Sunday, January 20, 2008

Can't Complain

Every time I start complaining lately, I find myself feeling guilty and horrible. When I get angry because my kids are being too loud and I can't hear myself think and all I want is a moment of silence, I find myself thinking about how there are so many parents out there who would give anything to hear the shouts and screams of their little ones, but can't because they've died of some terrible disease. When I get irritated because I'm trying to do something and Brendan wants to talk and talk and talk about some cartoon or a toy or something I'm not all that interested in at the moment, I think about all the parents of autistic kids who are trapped in their minds and can't talk at all. Lately, my life is an endless cycle of guilt.

I think bad thoughts about someone, judge the person for how I think she has hurt me or someone else, and then I think well, I should put myself in her shoes. What would I do if our roles were reversed? It's constant for me.

Whatever negative feelings I have, I immediately feel guilty for feeling them and feel they are either unjustified or someone else, some better person, wouldn't be feeling the way I feel.

Ugh! When did I become this neurotic freak who just isn't able to simply BE?

Brendan told me yesterday – after I asked him to forgive me for getting frustrated with him for not listening to me for the nth time – that he forgave me and that he always forgives everybody. And when he said it, he meant it. And he was so filled with goodness and kindness...I was broken-hearted by how much I love this kid and I just wish I knew how to be the perfect mother for him and his brother. How to be the perfect wife for Scott. The perfect friend.

I guess I just feel like I fuck up over and over again, let the people I love down by not having the time or energy for them I know they really need. Not being who or what they need. I always feel like I'm spread so thin. Other women do it and do more. And certainly with far more grace and far less anger and guilt and fear. I just keep thinking if I can just find the right magic bean to figure out who it is I am meant to be I can make everyone, including myself, happy and loved, and I can be successful and have it all – happy marriage, happy kids, happy friendships, happy, successful career, money, wonderful experiences, health, energy. I guess I want what most everyone else wants.

Of course, my first thought as I write that is how selfish I am for wanting those things. That all I should really want is world peace, for the poor and hungry of the world to be taken care of, blah, blah, blah.

I guess I just need to accept that this is where I am now, this is what I feel, and I'm not the Devil for feeling what I feel or thinking what I think. I simply AM.


rennratt said...

You, my dear, are a normal mum.


Now, do yourself - and your family - a favor.

For ONE HOUR A WEEK (to start), hire a sitter and get some time for yourself. Go for a walk, go to the park, go to the library, go for a cup of coffee with a friend. These feelings breed from always being THERE, and you need a little time to breathe.

Just a little space, that's all.

And it doesn't make you selfish, it doesn't make you bad, it doesn't make you imperfect. It makes you human.

Perhaps the person you need to be easier on is YOU.

Worst case scenario? Blame the idea on me. My shoulders are big, I can take it. :)

Love you.

Mommy Doodles said...

i ran to the bathroom this morning with my laptop, for a moment of peace before he woke up... well he woke up and yelled for me. when i told him i was on the toilet, he yelled sleepily, "good job doin' poppy mom!! I need to use the toilet too!"
oh, it was a quick moment of silence!
now the dog is barking at the door, i must tend to his bathroom needs as well! somedays are worth scrapbooking, others could be deleted forever!

i would love to exchange links, i have blogrolled you.


Suz said...

The e-mail I sent you this morning was attempting to say what Rennratt just said, a little more obtusely and abstractly. I totally agree. You need time to be just Dawn instead of mommy and wife. You need time away from the craziness. I hope you can find a way to do it.

Courtney said...

I heard this in a group therapy session years ago and it's stuck with me: remember that we're human BEINGS, not human DOINGS.

You've been hard on yourself the whole time I've known you, so to tell you to just stop (an appropriate reaction to that on your part would be, "Oh! 'Just stop'? Why didn't I think of that?!?!"), so my prayer for you is that you can be easier and easier on yourself until one day you realize that you're not too hard on yourself anymore.

This also makes me think of the federal mandate for a free appropriate public education for everyone (this is important in disability circles). As we teach in the class I T.A., it's an appropriate education and not necessarily the ideal. Keep that in mind for yourself... you don't have to be the perfect wife/mother/friend/etc., just an appropriate one. One who gets the jobs done as well as they should be without putting an unnecessary or unreasonable strain on your being.

Dawn said...

Are you saying I should revel in my adequocity?

Courtney said...


It's all about adequatiquaticism.