Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Everyone feels like that sometimes...

When one of the babies was little and had an ear infection and would not stop crying, and I had done everything I could think of and was exhausted, I sat down and thought, "There must be something that would make him stop." I got a sudden mental image of drowning the baby. For a fraction of a second it seemed like a really good idea. At least it would be quiet. Then I realized what I was thinking and I woke up Hubby and told him it was his turn to hold the kid.

I knew I needed a break, but I also did not beat myself up for having had the terrible thought. I knew that we've all felt like that sometimes. It doesn't mean we are terrible people. It doesn't mean that we would do terrible things. It just means we are tired.

When Hubby had been sick and in the hospital and it was not clear how long he was going to be gone, and I was under a lot of stress from all sides and Andrew refused to eat the scrambled eggs he asked for, and I realized I was trembling with rage, I called a friend and crying said, "If I don't get us out of here, I might hurt him."

I meant it. I was not being dramatic. I meant that I was seriously afraid that I could hurt my child. I have been on the other end of that phone call. I have gone to relieve a parent who is alone and stressed. We've felt like that sometimes, and blessed are those of us who have someone to call, someone who will believe us and help us and not think we are horrible people.

After Carl had lived here about six months I called the social worker and told her I needed a break. I felt guilty because it didn't seem like I should. No one was being especially bad. I was just really tired. She assured me that everyone felt like that sometimes, and she arranged for respite for Carl and I arranged for the Andrew and Brian to spend the weekend with a friend of mine.

Another time I called the social worker that I was so mad at Carl that I wanted to kill him, but that I was pretty sure there was a better response to his behavior than murder. He laughed, and offered to help me brainstorm on options. He reassured me that it was right to call. Everyone feels like that sometimes.

After several months of Ann living here, after trying everything I knew to do, I emailed the social worker and said, "I can't ask Andrew to live like this anymore." I don't know any foster parent who has been doing care for any length of time who hasn't had to ask for a child to be moved. All foster parents go through it eventually. By the way, had Andrew been a foster child I still would have had to make that phone call. The only difference would be that there might have been some discussion about which child should be moved.

There have been many times in my life that it was a comfort to me to know that what I was going through was normal. It was good to know that everyone feels like that sometimes.

It was more of a comfort though when the person that I was talking to understood what exactly it was that I was going through. Imagining doing something terrible is not the same as being afraid you will do it. Feeling like you can't go on, and needing a break, is not the same as knowing you have to end the current situation.

I find that it can go both ways when we are blogging. We can share something we are feeling and we get comments from people saying, "We have all felt that way sometimes."

It can be a great comfort. At least it can be when you know they understand what you're talking about.

3 comments:

  1. SO TRUE. Just having someone let you know that your thoughts are normal makes it seem so much easier to deal with.

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  2. I have been feeling this way SO much lately. In fact, I feel bad about how nice it is to know that other people are going through the same thing....

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  3. THANK YOU!!!!!!

    I can't tell you what this message means to me this week. Twice this week I've wanted to just walk away and keep walking. I can't imagine my life without Baby R but there are moments when I'd really like to be able to not have everything be so hard.

    I'm glad such a compassionate and smart parent like you has days like this too. Gives me hope.

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