Activate Release Response

Activate Release Response

It feels like forever since I’ve written a blog post though I have shared things directly to my Facebook Page.

Things have been pretty hectic lately what with the daily grind of Mum Life and emotional overload. It’s been over this time that I’ve realised I have again been putting myself at the bottom of the priority list. My energy is spent on housework, the kids and hubby’s health drama’s. July is birthday month with 2 of the kids birthday’s a week apart but with an almost 5 year age gap.

With overexerting myself I ended up having a massive argument with Hubby which due to the overload of my emotions I had a panic/anxiety attack.

 

Normally, I recognise my signs of overload and take action to avoid exploding, however this time most likely due to exhaustion especially with worrying about Baby Girl I was unable to stem the tide of emotions that overwhelmed me.

 

My outlets are going for walks, writing and online shopping (of course) and I’ve neglected my walks unless they had a practical purpose to complete an errand, I think I’ve neglected my writing as I was trying to control my emotions instead of allowing them to be released in a healthy way.

 

I’m grateful for many things and one of those are family and friends that allow me to unload, even when it may be an annoyance or inconvenience. Its with some of them that I’ve been able to talk to in my moments of complete meltdown; even those who aren’t the closest of friends have been a sounding board. Some of those that I’ve talked to have let me know that what I’m feeling or certain things I’ve said are not abnormal and that if I didn’t get into ever argue with hubby that would be abnormal.

 

I’ve always tried to not allow people to see me in what I think are moments of weakness. I normally am someone who tries to keep my emotions in check but that’s not always possible and when I force those emotions down eventually everything comes rising to the surface and explodes if there has been no release.

 

There have been the odd occasion when I’m unable to stop myself before I explode and when I lose my temper, I hate myself for it and this leads to an even more intense panic/anxiety attack.

 

In retrospect I think part of the reason I’ve been a tad more stressed lately is because of Rylee’s Birthday Tea Party and my desire for it to be perfect which is probably unattainable as you can’t control every aspect. I know it won’t matter to her as she’s 2 years old and most likely wont remember it anyway but there are times when I want some semblance of control. When it comes to the boys’ birthday parties I’ve become a lot more relaxed but with baby girl its different and though I try to add reason to any expectation it’s like my own disappointments define my expectations for my girl’s parties.

 

I think I better sign off now as since its school holidays my boys like to get up early.

 

Anyway, one thing to remember is: Activate your release response before explosion is imminent.

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Find Your “One Reason Why Not”

Find Your “One Reason Why Not”

You matter

I recently finished watching the second season of “13 Reasons Why” and it got me thinking about my own experiences with suicidal thoughts and the darkness that sometimes feels overwhelming. It’s the reason why this particular Netflix series was something I could not willingly binge-watch, the material in it were very heavy and due to losing my mother to suicide and the thoughts that I’ve had since a teenager hit me very hard.

It did get me thinking about why I never actually took my own life and the reason was that there was always at least one thing to hold on to; that seems to be what stopped me from carrying through with those enveloping destructive thoughts. As a teenager the reason why I didn’t was because of fear of disappointing others and that at the time I believed that suicide was a selfish act. When I became a mum the thing that stopped me was the fact that my children needed me and that I didn’t want them to go through what I went through – and still do some days – with my own mother.

 

There have been times when the fight was very hard, and the thoughts made it difficult to hold on to anything positive though eventually I would suppress those thoughts and now those times of wanting to end my life have become rare.

This is what has helped me to manage those moments, unfortunately though there are those who find the fight impossible to win through and their lives are taken because of suicide. These people may have been in such a downward spiral that NO-ONE may have been able to help. Even the encouraging, uplifting words of their friends or family may not have been able to break through the darkness. Its my opinion that having at LEAST one thing in your life to hold on to is important but it may not be positive words from others. As sometimes the negative thoughts are stronger.

May be another reason I am still here today is because of my belief in Jesus, but there have been times when even scriptures can be hard to believe in and can’t hold back those destructive thoughts and a person may feel that they are loved by God alone and only want to be with Him in heaven, because the truth is Satan will use anything to tear us down and rob us of our joy.

