Emotional Clutter and My Own Personal Pity Party

beach

Feel free to join me!

Yup, headline news in our house is that this morning I am at the point of total emotional meltdown and have completely LOST my ability (not that I’m even sure I had it in the first place), to be calm, rational, kind and measured.

Well lets begin with some facts – much easier than writing it all out for you and getting lost in paragraphs of my own anger/sadness/grief/despair.

  • DS2 is turning 2 on Saturday
  • Exactly 1 year ago, on the morning of DS2’s first birthday party I ended up in an ambulance, on my way to hospital, miscarrying at 13.5 weeks (great timing, huh?)
  • Exactly 1 year ago, DH cancelled the party we had planned for family that afternoon.
  • Exactly 1 year ago, for the three days I spent in hospital not one family member visited me. And not one family member helped DH look after the boys (who were 2 and 1). In fact, the only contact we had with anyone in that time was my own parents who I called from the hospital bed to tell them I was alive.
  • For 3 months following that day, DH’s parents did not phone or visit. At all. They reappeared in November, when DS2’s birthday came around.
  • All of the above family are due to visit us on Saturday afternoon. Just like last year.
  • I took a pregnancy test this morning and it was a Big. Fat. Negative.

So, can you begin to imagine what my current state of mind is?

Aside from the fact that I had high hopes (as hard as I tried not to think about it) that I would be pregnant for DS2’s birthday (I’ve waited long enough and it would help soothe the wound of of his first birthday), I actually have to act all happy and entertain two sets of parents over the weekend when what I really want to do is shout at them and cry and sob and throw things at the way life has been for the last year and the way I feel I was wronged by them all.

In fact, I’ve even been imagining an alternate birthday party, where I stand up to give a little speech when everyone is here. Kind of like this:

[Stands up, sways slightly from the half a bottle of wine consumed]

I’m so glad that you’ve all turned up today to celebrate DS2’s birthday even though not one of you fuckers came to visit me last year when I was bleeding to death in the hospital and DH was on his own here with the two kids. Thank you.

How would that go down, I wonder.

Sigh.

So, this morning.

This morning, I took a (ultra sensitive 10miu) test and it was negative. I’m not due for a few days but I knew I wasn’t pregnant anyway. As usual any hopes were dashed on the sharp rocks of unexplained secondary infertility.

So I came downstairs with a sore throat, a headache, an empty uterus, and sadness in my heart for Saturday (which should be a joyful occassion – it IS a birthday after all) and the kids are playing up and DH is just standing there doing nothing, waiting to be given instructions (I swear, it’s like having 3 children already, why would I need another anyway?) and my voice starts to wobble and the tears come and then before I know it DH and I are waist-deep in an emotional dissection of last years hospital saga and the lack of support from either of our families.

Which of course, is neither of our faults.

I cry and cry and cry and in the end (because I really do deal with things better on my own), I send DH to work and try to compose myself for the day ahead.

I am so close to calling everyone and saying:

Sorry, no visiting this weekend. I can’t do it. I’m still not over my miscarriage in August (do you remember it? The one where I spent 3 days in hospital and had to have a blood transfusion?), let alone the three chemical pregnancies I’ve had since then, and I’m still upset that none of you were there to help either of us, so sorry, Saturday is cancelled.

But I don’t.

Because it would kill my parents (who are emotionally fragile themselves and god knows they have already been through enough in their own lives) and because if I make a stand against DH’s parents, I will never let them back into my life again, which is the wrong thing to do for the children.

So instead I cry and cry and cry and cry.

And DS1 brings me some Maracas and DS2 tries to climb on my back for a piggyback ride.

And then I realise a few things.

  1. What if someone told me today that this time next year I still would not be pregnant. That there would be no third baby. Ever. What would I start doing differently, right now, today?
  2. That I am blaming EVERYONE for what is going on in my life. I feel such anger and rage at other people over the things that have happened to me. On the surface it’s because they weren’t there for either me or DH, but on a deeper level I’ve always known that my own family was dysfunctional and unable to help others, so why do I still expect it after all these years? Why does it suddenly hurt so much now when it’s been this way since I was a child?
  3. That I need to stop blaming others. Full stop. It’s a horrible, self-pitying way to think and I don’t want to be that person.
  4. That I need to clear out the emotional clutter. My physical possessions are so much less now and my head feels so much worse. I’ve got to start untangling what’s in there. 

