Monthly Archives: September 2011
I made a commitment to myself when I started this blog that I would post three times a week. This week I missed both Monday and Wednesday and I’m hoping to get this posted before Friday is over.
I’ve been thinking about why I’m blogging, what I hope to get out of it, and why I’ve put pressure on myself to post so often.
Part of the reason I started a blog is that I am not free to talk about some things that are important to me or are difficult for me to talk about with people in my offline life. This is a self-imposed restriction. No one is telling me to shut up. I’m just embarrassed about some of my darker feelings. Of course, everyone has little complaints about their life, their spouse, their mother, their kids, and those complaints are often not appropriate to share with the people closest to us. I don’t want to make OW feel badly by telling him that his end of day breath mixed with the odiferous diet cran-grape he drinks all evening makes me have to turn my back to him in bed in order to avoid gagging. But there are other things I keep deep inside that I’m afraid to share with the people in my life. There is something freeing and cathartic about revealing those secrets (nearly) anonymously with other people.
I hope my embarrassing incidents, weird confessions, worries and even dark moods are things that other people can relate to. I write not only to get it out of my system but also in hopes that I will get some kind of confirmation that I’m not completely wacko. In that sense, I hope to reach out to other moms who share my concerns, worries and joys as well. I want to know that I am not alone in this and I want other moms to know they aren’t alone either.
Why did I commit to writing three times a week? I know that most people won’t bother to read a blog that’s not updated regularly, and I know that writing frequently will improve my writing in general. Unfortunately, the pressure I put on myself to meet my own deadlines is stressful. It’s very difficult for me to find time to sit at the computer and write. I have to do it during naptimes or after the twins and OW have gone to bed. Those are also the times I have other things that need doing. I feel guilty about sitting here “doing nothing” while there is so much in the house to be done.
If you blog, why? What do you get out of it? Do you put pressure on yourself to blog a certain number of times per week?
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
Last week I wrote that I was feeling overwhelmed and rather hopeless. I appreciate the support I received and it’s great to know that there is a caring community of women out there willing to help, even when they’re reaching out to someone they’ve never met.
I still feel overwhelmed. My boys are rarely taking more than 20 minute naps and it’s really difficult to even find time to shower, much less eat, clean up, or cook dinner. I also miss being able to just hang out online for relaxation. I stay connected via my smart phone, scrolling through Twitter and my forums with one hand while I nurse or just hold a sleeping baby. I stay up way, way too late at night after they’ve gone down for the night. I write or read, and it’s virtually the only time I have to write blog posts. I made a quiet commitment to myself to write a post three times a week because I know it’s good for my soul and for my mental health. I get to write here about things I can’t tell anyone in my life. I don’t have real friends in my offline life. I am developing friendships with a couple of other moms I’ve met but we’re definitely not up to the level of true sharing. My husband is my best friend but there are lots of things I don’t want to share with him because he’s a dude and because I don’t want to put additional pressure on him.
I’m not feeling quite as hopeless this week as I did last week. I feel like I’m sort of teetering on the edge of depression but I’m not there. I do know all about severe depression and I’ve been hospitalized a number of times. I was diagnosed years ago with Bipolar II. My manic episodes are not as common as my depressive ones and the medication I’m taking seems to have almost entirely eliminated the mania. I think it also helps keep me from plunging into the deep darkness but it’s not pure magic. I have a responsibility to myself to do the things that help keep me out of that hole.
When I am at this edge, I know that it is up to me to take measures to avoid disaster. Once I start sliding down it becomes much more difficult – nearly impossible – to pull myself back up.
So I’m committing myself to doing some of the things that I know will help me. If I still feel like I’m sliding I’ll call my doctor and get an appointment.
- Stare at my little miracles and think about what miracles they really are.
- Talk to people, not about the depression but about life and my boys and our family’s activities.
- Do tangible things for other people. I’m not in a position right now to commit myself much in the way of charity work, but I can make a card for my friend down the street or make some banana bread for my neighbor.
- Go for walks in my neighborhood in the evening. Many of the families here do this and it’s a good way to connect with people, develop friendships, and get some fresh air.
- Let as much natural light into the house as possible. In lieu of that, turn up all the lights.
- Do little things around the house to make it more pleasant. Light a scented candle. Take five minutes while the boys are napping to sort through a pile of papers. Make the bed (this is a surprisingly effective pick-me-up for me).
- Watch really funny sitcoms like The Office, Community, The Middle, and Modern Family. If I can’t muster up some belly laughs from those I know it’s time to go to the doctor.
I’m going to print out this list and post it on the refrigerator to give me reminders throughout the day. Hopefully I can stop this slide in its tracks.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
Odd Confession Day
These are some of the weird, random things I think about or do. Surely I’m not the only one… On the other hand, perhaps I am.
* I had a bizarre thought last night: This is probably the last penis I’ll ever touch. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.
* I sneak food, even when I’m alone. I’ll buy potato chips at the supermarket, open them in the car on the way home, and then hide them in the car until I can sneak them into the house without OW seeing them. Then I hide them in the back of the pantry.
* Sometimes when one of the twins is crying and crying nothing seems to help, I softly sing him a lullaby in which the only words are “shut up”.
