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Found 11 results

  1. Are there any rape survivors here who are raising sons? How do you juggle: - raising them to be conscientious, respectful, compassionate men - not making them ashamed of their bodies, sexuality, or gender - not being triggered by them
  2. I've recently realized that I have been for many years (decades?) settling for just "good enough" results from my medications/treatment. I suffer from MDD that has been my constant companion since adolescence, ADD Inattentive-Type, and PTSD (with a side of insomnia) from a horrific experience with Anesthesia Awareness during major surgery. I was completely conscious/aware, and able to hear, feel, and smell every second of the painful surgery, but was unable to move or communicate because of the paralytics that were administered. And I thought I had issues before that nightmare. Anyhow I think I've been settling for two reasons: As a teenager and young adult I saw how my mom suffered every time her pdocs changed up her cocktail. I guess since she never told them, "yes, this is the right treatment for me, I feel great", the well-meaning doctors were always trying something new, with sometimes terrifying results. I still remember her pleas and prayers that they would just leave her medication alone (they did -- eventually). We don't share a diagnosis, but I can see now how her experiences might have instilled in me the perhaps subconscious propensity for settling for treatments that offer only so-so results, for fear that the new, unknown medication(s) would make things worse. Before I became a stay-at-home dad I worked in a demanding, executive level position. Fear of changes to my medications, or rather the possible unpleasant side effects of new medications -- and the possible impact on my job kept me telling my pdoc everything was fine. What if I got so discombobulated I needed inpatient treatment? What if I freaked out at work? Besides, my consistent schedule and support system at work and home allowed me to get by with coping mechanisms honed over the years. I had external, structural, and social crutches to augment my half-assed medication. Cue Music and Begin Cheesy Movie Montage Segment: Met and married a wonderful guy Bought and renovated an awesome house Fostering (adopting soon) a bright healthy toddler Left the rat-race to be a stay at home dad End Cheesy Movie Montage Segment My crutches are gone. There is no one to cover for me or pick up the slack. I can't reschedule things I don't have the energy for, or delegate things that make me anxious. I can't sleep half the day if I need to. It's me, my kiddo, and my broken brain. Now, because I've had a big life change, I know some might suggest that perhaps not "doing what I love" or "contributing" has worsened my depression. I can safely say that isn't the case. I have always hated working. If you'd asked a young me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I might have said "retired". I worked because I needed to, was fortunate enough to have some marketable skills and did well for myself, but the moment I no longer had to work, I was out of my office so fast I left a puff of cartoon smoke behind. I do not miss working and I do not feel any less worthy/valuable on account of it. And yes parenting is hard, but I never expected anything less. I think I simply have more time "in my head" and without the distractions and crutches I've realized that I've never truly had a good handle on my mental illness, and I'm scared. Worst of all I realize I am to blame. Every time I told my doctor my symptoms were better controlled than they were in reality I was doing myself a disservice. I know I need a serious cocktail change. What will happen? Will I get worse? What will I tell my pdoc -- that I have been lying for years? Help.
  3. I've posted about this before, but it has been quite a while, and I am seeking some support/someone who may be able to relate. I have a one and a half year old son, who I do not feel at all bonded to. I did not feel bonded from the start. I do care a lot about his well-being, but it ends there. I have him in daycare part-time for a break since everyone I know lives very far away. I have lost most of my friends, because they either don't want him around, or because I am unable to do things they want to do anymore. I am a student in my last semester, and I feel so out of place. Other people my age are still in the party phase, and I often hear negative talk about kids which makes me feel terrible. Professors look at me strangely when/if they find out. I feel like I am surrounded by people who make it out to be a negative thing and it has rubbed off on me. Most of the internships make you stay in intern housing sites/dorm housing which I cannot do with a toddler and my husband. Again, this makes me feel so awkward, and doesn't help. The few times I have seen my family they have picked up on me being emotionally absent to him. While I care for his needs just fine (and some days I try to do as little as possible and have my husband take over so I can have some more relief), and people tell me all the time what a sweet and happy boy he is, I cannot help but worry about being emotionally absent. Obviously, I care enough for this to bother me. I grew up being spoiled rotten, and having a very close relationship with my grandparents. I was the center of attention for a long time. I don't think this is an attention issue, but I really don't think I am out of the phase where I still want to do whatever I want without being tied down. Maybe? I want him to have a childhood like I did before I reached my horrendous teenage years, but I am not capable of that, and I feel so guilty. I don't want to spend time with him, and play with him. I am often annoyed by him. I don't know what is normal to feel about babies and what isn't. Everyone is all goo goo ga ga over their kids, and I just stress over him whether it is I want a break or if he has had enough to eat. I also wonder if I only care about his well being out of obligation to him...
  4. I was the perfect child. A little stubborn, perhaps. For the most part, I was happy, loving, I cared for people, my main goals in life was to help others. As I hit middle school, anxiety hit. I was worried 27/7 about being popular. I became anorexic in 7th grade, in fear of getting fat. I was taking in a max of 200 calories for a whole year. When summer came, I got my first and only boyfriend. My self esteem increased dramatically! I got in honors in orchestra and second to honors in choir (which I worked my ass off the whole mother fucking year for). Then my boyfriend broke up with me. I started self harming because I couldn't take the fucking pain. School came back around, now I had a new habit on top of anorexia. After 2 days into school, my mother went through my text messages, and found the ones to my boyfriend. I sent him a message saying "OH MY FUCKING GOD" in it, because I was so mad at him. My mother, in response to it, smashed my phone 10 times, threw it in the toilet, and made me switch schools, on my birthday (may I also say that she didn't make me switch schools because of self harm or my eating disorder, but because I said "the lords name in vain"). This happened over a year ago, all my hard work crushed to pieces. I don't practice my violin anymore. Instead of anorexic, I now have a binge eating disorder and am overweight. The school I go to now is a super conservative christian school that is extremely homophobic, which I'm a benegender pansexual (my mother almost kicked me out of the house after I told her that I am one). My mom won't let me have a phone or go to public school because she's "worried about my spirituality". I feel so fucking trapped that I want to die. Does anyone have a problem where their parents are so oppressive that they want to kill themselves?
