I feel like a whirling, swirling mash of emotions, that are threatening to engulf me at any given moment.
The kids are on holiday, and this means that I rarely get a moment to myself. To the highly sensitive (and Misophonic) among us, you know the drill; I don’t need to explain more. To those that don’t fit the above: I probably sound like a whinging, self-absorbed, uncaring mum, counting down the days until I have all the “me” time I could want. To you guys: I don’t care what you think, to be honest. You aren’t me. You won’t get it, and therefore I won’t even begin to justify myself (which is good, because I don’t have the energy to).
I am being sucked dry. So much so, that I can’t even explain the feeling in words. I really can’t. I could say that it is like the real me doesn’t exist any more; but that’s not quite right. I could say that it feels as though my stomach is being squeezed so hard that I wonder how I can still breathe; and that’s partly it. I am not normally at a loss for words, and I am usually fairly adept at translating emotions into those words; but, how I feel is literally indescribable.
I do feel like a bad parent; no denying that. I am so sick of feeling guilty, so I am not going to dwell on my perpetual self-torture. When you have kids, your sole aim should be to ensure they are as happy as they possibly can be. I don’t think my kids are. I think they will look back and remember their childhood with a mum that “had a weird thing called Misophonia”, who got annoyed by little things, who suffocated when she didn’t get any breathing space. Oh. And this wasn’t going to be guilt-flogging session.
I am crying now. See, this is my therapy. It helps; I know it does. It unburdens the horrific guilt I feel for my seemingly gargantuan, never-ending parenting fails. Where only my mistakes play across my mind in a perpetual rewind of where I am going so terribly wrong. I want to be THAT mum. You know, the one that can’t wait for the summer holidays to start because of all the wonderful things they are going to do together. That must feel nice. It must be nice to be that kind of mum.
My nine year old told me this morning that he wished he had a different mum. It took all of my energy not to say “yes, me, too”. His reason for saying this? I decided not to go to the beach with them. My partner works six-day weeks, leaving the house at 1pm, and not returning for 12 hours. Part of me wanted to join them for a morning on the beach; the other part was screaming “alone, alone, ALONE”. For once, I listened to the voice, rather than putting my kids first. They wanted me to go, and I wanted to stay. I am flattered that a morning on the beach is not complete without me, but it also smothers me. Then it makes me feel guilty when I disappoint them. There’s always a catch: I get alone time, but feel guilty for it. Sometimes, I can’t win.
I am not a bad person. A lot of this is not MY fault. But sometimes I feel my kids deserve SO much better than me. I am the mum that posts all the holiday pictures on Facebook, all smiling and happy, then sits back and waits for the comments about what a beautiful family, what a great time we seem to be having. I allow the words to stroke my frazzled ego, momentarily soothing my feelings of inadequacy. Never admitting that we’d had tears, tantrums and fights five minutes before the photo was taken; that although there were glimpses of real joy, they were few and far between. It’s all fake. I am not that perpetually smiling, easy-going mummy that I pretend to be. I carry a shit load of baggage around with me that can’t NOT affect my kids in the long run, no matter how hard I try; no matter how hard I try to deny.
As a highly sensitive person, I can’t bear failure. As a mum, it is crucifying.
Afterword: Three hours of alone time. That’s all it took to restore my composure and internal balance. I know that the above is not all I am, is only a tiny part, one that shows itself when I’m under intense personal pressure; it certainly isn’t how my children see me most of the time. However, it is an ugly, yet inevitable side of me, and can’t (shouldn’t) be ignored, and this blog helps me deal with it.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.