It’s not just about this weekend, or last year. It’s more than that. It’s ghosts in the nursery, unresolved issues with people, bad friendships, bad choices, old hurts, traumatic life experiences. My personality needs stripping down the the basics and rebuilding. I need to clear it all out. Get it all out. Start again. Grow myself or grow a tumour (so they say).

How the hell do I do all of this?

I know it’s all about baby steps – just like with physical clutter – you can’t get rid of 38 years of emotional angst in one go without having some kind of lobotomy.

But at least with physical clutter you can make a start anywhere and see immediate changes.

Changing the way you think, reconciling the thoughts that are ingrained in your mind is a little more challenging.

So.

I’m off to research exactly how to do this. How to ‘fix’ myself.

Or at least how to make myself feel happier, more of the time.

My ultimate goal would be forgiveness, but even the thought of that right now makes my stomach turn (that’s how bad it is for me I’m afraid).

I’m going to get a notebook, read read read. List out my issues, work through them. If necessary I’ll see someone else for therapy, whether it’s talking or alternate or conventional.

I’ll probably write it up on here – I apologise in advance for dragging you all through the mire with me 😉

And finally, I read a couple of things this morning in the great wordpress community that are so relevant to me right now I wanted to share them.

Firstly, Nancy over at My Year of Sweat said:

Magic happens…change happens…when we decide to take control of our outcomes. And yes, that involves work. Get over it. Stop blaming your parents for your bad genes and start making lifestyle changes that will improve your life.

Secondly, Ginny over at My Simplicity Quest said:

The older I get, the easier it gets for me to forgive… – mostly because l have much to be forgiven for. 

And so do I.

And I’d never thought of it like that before.

Wish me luck with this one. I’ve known it was coming and I’ve put it off for so long.

I can’t give you numbers and stats and before and after photos, but I can tell you if my world tends towards more sunshine and less rain on this journey I’m about to embark on. Thanks for reading.

26 thoughts on “Emotional Clutter and My Own Personal Pity Party

  1. Thank you Rose.
    You aren’t at all dragging “us” through your emotional mire.
    What you’re doing, what you’ve done thus far is give voice to issues that many of us face. You allow them to be heard, you give us permission to grieve those (all too often) disappointments we feel in others who don’t behave as we expect of them. You show your humanity, lay it bare for us ( or perhaps just me) to be grateful for your honesty. I used to blog and I loved blogging… Until my marriage ended. So many dreams died with the demise of what I held dear. I couldn’t continue. I appreciate that you feel the fear and do it anyway. Thank you.

    • Have you thought about blogging anonymously? New email, new wordpress account? Let the old dreams out and maybe make space for new ones? My family and friends don’t know about this blog (as you can probably guess from this post!). I find it an incredibly soothing outlet – no judgement, just my thoughts. And strangely enough people are even kind enough to read them and comment. It’s amazing and makes me feel accountable somehow for improving myself, without the stress of people that know me judging what I’m up to.

  2. Good luck Rose! I have found so much value in seeing a good psych here. It has really helped me to stop getting so worked up about things that are out of my control. I’m not perfect but I am better at it. And you will see progress in yourself little by little, even without the stats and the charts. You can do it!!! Oh and if you don’t like the psych (or whatever sort of therapist you choose) you see, go to another and then another and then another. Just keep going until you find one you like. It’s WORTH IT.

    • Thank you. I get worked up over everything it seems! I don’t know if it’s just my personality or an effect of everything that’s happened recently. Ah… either way I’m booking in treatments and downloading books today. Things have to change!

  3. I’ve just stumbled onto your blog in the last week, and I all I can say is it’s nice to read such honesty, to know that I’m not the only one who is struggling at times.
    I thought about your thoughts on forgiveness and I don’t know if it will help but I’ve always thought of it as being a journey. It would be preposterous to think that one could let go of pain caused by someone we love, especially family, in one fell swoop- that’s called indifference.
    As for the baby desire- I kind of get it. I had trouble having one baby let alone more. It took 6 years and several miscarriages before I was gifted with my now tantrum throwing 19 month old girl. I had been to 5 doctors and all they would give me was a diagnosis- they all wanted to try the same thing as the last before referring me to fertility specialists (I couldn’t convince them to help with basic fertility help) and adoption in our country is nigh impossible. I feel hesitant to even want to want another because of the pain of trying. 4 of my 6 closest friends, have struggled significantly to conceive in one way or another (terminal congenital disabilities and/or primary infertility) and it’s been a shared journey of pain and frustration… I guess what I’m saying in a round about way is that you’ll know when or if you can’t keep trying, and when you know it’s time to stop (and I am by no means suggesting you should) you WILL find a way to become ok with it. I am beginning to see how much stronger those who endure such pain are- it’s not weakness to fight so honestly and openly. In a backhanded kind of way life becomes so much more; the simple pleasures amplified.
    You are so brave to keep trying, I tip my hat to you.

