My Dad Walked Away, Why Can’t I?

I’ve been surviving on fumes the last few days and it’s getting frustrating and I’m building a resentment. I’m worried about my mental health and it seems like no one cares, so I’m wondering why I should. I haven’t taken any of my medications for the last week and if anyone’s noticed, no one is saying anything. And this is where the resentment is building. My husband just worked the last 16 out of 24 hours and he is now in bed, sleeping, at 1pm, after arriving home at around 10am.

And lucky me, I just got a 90 minute break while writing because Ivy decided to scream from her MamaRoo and I had to stop and feed her again, even though she just nursed 45 minutes before. And of course Derrick gets up and I’m torn between guilt because I want him to sleep and resentment because of course he wants to sweep in and be the hero, suddenly, when I’ve been tired for days–but Ivy wants me, or she wanted my breasts at least.

But at least when I was done nursing her I could put her down and go eat. But even eating is pissing me off lately. I’ve gained 12 pounds in the last month and I don’t know what to do about it. I work the hardest in this house to have the best and healthiest diet; vegetables, fruit, lean meats, nuts, seeds, non-dairy products, whatever I can eat to help with my supply AND be healthy for not just Ivy, but me too. And yet, I’m gaining weight. And fucking Derrick doesn’t even have to try and he still looks like he’s barely 20 and never had a kid. I look like I’m a tired obese, 45 year old woman, who’s definitely birthed a half dozen or more kids. And I’m fucking tired, but it doesn’t matter.

I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation with someone who wasn’t being generic; including my husband. It’s funny; when people (my family) come over to visit and they strike up a conversation with Derrick, they always ask him how he is, how he’s feeling, how work is treating him and they stir up this bravada in him to be more confident, work harder, ask for more pay, more hours, whatever. They ask about his artwork and what he’s drawing lately and his new games, even though they don’t understand them. Wanna know the conversation I get? Weight. The kids. And how my house is a mess because I don’t know how to get on my kids to do a better job. I’m constantly reminded that I am a fat, lazy mom. Which makes my anxieties worse; because rather than relaxing, I’m more motivated to clean, straighten up, talk about the newest health trend and how even though I’m exhausted all the time, I’m trying to lose the weight. My husband can just grab a beer, or whatever and not think twice. I have to think about the calories, the carbs and the sugar. I usually get so upset about it, I self sabotage.

I haven’t been sleeping well, nor taking my medications correctly, but no one asks me. The kids constant ask Derrick, “Dad, does your back hurt?” “Daddy, are you tired?” “Daddy do you have to work today?” “Dad does your shoulder hurt?”

Where’s my concern? I hurt. I’m in pain. I’m exhausted.

I’ve been seeing things–literally–a tall, white man in my shower, spiders and snakes and a vicious wolf in the kids’ room. I told all of this to Derrick. The conversation didn’t even last 5 minutes. He asked to watch Jeopardy, but while I lay there, half pissed off at an ignored conversation, half pissed off that he was paying more attention to his phone than the show he just asked me to watch with him. I roll over and go to bed.

I’ve been dealing with thoughts of self-harm and suicide and even running away. I don’t feel wanted or needed. I don’t feel pursued or active affection. Derrick hadn’t realized it’d been probably close to a year since he bought me flowers, until I made a snide remark and rather than him wanting to surprise his wife, he buys flowers the next morning out of guilt and I display them (happily) on Instagram–even though there was no geneuity. But I have to display this facade of a happy marriage because if I don’t I’m reminded that all the negativity associated with it is my fault; I’m choosing to be negative, unhappy, displeased, I’m making something out of it. A bill comes up, we’re short to pay it this week, because I was adamant to have oysters. We’re short on gas money, I shouldn’t have went and spent that $30 at NYX. We need more diapers, toilet paper and dish soap, but I was hoping to make new mom-friends and wasted $50 and the only new thing I ended up with was a virus. (Thanks lady who was sick and yet HAD to come ride in our carpool AND sit right next to me at the table, coughing on me all night, whining about her “cold”, ya should’ve stayed home and NOT put me at risk to bring home this illness to my newborn).

