“Hello, my name is…Wife & Mom”

Pity Party, party of one.

Why does it seem that being a wife and mother of yesteryear was so much easier than it is today? The ironic part is we live in the day and age of technology simplifying everything. Writing this right now is both a blessing and a curse; the ability to vent about things that concern me helps to relieve the endless racing thoughts that bombard my mind 24/7, but at the same time; you’re criticized for being an oversharer and judged for not handling your dirty laundry privately. Gone are the days of SAHM gathering at one neighbors house, playing cards and sipping Gin, while the kids play outside and you vent your frustrations. Now it’s writing and sharing posts on the internet and having either people commenting in agreement or you’re made to feel worse when people judge you and reply with shit they wouldn’t have the confidence to tell a person in person.

In my 32 years of living, I’ve learned there really is no “safe place” to share anything; everyone is always judging you. And when you come to the realization that there is no safe place; you’re left with all your stressors stuck deep inside you and you either contemplate life being better off without you or you find some way to cope. Sometimes those coping mechanisms are healthy and other times they’re not. Some turn to drugs; either prescribed anti-depressants or they smoke a joint or they slowly kill themselves with heroin. Or they become functioning alcoholics, or they save the alcohol for a rare one night out and they take it too far with binging. I smoke and drink far too much coffee. Others comfort themselves with food. Or punish themselves with the lack of food.

So, what does one do when there is no safe place to talk about the hard shit? I’ve been in therapy since I was 10 years old; clearly that hasn’t helped. I can’t find a good cocktail of psychiatric medications, nor does anyone have the patience to deal with my issues when I tell them the meds aren’t working. I’ve tried support groups, and as much as the venting part helps, I feel no better after attending. I have no close friends, and honestly I don’t blame people for not wanting to be friends with me; I have a lot of fucking issues. I am not close with family at all due to trust issues, abuse and honestly, I just don’t really want anything to do with any of them. I am not close to my siblings at all, not even a little. They have a totally different view point of our family life while growing up and that’s okay, I can’t make them perceive my reality, just like they can’t convince me of theirs, they’re wildly different.  I have a weird relationship with my mother; she’s narcissistic and refuses to get help, but LOVES to play the victim any chance she gets.

I’m even noticing the dynamics of marriage changing. It feels like the happiness we portrays is nothing more than a facade. Whether he means it or not, Derrick has been pushing me away and talks to me differently. It’s to the point where I don’t even wanna try anymore. I’m tired of being the only one trying to work on and improve things. I’m tired of being the one fighting for therapy. I’m tired of being the one to schedule things. I’m tired being the only one reading and researching how to improve every aspect of this family; from the kids to our marriage. I’m reading countless books and blogs and watching videos, trying new things, offering ideas and trying to make plans–but I’m the only one doing it. I find things to do as a family, but then I’m met with resistance when it comes to actually doing anything. I came up with the idea of us scheduling time to write in journals, private journals, as a family daily, to vent our frustrations via written word and I’m made to feel like that’s a stupid idea because journals cost money, there’s no time to fit that in, no one wants to be forced to write at home when they do it at school and with homework.

It’s gotten to a point within the last year, that I now know my husband is not my support person. And I’m half okay with that and half not. We’ve been arguing about my issues so much lately. I can honestly say I do not feel safe talking to him. I know I overwhelm him, I know I do, because I’m overwhelmed and when I tell him how I’m overwhelmed, it’s usually in an overwhelming manner and that just overwhelms things and him. I get that. He’s annoyed when I talk to him, which feels fucking AMAZING. Sometimes when I really want to vent to him, I literally fucking convince myself that maybe self-harming would just be easier because as fucked up as it sounds, at least I don’t feel worse afterward. Like this morning, rather than him asking me what was wrong, he told me to stop acting mad and go lay down because it was annoying him. I kept my mouth shut and fucking punched the wall as I walked to the bedroom. I’m finding I wanna spend less and less time with him. Conversations feel forced. Intimacy is nonexistent. We don’t have fun. And we definitely don’t date.

I don’t want to settle, but I’ve been corned into it. I want things to be better. But it’s like I’m supporting someone else’s dreams and goals and foregoing mine. All the time. It’s fucking exhausting pleasing everyone else and always telling yourself no. Something is gunna give some though, I can feel it. I can’t keep doing just this. This isn’t the life I was meant to live. But it’s all I know. My childhood was spent making things just so for my mother and now I’m doing this with Derrick. I have dreams, but they’ll remain dreams, mostly because my opportunity to achieve them have already passed. I’ll support Derrick in everything he wants to do, but the support for me isn’t there, I’m met with resistance or guilt. And man, the fight we got into after I decided to enroll in college, that right there set the tone for me choosing to do anything with my life. So here I am, a SAHM of 5, with just a diploma under my belt and if I ever did get the courage to make some big changes in my life, I don’t know how I’d be able to afford to do so.

