Yesterday I shared a post on my personal Facebook status that I came across from another blogger called “The Stubborn Mum”. It went like this:
I could have written that myself.
As every day goes by I feel more and more drained, less and less motivated and find myself shaking and in tears more times than I care to count.
Life has been exceptionally difficult the last 12-18 months. I have tried so hard to be there for everyone. To support my family, my extended family and my friends whenever I can because lord knows, they would be there for me in a heartbeat.
The stress levels in our home are astronomical. Well wishers can tell you to just “stop stressing” all they want but at the end of the day, I am still here, struggling to deal with the daily grind.
The hubby is great, but he totally stinks when it comes to emotional support. Don’t worry, I doubt he’ll be offended by that statement, they were his words after all. Even when all I need is to have his arms wrapped around me and to hear the words that it will get better, he misses the cues and zones out.
I know I am not on my own, but I have never felt so isolated and alone when it comes to juggling the MonsterSquad.
Those that have been following along at home would know Aria has developed anxiety after a bout of bullying during grade 4. Anxiety so bad that pretty much all the hair on her head fell out.
Towards the end of last year, throughout the holidays and even the first 3 days back at school this year in grade 6, we saw great improvements in her. She seemed to be making great progress, until school swimming lessons started up.
Now, were back at square one. School refusal hardcore, withdrawn, lack of care or motivation for anyone or anything and anger, so much hostile anger.
The pressure from the doctors, the other medical people, the school and my own personal beliefs, to get her there each and every day is starting to feel like a weight too heavy for me to lift.
I believe she does need to trust us all when we say that sometimes, you just have to do it. I speak from experience when I say to her that she can’t avoid every little thing in life that she doesn’t like. I have bad anxiety too. I have been there, I still live with it everyday but I also know that its just our heads telling us all these scary stories, and that 99% of the time, they’re just not true and real.
I also believe that my own mental health would not cope with her if she was at home 24/7 right now, so homeschooling is just not an option. Why? Because I am the bad guy. I don’t know what I have done that is so wrong but apparently I am the absolute worst mother anyone could have, I’m so super strict, I don’t let her do whatever she wants to do and she hates me. Like really hates me.
The thing is, my every waking moment is devoted to my family. If I’m not dealing with the kids and all that raising 6 kids entails, I’m working on my marriage. When I’m not kid-wrangling, marriage-strengthening, house-organising, blogging-working, I am attending countless appointments with my mother who hasn’t been very well this year at all.
Everything, and I mean everything I do is for them. Like any mother, I want the very best for my family. I know some of the things Aria says to me when she’s in a rage aren’t a realistic view. I know I am not the worst mother ever and I know I am nowhere near strict. But to have her scream right up in my face that she really hates me, cuts deep. Hate is such a strong powerful word.
Yes I know all kids have a rant and say things like that here and there, but the look in her eyes and her face really frightened me. I can’t help but feel completely worthless when all I want is to help her get better.
Watching your child, your 11yr old child, go from a completely happy, enthusiastic, funny, advanced, creative child into a dark, angry, hate-filled, anxious mess is beyond heartbreaking, especially when she shuts you out.
Not a day goes by that I can’t help but think something more has happened beyond the bullying. From the outside looking in, it all appeared to be fairly typical school yard, pre-teen girly nonsense, but the outcome has been totally life changing, for us all. When I ask, I get screamed at and hated a little bit more, but what kind of mother would I be if I didn’t ask?
I look around at my other kids and their friends, the kids at school and the kids in playgrounds and all I can think about is Aria and getting our old ‘Aria’ back.
While I’m so consumed mentally with the stress the anxiety creates, I’m also worried I am not doing enough for my other children. They have started to act out, talk back, be defiant and so on and I suspect it’s for attention. Most likely warranted but another layer to the stress again.
As you can imagine, it often snowballs.
I sit here typing this trying to come up with an adequate way to describe just how I feel each and every day lately and 2 words come to mind.
Nothing Left…. I honestly have nothing left.
I am overwhelmed, I am tired, I am so deeply upset for my child, for my children.
I am terrified that things will never get better.
I feel beyond exhausted, every part of me hurts or aches in some way or another.
I can feel my heart beating far too hard in my chest most days.
I feel lost, I feel worthless, I feel like an absolute failure.
My cup, or as I have referred to it in the past, my ‘bucket’ or ‘calm tank’ is bone fucking dry.
Running myself ragged has finally caught up with me. The Stubborn Mum is right.
This family needs to let me refill my cup because seriously, the alternatives don’t look that good…