Thursday, 6 November 2014

I am NOT my mother, NOT my dad, NOT a toddler

I was on the phone with my dad this morning, I called to see if he wanted to go to a sale this weekend. As we were chatting he casually asked about when my son will be starting school. Now, to be honest, I am VERY inclined to home school. No, we're not religious, we're not in a cult, we're not socially inept or whatever other stigma follows home schooling families, I just don't really feel traditional school is the first choice. Anyway, on with the story. I started telling my dad that it would be a few years yet and that I wasn't sure where my son was going to go. I started telling my dad a bit about some friends' experiences and how I'm not totally confident in the way things are being handled in schools. Well, bloddy hell, the man just went off the deep end(channeling a little Ron Weasley there). My dad started flipping out about how teachers don't do their jobs, how sending kids home teachers them HOW to get sent home. He was literally YELLING on the phone, about teachers, and it wasn't even 9am yet. Oy Vey.

Now, the conversation with my dad continued and we were talking about social media, parenting etc, and for each topic my dad had at least one explosion of rage. I think the thing that really bothered me, was when he started going on and on about parents who have kids that act out. He was saying things like "just spank the fucking brat" and the like, which were upsetting for a couple of reasons. 1. My dad didn't spank us or call us names, so I don't get his logic there, just seems contradictory 2. My dad is STILL angry at his own parents for doing just those things. 

I have problems with yelling, I've been working on them for a very long time, and I've improved drastically. My dad, on the other hand(obviously), has not. As much as I know my relationship with my mother makes me upset, my relationship with my dad can also be strenuous at times, he's just so angry at mostly nothing. So, in light of a little self revelation, here's my list of things I will be reiterating to myself every time I start getting upset over nothing:

*I am not my mother*
I will not spank, slap, ground, scream, or belittle my children. I didn't like it, my children wouldn't either
*I am not my dad*
I will not Hulk out over every little thing. It's just a remote control, it's just a pen, it's just a box of kraft dinner past it's best before date(honestly, you think "Sh*t My Dad Says" is good/bad? You have heard NOTHING yet) I always HATED the yelling and the words "SHUT. UP." I am not doing that to my kids.
*I am not a toddler*
I will not slam cupboards, recycle with RAGE, cry over spilled milk. Monkey SEE Monkey DO, I don't want sad-angry monkeys destroying the house and themselves.

I will be doing my best to not become a basket case. I'm not going to be a distant, emotionless drone, and I'm not going to become the incredible hulk when my spoon bends in the ice cream. I have devised a little physical release I call "Breathe like a tree" for when my toddler flips out and when I'm becoming wound up. I say "breathe like a tree", then crouch down, slowly stand up and breathe deep, arms stretched out, palms out and fingers spread. I swish my arms or flutter my fingers(or both) and breath out, sometimes I balance on one leg and bend my other leg and place that foot on the inside of my balancing leg, like tree pose(I think, I don't do yoga). Anyway, it really does help, and my toddler things it's pretty funny. 

Who would have thought an early morning conversation with my dad and his intense(and ridiculous) hatred of teachers would lead to such a great release! I always say it, but I really should write more often, I feel so much better afterwards.

Leslie Michael

Monday, 3 November 2014

Numb with Feeling

It was a busy summer and fall started off with a possible move, but we're back to normal now and staying where we're planted at the moment. Things have been extremely busy but at the same time I feel like I'm personally stuck. I'm not growing as a person, I'm not sleeping well (I mean having a baby and a toddler you lose some sleep, but they're all crashed and I'm up all night watching netflix or cruising online articles), and I have been having a lot of anxiety. In the past I have suffered with moderate depression but that had a lot to do with circumstances that could be changed, which we changed. This feels different, and to be honest I'm pretty sure I've done it to myself again, I think my decision to "not care" anymore was a HUGE mistake.

(Have I ever mentioned that I interject humour at grossly inappropriate times?)

Anyway, I really did make a mistake by deciding to not care about things that stress me out, because I do still care about them, I just pretended they didnt matter. Now I feel numb, just totally checked out. I can't even cry when I know normally I would, or should, for that matter. I used to smoke when I was stressed, now I pull my hair out, I have a pretty large spont on my head where I'm missing quite a bit of hair, which sucks. On the brite side I'm not "polluting my lungs" as my grandpa Tomorrow I start councilling so I'm hoping I can work on this stupid hair pulling and also on this whole feeling emotion thing again. Honestly, I should have known better then to just shut down my feelings, I've only been watching the consequences of that unfold my ENTIRE life with my mother, she's queen of emotional supression(my dad is no better in that regard to be honest). 

I have been limiting contact with my mom on the whole for awhile, I only really contact her once a month. It seems ridiculous but even though I dont want to talk to her, I get upset that she doesn't initiate contact. She hasn't actually been the first person to send a text or email since spring, pretty much since I reiterated my dislike for her boyfriend. My husband gets really annoyed by my mother's lack of effort, which I appreciate, but it makes me more upset thinking she is just further spreading discontent through her inaction. Whenever I start thinking about how shitty a mother she really is I start getting overwhelmed and just shut down before I can even process it, I feel like it's just killing my spirit and I'm tired of it. 

I'm so mentally exhausted. I've been on a rollercoaster of pure emotional bullshit since I was pregnant with my son. There has been family drama with my in laws, there has been family drama with my mother, there has been family drama with my own family, its just non-stop. Shit hits the fan for a month in one family, the mess is cleaned up, and then the next month a whole different issue within another part of the family just explodes, who wouldn't just say fuck it all and shut down after 3 years of straight chaos? For a bit I thought maybe I had postpartum depression, but hormones are not the problem here, my ability to cope just flew out the window after attempting to hold things together for too long(and really, Ive had to cope my entire life with my mothers choices, just the last 3 years have had this horrible compound effect). To top it all off, I have heard my mother say "I didn't have a mother, I didn't know how to be a mother" at least 5 times this year, if I hear that one more time I'm going to boil over. Guess what? I didn't have a mother either, but here I am, being a mom, and choosing to do the best I can. 

Ugh, it feels good to get that out.
I imagine I'll be back sooner than later, writing to strangers seems to be fairly therapeutic. 

Leslie Michael

#anxiety #trichotillomania #momblog #stress