Friday, January 27, 2012

Mental health is good for you

Where was I?  Oh yes, living at my parent's house.  But I got a little ahead of myself.  Let's back track to when I had Michael.  It was overwhelming.  Becoming a family of four is intense.  First you have to worry about how the first kid will take everything.  Lizzy did quite well actually.  She seemed to be taking to being a big sister.  A loving big sister no less.  I, on the other hand, was struggling mentally and emotionally.  Oh I had lots of help.  My mom came to stay with us until we moved in with them, and Steve had off work for those first two weeks.  I thought it would be like with Lizzy, but a little easier since I already knew how to take care of a newborn.  I didn't really think of Lizzy needing a lot of attention too.  Steve and I would take turns with each kid on what they needed, but it seemed Lizzy only wanted me, and Mike needed me close for food so I was a little in demand and was losing my patience with it all.  I figured it was normal, and if I yelled a little it was to let off steam and was okay.  I wasn't yelling all the time.  Yet.

Switch back to living with Mom and Dad.  I had help, yes, but not as much help as I thought I needed.  I was basically a single parent that felt guilty for asking for help from my parents.  It was usually me taking care of Mike (he was eating like crazy and I was the only food source), and Lizzy wanting all of my attention.  I just couldn't do that, who could?  So I would ask Mom or Dad to help out.  At first they were happy to, but once we had been living there for a couple of weeks, they would hem and haw about helping out more and more.  It was like I was imposing on them, or at least that's what it felt like to me.  I get it, they did this already, they're older and get tired easily, and so I would stop asking and just let one of the kids cry or whine.  It inevitably lead to Dad or Mom asking me why I wasn't taking care of whoever was crying.  I started to yell more at the kids, and feel very put out and annoyed with everyone.  I mean, why was it all falling on my shoulders?  Why was I having to do all of the work?  Steve was still in Dallas working, and would come in on the weekends.  But I would still have to get up and stay up at night to feed Mike while Steve got to go back to bed.  It got to where I was envious of him and felt resentful, but I never took it out on him.  Instead I just yelled at the kids more often, and it didn't help that Lizzy went 2 weeks with diarrhea from stress and the fact that Steve wasn't around.

Then came time that Steve moved in with us as well.  I thought, finally I get to have somewhat of a break.  It didn't work out that way though.  I still had to be the one to get up at night (even though Steve got up too, to change the diaper while I got ready to nurse), and I didn't get a break during the day because one of us had to watch one kid while the other watched the other kid.  By then, Mom and Dad checked out on helping unless it was specifically asked of them.  Again, I got it, they figured Steve was now here, so why should they help?  In my head, I knew if we weren't living with them I would feel no need for them to help out, but living with them had me thinking that they should.  Like I said, my mental health was taking a nose dive.  I felt anger, resentment, and frustration all the time.  I wasn't happy, though I put on a really good front.  So good, that I even convinced myself that I was happy.  I was still yelling at the kids whenever they would cry or whine.  It grated on my nerves so much, and I wanted it all to stop.  To just have one hour of no tantrums, no crying, no having to take care of anyone.  I didn't get it though.

Then I had enough.  I couldn't handle living with my parents anymore.  Steve was getting a little annoyed as well.  So we made sure we could have two houses at once (at least for a couple months until we sold the first one (which had been on the market for 3 months by this time with only 2 showings and no offers)), and set out looking for a home.  It only took us 2.5 weeks to find it.  We put an offer on it immediately, and went through the long process of buying it.  We closed on the new house on August 26, 2011, but didn't move in right away.  We needed to paint, clean, and get it ready to move into.  Finally on September 9, 2011 we stayed at our new house for the first time.  Everything was clean, was pretty, and we had all of our furniture and things from storage.  I thought I would feel happier now.  We were finally in our own place, we were done moving.  But it was just one more thing that made me spiral deeper into wherever the hell I was.

And now Mike is up from his nap, so I will continue this another time.

Lizzy is 2 years 8 months and Mike is 9 months old and I am realizing that I had a lot of triggers that I ignored

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