I feel selfish...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by change, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. change

    change New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry I've been gone for a few weeks. I've been trying to pretend I have a normal life with normal kids. It's not working. Tomorrow, my daughter is performing and Friday as well for the end of her Summer Intensive (Fine Arts Academy). I hope she does well. Parents are never allowed into classes or even a peek so I have no idea how she's held up the past 6 weeks. I have been very present in taking her and hanging out during her breaks even though I could have been at home so that she would have a "touch stone" available. Her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) seems to be relatively in check but I hope she's not hiding things from me. We never know. Her therapists say I'm the glue thatn holds her together. It's exhausting though. I love her so much but the poor little creature turns into a complete mess and then even into a little monster eventually when I'm working. It gets bad during the school year. I'm not looking forward to it at all. I feel selfish because I haven't been there for my husband like I should. I have been totally giving into my bad habits to "get through the day". I work out more than necessary, spend a lot of time alone, only go out with the ladies a couple of times a month, and spend time organizing things in the house, etc. but I haven't spent enough time with him lately. We spend time on the weekends together but it could be more. I'm so lucky to have him but I've been busy trying to hide my sadness from him. I don't think he's aware of how much I'm still distraught over what happened with our son. I also avoid family gatherings still and visiting relatives which affects him too because then he doesn't go either. I simply can't face people questioning us nor the "big white elephant" feeling in the room that is always there when we're around. I'm so tired of feeling judged.

    Sorry for dumping on y'all. I don't have anyone to talk to about this in person.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, you sound so sad. And you sound like you're spreading yourself way too thin.
    You can watch your daughter's performance, right? At the end of the year?
    Does your husband complain that you're not there? Or is he pretty stoic?

    I wish you well. You're stronger than you think.
  3. change

    change New Member

    No, he doesn't complain. I wish he would so I'd feel pressure to be a better wife. I've been with him since we were young (college) and have seen him mature into an incredibly selfless, caring, respectful man. His father is the same way.

    I will be seeing my daughter perform. I'm looking forward to it. She's only in one piece but it's nice. (I saw her practice at home.) The performances are open to the public and even advertised on the radio, newspaper, etc. Parents from all over the country will come see their kids that are here in the academy from other cities just for the summer. There are even some international students. This is the one bright spot in my daughter's life right now besides her dog.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I'm glad easy child has had this opportunity! I hope the performance goes well for her.

    Now... for you. What are you doing to take care of yourself, in a healthy manner? I understand shutting down and going into habits that aren't the most emotionally healthy (I do believe I am the Queen of those habits ;) ). But seriously, your family has been thru an awful lot and being the "glue" is going to cause wear and tear on you. Plus, I would guess that there's some grieving going on not only because of what your daughter has been through but also because of your son. Regardless of the behaviors, I would think you're grieving over him too.

    It sounds like your husband is a real gem of a guy. It also sounds like he's very understanding. But I understand that feeling .... I don't know, a feeling of shutting yourself off, even from him? I think it's good you recognize it. Maybe by just setting one goal a week - a card game, a conversation (not about children), something to start that reconnection? I also think it might be good to get some counseling for yourself, just to help you start to think about things in a different light. Sometimes it helps to just spew it all out there and have a third party digest it with you.

    You are *not* selfish. It sounds like you're in survival mode right now.

    Sending you a gentle hug.
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Sue expressed my thoughts better than I could.
    Sorry you're having such a rough time. It does sound like you're grieving for both of your children, and for your lost dreams.

    Sending many gentle {{{HUGS}}}
  6. change

    change New Member

    Thank you for the gentle hugs. I feel like bawling. I won't though because my daughter is home. Her performance was so nice. She'll do it again tomorrow and my tia (aunt) from Mexico is spending the night tonight and tomorrow night so will go with me to see her. That will be nice.

    Yes, I'm grieving my son. I'm SO MAD at him still but yet feel sorry for him too and also miss him at times even though I don't miss the extreme tension we lived with when he was in our home. I feel like I lost a child and wasn't able to mourn him properly. Does that make sense? It's bad.

    I was happy to see my daughter having a normal day today from afar at the academy. I could see her hanging out with the other girls her age and someone was putting performance make-up on her from one of the upper levels, and after the show, she took her time getting to me and then told me she was exchanging phone numbers with some of the girls in her level who were from other schools that were just there for the summer. I was glad. She needs some "normal" stuff in her life. The academy itself is so intense and sometimes I wonder if she should stay involved. The students are nice though and have been a constant in her life. Sometimes, when we go to the grocery next door, it's so cool when professionals (company members) say hello to her by name as well. What a cool thing in life that I never experienced!

