Thursday, 17 September 2009

Jenga

The last few therapy sessions I've had have been very intense. Delving deep into my past and bringing up a lot of questions and anger. It's left me feeling venerable and scared in some ways, and my "defense" for these emotions is to get organized. I need structure and routine in my life to make me feel safe while dealing with these troubles, and I need it badly. It's slightly OCDish I suppose. I plan my day the night before (while I'm laying in bed) in my head. Every second from when I get up (wake up. get out of bed. go to the toilet. brush teeth. turn on the shower. get in the shower....etc etc. down to the last detail) to when I go to sleep. I have a plan. I need to be in control.

If I loose control or if things don't go to plan, I effectively have a melt down. I get snappy, emotional, scared and paranoid. My therapist explained to me today that I have these melt downs because I depend SO much on the routine that when it breaks down, so does my mental state. This has happened 3 times this week.

The first time, because I decided I didn't like the taste of a marinade I was making, which meant I needed to make a different one, which ruined the "routine". Husband got a serious verbal thrashing... I'm not sure why I thought it was his fault but it was, and everything came out suddenly and I hated him for it.

Second time Husband made a comment about the way I was cooking. I snapped. We screamed, accused, I said he was an ungrateful bastard...etc.etc. All quite boring. Again. I hated him in those moments.

After these blow outs I eat humble pie and ask for forgiveness. Husband smiles and says he knows and that it's ok, and all the things bloody Mr. Perfect should say.

The thing is, this is very out of character for me. I don't nag, I don't blow up, I'm generally so laid back (particularly in our marriage) that I could fall over. We don't fight...really, we don't. I mean, we have differences, but we both usually just can't be bothered and get on with things. But this stuff we've been dragging up lately at Therapy has me shaken. Husband knows, and understands and is supportive... but it still sucks.

But... Like I said, this blow out of mine happened 3 times. The 3rd time, was last night.

The "routine" that day was I was to pick up Son after work, I would take him home and I would let him help me make dinner and then together we would make a pie. Nice family friendly stuff. After dinner and dessert we would play cars, have a bath and then go to bed. Perfect routine.

Except Son is nearing 2, you know? and 2 year olds...well they have tantrums. And BOY did he have one. He's at that age now where all his emotions are on high volume, so simple frustration turns into a full 45 minutes scream fest. And it did. Dinner ended up all over the kitchen and living room floor, my bookshelves were turned upside down. He literally ran.a.muck. I (and I'm proud to say this) kept my cool. Tried ignoring him, then tried being stern and then tried just being supportive, reminding him I was there and that it was time to calm down and that he was safe and ok and if he could calm down for a minute and tell me what was wrong I could help. It worked. He calmed down, but he was on edge from then on. One little move (like his toy car rolling off the ramp before he wanted it too) would set him off. I called Husband for reinforcements because I was feeling quite frazzled but Wednesday night is Husbands late night so he wasn't going to be home until Son's bed time. I had to trek on. And trek on I did! I stayed the cool calm and collected mummy my son knows, I put on that brave Mummy face all mothers know about.

And as soon as Husband walked in the door, just as Son was getting ready for story time? I grabbed a beer and a cigarette, went out into the garden and sobbed my little eyes out. It was like someone turned on the release valve and it all came out. I sobbed and I sobbed. and I smoked and I smoked. and I sobbed some more until I finally stopped shaking. Eventually I knew I would have to show my face though, so I wiped the mascara off my cheeks and went in. Husband ordered me to have a long hot bath, put my feet up. But I knew I needed to pull myself in first, find my routine again, to again feel safe. So I cooked and I baked. and I did it all some more. And I felt better...

But you know what it was that really killed me about last night? It wasn't so much my Son's tantrum... It was that the whole time he was crying or yelling...He was crying and yelling "Daddy"... Calling for his Daddy. That cut like a knife. What's wrong with me? What did I do wrong? Why don't you like me? Why can't I comfort you?

It hurt. It still hurts.

5 comments:

Elizabeth said...

It's awful to be unhappy, and it must be even worse to stir up past misery and unhappiness. I hope that the work you're doing with your therapist really will be worth the pain and that it will somehow clear the emotional mess out of your life. I really admire how you're holding it together by keeping your schedule well-organized and by being patient with your son. Though you may have some awful things haunting you from the past, you can take comfort in the fact that the life you are living right now (even if holding it together seems like a big effort) will be something that you can look back on and (instead of needing therapy) be proud of. These are the happy memories of tomorrow. Have strength!

Heavenly Housewife said...

So sorry to hear about how you've been feeling. There are times in life where you just have to focus on getting through things one day at a time. In the mean time, it would be really good if you can do something that helps you to relax, like having a bath, reading a book, just talking to someone and letting out your feelings whatever.... things will get better.
I'll email u my phone number if u ever want to talk.

Grace said...

although i don't have experience with kids seemingly picking favorites, i know about animals. it's not the same, of course, but if it gives any indication of the hurt you feel, i can attest! try not to take it personally, eve!

WhisperingWriter said...

Awww.

Yes, my daughter sometimes asks for her Daddy when I'm tucking her in at night and I'm all, "What am I? Chopped liver? I only birthed you."

JenJen said...

oh sweetie. This kinda broke my heart for you.
Being a mom is tough. Everyone says that. It isn't tough....it sometimes is damn near impossible. But we find the strength to give ourselves up to parenting. You did great. Despite your son asking for Daddy. It is a good thing that he asked for him-it shows that he can seek comfort from both of you.
And that is parenting--give your kids the tools to get through the day.