 

For me, I don’t believe that my faith in Jesus is a crutch as there have been times when I have tried to turn away from Him especially after losing my Mum and later on losing my first-born daughter, it was at these times that if I had been brain-washed the pain I felt from these losses would have broken it. I did change after the loss of my daughter, I became more of a realist and lost a lot of optimism – there were even times when I was quite pessimistic. The pessimism opened wider the path for anxiety to lead to depression and at times lead me down a very DARK path. It did not help that from a young age I had a need to please people and when I felt I had disappointed someone or that they didn’t like me caused me to turn down that path that I hate, it caused me to question the encouraging and positive words of those that loved and cared about me.You are you

 

I’m surmising that for some people it may take more than one reason to keep on fighting and only take one reason to give in; It is my opinion that suicide is not really giving up but more like giving in to those negative and destructive thoughts.

One of the hopes I have for my children is that they’ll always know that I love them no matter what, and will always be ready to listen to them even if I may not like what they have to say. I also want my children to be there for each other and to be there for their friends.

I also want my friends and family to know I am here to listen or even if all they need is a hug. I have experienced those negative and dark thoughts I understand that sometimes just having someone to listen can help as its not always easy to just choose life.

virtual hug

Social Awkwardness With A Smile

Social Awkwardness With A Smile

Birthday party

Birthday Party Season for my kids has started and its made me think about my reaction to social situations.

As a kid, social situations seemed easier as I had my mum as a buffer. These days however there are times when I feel like I have to work at being social – especially when the kids are socially adept like their Dad, even my 19 month old daughter seems to have little issue. When Jason was little it sometimes took a while for him to warm up to new people, at Kindy he would mainly play with the same 3 kids. Alex seems to fit in anywhere and has a diverse range of friends.

Looking back to when I was a teenager I was socially awkward and felt out of place; being friendly was never an issue yet making close friends seemed to be. I felt like I was the square peg trying to fit in a round hole, I felt like I was one the edge of my “friends” group and never really a part of the group. Of course it could have been all in my imagination because of low self-esteem, like I was never good enough to fit anywhere.

social awkwardness

Being a mum means that I’m in social settings where I feel out of my comfort zone and there are times when I want to flee from that surrounding – especially when I’m in one of my negative moods. Sometimes it feels within me that I’m meant to act a certain way – yet don’t know what that way is.

 

I’ve always wanted my kids to thrive when it comes to life and that includes socially as well, so from babyhood would take them along to playgroups, music groups etc; even if I didn’t really want to be a part of it myself. It felt like a sacrifice which I’m finding is part of being a parent.

The boys especially seem to make friends easily and Jason will often ask to have a playdate at one friends’ place or another. If I myself feel comfortable around the other kid’s mum I don’t have any problem especially if I don’t need to be there. Yet if I’m unsure about the other kid’s mum I’m a bit hesitant to allow a playdate to occur.

I know I make mistakes socially, say things I shouldn’t or do things I shouldn’t. I will often beat myself up emotionally over what I deem or what I think the other parent things is faux pas in the social setting. Even if I feel like I have a god relationship with another person there will be times when I doubt whether the friendship is real or superficial. I know a lot of this comes from my struggle with self-esteem and often will try to bring myself back to a more positive frame of mind; however it doesn’t always work and the negative thoughts seem to cement themselves.

Most of the time I don’t allow this to bother me, there have been times though that I’ve allowed those thoughts to bother me, I just hope that none of my children ever have this issue.

Reflecting on Words of Condolence

Reflecting on Words of Condolence

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I have unfortunately lost a few loved ones in my life and one thing I found interesting is the words of consolation that people use. I found that when people were trying to console me after my daughter Zoë was stillborn most likely have been well-meaning but some things weren’t exactly helpful for Rob and I; these things were said maybe out of not knowing exactly what to say which is understandable.

Some of the phrases used were:

  • “She’s with Jesus” – Honestly that didn’t help at the time it was said as I just wanted her with me and it felt unfair that Jesus got to be with my firstborn child when I couldn’t. I believe it now, but in that time of raw and numbing grief all it seemed to do was increase my anger at God.

