Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The inner demons

I have to interrupt this usually light-hearted mommy blog to get a little serious. This probably is a little more than I usually would put "out there", but I've had it on my heart and on my shoulders to talk about it for a while. I'm probably going to regret it tomorrow, but I'm about to "get real" and talk about things that are quite personal to me, so if you can't take this kind of thing, feel free to move on to your next read.

I have this constant and insatiable need for encouragement and validation. I'll take it from just about anybody, but mostly I just want it from my husband--who doesn't quite get exactly what I need and why I need it, so most of the time, I don't get it from him. It's not his fault, and I don't blame him at all. It's just not in his personality. I feel like it's my fault and something I need to work out for myself. Why do I constantly need someone telling me that I'm great and fabulous and my kids are wonderful and it's all because of me and the messy house isn't important because I'm focusing on my kids and I'm smart and funny and on and on and on.....Why is that so important to me and why does my emotional well-being depend on it so much? Obviously, there's no one person on the face of this earth who's purpose it is to make sure that I'm feeling encouraged and validated and that I'm feeling emotionally stable. But it's almost like that's what it would take in order for me to finally feel good about me.

I feel like I just can't get a grip. Things will be going great for a while and I'll feel like I'm on top of things! and life is great! I'm great! and I can do this! But then one small thing happens and it all comes down and I'm no good at my "job", I can't do this, I'm such a loser, life sucks and no one really cares. Surely this can't be normal.

And then I beat myself up because I have in my mind all these things that I want to be and do and make better so that maybe I can move past the constant feeling of inadequacy. But then I do nothing about any of it. I see it all, wishing I would/could change it, but then I do nothing. Maybe it's because I know in my heart that I won't actually be able to accomplish it all. Maybe it's because it's not possible that I can accomplish it all. Either way, it doesn't matter, because it's not happening.

It seems like no one else has this constant struggle in life or within themselves. Or maybe it's just that no one talks about it. I just want things to settle down and be mundane for a while. I just want to worry about doing the laundry and finding the right curriculum and not what disappointment is next. I want to feel like I'm not always getting knocked down. I want to feel capable and adequate and like life is good. But I'm just not sure that I'll ever get there.


K in the Mirror said...

are you sure you didn't steal this post out of my draft file? because I feel EXACTLY like this. And not getting validation from the hubby is especially hard for me because he's the reason I do a lot of it- I want to have a clean house and good meals and smart well dressed kids to make him proud. When he comes home and of course only notices the 200 things I didn't get finished instead of the 2 I did, I'm completely crushed. Even when he does notice, he doesn't say the kinds of things I wish he would, and I know it's not his fault, but then I get upset anyway and so does he because he was doing the best he could...

How do we fix this? Because it can't be just us. I'm willing to bet a lot of people feel this way.

Oh, and silly, at first your sentence read, "I want to feel like I'm not always getting knocked UP." instead of down. :)

Hugs to you. Call me anytime- I'd love to talk about anything you have on your mind.

mom on a mission said...

Hmmmmmm. I definitely think it is safe to say that you're not alone. Most people aren't willing to be so honest with themselves let alone other people. Everyone is too busy trying to make sure everyone else thinks THEY have it all together (when really no one does :-) Do I understand you to be a homeschooler? If you are, well, that just ups the anty. Trying to feel "good enough" or "do enough" is a bottomless pit, really. I think that realizing the fact that no one other person will ever fill any void inside (no, not even husbands :-) is a great step to some real healing.... Thanks for being so transparent and saying out loud how so many others really feel inside.

Anonymous said...

Listen to K in the Mirror and Mom on a Mission! They are right. We all feel that way. Every time I spend time with my INCREDIBLE grandsons I thank GOD you are their mother. Not everyone puts that much time and love into their kids. I think you are an amazing young woman and I feel blessed just to be able to call you daughter and friend. But then what do I know I'm just your Mom.


KatieBug said...

I wrote you a long comment and my children deleated it to play on webkinz. Grrr.

People just don't talk about it. Every mom(expectially stay at home, homeschooling mothers with lots of young kids) feels that way. One time I was talking to my mom on a really rough day and she told me raising kids is like swimming in the ocean.You are doing GREAT and then you get hit by a wave that almost drowns you. You have to tread water and catch your breath before another wave comes. ANY time you need to talk feel free to call me! Try to keep your head above water. Love you!

Kate said...

I think that lots of people feel this way, even those of us without kids. I actually grapple with depression, so I know this feeling of being okay and then being smacked down by all of the things in life. Or the hubby who doesn't say what you need. I say all the wonderful things he does, but sometimes it feels like nothing because he doesn't praise me for making us healthy meals or something. And then I feel peevish and guilty. And small for all of the things I don't do. I can't imagine how much having kids adds to the pressure.

It sounds like you're doing an amazing job with all of the things that you're doing. I have a job that's 36 weeks a year, 7:30-4ish. I have a dog who doesn't take much care. I have a husband who's self-sufficient. I should be living a life of happiness and leisure. And I am fine sometimes and sometimes I'm EXHAUSTED. Does that make you feel any better? You have 3000x more responsibilities and the stakes are so high-raising and educating your children.

I am in awe. At any moment when you feel lowest, I still admire you. You and your lovely cousins. I hope I can be half the mother you guys are.

nicole said...

Like the others, I just wanted to say we all have those feelings. What we do with those feelings determines how they will affect our lives. As for feeling like you can't accomplish anything, try scaling back. I know I have those feelings of wanting to have everything done, but the reality is that it won't happen. When I decide to accept that some things just have to remain the way they are, I am much more relaxed. Anyway, I don't want to offer tons of advice. Just wanted to say we have been there and will be there again--so don't ever feel like you shouldn't be able to share these things.

chewymama said...

like everyone else said, we all feel this way sometimes. sometimes I feel that way a lot. that is the perfect time to lean on your Father - He is the only one that can give you that deep, deep validation that you need (that we all need). Sometimes I just do whatever I can to make it to bedtime (praying and praying for the grace to keep my mouth shut) so I can start a new day and start over - its normal my friend. We have a huge responsibility raising and schooling these little ones but you ARE doing it and you ARE doing well.....we all think so :)