I can’t do anything about anything for the next few weeks, as we’re fucking broke as hell. I can’t “escape”. I can’t go get Starbucks, or walk through Target. I can’t go to play dates. I can’t even go to a DBSA meeting. The NAMI meeting was this morning, but Derrick got home late and we really don’t have the gas money for me to drive across town anyway. I have no one to talk to—because the conversation is either ignored, dismissed or changed. That and I think my own family is full of stigmatic bullshit. They claim they understand my mental illness and how dangerous it could be…bullshit. If they cared about my mental well-being and me working my ass of to avoid PPP, they’d have an open dialogue with me about everything. We would talk about my stressors, insecurities and anxieties and not fall asleep or become distracted or just drop the subject. I’M NOT SLEEPING AND I’M FUCKING SEEING THINGS AND MY HUSBAND CARES MORE ABOUT HIS SHOULDER HURTING AND HIS SLEEP.

The last time I had a Mixed State of both Depression and Mania—I tucked the baby into bed, made sure everyone else was asleep and I got blackout drunk and mutilated my body. You’d think my husband would care about that NOT happening again; but the conversation always comes back around to making ME feel guilty because he has to work–which yeah, he does have to work to provide for the family he helped create–but his responsibilities don’t stop there.

Why isn’t my sleep a priority? And the guilt of watching him try to stay awake while holding the baby and nodding off or mid snore while his eyes are open, don’t help me to relax. And trying to nap with him when he got home from work because I haven’t slept either, but the baby woke up, so I had to get up. I had to demand my sleep at 4am Friday morning because I’d spent the previous 36 hours up and awake, feeding a baby nearly EVERY 30 minutes and so when Derrick shoved my shoulder to wake up and nurse her, I snapped and he walked his ass to the fridge to warm her some expressed breastmilk.

I’m the one with the diagnosed, medication-needed-for-stability, mental illness, but me being “okay” isn’t a priority. The kids and my family all worry about Derrick all the time; how’s he sleeping with a new baby, is he drowsy while driving, does his back and shoulder hurt, how’d his x-rays come out, when does he see the PM doctor, blah blah blah—of course I build a resentment. My mom thinks the band-aid of her watching the baby while I take ONE one hour nap is supposed to “cure” me. I live with Schizoaffective Disorder–my number one medication IS sleep. I’m pushing the envelope and walking the line daily. Fantasizing about both sleep and death. Derrick gets all the sympathy, let him truly run the entire household and then I won’t be here to even complain about the sympathy.

I’m so tired of looking in the mirror and hating what I see–a tired, worn out, grouchy bitch. Honestly, I am a bitch–Derrick’s bosses say so, but rather than do anything about it, he kisses their ass because their opinions are actually worth something. I think about leaving all the time, and I KNOW if I spoke up about that to either Derrick or my mom, I’d have it thrown in my face that I’m being spoiled. And it’s not even about having things my way, it is about FEELING like I am an important part of this family and actually want to be treated like a priority and not a fucking afterthought. I am, as a mother, expected to be a juggler of many balls; it’s an expectation of me. Derrick is solely expected to be the breadwinner and head of household. That’s it. Do you know how many different hats I wear and the only “rewards” I am rewarded with is adult conversations with my mom–conversations about losing weight, gaining weight, a new waist cincher, new diet pills, OR I am constantly reminded how my kids don’t clean right, don’t straighten right, don’t do this right and I don’t get on them enough. I just wanna leave.

But I know everyone will side with Derrick, even and especially my family–because I am “beyond lucky” to have a man like Derrick in my life and I should feel grateful and not have any complaints. The dude takes the time to learn all the special moves of his characters in all his video games; does he even know the name NOT THE BOOK, but the name of the author of my favorite book, nope.

And I keep making the mistake, like a hyper puppy, of TRYING to have a relationship with him; I tag him in articles or blogs I’ve read and found relatable and would like to discuss with him and I’m literally seen him swipe away the notification and ignore the tag and continue his game playing. I buy him books and they collect dust. Grant my books collect dust too, because I can’t really juggle a book with pages that need turning and use my hands to keep my huge breasts off of Ivy’s tiny nostrils while nursing her. And I’m so fucking exhausted, that one paragraph makes my eyes blink. But Derrick can spend 4 hours playing a video game.

The priorities in this house and so out of whack and I hate that I’m wavering at the edge of cliff; hanging on just for June 21 because that’s my psychiatrist appointment. I can’t rely on DBSA meetings because Derrick’s fucked up schedule, or I’m just too exhausted, or there’s no gas money. And I’ve been waiting and waiting for the CARES Program to call me back about finding me a new therapist, but nothing yet. SO I sit here, trying to hold on, talking myself down because no one else will, reminding myself that the 21st isn’t too far away–but even when the 21st is here, what difference will that make? I don’t see any changes within this household on the horizon at all. And that’s really heartbreaking.

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