 

  • “You will have another child” – While for Rob and I this was true the people that said it didn’t really know that for sure. What if we had been like some couples who couldn’t have more children, this particular phrase could have been really hurtful. Another reason this wasn’t exactly helpful was the fact that another child could not/would not replace the baby we had lost.

 

  • “She wasn’t meant to be” – This was said when after she died and when informed some people about what the diagnosis was (one of the reasons we told few people when we knew). This phrase probably upset me the most; if “she wasn’t meant to be” then why did I get pregnant with her in the first place, “if she wasn’t meant to be” then why did I carry her to term when I wasn’t expected to and I ended up needing to be induced.

 

I’m sure that for the most part when these phrases were used they were said with the best of intentions; however even if something is said with the best of intentions it doesn’t always mean it will be helpful. For example when I’m in my darkest of moods I can get upset with someone simply saying “I’m Sorry”. Grief can make a person illogical and take offense at the smallest of things.stages of grief

There are times when the phrase “I can only imagine how you must feel” is used. Truthfully when it comes to losing a child no-one can truly imagine and I wouldn’t want anyone to know what it feels like to lose a child. Even when you’ve lost a child you can’t truly imagine what another person is going through, even if it’s a similar situation their reactions could be different to what your reactions were and everyone acts differently.

I can remember times I’ve said that losing Zoë was like losing a part of myself, yet I have never lost a limb or the use of one in reality don’t know what it’s actually like. I guess I use that phrase to try and get across the awfulness of losing a child – so it’s more a metaphor than a fact.

One more thing that used to get to me after any of my losses was when people would say “they were there for me” It got to a point where I would shrug it off as something people feel they have to say – even subconsciously – the reason being was if I did need someone, I must have asked the wrong people as the ones I asked never seemed to have the time for me or wouldn’t get back to me when they could. This experience unfortunately made we weary about calling on people when I needed someone.

There’s something I also noticed about going through the loss of a loved one is that it’s not just in the first week or so you need support but also in the following weeks after the numbness of grief has passed and reality hits – that’s my experience anyway as there were times when I felt left alone in my grief and didn’t want to be a burden to anyone.

These are only my reflections on looking back over my past experiences so doesn’t necessarily mean I feel alone now.

Have a great day

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Do What We Do, Not What We Say

Do What We Do, Not What We Say

I guess the beginning of this post is a bit of a rant, I wrote the draft to this when I was a bit emotional and recently found it in a journal I was using earlier this year.

Parenting

 

Why is it that some males seem to have difficulty processing anger, I’m sure its not the case for every males but I have read al lot about how the percentage is higher amongst males when it comes to anger management issues; some dad’s have a expectation of their young sons to be able to manage their tantrums better by telling them to “harden up” or “take a concrete pill” this doesn’t make much sense to me  as children are young and haven’t had time to learn to manage their emotions and it is up to the adults to teach them and I believe the best way to do that is to show them; and the best way to show them is by adults managing their emotions in a less destructive manner.

Children are more likely to pay attention to a person’s actions than their words; it’s a case of parents “practicing what they preach” Parents are human so are not likely to get it right all the time but when we do slip up then that is the time when we need to apologise to the child/ren for our behavior and try our best not to repeat it. As no-one is perfect us as parents shouldn’t expect our children to manage their emotions any better than we would. To have those expectations is living with double standards; just like it took time to learn to walk learning to manage emotions takes time and won’t happen overnight.

Parental Example

 

As a teenager I know I was anything but tidy but now as a mum I expect my children to try and keep their room clean. I give their room a decent clean every few months to show them what it should look like when it’s tidy. I tell them that if they put away their toys after they’ve finished playing it wouldn’t be as big a job as they think.

There are days when I feel like I tell my kids over a hundred times to clean their room and put away their toys when they’ve finished playing. I frustrating as the repetitiveness of it all, I can only trust that eventually it will sink in and that putting away their toys will become a habit. Habits aren’t formed overnight and breaking habits can take longer.

My boys are Four and Six years old, so it’s been a short while that I’ve expected them to put their toys away after they’ve finished playing. With my Four year old I don’t expect him to be able to make his bed well but I do expect him to at least try. I do have more expectations of my Six year old because I know what he is capable of – he’s pretty good at making his bed but often needs to be reminded.

