I felt like it was the beginning of the end, that I was falling into the pit of PND again, and even breifly felt suicidal. How can you live with yourself when you do something so disappointing and hurtful to the ones you love? Anyhow, Sunday was not a good day for me ...
For the last three weeks Noah has been testing us to the end of our tethers. He was wilful, rude, disobedient and aggressive, coming at me with pounding fists and screaming, really acting up and even having a go at other people - incredibly naughty. He has been a trial with his dinner. He NEVER wants to eat it and I've tried everything. Sunday night I was tired. I'd been up with Chloe the night before about four times. I missed Andrew and he was tied up with some responsibilities at church so he made it home two hours after I did. We ate tea without him. Once again, Noah tried it on, refusing dinner and being a real smart alec. I didn't know what else to do so I threatened smacking him.
He pushed. I smacked. He pushed again, I smacked again, and again, as hard as I could smack.
I screamed at the top of my lungs "EAT YOUR TEA!" I screamed it over and over until my voice went hoarse and I had nothing left in me.
He was crying hysterically at this point and he told me to go away just after reaching to me for comfort.
I went away. My entire body shook. I broke down in tears. It made me realise how much I've been affected by everything, it had been building up over time, until I reached this point - a bad point to be I might add.
I went back to Noah, cradled him in my arms and said sorry. We both held each other in a comforting embrace and cryed. As children do, he forgave me within minutes and it was as though nothing had happened. He was magnanimous. But me - I still feel sick at the loss of control and the rage.
I look at my kids sometimes and blame them for the frustration I'm feeling when really it is everything else around me that is causing it, it's just not so obvious because they're standing right in front of you, openly defying you. But they are just being kids. They really are the fun part, even when they are throwing tanties. It's all the other external factors and obligations that have our shoulders in knots.
The funny thing is I don't feel angry anymore. I feel in control again, strong again. I needed the release. However, that was unhealthy getting to that stage and taking it out on my kid. So what have I learned from this?
- Sleep deprivation makes you less tolerant and resilient to life's pressures and any little thing added to it is like a lead weight.
- I need an outlet to channel my rage so even if life gets hard, I will have a way of getting out that anger in a safe and controlled environment and my children do not cop the brunt of it. It will do three things 1) Channel pieces of the rage so that it doesn't build up and I explode because I am letting it out in small doses, 2) Fitness, endorphins, better sleep and 3) Time out.
- Andrew and I need to date so that I feel connected to him and don't miss him so much.
- I need to work on my spirituality - going to the temple is a big one here. It will strengthen me and heal me.
- Talk to a trusted friend about how I am feeling, how I am doing, I found one today, even though she'd been there all along, I never knew I could turn to her like this until now. I am grateful for her advice and time.
- Make time for myself - essential, especially being creative and still acheiving personal goals.
So I am writing, not for your criticism or judgements, but for me to pin point the triggers and you know what, I think I have. Now I can see clearly what happened to get me to this regretful point. It is not a PND relapse. It is not depression. It is an accumulation of stressful things and it is not coping with them and dealing with them as they come. It's just going through the motions as though I have no control on my life. No strategies have been put in place for times like these. Now I know where I need to mend the ladder to allow me to climb out of the hole of despair I felt imprisoned, as above. Those things are strategies for coping and while life is still all rush and sleep deprivation, it is manageable if I do them and it keeps my emotions in check.
No strategies leads to bad habits and impulsive reactions which can lead to worse things and begin a vicious circle.
So that's me, naked and vulnerable before your eyes, but I don't care what you think because you are not me, you don't live my life, you don't know or understand because you ain't wearing my shoes so take from it what you will, but I know I have found an answer for me and that is a break through for the long term in this interesting journey called life.