* I pretend my hair color is natural even though people can obviously see my roots peeking out.
* I’m trying to psychically will my twins’ eyes to be blue instead of brown, so they’ll have something from me.
* I made goulash yesterday from pork that was several days past its sell-by date. We’re having it for dinner tonight but I didn’t tell OW about the age of the pork. I’m seriously hoping it won’t make us sick and I feel very sneaky.
* I was rinsing a poopy diaper in the toilet (we use cloth) while baby was on the changing table (I know, I know but he can’t move around yet). He was starting to fuss so I rushed to finish and get the diaper in the pail. Then the other baby started to fuss and I got distracted. I finished with baby number one and went on to baby number two. A while later, while they were napping, I was snacking on some pistachios. I kept smelling something weird and my fingers tasted funny when I licked the salt off. I realized with horror that in my distraction earlier I had failed to wash my hands after rinsing the diaper. Ugh to Nth power.
Confess something to me.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
Most of the entries seem to be other twin blogs. I’m always looking for blogs about All Things Twin, so this is neat. Here is the blog where I hopped on:
The past few days have been pretty difficult for me. I couldn’t think of a good blog topic for today. Actually, that’s not true. I have a whole list of topics written down but I just haven’t had the oomph to write about any of them.
This blog is called bare wood – the unvarnished truth, so I’m going to expose the bareness of my wood just a bit.
I think I’m falling into a bit of a depression. I continue to take medication every day, but the color is starting to drain from the grass and the trees and the world around me. My sweet babies seem less and less sweet each day. I can’t fall asleep without pharmaceutical assistance and I don’t want to get up in the morning.
I’m terrified of my own children. I did a rotten job with my first two and I am certain I am and will continue to do a rotten job with the twins. I am impatient and self-absorbed much of the time. It is so hard to manage both of them at once. The thing I’m crying about most often now is that I know it doesn’t get better. Everyone tells me it does but I know that’s not true. It gets different but it doesn’t get better. Crying babies are replaced by tantrum-throwing toddlers who are replaced by defiant kids who are replaced by sullen tweens who are replaced by obnoxious rebellious teens who are replaced by unfocused, irresponsible young adults. I consider all of that to be largely my fault. If I’d been a better parent maybe they wouldn’t have gone along this particular path.
Worse for them is that my mother passed along her mental illness to me and I passed it along to my oldest son. Have I passed it along to the twins too? How irresponsible was it of me to have them knowing about this possibility? I can’t live with more children trying hard to commit suicide and self-medicating with drugs. I know it seems foolish to look that far into the future with Peanut Butter and Jelly but how can I not? I’m faced with the future every day because I know what comes next. I have fantasies of doing everything right this time but that’s just delusional.
Right now the boys seem to be going through a growth spurt, so my already insufficient milk supply is even more insufficient. I nurse and nurse and nurse but they are still hungry. They are beginning to refuse to nurse because it doesn’t come fast enough. I know this will worsen my supply issues even more. They are also barely sleeping during the day and never both at once. The house is going to hell and I can’t manage to get dinner cooked. So here I am failing at feeding my own children and failing to feed my husband or do anything. He’s going to wonder soon what the hell he’s doing supporting me when I can’t even take care of the house. I keep crying throwing up my food because I feel so stressed out.
I know what you’ll say: Get some help. When do I do that? I have a therapist I was seeing regularly before the boys were born but how am I supposed to go see her now? I have to have someone (my MIL or SIL or mom usually) come babysit and what do I tell them about where I’m going? I don’t want them to know. Plus, I don’t even know what to say to the therapist. I feel like shit. Now what?
I’ll probably come out of this after a while. I get nervous about how long it will last but mostly that’s up to me. I need to stop wallowing and just get the hell up and go on. My husband says he thinks depression is mostly about being too inward focused, which is a result of being selfish and self-absorbed. That’s why I never tell him about how I feel. I don’t want him to think that about me. And I often think he’s right. Yes, there is probably some real neurological problem that makes me more prone to cycles of depression and mania but isn’t it up to me, in the end, to take control of myself? Maybe I’ll find the energy to do that after a while. Right now I just don’t have it.
I love my husband. I really do.
You knew there was a but, right?
I need to start by extolling his virtues as both a husband and a father. He gave me flowers and a card for our semi-versary. That’s right, he made a big deal out of us being married for six months. How cool is that? He is loving and attentive for the most part. He takes my feelings into consideration and respects my opinions. He won’t let me carry a heavy bag and holds the door for me.
He shines as a father too. He got up every time the babies did for the first several months when I was having to pump and give bottles (the boys weren’t up to speed on breastfeeding yet). He’ll still get up during the night if I need help. He’s rinsed out more poopy diapers than I have and he never cringes or complains. Every single morning, weekends included, he gets up before I do. He makes me an iced coffee just the way I like it, brings the vitamins and medications into the bedroom for all of us, and changes the diapers of wakeful babies while I’m still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. He’ll throw the diapers in the dryer and unload the dishwasher for me. In the evening he is just as likely as I am to put aside a hot dinner to hold a crying babe. He’s willing to learn to babywear, and is excited about our future together as a family.