At kindy they were/are expected to help tidy up and I have those same expectations at home. My Four year old helped his Dad put together our new chairs – but I wonder if it was more a tactic to delay his bedtime than a genuine wanting to help.Positive Parenting

As I was writing this I found it interesting how it flowed from a rant to talking about expectations of our children but the key point is that as parents we need to show our children how to behave through our own behavior.

Childhood Vs. Mumlife

Childhood Vs. Mumlife

It’s amazing how differently I look at things as a parent compared to when I was a child here. I thought I might do a quick blog on a few of the things I think are different when looking at childhood compared to mumlife

Daylight Savings

As a child I loved Daylight Savings, I got to stay outside later and play – though it didn’t feel late. I loved playing hide ‘n’ seek and “Go Home, Stay Home” with the neighbourhood kids.

Now as a parent with young children Daylight Savings is a time to dread. My kids take longer to go to sleep as it is still light when it comes to bedtime and it sometimes means that on the weekend my kids get up at unearthly hours. The good thing about daylight savings as a parent is I can get washing out earlier and this gives me more time to relax – when I do relax.

 Daylight savings

Family Holidays

My family went away on holiday quite often when I was a child and they were always fun; I got to see new things and meet different people.

As a mum however it just seems to be more work and not as relaxing when we do go away. Even if we went away without our kids they would always be on my mind – my “mum hat” very rarely comes off, its almost like its super-glued on.

 

Presents

As a child I always wanted toys, books or sweets for Christmas and/or my Birthday. If I got clothes I would be a bit disappointed unless it had a favourite cartoon character on it.

Now as a Mum I like to get more practical things; however clothes, shoes or jewelry are seen as extra special.   I still like to get chocolate but more often than not I end up sharing it with my Hubby and kids – unless I hide it and eat it in secret.

 Presents

Christmas

As a child I’d always look forward to Christmas with glee, I didn’t have any responsibilities – except to behave myself so Santa would come and bring me presents. As a child I was unaware of how work much actually went into the “magic” of Christmas.

As a parent Christmas may be more work but seeing the excitement my kids a get at Christmas makes up for it. Christmas is also a time for family to get together especially those that we might only see around Christmas.

christmas as a parent

Due to the fact that this being end of year I have only covered a minuscule amount of the differences that I have looked back on, maybe when things are less busy I’ll do a more thorough blog but for now I hope you’ve enjoyed this little snippet.

Anxiety From the Beginning

Anxiety From the Beginning

Aargh, Insomnia at work again! This time it’s like I’m mulling over a hundred things at once; one of those things is my use of “underlying” in relation to my previous post concerning anxiety. Part of the reason is because I was reading a blog post someone had written about “How they cured their anxiety” and it got me thinking how even when things in my life seem to be going fine, the anxiety is still there niggling away under the surface ready to pounce at a moment of weakness.

One of my early memories of feeling anxious was when I was a kid and it we were running late for a church production rehearsal that I was involved in – a child worried about being late is a bit of an oxymoron; there may have been earlier times of worry. I also have memories when I was a childishly bossy in a true firstborn child manner.

I think the anxiety got stronger as I got older and life kept pounding me with curveballs and would knock me for a six (my hubby is a sports fanaticJ)

Anyway the earliest memory I can recall of having a panic attack was when I was 17, in my last year at High School and had pressure from numerous aspects of my life. Someone in my Home Room threw a paper ball at me – or something, and I just snapped and burst into tears. I ended up in the Sick Bay and while there the Deputy Principal (I think) gave me a glass of water to drink to try and calm me down, the glass had to be put down pretty rapidly  when I almost broke it because my teeth where chattering so much with the intensity of my emotions.

There have been other instances where I have had panic/anxiety attacks and it always seems to be after something small comes along to top things of and send me into a spiral. Most of the time I try to hold it together until I’m away from people, as I sometimes feel embarrassed to feel the way I do in those times and don’t want people’s pity. I don’t know why but I most of the time I feel like I have to be the strong one and the truth is that is tiring; I also don’t like being a burden to anyone and if I do feel like I’m being a burden it seems to make the anxiety/depression worse.

Well, that’s me for now.

T.