    You're right about making time at least once a week with my husband. We were doing that a long time ago and then things got so intense with our son and we stopped. We should really do it again. I think we have been so busy trying to save our daughter lately that we don't spend time on our relationship like we should. We have date night at home sometimes but she's actually in the house...(in bed early or something like that). We really need to actually get out alone and leave her with grandparents or something and make a pact not to talk about our legal issues or kids stuff when we're out.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It sounds to me, as an outsider, that your daughter handled this intense program very well. She was socializing with the other girls, exchanging phone numbers, and performed great! I'm sure that today will go well and will be exciting having other family in attendance.

    I wonder if perhaps you are waiting for something to happen? I don't say that lightly. As the parents of difficult children, sometimes we are just waiting to exhale. We are so tunneled into thinking there will be an issue and what we are going to do about it, that we don't go about the business of living.

    I wonder if you have a personal therapist? It may help for you to speak with someone that can help you get your perspective back. Your daughter is not the only one suffering from PTSD. A therapist just may be able to help you get on with the really living and smile first instead of worry. They could also help you realize that your dual feelings of sorrow and relief regarding your son are perfectly normal.

    Have a wonderful time at the performace today and take that joy that comes with pride in our children and hold it in your heart for as long as possible. Hugs.

  8. So Tired

    So Tired Member

    Little Dude's Mom is right -- Maybe see someone for yourself. So you can enjoy your life, not just get through it.

    I finally started on a mild anti-depressent. I was really scared. Worried about side effects, etc. BUT, I love it! Why didn't I do this for myself (and family) years ago?! It just takes the edge off my obsessive worrying and helps me be the master of my emotions. The little things that I used to let rob me of all my emotional energy are now seen in perspective -- as problems to be solved, not insurmountable hopeless mountains.

    You sound really depressed, Change. And I'm not saying you don't have every right to be. I understand the pain of the loss, the guilt for being happy to be free of the turmoil the difficult child causes, and the humiliation of having friends/family ask about difficult child. How do you explain the situation? It is painful and humbling. But Change, you also deserve happiness in you life. You deserve to feel joy in you day. You deserve to relish easy child's special moments. I hope you go and see someone for you, Change, and start getting back what years of dealing with difficult child robbed you of.

    Sending {{{{HUGS}}}} your way. You are not alone.
  9. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I hope the performance goes well. Good for difficult child for making it through the program.

    I'm sorry you feel like you do. I agree with the advice that others have posted you need to take care of yourself. You are putting too much effort into holding your daughter together that you are falling apart. It is understable, especially with what you've been through but you can't be there for anyone else if you push yourself too hard. Seek help for yourself and everyone in the family will benefit.

  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm glad your daughter's performance went well! Sending you many hugs...please start taking care of you.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So glad your daughter's performance went well! How exciting. I am hoping that you all can focus on the accomplishment and happiness that this brings, in addition to her new friendships, and that her life may continue to grow and heal.
    I think this academy is a very good thing. Kids are amazingly resilient. Although this was intense, it also sounds structured and dependable. Don't discount the value in that.

    And yes, DO go out once a wk with-your husband. That is so important.
  12. change

    change New Member

    Thank y'all. You're all probably right about most everything. I AM very resistant to taking anything...mostly because I'm afraid once I begin, I won't ever be able to stop. Also, I already have to take medicine daily for chronic headaches and I don't know if my liver and stomach can take much more. I am not as resistant to the therapy but I'm a little scared. I'm worried about "opening the floodgates". I feel like I've been a "secretive rock" for so long that I might fall apart if I start admitting certain things outloud even if I do it private. Also, I hate to admit it but you're absolutely right about the waiting to exhale thing. I also think about it as "waiting for the other shoe to drop". I don't know how to relax anymore. I am FULL of tension when it comes to my kids. I did try and sit back and enjoy the day on Friday though and noticed that she was actually placed in a good spot on stage in front so that had to mean something about how she did in that particular class. She was great. This time I handed her my camera and had her take pictures with friends before the show and she had a blast. I'm glad she has those for her memories. BEST of all...today, after dropping of my aunt at another relative's home, we dropped off daughter at my parent's and my husband and I went to the movies and then had ice cream, before we went to pick her up. It was so nice...
  13. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    Good for you & your husband to have a date! You needed the jump start ~ hope it continues!

    Yay for the benefits of GHG in the academy. It would be great if she continues with- the positive influences of others who enjoy the same activities!