This blog started on a cold December night in 2016. I was sitting up, in the dark, praying that my children would not wake up. My stress level was high, my anxiety had prevented me from sleeping and I was playing around on my laptop. Then a conversation I had previously had with my therapist played back in my mind. This is how I started to write this blog .On Overload was my first post.
Very little has changed, while at the same time, everything has changed. We were able to purchase our own home for the first time ever, the girls have all grown so much, J- changed jobs, I started and stopped two separate jobs. The list of things that have changed is a long one, however, some things remain the same. Depression, anxiety, feeling like I run on overload-all remains.
I no longer do volunteer work as much as I used to. Now it is very limited and is mainly done online by maintaining a closed site for the group. I struggle to make time for any contributions to this very site. Although J- knows that I started a blog, he does not know anything about it and I am not sure if he knows that I still have it. To this day, I have only told two people that I know about this. I am so nervous for anyone to find out. The two ladies that know about it, have never read it. I still lack the confidence to share this with people in my life.
There are over 100 posts now and none of them are really awe inspiring. Most of them are just my rants, expressions of my frustrations and anger. On Mother’s Day, a family friend decided to stop by and give me an hour long lecture. He asked me why I am not happy. He asked me if I realized that my husband and daughters are miserable because of me. Happy Mother’s Day to me 😦
Why am I not happy? This is not an easy question to answer. To be honest, I do not know if there is a solid answer to this question. There are so many reasons I could list off. We are broke and I hate it. We have one running vehicle, one parked in the yard that is not drivable, and one that should not be driven until it has work done to it. I cannot hold a job and all I have ever wanted to do in life was work! Being at home 24/7 is depressing! My daily attire is ratty old shirts and just as ratty old sweat pants. There are times when I do not leave my home for three days at a time. I have zero interaction with anyone other than my children and husband. And lately, trying to have conversation with J- or spend any amount of time with him has just not happened. He is avoiding all of us as much as possible.
Yes, I know my low moods negatively affect my family. This is not easy to admit, but I live in fear of my own children. They hit me and I am expected to just take it. They boss me around and if I try to tell them otherwise, they scream abuse.
I am not entirely sure when the problems began, but they grew exponentially last summer. Our eldest, D-, decided to scream abuse. She told my mother-in-law, her friend’s parents and people at school. My mother-in-law hates me beyond words and she freely admits it. Soon after we bought our home and moved, D- began to act out. She started to bully younger children in our area and started fighting on the bus. She punched a 7 year old little girl on the bus, then became angry when the parents told me. D- blamed the little girl and screamed at me that I was wrong, mean and hurting her feelings. We grounded her for two weeks, I called the school and D- was put in detention. The result was D- said I was abusing her again because I hurt her self-esteem and I obviously did not want her. Please note that she is a Red Belt in Karate and more than twice the size of the little girl in question.
She told her therapist that she just wants to live in a world like her cartoons. A world in which people have magical powers and no one is ever angry with her. Since we, as parents, have rules and punishments when they are broken, D- thinks we are abusing her. She said that a teacher at school told her if anyone ever makes her feel bad or hurts her feelings, then that is abuse. D- therapist explained what abuse is and told her the laws in our state, then informed her that we are not being abusive and she needs to stop telling people we are. She has not. And now her younger sister is starting to say the same thing.
Any form of punishment now results in accusations and social workers being called. I called the police myself and told them to come investigate. Yes, they came to our home. They also told my children to knock it off. But they won’t. If they hit me and I punish them, they scream abuse and tell people that I am beating them. My mother-in-law expects me to sit and take it because that is what a mom is supposed to do and I deserve it. My children would not hit me if I were a good mom.
After I stopped the majority of my volunteer work, J- seemed happier. I was home more in the evenings-I was home all of the time in the evenings and all weekend. Each time I started work, tensions ran high, arguments were non-stop. Now that I am home again, he seems more calm and happy. He is also out running constantly and avoids being home as much as he can. Even when he is physically here, mentally he is not.
I wanted to write this blog because I wanted to do something just for myself. I was hoping to learn new things, explore new ideas, read other people’s thoughts and ideas. Really, I just wanted something that I could focus on, be proud of, something that I could work towards. I feel that I have accomplished nothing so far. But the first year is the hardest, right?
Just admitting all of this is sooooo difficult. I am afraid people will judge me. I am afraid more people will attack me. If my in-laws ever knew about this, things would turn ugly real fast. This is not how I ever envisioned my life turning out. I never thought that I would rely so heavily on anti-depressants as my life line to survive. I work with a two member team of mental health doctors and a lady from prayer group at church. People laugh at me for going to church and prayer group.
I am still on overload. That daily burden is becoming worse each day. I have retreated back into books. The more stressful life becomes, the more time I spend reading. Books are a wonderful way to tune out negative voices and calm down before the next task. I journal daily. I have written so many pages during the last three months. Summer vacation is about to begin. This will add to my list of responsibilities. More appointments with specialists for the girls, added meetings with special ed summer school staff. All of this falls into my realm. J- has never taken time off from work for any of these meetings or appointments, He says he should not have to because he makes more money than I do.
For some reason, I have never been able to find the joy and contentment that some females do as a stay at home mom. This is something that never even occurred to me until I had my first child and the cost of daycare hit me square in the checkbook. Working, going to school, trying to accomplish something, have always been first and foremost in my mind. All I have ever wanted to do in life is work. Have a career. Instead, I am scared of my own children and lock myself away from the world in an attempt to make my family happy.