk" to them.

Lawyer Mama said...

Can I just say, Amen, to what Matt said. That's exactly what I was thinking. You shouldn't have to bear this burden alone.

I completely understand where you're coming from. Hell, I wrote a VERY similar post last week. Now I have an appointment to see my doctor next week where I will be demanding that he put me on anti-depressants. Even if that's not for you, maybe talking to a therapist could help you.

In the meantime, insist that you have some time to yourself to do stuff just for you. Make your husband get up with the baby half the week so that you can get some sleep. Take care of you. (((HUGS)))

Piddler said...

When our children are very small, we drown in them. With our help, they learn to swim and then they don't need us so much anymore.

Do what you need to do to get through this phase (the swimming lessons, let's call it). As the mother of teens (wonderful teens), I can assure you, it gets better. Easier. You get most of your life back. I promise.

liv said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
moodswingingmommy said...

Oh honey! I was exactly where you are now a couple of months ago, and thank God I ended up in the hospital and not 6 feet under. I'm slowly clawing my way out of that black hole, with the help of a therapist and medication. Please put yourself first, make a call and get some help asap! I'll ditto what others above have said. If you need to talk, you can reach me at

kristina said...

I'm going to make an assumption. That you came here to write this because you needed an anonymous place to vent and share. There could be a couple of reasons for that. Maybe you are afraid that the people in your life would judge you harshly? Maybe worse, you don't have anyone to truly share with?

If it is the first, then I'd like you to read over the comments again and realize that we are all saying the same thing. WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE. In fact, we're there quite often. My friends like to say they give me the "mother of the year award" because I seem so patient with my children, but the truth is that yes, I do lose it from time to time and I do yell at them. It is ugly and horrible, but it is the truth. All of us do. And man, nothing can prepare you for parenting. It is fucking HARD. So I'm assuming that if you have a mother or another parent friend you can share with, there isn't going to be anything but love, support and a helping hand waiting for you after you open your heart to them.

If it is the second situation, there are resources that may be able to help you. Even my small community has a crisis nursery. And drugs can certainly clear your mind enough to deal with the most immediate problems and then work on developing a support net around you. Every parent needs it.

I've gone through several depressive episodes in my life that I was deeply afraid to voice my feelings out loud because maybe someone might take my children away or I might lose friends or family might think I was weak. But once I come out of those times, looking back with a clearer head I realized that it was dangerous for me not to get help and none of those things were likely to happen. It is obvious looking back, but damn hard when you are in the middle of it. So be stronger than I was. Go talk. To family, to friends and to a professional. It will ease your body, mind, heart and soul. Get drugs, sleep, pampering, help, share words, allow others' words to help you, and yes, get the drugs.

I've seen the transformation (from Zoloft) first-hand with many others - if there is a next time for me I vow to be brave and get the help I need. Maybe if you can do it, then I can too? Let us know what happens...

mothergoosemouse said...

It seems like it never ends, doesn't it?

If I may say so, I think it's not so much that you feel everyone would be better off without you, it's that you are tired of bearing the responsibility of holding it all together.

I've felt the same way - why can everyone else do exactly as they please, but not me?! I still feel that way occasionally.

If you have an OB-GYN whom you trust, please see him/her. Ask for names of therapists/psychiatrists who specialize in the treatment of women. Believe me, that can make all the difference (vs. a non-specialized therapist/psych).

Maybe meds, maybe therapy (alone or with your partner), maybe a combination of both. But you deserve to be happier and more fulfilled than you seem to be.

Wishing you the best.

Anonymous said...

"It's that you are tired of bearing the responsibility of holding it all together.," MotherGooseMouse

I totally agree with this statement. Unfortunately there are a lot of relationships where there is one person holding it together. While the other may do their share; they just don't do it equally. It's then we have to decide to stay in the relationship or move on and it really depends on the overall circumstances. My husband is a great provider. He brings home the bacon. But it seems to stop there. The rest is left to me. I have dealt with the feelings you described often enough. I agree with some here you may need to seek out some professional counseling or a really good friend. Get a day or two away to recoup if you can. Meds might help. What I have to remind myself is to take time for myself. That is the most important piece of advice I can give you. That your reaching out for help is a good sign. Keep reaching out and take some time for yourself regularly. I can't say it will get easier but I can say brighter days are ahead.

Mom of a large family

Anonymous said...

omg, i didn't know my husband had a second wife!

Anonymous said...

I wrote this post and just wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented. Your words of support helped me, and continue to help me, through a difficult time.

Thank you, too, for the invitations to e-mail and chat. I probably won't take you up on those offers because I'm ridiculously shy, even on the internet. Which would explain why I don't have anyone to talk to...which would explain why I have to post stuff like this anonymously on a blog. (sigh) More evidence of what a mess I am.

Things are a little better. I have a couple days to get some extra sleep. My temper is a little better. OH! And I wore the skirt! Kiddo just had to fuss it out. We all lived through it.

Thank you again, and thank you to Her Bad Mother for this site. I think it helps get some very heavy loads off of people's chests.