Motherhood, mental illness and beyond

Today was a bad day

I’m a mess tonight.

I really struggled to look after the children on my own today – DD was stroppy and contrary while DS (who’s teething) was grizzly and having mini-tantrums. Then he refused to settle at bedtime which meant I was stuck nursing him instead of doing DD’s bedtime as I was supposed to be. She was upset, DS was still refusing to sleep so after 2 hours I gave up and he screamed himself to sleep in DH’s arms.

At this point I just gave in. I sobbed, I binged, I sobbed some more. Now I’m lying in bed in the dark, too ashamed of myself to face DH. I don’t want to see the kindness, sympathy and love in his eyes or I’ll start crying again and might not be able to stop.

I’ve been lying here thinking about how much I love DH and the children and how much better off they would all be if I was someone else. DH deserves a wife who is a proper person instead of a ball of tangled thoughts and emotions. The children deserve a mother who is patient, who doesn’t get cross so much, who doesn’t get bored playing with them and who is able to work and earn money to pay for their clothes, shoes, trips etc.

I’m not suicidal, don’t worry. Nor am I considering leaving. But I feel so sad for DH and the children. Their lives would be vastly improved if I could magically become someone else. Someone who is genuinely happy, someone who is able to take her share of the load (both physical and mental). Someone who doesn’t medicate with food. Someone who isn’t me.

I worry that one day DH will decide he’s had enough of my problems and leave. This has always been a concern for me and the poor man has spent much of the last 11 years reassuring me that he’s not going anywhere. But why wouldn’t he if it all gets too much? I’ve lost friends before because of my mental illness; some couldn’t cope with my deep suicidal depression after DD was born, some just couldn’t understand why I didn’t get better. Every time I sink back down into the blackness or binge or self-harm in some way I live in terror that it will be the last straw for DH and if I’m perfectly honest I wouldn’t blame him if he did decide he’d had enough.

I’m writing this down because my mind is in such a whirl, such a downward spiral that I need to put my thoughts in order somehow. Or at least in more of an order than they are at the moment. I don’t know what else to say now. Maybe there isn’t anything more to say.


Comments on: "Today was a bad day" (15)

  1. Claire SA said:

    Feeling more ordered now? Or at least less like a ball of wool being pulled apart by a kitten? Well, I have some bad news. This friend is not going anywhere. You’re stuck with me. Like the limescale round the end of the tap. Mwah ha ha ha!
    No one truly understands what you’re going through, because your problems are your problems. Fortunately, there’s a bunch of us crazies around who specialise in different aspects of it all. Empathising can be done, to a degree. I can help with the not feeling adequate stuff, or having screwed up at some point. Others can help with the children stuff or the bingeing (wow, that word really screws with autocorrect!). And there’s the theory that people get the person they deserve – you deserve a warm, caring, loving bloke who is more than happy to do what he can to try & make your life easier (with the payoff that he sometimes needs a kick up the backside in certain aspects of life). He deserves a warm, caring, loving woman who produces stunning children and keeps going through all kinds of problems (with the payoff that she needs a buoyancy aid now and again). Oh look at that! You got each other! Coincidence? I think not.
    It’s late and I’m rambling. But in diving recently I’ve learnt that you never dive without a buddy. That buddy knows your equipment as well as their own; is there to help you when you’re in difficulties; to point out pretty fish & steer you round dangerous objects. They also expect you to do the same for them in return. That way, it’s more fun and a lot safer for you both. The same goes for you and DH. You do actually complement each other in parenting, life, moods etc. You’ve discovered this week that he really is your buoyancy aid and guides you around the sharp rocks. Imagine what his dive experience would be like if he was trying to cope without his buddy – you. I would foresee a slight issue with air, navigation, he’d probably jump into the water with only one fin on…….

  2. Trust me, plenty of “other women ” cry after shit days. You are his wife, their mother. Don’t beat yourself up. Start again tomorrow. Or go give dh a hug. Sleep well. Xx

  3. Kate Towse said:

    I was going to leave a comment then I read Claire’s comment below. I am not sure I have anything to add, what amazing words which ring so true.

    Thinking of you x

  4. I hope you feel a bit better for getting it all down…Remember, it is YOU that your kids and your husband love, not some sanitised version of yourself, but YOU. Tomorrow is another day x

  5. My darling girl I want to give you a gig and tell you all the amazing things you do and of all the people who love you including dh even though I know you won’t believe it. Today you weathered the storm all 3 of you survived and that is an achievement.

    These thoughts in you mind are the gremlin that is mental illness it attaches and digs in deep completely changing the thoughts you have it’s a bastard and a very heavy burden to carry. I wish we had a magic wand or a magic pill to fight the gremlin just remember we are learning to surf and this is when we have to paddle hard.

    You are so brave to blog, remember that. You are beautiful inside and out you have amazing children and a wonderful husband and a circle of arms around you in all your friends to catch you on bad days.

    This might be s jumble of words and I’m sorry for that my articulate brain has been squashed somewhat recently. I just wanted you to know that I’m proud of you despite what you think / believe right now and I am honoured to know you xxx

  6. You’ve had some amazing and wonderfully sharp-focused replies to this and I so hope they’ve helped. And I hope writing this has helped. However horribly chaotic your thoughts and feelings seem they emerge with clarity and horribly brutal logic in your always eloquent blog. You set yourself an impossible ideal based for a person you want to be, for yourself, your DH and your lovely kids. You set yourself up for the inevitable fail (but it’s a failure in your perception not reality, please know that). And having failed, in your eyes and no one else’s, you confirm your view of yourself, so the self-doubt/self-loathing returns. You tell yourself you’ll be better. The ideal setting starts again…Well done, brain. You’ve cleverly done all you can to confirm your own self-image. But it’s just that: an image, a projection, something that looks convincing enough, and torments in its appearance, but which is ultimately just a projection. Telling yourself it’s true doesn’t mean it is. You know that, right?

    I can’t pretend to know what you’ve gone through today, but I recognise my own version of it and it completely sucks. I want to take it away for you just as it sounds your fab DH wants to. But wanting to take it away doesn’t me taking you away. Your kids deserve you: a mother who is honest with herself, who obviously cares so deeply about them that she is prepared torture herself to make herself more like the mother she wants to be for them. You deserve to be able to cut yourself some slack, although I know how impossibly difficult that can be to achieve.
    (Oh and off the record, lots of parents get bored of playing with their kids. That doesn’t make you a bad mother (it makes you a sentient adult!)

    I don’t know what to say really except we’re here for you and your writing’s here for you. And it exposes clearly the difference between what you tell yourself about yourself and how things really are.

    Hope today is better.

    • I think you’re right about setting myself impossible standards, I’m starting to realise that. Thank you for your kind words.

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