    • Thank you. 6 years is a long, long time. What a dark and endless journey that must have seemed at the time. I am amazed you came through the other side and now have a little girl – what a testament to the power of belief and the inner strength of a woman X

  4. Praying for you! And I commend you for being willing to go through the hard emotional work. So many people do not and are just stuck their whole lives. You really are to be applauded for looking at the whole spectrum honestly. All of our experiences are different, but I do not think anyone becomes a sane, healthy individual without looking in and seeing where things are off. I still can remember those times in my life…ugh. I was so clueless before that. It had ups and downs, but in total, it was probably a 5 year process. Not consecutively, but from when I realized I was messed up until I felt peace and tranquility. God really helped me on my journey. I could not have looked inside myself without His love and acceptance of me, where I was at.

    I’m sorry this weekend is so hard for you. Sucks. Unfair. Unfortunately, people are broken all over, and that leaks out on to all of us. And probably our brokenness leaks out to others we love, too.

    You have a lot of support out here…. keep doing what you are doing, and writing what you are writing…we are all here for you!

  5. Thank you so much Rose. What you have shared really resonated with me. It is great to hear someone being so honest about her feelings because I have those strong feelings (and crying sessions) too.

    I finally found a counsellor who is right for me and has helped me peel away the emotional layers bit by bit. It’s not easy but at least I am moving forward emotionally over time (although some days it does feel like I’m going backwards when I finally open up an old wound).

    Have faith that you will see more sunshine because you have already started the journey towards it.

    Sending you a big hug and lots of love.

  6. The best help I’ve had from reading is the book When You’ve Been Wronged– Moving from Bitterness to Forgiveness by Erwin W. Lutzer. Such a help, and worth rereading. You’re not the only one with a messed up family!

    • Thank you for recommending this book – I much prefer reading something someone else had said was worthwhile for them. I’m off to look at it now…

  7. Rose, there is so much I’d like to comment on in this post…I could write for days in response. Suffice to say that I found this line, “…but on a deeper level I’ve always known that my own family was dysfunctional and unable to help others, so why do I still expect it after all these years?” to hit home the most. That you recognize the fact that it’s your expectations that were off, not the behaviour is completely empowering. Your parents did what they do: they behaved dysfunctionally. They failed to support you. According to you, this is who they are. They aren’t bad people, they are simply incapable. Changing your outlook — i.e. revising your expectations will go a long way towards easing the tensions and hurt. (I’m sure they are anxious and hurt too, in knowing they weren’t there for you and DH + boys, but they simply lacked the capability to fix that.)
    You, Rose, are a warrior. I have no doubt that you will make your way through the mire, with all your supporters here cheering you on, and come out at the other end, empowered and facing a lot more sunny days than rainy ones.
    Big hugs to you.
    xoxo nancy

  8. And one more quick note, as I know you and I only connected a few weeks ago, and I’m still getting caught up on your older posts, I thought of this one (of mine) that might also resonate with you. It’s on the notion that we can’t truly be happy with others (or anything external) until we’re happy with ourselves (internally). http://myyearofsweat.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/mind-body-connection-more-like-an-if-then-statement/ It may or may not resonate for you, but I thought I’d send you a quick link anyway.
    Much love,
    nancy

  9. Hope you’re feeling better soon. I had a few very rough years in a row, and like you, set off to read a bunch of books. I can’t say that anyone in particular was most helpful, but I picked up something useful from nearly every book. I think the most helpful think that I’ve done is work hard on making myself find the positive in something when I start thinking negative thoughts. At first it was definitely forced but over time, became a habit.

  10. I lost a baby at 17 weeks… baby had died at 12 weeks but I had no idea. And DH’s family were pretty much useless. So I get it… as much as anyone ever can ‘get’ these things.

    I am so, so sorry for your losses.

