Monday, May 31, 2010

Depression + Narcotics = Bad Mmkay?

I am just not going to count today.  The weirdest thoughts have been flying around in my brain... literally... some were about men as butterflies.  Weird, I told you!  Yeah so taking narcotics while depressed is not a good thing unless you are in excruciating pain like I was last night.  I had another gallbladder attack that landed me in the ER for the 2nd time in a month.  It was not fun.  They did do some blood tests this time and my liver enzymes were elevated.  Since I am not a drinker that means it is most likely my gallbladder.  An ultrasound is next.  If it confirms I will be heading into surgery shortly.  I am not sure if I just don't care or if I'm numb but this doesn't seem to be stressing me out at all.  I am a bit nervous about having another attack but with my prescribed hydrocodone I don't need to worry anymore.  It's not life threatening unless I have a fever and the pills take care of the pain after about an hour.

Well, it's getting late, it's hot as hell {almost} and one of our fans blew out today... sigh.  Um wait... that sentence was supposed to end with "so I'm going to bed"... meh whatever.  Brain is still a bit fuzzy from late night ER visit, drugs and little food today.  Good night.  HOPEFULLY tomorrow I will FINALLY post about this little book my counselor gave me that I have been meaning to tell you about for like, um a week?  We'll see how conscious I am.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Broken Filter

The filter in my mind is broken.

What I'm Told:  vs.   What I hear:

We should hire someone to help you clean the house.
You aren't cleaning the house well enough so I have to pay someone hard earned money to do it.

You look good today honey.
I don't hear my husband tell me I look good; I hear all the other people in my life {who don't matter} tell me that I am fat, ugly, and should shave my upper lip.

Let's spend time together as a family.
Drop everything you are doing and do what I want to do instead.

You are amazing for giving me this awesome son.
I love you because you gave me a son, not necessarily because you are you.

You look great!  You're doing a good job losing weight.
You are so fat.  Do better and lose more.

Let's go for a walk; I want to spend time with you doing something healthy.
Let's go for a walk; your fat and need to quit being lazy.

Now of course, those aren't the exact words my husband uses... but I know that's what he means and he confirms that that is what he meant.  Why can't I believe him?  How do I forget what I've been told for the last 25 years and listen to him?  Why do I choose to believe the hurtful things and not the loving things?  He could tell me {and does} every day that he loves me, that I'm beautiful and special to him but it's the one critique from him that I hear.

Bad Day Today

I met with my counselor today.  DH went with me.  We had a good session.  I should be happy and excited.

But on a scale of 1-10... today, right now, I'm a 2.  I'm not quite wallowing around crying at the drop of a hat or spilled milk {which I have several times this month btw}, but I was crying a bit when we got home and I just feel depressed.

The chaplain asked what we should name my depression.  I immediately thought of giving it a name; I'm not sure that's what he meant...but it's what I did.  I said we should call it by my mom's name.  I don't think I want to do that though.  I'd rather not hear her name during therapy.  What name should I give it?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What My Mom Taught Me

What she did/said.
What I heard/learned.
What I have to say about it now.

She spent all her time at work.
My work matters more to me than you do.
If you were home more often maybe I wouldn't need attention from other people.

"Good girls don't make themselves available."  and "Good girls don't wear that..."
You are a slut.  You are sinful.  You are bad.
Again, maybe if I had a mom at home to tell me about things I wouldn't need their attention and I wouldn't have been raped.

We NEVER talked about sex in my family.
Sex is sinful.  Sex is secret.  Sex is bad.
Sex is not sinful; the Bible has a chapter devoted to it.  Sex is good and amazing.  Intimacy is important and healthy.  If you had told me about sex maybe I wouldn't have had it.  If you had at least told me that others shouldn't touch me then maybe I wouldn't have been raped.  If I hadn't been raped then maybe I wouldn't have grown an unrealistic and warped view of sex and love.   Maybe I would be able to enjoy sex with my husband and know what sexual intimacy is.

"You must not really be a Christian since you don't go to church."
You aren't a good Christian.  You are a bad person.
The churches you took me to had kids who would do drugs on Saturday and then act like perfect angels on Sunday.  Do you want me to be like that?  Do you wan me to be a hypocrite?  Just because I haven't found a church home that I feel comfortable in does not mean that I am any less spiritual than you.