And then it goes back to not even knowing what the fuck I want to do with my life. I’ve never really had the opportunity to even think about it. When I was a kid and that question was asked, before I had a chance to reply anything, I was cut off by some other adult saying I should be a lawyer, a doctor, a judge, some bullshit like that. One teacher did encourage me to be a writer because I had a talent with words, but even that doesn’t feel like a “real” career that anyone would be proud of. And unless I was on top of the New Yorker’s Best Seller List, it wouldn’t fricken matter because writing isn’t a real job. I make a lot of excuses when it comes to things changing, and it’s mostly fear because I feel like no matter what I do, it won’t be good enough. Plus the lash back I’d get, I’m anxious now even thinking about it. Fathers can go to work, be workaholics, but because they’re the family providers, they’re met with admiration and applauded. With moms we get shit no matter what we do; because we’re women, we’re mothers and we’re expected to get it all done AND have an amazing size 2 body and ALWAYS be in the mood for your husband, otherwise it’s all your fault if your husband cheats and your family falls apart.

I don’t wanna feel like I settled…but I feel like I settled. :/

I’m trying so hard to make things better. Make myself better. And it just feels like an infinite fucking loop of trying and nothing changing. As simple as it seems; the easiest fix right now would be for me to get DECENT FUCKING SLEEP. For my body. For my fucking mind. So much of my issues loop back to inadequate sleep. I’m so fucking tired. I’m beyond exhausted. I’m tired of trying. So tired.

It’s just so exhausting “trying”. Trying to be a good wife, trying to be a good mother, trying to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend, a good neighbor, a good person–because you get so lost in other peoples expectations of HOW you should be good and you lose yourself. I’ve lost myself. You ask me to describe myself and my answer would simply be “Derrick’s wife and the kids’ mother”. I am known for what I do, my role. A wife and a mom. That’s it.

Who the hell am I?

Cruel Summer. But I’m a Survivor.

It’s been a quiet summer in this household. Not much we can do when most of our income is either going to outrageous bills or being saved for a vehicle or, and in complete honesty, cases of beer, just to mentally withstand all that’s happened this summer so far.

We’re struggling to stay on our feet, but we can’t help feeling unstable when the rug is constantly being tugged from underneath us. But I’m keeping my brains about me. Which is hard. But I haven’t had to deal with my depression in the last few weeks and that’s helped.

One trouble with being in Southern California during the heat without a vehicle to accommodate our large family and an air conditioner that only brings the inside temp to around 87 degrees, is that we’re all cranky and trapped together inside. Our yard has gone to hell because my husband cannot physically fix it the way it needs work, and we can’t afford a gardener right now. I won’t do it because I have an enormous fear of spiders and guess what our house has? A HUGE infestation of spiders, especially Black Widows–really, they’re everywhere. I really wanna hire someone to use a pressure washer and clean the under-awning of the lip of the house, all the way around and then have them spray for spiders and Widows. I’ll tell ya, we’d spend a helluva lot more time outside if I didn’t have to worry about them.

Sunday, the whole day, I tackled cleaning the house by myself, while Evelyn watched the baby and only got me when she needed to nurse. I spent 6 hours cleaning the garage…then 3 more hours in it with my mother and brother, sipping beers and wine, hittin’ cigarettes and talking about life. Sure I was only mere steps away from the kids, but the break was much needed. I seriously cannot wait for cooler weather–back to playing outside; riding bikes, skating, using scooters, chalk, whatever. We’re just so tired of being trapped indoors.

I did finally get around to making a schedule. I even printed out multiple copies and stored them around the house…but with a 4 month old baby, I don’t even know why I attempted to schedule a life when she dictates the schedule. She refuses to sleep lately, unless I lay next to her and make sure she’s completely out before I do some ninja-like squirms and slips to sneak out of the room and by that time, I’m so far behind on chores and a writing schedule, I’m not even done with chores before I glance at the clock and see that shit, it’s almost dinner time, I gotta get to cooking before Derrick gets home and I never get the chance to write. I’m not complaining, I choose to breastfeed and so I gotta be at her beck and call and when she becks and calls, I run, otherwise the becking and calling turns into blood-curdling screams.

I just don’t know how J.K. Rowling did it? How in the hell did she find time to write as a single mother of four kids? I have 5 and a husband and all I wanna be able to squeeze into a day for myself is exercise and writing. I have to exercise early in the morning, otherwise it’s too hot later in the day and all the kids are bugging for snacks. I have to write early too, otherwise I can’t concentrate because kids are screaming and fighting all day long. Things will (hopefully) be easier when they go back to school next month. I’ll be here with just the baby and if I can get her to sleep, I’ll have more time to write.

One thing I am proud of: I’ve read and finished like 7 books so far this summer! That’s HUGE for a mom. Now, ask me to write a book report on the books I’ve read and I’d instantly draw a blank–damn mommy brain.

I’ve been raising kids for nearly 14 years and for some reason, I cannot remember how to sleep train a baby…anyone have any ideas? I need this 4 month old to give me some scheduled breaks to get shit done. I don’t mind clustering my chores and running around like a madwoman just to get them done; but I gotta fit some writing and exercise time in there too.