    Thinking of you… it must be so hard to have a time of happiness so tied to a time of such unbearable grief.

    • Oh Beth – 17 weeks?? That is just so unfair and so terribly sad. I read a few posts on your blog last night. My oldest is almost 4 and I still check he is breathing every single night (I lost two before him, albeit much earlier). It changes you 🙁 I’m so glad you have J now – you sound like a wonderful Mummy X

  11. I read recently that when your soul has been yearning and ‘asking the universe’ for enlightenment, for change, for growth, that what it gives you is hardship and challenge. Why? Because pain and loss and sadness lead to growth, deeper understanding and enlightenment. They are the ultimate portals for emotional/spiritual growth.
    You are on that path now, you can’t go back to not wanting to change.
    I read Louise L Hays ‘You can heal your life’ and it was great for recognising and overcoming resentment. The I read Eckhart Tolle and that was a key moment in my life. I wish you well. 🙂

  12. Hugs to you, ttc is such a rollercoaster and so draining to get repeated BFNs. And you must have so many difficult “anniversaries” now.

    “Choosing Happiness” by Stephanie Dowrick is a great read, all about working on the things that we can, to be happier. Very usable and practical.

    It is a very wise question you ask “That there would be no third baby. Ever. What would I start doing differently, right now, today?” and it took me a while to work on this too. I feel I lost some of my time with my toddlers/young kids being so focused ttc when they were around 3 and 5. If I had known I was only having two I think I would have appreciated that time more.

    One day at a time, and happy birthday to your DS2!

    • Thank you – and yes, I know what you mean about losing the time with the ones you already have. It’s not right really. I’ll look up the book too – I love recommendations so have got a great list to choose from now.

  13. “…on a deeper level I’ve always known that my own family was dysfunctional and unable to help others, so why do I still expect it after all these years?”

    This comment hit home for me. My dad was a real character. He gave me a laundry list of reasons to dislike him, be dissapointed in him and in all honestly, to wash my hands of the relationship. I carried around a mix of love and hate for him until last summer. I was alone in my car listening to some uplifting music and a song I never heard before came on and struck a chord for me. I had a good, good cry and finally, after 34 years of carrying wishes for what he could have been and resentment for what he was, I forgave him. Since then, I’ve felt so much better about not carrying around that huge backpack of yuck. I used to put A LOT of energy into negative feelings about him. For me, it was a sort of poison. Once I let it go I’ve been able to accept that yes, my dad is an a-hole. That won’t change. I can set the limits on our involvement, and the best part – while I can’t change him, his actions or his words, I can now control my reaction to him. That’s been a Godsend. Best wishes to you on clearing away some of the ‘yuck’ and finding peace.

  14. Family…*sigh*…I could go on and on about how my family has disappointed me in regards to support and participation with my children. Your speech sounds kinda good (shame on me!) but it does. lol
    I’m here for you, Rose. I’m very sorry THEY weren’t, last year. 🙁

  15. I cried when I read this days ago. Cried again when I read it today. This is why I connect so easily with you Rose. It’s your raw, beautiful honesty. I’m honored that you would quote me. Unbelievably, immeasurably honored and humbled. Shit. I’m crying again…

    Anyway. I love this bit of well-written honesty: “I’m so glad that you’ve all turned up today to celebrate DS2′s birthday even though not one of you fuckers came to visit me last year when I was bleeding to death in the hospital and DH was on his own here with the two kids. Thank you.” I have rehearsed such scenes in my own head. Feels good to acknowledge the fact that you have the feelings – and even better to know that you could have said something really awful and chose not to. Go you.

    It’s Saturday as I type this. My heart is with you. I’ve already read your more recent post on this so I know you’ll be okay. But I’m still rooting for you. It’s another one of those times when I wish I could reach across the ocean and give you a great, big hug, you amazing woman.

    I’m gonna go grab a tissue now…

  16. BUGGER! What a big mess of emotions and stuff, eh? I have been thinking of you. I am sorry that your family has not been supportive… My father and I have no relationship at all- he decided not to come to my wedding because he didn’t like my ideas about it. I am happier not having him always on my mind or to always be trying to please him or hurt by the things he does and says. It was not easy to “let go.” But it sure was freeing… of course going to counseling has helped too! LOL

    Everything you are going through really stinks! HUGS and HAPPY Thoughts and Prayers!!

    La-

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