"You need to learn how to cook." and "You should cook dinner for me."
You are a bad wife who won't cook for your husband because you refuse to cook for me.
Just because I do not cook for you does not mean I don't cook for my husband.  I don't think you deserve to be cooked for.

"Your house is a mess."  and "You really need to unpack some more boxes."
You are a bad housekeeper.
You have to hire a maid to do your housekeeping.  I just had a c-section 2 weeks ago, I should not be lifting boxes and unpacking heavy items.  Aren't you up here visiting to help us since your grandson was born?  Why aren't you unpacking any boxes?

"You would look better if you did this..."  and "You sure have put on a lot of weight."  and "You don't really need that dessert now do you?"
You are fat.  You are ugly.
I am losing weight and getting healthy while eating sweets.  If it's in moderation it is fine.  Perhaps you shouldn't eat ice cream every single night less than an hour from bed and you might lose some weight too.

She controls my stock accounts until I graduate college.
You can use money to control people.
Controlling people is not good!  People should do things out of love and not manipulation.

Now I start down the long path of re-learning life skills that I should have learned as a child.  Thankfully I have my husband to show me the reasonable way.  Together with my counselor, the three of us can remap my moral compass.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mental Update

Today is okay.  Yesterday was fairly bad.  Tomorrow I have no idea but I will attempt to make it good.  Here are some things I've been thinking about these last couple days:

  • my cancer gene testing {it is in the approval process right now}
  • DH's upcoming deployment and whether I am going to stay or go to my parents'
  • opening up some scabs in therapy about my need to be good at something {post about that coming soon}
  • discussions about my various fears and working through those thoughts
  • Little Bit has been a lot crankier lately and not napping well - crying the majority of the day {likely from teething}
  • dealing with the house still being a complete mess and needing to unpack but not having the energy
  • my growing depression
  • severe chest and back pain from indigestion {happened the last two nights and kept me up all night}
Thoughts and Ideas to Ponder
  • What if I am defining myself by my "to-do list"?  When I've finished everything, then what will I do?  Who will I be?
  • When I am no longer cluttered and spastic about life and home, who will I be?  Will I suddenly be bored and have nothing to do other than the monotonous daily activities?
  • My mom told me indirectly through her actions and words that I was never good enough.  {Post about this soon}  How do I re-learn that I am good at things and she is wrong?  How do I break her control over me?
  • Am I afraid of having those things I dream for?  If so, why?
As you can see, I have a lot to think about.  Right now I think it is making things harder on me; but if I stick it out, answer these questions, and heal, I am sure I will be much better because of it.  I need to work through these hang ups so I can be healed and not have them subconsciously bringing me down every day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Last Straw

My husband broke my heart tonight.  He didn't know he did, but his words pierced through me more than my overbearing mother, abusive brother, or cheating exes ever have.  As I finally shared with y'all today, I have been battling an extreme depression for months now, even before Little Bit was born.  I bet you couldn't really tell could you?  Yeah, I'm really good at hiding it.  In fact, DH didn't know I was as depressed as I am until last week when I finally let him in on my little secret.  Since then he has been very concerned, and rightfully so.  Don't worry, I am not suicidal.  I lost a dear friend to suicide and would never commit such a selfish act.  That does not keep me from wishing some horrible accident would end my life.  Of course, another part of me is terrified of something happening to me and leaving DH and LB alone in life.  So anyways, now you kinda see the extent of my dark secret that is depression.  I struggle to pull myself out of bed in the morning.  Most mornings I wake up with DH, feed LB, see DH off to pt/work and then go back to bed, hoping and praying that LB will sleep long enough for me to get a nap.  Lately I have been so depressed and exhausted that I let him cry.  I am not of the school of letting children until 8 months cry it out by the way.  I just can't will myself to interact with my son on those days. 