Derrick and I have been experiencing better intimacy too. Nothing sexual, though, sex has happened, finally. But I’ve been able to discuss things better with him and having more intimate conversations with him in regards to anything about the house, my emotions, my requests and other things and I don’t feel like he’s belittling me and hopefully he’s noticed a decrease in my nagging or complaining. I’m trying my hardest to work on my anxieties. And as much as I love my husband, I don’t need him to rescue me, or even attempt to help me or remedy the situation, sometimes I need to just vent to someone who “gets it” without judgment. Thanks to a couple of the books I’ve read this summer I’ve been learning to converse better. I really need to finish Passionate Marriage…I started it. I’m 4 chapters in, but I took a break and read three other books and finished them…but I’ll pick it back up soon. I like what it was teaching me.

Side note: 5 Love Languages is an amazing book and well worth the read. Even Derrick is reading the men’s version and I haven’t had any protest from him, he’s literally genuinely interested in learning my love language–which I think is “Quality Time” and I personally think he’s equally spread between “Words of Affirmation” and “Physical Touch” because as much as I hate (hate) being touched (yuck!) he appreciates a lingering hug, a deeper than a peck kiss and me running my nails through his hair. But I also noticed he appreciated a card I sneaked into his office a week ago that just let him know how proud I am of him and how much I appreciate him and how I am working on me for the benefit of both of us and for our family.

Whatever happens, I’ll figure it out. It’ll be okay, I’m a survivor. I’ve literally survived 100% of my worst days. We’ll get stable. We’ll be on our feet soon. It’ll be okay.

Breaking the Vicious Circle of Guilt

It’s been a few weeks and the atmosphere has drastically changed at home again.

Derrick and I have our fights. And sometimes they can get bad, real bad, especially when one of us has mental illness and the other tries to understand it, but sometimes fails to grasp OUR reality and it just becomes a huge frustrating mess of shit.

But we worked through it.

We talked and we apologized to each other and without invoking too much emotion, we explained where each other was coming from and it’s so useful to be able to reconnect like that, with a sense of calm maturity, especially after having such a strung-out immature fight that ended up with me sleeping on the couch, ignoring him for days and just being irritable AF. It’s hard living with Borderline Personality Disorder, but I have to imagine it’s even harder for Derrick. He doesn’t live with it, he doesn’t understand that we live with our emotions and anxieties always within the extremes. He may be upset, but I’ll be devastated. He may feel hurt, I may think the world is ending. He may be happy, I get elated. He may be frustrated and impatient, I become enraged.

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Fuck the Facade

Postpartum depression.

I hate those words. I hate them because as a mother, I am bombarded with awareness for PPD and blogs and articles written about how to survive it, where to reach out for help, how you should have a support network and all the signs you shouldn’t ignore. But how does one differentiate “motherhood” and the crap that comes with it, and actual postpartum depression? Kids can be a lot of work, whether you’re a SAHM or a working mom, or whatever. And we lose our minds, we lose our shit and we become short and irritable and frustrated, but where’s the line of when too much is too much?

Over the past 5 years, I have worked my ass off trying to learn my triggers and emotions and signs to know when I’m depressed or entering a manic phase. I saw no signs of Postpartum Psychosis when I experienced it in 2012, it just happened. And though my stability has been rocky since 2012, I’ve managed to be somewhat aware of myself, though I’ve had setbacks.

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Alcohol Was Invented by the Gods…for Parents

Today it’s finally clicked for me, why there’s so many memes and posts dedicated to Moms and their love of wine, or alcohol in general.

I am tired. I am chronically bitchy and irritable and stuck within 4 walls with 5 kids. Their personalities are as wildly varied as their ages; from newborn to teenager and I don’t know how to parent each of them individually. You’d think, after being a mother for nearly 14 years, I’d be a veteran, I’d have this shit pat down.

Sure, being a SAHM is one of the toughest jobs a parent can have, and true, it can be rewarding, but at the same time it can be psychologically damaging. The constant arguing, bribing, negotiating, demanding…and that’s all AFTER the civil conversations. My issues vary amongst the kiddos too; one refuses to do her chores correctly or just doesn’t do them, another half-asses them and I have to go ’round and clean up what they supposedly cleaned and the other 2 just refuse to do their ACTUAL chores in favor of doing the easy things that’ll earn them points on their chore chart. My oldest is lazy, which, I wish if I were as lazy as her, I wish I could be as thin as her. My son, though he is INCREDIBLY helpful and always asking me if I need anything; has a habit of forgetting to do things, things that are specifically spelled out in his chore folder. Then the little girls; they throw each other under the bus for playing rather than cleaning and they get distracted by EVERYTHING.

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Is Love a Priority?

Priorities.

How do we get these right? Do we ever get them correct? And how do we prioritize; as a woman? As a wife? As a mom? A human being? Which is the correct one and if we must do them all, which of the priorities is the priority?

I’d like to say I wake up every morning, grab my coffee and prioritize the day in my head or on paper. But I don’t I usually have a laundry list, a to do list, an events calendar and a running calendar, as well as an agenda constantly looping through my mind.

Before I met Derrick; I was always a Type A personality. I believed in order, organization and had a plan, well, many plans.

I wanted to finish school, graduate, join the Air Force and go to college and somewhere after that I prioritized marriage and kids mixed in with a fantastic career that utilized both my smarts and my Type A personality.

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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.

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