Hiding in the Forest

Hi there.

I’ve had a lot to write about that I haven’t been writing about because to be honest, i’ve been deep in the forest lately.

I didn’t take my antidepressants for over a week. And not for any particular reason. It’s like I forgot to take it one day. No big. Then the next day I thought about it but it wasn’t handy and I thought “oh well, I missed one day with no problem so I’m sure one more won’t be an issue.” and then it turned into something like nine days.

Charlie has been sick for over a week. This isn’t unusual-she picks up every little thing that gets passed around at MDO, but Saturday things started to get pretty rough. She acted irrationally angry a lot of the morning and then absolutely refused to nap. I’m ashamed to say I let her cry in her bed longer than I should have because I kept expecting her to calm down. By the end of the cry I was so frustrated at her and mad at myself that I spoke more harshly with her than I should have when I went to get her (we gave up on the nap after about twenty minutes). Her poor face was covered in tears and red. She was obviously exhausted but couldn’t sleep. I felt like a monster. I apologized immediately and we cuddled in bed, but that was strike one for my emotional state.

The next day was much of the same. Chief had drill all weekend by the way, so I was handling this a lot on my own. Sunday she was not only cranky and mad, she was also destructive and unapologetic about it. I lost my temper and shouted at her. She didn’t cry, but I could tell she was frightened. I cried though. I picked her up and cuddled her on the couch and apologized again. I was so relieved when she went down for a nap that day because I felt so awful about my mothering and that she would be better off away from me. I was never worried about physically harming her, but I was afraid I was damaging our relationship with every raise of my voice or expression of frustration.

Sunday afternoon I took my antidepressant for the first time in over a week. I know now that I can’t be without it like that. Not at this point in my life anyway.

Yesterday Charlie was so mad and upset. We called the doctors office during her nap to try and get a spot but they said her pediatrician was out for the day. When she woke up she seemed better so we thought it must just be a phase, but then she was much the same today. Had a bad day at school and everything. Her doctor was still out so we ended up taking her to a really nice urgent care.

Double ear infection and an upper respiratory infection was the diagnosis. Cue the various guilts:

1. How could I be so angry and awful to my obviously sick daughter?
2. How could my intuition not have told me on Saturday that something wasn’t right and she needed to go to the doctor?
3. How could I let it get this bad?
4. How could I be so lazy about my antidepressants

I’m trying to let myself push this guilt away-it’s done. I can’t take it back. I made it through today and yesterday without yelling at her, though I was frustrated yesterday. I’ve tweaked my shoulder somehow and right now she just wants to be held. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but I can’t hold her on my right because of the shoulder, so my left is taking the brunt and it’s brutal-and it’s just me. No Chief, no grandparents-she just wants me to hold her. All the time. When I’m eating. When I’m using the bathroom. Always. I don’t blame her of course because she feels so awful, but it’s very hard to do all on my own when I’m down one shoulder (I am going to the doctor, reluctantly, tomorrow), so by the end of yesterday I was tired, and hurting, and feeling guilty, and frustrated. But I didn’t yell.

I can feel myself slowly and gradually getting back under control with every dose of bu.propion. But I’m sad with myself. I’m afraid that this weekend will be one of Charlie’s earliest memories of her mother. How awful would that be?

Tonight after she had her dinner, and her bath, and her nursing, and her facetime call with daddo, she just wanted me to hold her and rock, and I did with tears rolling down my face. She has of course forgiven me. Hopefully she’s forgotten what a rotten mother I was for 48 hours. It’s just so much harder to forgive myself.


5 thoughts on “Hiding in the Forest

  1. Ahhhh the mum guilt. It’s so hard. I know I’ve had those moments where I yell and then apologise and the wonder what damage that whole process does to my child and our relationship but when you look at it in the big picture sense it’s not all that bad once in awhile. Kids want love – they want to give t and receive it – and if that’s not happening in a moment then that is what they are looking for. So their memory banks will always prioritise the love. You’d have to be pretty awful on a regular basis for them to see something else and I know that’s not where you are at. Like my dad for example, flipping ANGRY man and that is mostly what I remember about him but he was mad and annoyed every damn day of his life. Despite all this shitty stuff I actually do have some treasured happy memories of him when I was very small, before the input got too regularly negative. You are so self aware that thing are going to be fine. Don’t let those guilts take hold of you x

  2. Hey don’t be so hard on yourself. Sometimes this happens. Sometimes things build up and it comes out in an ugly, regrettable way. You’re only human. Your guilt is good, not because you’re a bad mom -you’re not- but because you see that’s not they way you want to be with Charlie. Some babies aren’t so lucky to have a mama like that. One thing that always helps me is to remember that these toddlers have no impulse control. It is easy to fool yourself and think that they are just tiny little people like you. Until they freak out. It helps but I’ve yelled too.

  3. Oh my sweet friend, it’s okay. It’s all okay. These will not be Charlie’s first memories of her mama. I promise. You were in the thick of things and you were doing your best under circumstances that anyone would have lost their shit over. You are such a great mom. Charlie loves you so much, and you worship her. You’re doing a great job, my friend. You really are.

  4. Think. Precisely how much do you remember from before you turned 3? Right. And, yes, children do learn about fear when people are angry and yes it would be nicer if fear and anger never happened; but they both do. The more important lesson however is about saying and being sorry and repent when you make errors/mistakes. Teaching your child that Every One makes mistakes and what is important is what happens next. You have learned, a hard way, that you need your meds. You own that truth now, and won’t repeat the experiment. Now you move forward and forgive yourself and love your husband and child. All parents make mistakes, but good parents try to fix things. Hang in.

  5. I’m so sorry you’ve been having a rough time. You’re not a bad mom at all, please believe that. I’ve known a few people who really fit that label, and shouldn’t have been allowed to keep their kids…you absolutely don’t fall into that category at all!! You love that little girl with everything you have. That doesn’t mean that you (and she) can’t have a bad day once in a while. It’s life, it’s going to happen. It’s how you deal with it that matters. You recognized what the problem is, and you’re working to fix it. That’s what’s important. Hang in there, you’re doing a great job! *hugs*

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