I have some confessions to make and I hope you don't look badly on me for them.  I don't feed my son his bottles.  He eats 5-7 times a day.   Since he was born I have held him and his bottle less times than I have fingers.  The first little paper they sent home with us said do not prop the bottle.  I had horrible PPD and my son screamed at my breast when I tried to feed him and DH had just had wrist surgery.  Neither one of us was equipped to hold LB's bottle.  Since then I have gotten worse and worse.  I am still depressed but I have come to terms with not being able to breastfeed him.  No, now I prop his bottle so I can surf the internet, read all the blogs I follow and who don't even know I exist, and check my e-mail a billion times a day.  Blogging has really been the only thing holding my sanity together.  You are mostly moms or military wives/gfs.  You get me.  You know what I am going through.  DH tries his hardest, but he has no idea what it's like.  I rarely hold me son either.  He has a flat spot, not because he sleeps on his back, but because he spent so much time in his swing or bouncy chair.  I felt angry, I felt unloved, I felt hurt, I felt depressed, now I feel guilty for not holding him but as I sit here, typing... I can not make myself stop and hold him.  I need to tell someone this.  I need to tell you this.  If I stop now, let this post auto save and never press publish I'll just slip further and further into despair.  If I hold my son instead of typing out this confession to you then I'll begin to resent him and none of this is his fault.  My hormones and neurochemicals are off balance.  It's that simple and that complex.

Now to tell you what my husband said to me that torn my heart out and literally brought me to my knees screaming.  At the time I had no idea if he was being hurtful or caring.  He came out of the bathroom and said "Honey, I've been thinking about it and I think we ought to hire someone to come clean the house.  It obviously isn't going to get done and this way you can have more time to spend with Little Bit and blog."  Right there.  Right there, in those innocent words were "You aren't good enough.  You love your bog more than me because you won't take care of the house.  You are lazy.  You are a bad mother.  You are a failure!"  He essentially told me "I have to spend my hard earned money on someone else to come in and pick up where you have failed."  I stood up, walked as far away from him as possible {which happened to be in the back room that I had just worked so hard on a couple days before}, fell to my knees, screamed into my hands, felt my heart ripping in two, and cried.  I was shaking uncontrollably by the time DH finished brushing his teeth and got curious as to where I had gone.  He asked if I was okay and I knew in that moment that he hadn't meant his words to be a crude warning to shape up or "ship out".  He really did think he was helping me by hiring a maid.  I sobbed a cracked "no" and attempted to explain my plight.

I struggle to get out of bed each morning; this depression you've seen this week has been going on in secret for months; I try and try and am never good enough; not for my parents, not for my friends, not for my ex fiance, not for you; you never tell me I'm doing a good job; I'm such a failure and you just told me so.  The whole time I was thinking in my hurt so bad because you are right.  I care more about my blog than about my son or my home, and as an extension, you.  I was so upset because I was guilty.  Because he was right.

So, I am going away.  I am not naive.  I know I need to spend some time online to keep my sanity, but I will not be here in such force as I normally am.  I will miss your posts.  I will not reply to every comment.  I may not do all my memes.  I will do Motivation Monday and Feel Good Friday because those two especially keep me going.  I will likely only keep you updated via my new depression blog.  Its on the right sidebar in case you haven't read about it in my other posts today.  I will be copying this post to all my other blogs so all my readers know.  I know you all understand, and truthfully, I doubt many people would notice that I disappeared for a few weeks... but like I said, I needed to write it down.  I needed to tell someone.  I needed to tell you.  Thanks for listening.  Thanks for caring.

PS I am not going to take the time to proof this blog entry so I hope it is understandable and not too choppy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Where's My Gold Star?!

I was reading Melissa Sue's blog post today, at A Wonderful Life, and found it very thought provoking. I had theorized on my main blog about why women of our generation seem to be more hung up on our bodies than of past generations. I hadn't really thought about how other aspects of our lives are likewise affected. I got to thinking, Why is it so hard to be that 1950's housewife and mother that I long to be? I really do think Melissa Sue and her commentators are right; we are a generation of reward and acknowledgment. Our mothers and grandmothers were stay at home moms before that was even a term because it was what they did. Now it seems to be taboo and embarrassing to be a SAHM. I have seen the new "movement" of proud SAHMs but still, I think people look much more kindly on WorkAHMs.

I even had a nightmare last night about it. I was back in college talking to bright eyed young girls attending there. I realized they didn't know who I was so I commented that I was a former cadet (AFROTC). They were all giddy and began asking me what I was studying now. I said I was done with school. So then they asked what I did for a living, so eager to know what lay ahead of them in the big world of industry. I proudly told them I was a stay at home mom who sold homemade scrapbooks and sewn items. They suddenly got calm and said "oh how sweet" and proceeded to ignore me.  I woke up thinking that perhaps I should call myself a WAHM from now on, thinking somehow that taking care of my son isn't enough.  It was a sad thought.

