Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Trying To Move On

Thank you so much for your supportive comments on my last post.

I was convinced that you would all be appalled and disgusted and maybe some readers were, but the messages suggested an element of understanding that touched me deeply, even though I acknowledge wholeheartedly that my behaviour was wrong.

I took the advice offered and wrote him a letter. I haven’t shown it to him but I did tell him about it and some of what it said. Maybe one day I’ll publish it here but it doesn’t really make any sense. It rambles on and on, part justifying part apologising but whatever, it DID make a difference writing it down – all four pages !

I’ve spent a lot of time talking with him since then and we’ve all been out as a family as well and it does help.

Trouble is, I can’t get over the fact that there is something fundamentally wrong with me.

I only see the therapist once every other week now and the week of the turmoil wasn’t the scheduled time. I called him to ask if he could fit me in. He said no but that he would give me extra time this week. As I put the phone down, I realised that actually there was no real point seeing him. I’d have told him what happened and he’d ask me what I thought the trigger was and we’d go round things like we have for the last few years. It’s not his fault - it’s just that I have become very practised at just talking but somehow avoiding the key issues.

We’ve only touched briefly on my hideous temper. I painted it as me being the unreasonable one who completely loses control while Ewan refuses to engage until I calm down, which makes me more angry. He asked me if I thought that actually that made Ewan the unreasonable one and to be honest, I don’t really remember the outcome. That’s the problem. I don’t remember much about the outcome of any the things we’ve discussed. I’ll tell him all this on Thursday but if nothing else I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the therapist, or at least this therapist, isn’t for me.

I wanted it to work. I tried to persuade myself that it was working, but it clearly isn’t.

Meanwhile, I’ve been going back over my blog and I saw this entry that I posted back in the beginning, two and a half years ago.

I think it’s clear evidence that I haven’t really moved on at all ……

Sasha and Kyle - The Children
I've already said I'm incredibly proud of them but I wonder.... I really wonder if I have been a good enough mother to them.

I am incredibly strict and expect them to behave in a certain way which they have done. Maybe I have inhibited them as a result. They seem fairly normal but who knows what they really go through.

Sometimes Sasha's eyes look very puffy and I don't know anything about why and I can tell she's not inclined to share the burdens in her life but we have the same sense of humour and many times when we talk we end up laughing and laughing until we cry. She is so sensible and I hope we end up as good friends as she is so wise and it will be her telling me what to do for the best very soon.

As for my son, I love him so much. He will always be my child though. I can't imagine him advising me on anything although he is incredibly intelligent and so I guess he will but I can't see a day when I won't be looking out for him.

How did I create such gorgeous children and why do I hold back from loving them completely? That is what makes me abnormal. That makes me a freak. A mother is supposed to love her children totally, beyond life itself. And yet, I don't know if I do. I can't imagine a world without them and I have such strong emotions for them but I think something isn't there.

I shout a lot at them - sometimes it's for no real reason. I think I yell because deep down, my life feels like it's in a mess and I have no control.

I hate myself I think - that's the real problem. If that's the case, how can I love anyone else...or expect them to love me


  1. Have you thought of asking your therapist for advice on anger management? This is something I feel I need myself sometimes! Seriously though, talking about things is a great help, but sometimes we need practical coping strategies as well. Anger management might well be the key - at least then you might feel that some of what is bothering you is being dealt with and addressed.

  2. smiles. hopefully you dont hate yourself...you were created who you were and i think at times we are all overcome with emotion and we all need help to get through it...so dont beat yourself up more than you are...

  3. There's something fundamental wrong with all of us. We're flawed human beings. Don't think that you're so special!!!

    Stop, stop, stop beating yourself up. Be more forgiving of yourself and others.

    You seem to set yourself such high standards. But I wonder if that behaviour is not wholly you but rather the child trying to do what expects its parent wants it to do and failing.

    I was in therapy for years - cost me an arm and a leg. I went twice a week; it screwed up my work life; my finances and my housing. At one stage to pay for it I rented out my flat and lived in a couple of grotty bedsits for a year.

    At the time I wondered why. It was because I wanted the therapy to work. I was miserable and there seemed little hope of relief. By the way I was in my early 40's.

    Whilst I was in it, it seemed to be getting nowhere. Then all of a sudden as if a heavy load had fallen from my shoulders I felt fine. I was able to say to the therapist thanks but now I can handle myself and my life without you.

    I stopped looking at my self and my behaviour and criticising or feeling guilty about it. If I did catch myself watching me, it didn't matter. I might get depressed for a while if something went wrong or I felt I'd let myself or others down. But that debilitating sense of worthlessness and guilt which numbed all my senses wasn't there any more.

    I said more than I intended to; but as Cheryl says in the ad,almost "It because you're worth it!"

  4. Maybe you need a different therapist who'll push your buttons in different ways?

    It's...difficult being a parent. It always has been, for everyone. I think there are two types of parents in the world - those who realise the appalling set of issues they bring to the table and those who don't and think they're perfect. Better to be the former by far.

  5. I agree with Dadwhowrites - knowing your own weaknesses is a strength and means that you can set about resolving them.

    Personally, I am grateful that my parents were strict. There is no way I would have gained a University education if I hadn't been pushed all the way. I'm far to lazy!

    Perhaps, you should also be a little easier on yourself. I know that if I disciplined myself every time I shouted at my children I would be sat on the naughty step for ever more!

  6. First, stop saying you're flawed. As someone else said, 'we all are!'

    Second, if you don't like the flaw, then change it. I agree with Steve, try anger management. In the past I had a terrible temper. I had that influence in my life growing up and so I guess I just thought that was how you had to parent. I couldn't afford anger management but I worked on it slowly over the years and I eventually changed my habits. I also used a lot of Mindfulness (google it!) and that made a huge difference for me.

    The temper is a HABIT (not genetic!), you can change. Stop focusing on what you see as the flaws, focus instead on what you're going to do to make it better. You don't like the temper, then find out how to change it. Everyone has places where they'd like to see improvement, but it takes focus, determination and strength to make the change. You sound like a very determined person! Now go for it!

  7. "I can’t get over the fact that there is something fundamentally wrong with me."

    We're all flawed, Selina, but when you're depressed that's what you tend to focus on. Have you tried anti-depressants? They tend to work best with those who suffer from moderate to severe depression, and that would mean you. I took various ones for ten years or so, and I can tell you from my experience that they might help you greatly. And you can always go off of them later.

  8. Not being a parent, but having been a step-parent I know how things can erupt in anger, especially with an adolescent girl. Oh, regrets I have many. On the other hand she is now a fully functional and highly accomplished woman of 30. Kids are more resilient, I think, than we give them credit for being.

  9. I don't know how people cope with bringing up children - it's all I can do to get through a day. I've missed being part of your blogging world, Selina, and I am looking forward to catching up


  10. God bless you and I pray that things will get better soon :-)

  11. Just checking in and waving...