So I was perplexed and annoyed to get a phone call from him while I was in the supermarket Monday evening. The store is 8 minutes from the house. I had a list and had been methodically working my way through it for about 40 minutes and I was nearly done. The phone rang and all I could hear was the twins screaming bloody murder. “Hello? Hello?” I said. Finally, his strained voice says to me, “Do you hear that? Do you hear that? You’ve got to come home!”
I told him that I was working my way through as quickly as I could and would be home as soon as possible. I felt a twinge of annoyance at that point, but kept moving. Ten minutes later, as I was just crossing off the last few items on my list, he called again. “Come home!” he demanded. Now I was mad. I was standing in the checkout line when I got a text from him telling me to hurry up.
Now I was pissed off. What did he think I was doing? I was not dilly-dallying. It’s not like I was getting a pedicure. I was buying food so our family could eat! I make my list in order by aisle so I don’t have to cross back through the store. I was buying exactly what was on my list and not lingering in front of the cookies. I was going as fast as I effing could.
When I got home he was a wreck. I had been gone exactly one hour. The babies had been crying for 45 minutes and he was about to have a breakdown.
I mean, seriously?
What the fuck does he think I deal with every fucking day?
Whew – sorry about the profanity, but really. This is my life. It’s my life all day every single day. There is 45 minutes of stereo screaming on a GOOD day. I don’t call him and tell him he has to come home. There are days when I send him a text or emailsaying that it’s been a bad day and asking whether he could please bring home dinner. There have even been days when I’ve called him, crying, to say that it’s not fair to Peanut Butter that Jelly cries so much and needs more attention. But I do that because I need to tell someone about my pain. I don’t insist that he drop what he’s doing to come save me.
In fact, I was virtually alone with the twins the entire Labor Day weekend because he’s been painting all of the rooms on the second floor of our house (which I appreciate – he has worked really hard on home improvements and sees it as a gift to our whole family). The boys have been particularly fussy of late and he listened to me caring for two crying babies by myself for the whole weekend. I do appreciate the work, but I am offended that I was not allowed one freaking hour to do grocery shopping.
I’m so tempted to jab him with comments about how I have to deal with them all the time and he doesn’t. He likes to tell me how hard his job is. I know it is very stressful and I never diminish that. Could I get a little credit too though? And couldn’t he just suck it up and let me enjoy an hour by myself at the supermarket?
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it
I thought it would be fun to do some memes, so here is a Friday Five.
1. Describe a recurring dream you have and what you think it means.
I have several recurring dreams. The details differ slightly but the theme is consistent. I had one of my regulars last night. I dream that I find myself in a situation that would, in real life, be very private or embarrassing. Everyone has those, right? You discover that you’re naked and you run around trying to clothe yourself. Mine have an odd twist. In addition to finding myself naked, I also frequently dream that I’m on the toilet or having sex in front of a lot of strangers. The twist is that I don’t care. I’m not ashamed and am happy to continue, even though the people around me are uncomfortable with the situation. There is usually a friend with me who is embarrassed by my lack of embarrassment and tries to convince me to put on my clothes, get off of the toilet, etc. I typically refuse and have an attitude about it too. Sometimes I will capitulate because of pressure from others but never because of my own discomfort. What do you think this means?
2. What do you like to daydream about?
Oh I daydream about lots of things. Unfortunately, mine are often dark. I daydream about my children’s future and pull up all sorts of depressing scenarios. I imagine myself old, alone and broke. I picture burning myself horribly while cooking. They aren’t all so miserable though. I also daydream about doing everything perfectly in raising Peanut Butter & Jelly – fixing all of the mistakes I made with my first two boys. I imagine them kissing me on the cheek as they leave for high school each day. I picture them graduating from law school and joining their father in his practice. Sometimes I daydream for myself. I see OW with a wildly successful practice, with eight or ten attorneys under him. He no longer has to put in 10 hour days and we have the money for me to comfortably stay home forever. I am the president of the Junior League AND the PTA.
3. What’s the scariest dream you can remember?
This is another recurring dream. I am being physically attacked and there is a crowd of people standing around just watching. I beg for help but no one steps forward. I fight as hard as I can but know I can not get away. When I was a teenager my father would often be in the crowd. I would cry and plead with him to help, but he would just turn away. I would always wake up in a cold sweat, feeling sick at my stomach.
4. What would be a “dream come true” for you?
Ah, the daydream about spending my days volunteering and shuttling my kids to their activities while keeping my house magazine beautiful and cooking a gourmet meal each night would be my dream come true. Some parts of that are reasonably attainable, some probably aren’t. But a dream is a goal to work toward.
5. What is the best dream you’ve ever had?
I’ve only had a flying dream once, but it has stuck with me for years and years. In the dream I had a beautiful, multi-colored cape that allowed me to spin around slowly and then levitate. From there I was able to just will myself up and down and in any direction I chose. Even now, years later, I distinctly remember the colors of the cape and of the world around me. I remember the wonderful feeling of flying. It was literally and figuratively a lightness of being. I keep hoping that I’ll have that dream again one day.
What do you dream about?
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.