That leads me to agree:

This is the generation of gold stars. This is the generation of participation trophies. This is the generation of automatic salary increases and yearly bonuses.

But in the career of motherhood there are no gold stars, trophies, or bonuses.

In fact, I need to speak to management because it's been five months and I still haven't received my paycheck.

I have been struggling with this idea for a while and after reading that post, I think I know why.  I have always been told how well I am doing and I want so desperately to be told I am a good mom.  My husband tells me but I just can't seem to hear it enough.  I think I probably need to hear it while I am comforting a crying baby and not at the end of the day when he is finally calm and smiling.  But, alas, DH can't very well call me when Little Bit is crying in the middle of his work day to say "You're doing a great job holding the baby and calming him honey."  By the end of the day I find myself so exhausted that just want to crawl into bed and forget the day ever happened.  Unfortunately LB has different plans and wakes me up several times during the night.  It seems like I get just enough sleep to skate by for one more day.  I sure do wish I had a gold star every now and then.  Actually, you know what I wish?  I wish our parents and teachers hadn't shoved this "everyone wins" crap down our throats!  I hope I can teach my kids that you do things because it's the right thing to do, not because you'll get a cookie and that you have to work hard to win.  If you don't win, then try again.  It's just fine to fail sometimes.  I wish our generation was aloud to fail.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Building a Cathedral

I found this video on a post by Scrapping Servant.  What a wonderful thought.  I love that the video has subtitles so the words can really sink in as I read them.  This short clip is so powerful that I am posting it on all of my blogs.  I hope you enjoy it and it touches your heart in some way.


You wanna know something kinda funny and pretty sad?  I actually sound like Eeyore lately. 

My tone sounds just like him.  I just am having a hard time not being negative or melancholy.  I said something yesterday that I swear could have been a quote from the cartoon.  I don't remember what it was exactly but my intonation was right on.  It kinda made me smile because I love Eeyore... but sad again because I really am sad and empty.

Worried Loved Ones

My husband is very worried about me.  I guess he ought to be.  This depression is real and affecting my day to day life.  I am already seeing a counselor but maybe I should try medication again.  It's never worked before, but my chemistry has changed, maybe it would now.  What if it is just my hormonal birth control?  This is the only form I have found that works well for us... I don't know what to try next if it's the culprit. 

DH says I need to move back down to Texas when he deploys.  I don't know how I feel about that.  On the one hand he is right, I have no support here.  I have some new Army wife friends but no one I could call in the wee hours of the night when I get panicky, and not feel guilty for doing so.  I know they wouldn't mind and they would understand, but we don't know each other well enough for me to feel comfortable doing it.  Plus, it really wouldn't help to calm me down to call someone who isn't a close friend.

But on the other hand... my mom and I fight after about 2 weeks of being near each other and if I were to get an apartment down there it would be one that DH has never even set foot in.  We wouldn't have any memories there.  I'm not even sure we would want to move all our things down there.  The Army will pay for it, but then if they keep us here and don't PCS us {move us} when DH returns we will have to pay out of pocket to have our things sent back to Alaska. {Or pay for storage up here plus an apartment down there.}  I've thought about moving into a smaller apartment up here to save money but there is the comfort and memories issue again.  Will I feel more comfortable surrounded by familiar things to DH and I or will it bring me more grief seeing it day in and day out?  I honestly have no idea.  I'll be talking to my counselor about this on Thursday to see what he thinks.  He's been in the military for several years so I am sure he's heard both sides of this all too common wife dilemma.  What would you do?

Birthday Wishes

The sermon was nice but not really that inspiring.  Little Bit was all happy for the nursery ladies, which is nice but COME ON... can't you be that way for me?  He's probably upset around me because he knows I am stressed and it bothers him but it's sorta a perpetuating problem.  I am upset so he cries which makes me more upset.  I did lose 3lbs this week though.  That was a nice surprise.  Probably all the stress and anxiety, but I'll take it!  Hopefully I can keep it off.  

This evening DH, LB and I put on birthday hats and celebrated my birthday finally.  
{Little Bit was ready for his bottle...}
I made my wish and blew out my candles.  Since keeping it a secret so it will come true hasn't helped in the least bit in past years... I'm going to share my birthday wish with you.  Maybe I can help bring it about with some encouragement and accountability.

I wished that I would be able to physically clean out the old me from this house by sorting through all my old things and tossing or donating those things that no longer reflect who I am, and that that, in turn, would help me to cleanse myself emotionally and spiritually.

What do you think?  A good birthday wish?  I hope so.  Here's to a productive and healing year!

Mother's Day - Trial By Fire

So far this first mother's day has sucked.  I have been so depressed and run down lately.  I'm not sleeping, I had to go to the ER a few nights ago via ambulance {that was an experience...}, and Little Bit is getting crankier and crankier every day {likely from teething}.  We didn't get to celebrate my birthday because first I got sick, then DH got called into work for a 24 hour shift.  He'll be sleeping much of today to recover so there go our plans.

So here I was last night, alone, thinking about how awful it is going to be when my hubby deploys for the first time {which is right around the corner by the way}.  I fed LB and he fell asleep in his swing so I left him there when I went to bed.  I laid awake for several hours, wrote in my journal {which didn't really help}, called DH {which also didn't help because he was of course working and couldn't chat for long} and eventually fell asleep out of exhaustion... only to be woken up a couple hours later by a screaming baby.  I tried to give him his paci and get him back to sleep but he wouldn't go.  He cried off and on {read: too frequent and not long enough for me to fall back asleep} for three hours.  Finally I gave up and made him a bottle.  Just as I went to give it to him he was calming down, but by that time I was so tired and, truthfully, angry that I unwrapped him {kinda roughly} which of course startled him and launched a whole new scream.  I picked him up, put him in his bouncy chair, gave him is bottle {yes, at 3 am I propped the stupid bottle} and laid down.  I instantly felt guilty for having been so rough and angry with him.  He was only hungry after all... but I don't want him getting in the habit of eating in the middle of the night.  He never has but then when he was sick we had to feed him around the clock to keep him hydrated... now I am afraid he got used to it.

It's just been a crappy day so far.  I am about to load him up in the car and head to church.  I am actually looking forward to dropping him off in the nursery for a couple hours while I listen to the sermon and relax.  I feel bad saying that, but I also know moms need a break and boy do I need one today.  I would leave him home but DH needs his sleep after that surprise 24 hour shift.  I really hope the sermon fills me and inspires me to keep going and be a better mom despite my depression and exhaustion.  Hopefully this afternoon will be better than this morning.  I know I'm jinxing myself... but I am not sure how it could be worse.  We'll just have to wait and see.  I'll be faking a smile today... hoping it will turn into a real one soon.  At least when I get home we finally get to eat my birthday cake which means I get to make my wish.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

God is my GPS and I am never lost

Lolli over at Better In Bulk just attended a woman's luncheon and had this to say about what she learned.
Think of driving to a new address using a GPS. You make a wrong turn and the GPS voice beams, “Route Recalculation” or “Recalculating.” There are different ways to get to the same end destination. Some routes will be longer or harder or bumpier than others, but they still have the ability to get you to the same place.
What a wonderful mental image.  Even if we make a wrong turn, all is not lost.  We may seem lost, but God - our GPS, knows exactly where we are and He gently guides us on a new route to our destination.  Sometimes my life feels like I'm on a huge, never ending shopping trip.  I have several destinations and I feel like I need to get to every. single. one. today!  But then there are times when God places something shiny {and ON SALE!} in front of my face, like perhaps my husband, or my dear son, and He tells me to slow down, enjoy the view...look around for a while.  Once I have finished with that "store" I pack up all the goodies I found in that part of my life and take them with me to my next destination.  Sure, sometimes it feels like I'm carrying around a lot of stuff... but that's what my car is for!  Just stick all the non-essentials in the car and forget about them for a while.  I've got my "purse" that holds all the important things like God, my identification {who I am}, my family {photos}, and all my dreams and memories.  I can always head back out to the car whenever I want to pick up something I've been storing for a while. 

I know that's a pretty large stretch of an analogy... but hey, I got it {and I'm sure some other shopping ladies got it too}!