  5. I suck at compartmentalizing but I'll try to here--because I can write a book (and likely will once my son's legal issues are resolved). My son has Aspergers and ADHD/Impulsivity. A friend of his began cutting when my son was @11 or so . My son began then. I wasn't sure if it was imitation, trying to find acceptance because he's never had more than 1 friend at a time and social engagement is a major problem for him since he was @5. Partly because people don't understand his quirkiness and his autistic reactions to stuff and our culture trains kids to run to cops for every last thing that seems "odd" to them. He was bullied a lot and, because he's a boy, was blamed for either being the bully himself or for "being a whimp" and "not standing up to bullies." Great way to confuse the hell out of any kid let alone an Aspie. But I also knew then he'd been through a lot of trauma as a kid. Public school was an unrelenting nightmare through 5th grade and we switched to an online/in-person school where he could get individualized education and the flexibility he needed. We've had lots of visits from law enforcement, only one of which was by an officer who was calm and professional and has an Aspie daughter so he knew was happening and didn't create chaos like the others had in the past. When he began cutting @ 11, I wondered what it was. I tried to remain calm and was pragmatic: remove the instruments then he can't cut (boy was I an idiot). He handed me my missing X-acto knife and my blades from my art supply box. Then he used the kitchen knives, scissors, the utility knives from my tools, edges of paper, paper clips, a machete, stuff he found along the side of the road, screw drivers. I tried not to be emotional in front of him. I couldn't keep up with his ability to find and use things. I installed a lock on the kitchen knives but the landlord fined me for "damaging" her cabinets. Whatever, I paid the fine and didn't remove the lock. I couldn't afford a giant safe to lock all my tools, all the paper and office supplies, etc. inside; still can't. But after a while there were no more marks so I thought it was done. It seemed to be. then he started seeing this girl. She seemed very sweet. He was happy, he cleaned his room, he did his schoolwork so he could go see her, he bathed. But later we found out--through a whole sordid mess with her psycho fundie father who threatened his life before I knew what was going on and had to hire a lawyer to protect him from this asshole--she was a cutter. He had tried to help her stop. So for being in love with a girl and trying to help he's been blamed and victimized by the system. Plus the trauma from the girl's sick father. So now he's in isolation for legal reasons... and he's back to cutting. I found out yesterday when I got the always dreaded "phone call" from his school. He used social media without our knowledge somehow and some girls he liked saw a pic of the new cuts, freaked out, told their guidance counselor at their school they feared he was suicidal (he wasn't) who called our principal. I had to call the lawyer and blabbity blah. More money to protect him from people's hysterics and drama. I was pretty upset. I din't have to say anything; he's a sensitive kid and picks up on other's vibe with uncanny depth. He told me via a note he hand wrote last night telling me what he needed and what was going on. He wanted a different therapist and his pdoc referred us to some (all NOT on our insurance). He wants to "talk" using a note pad and to only talk to someone else. The atty says he can't talk about certain things... I can't explain that to him and he needs help right the fuck now not later when the legal shit's resolved. I never imagined in my wildest nightmares that I would have to parent any of this. I'm angry, with the system, with fundie Xtians, and especially with myself--I mean, I HAD to have caused this somehow. I know he got all my fucked up MI genes (my fam is loaded with Aspies, ADDs and BPs, her's has one BP and she blames me constantly for ruining her kids, yay). I've been the SAHP for seventeen years. I can't imagine i did a sufficient job of it. I know I haven't. He said in his note not to freak out about his cutting. I'm trying not to. Especially in front of him. But I don't know what to do. I don't get it. This is one more thing on a shitpile of things he has to deal with, why would he want to add this into the mix? I know I'm supposed to get it. I'm supposed to be a man and just carry it and not be emotional and not feel about anything and just keep everything and everyone together. Well, I've always sucked at that. That's why my marriage is shit. All I know is I have to help him and I don't know how. And I don't know how to process and sort it out inside my own overwhelmed brain and heart... I used to hold him and hug him a lot when he was younger. I know he resents that I don't hug him. I cannot do it. If I do I'll fucking fall completely apart. My dad was cold and angry with me all the time. He was analytical and fundie-judgmental and I was the of-the-devil artistic boy who was emotional and had Tourettes (Gods curse for my dad marrying my non-fundie liberal mother). I know how much it hurts to have a father like that. I don't want to be that way with my son. Never have wanted that. But I can't do it. It's like the connection point that'll just break me ad then what? Everyone relies on me to get things done (and gets to hear from her how I don't help, seriously?!). I don't know how much longer I can. I have to. But if things settle down, I'm out. A person can only take so much for so long. [Mods: Water had a great & helpful thread and it's specific to her situation so I'm doing this separately. Am I doing this correctly?]
  6. My son is 4 months old now. He is overcoming colic, struggles with acid reflux, and is constantly wanting to be held every waking moment. He fights when eating, sleeps well though, and is way ahead in his development. He is quite the handful and while I should be proud of his early accomplishments, I'm too busy feeling distressed over his high demands. Being out and about helps my depression, it eases the sleepiness, and the down feelings. I feel energetic and accomplished as well as more lively. I love outdoor activities, but had to stop at 8 months pregnant (was vigorously still hiking up to this point) and have done none of it since. At 4 months old, I rarely go out, and when I do it is very short trips. After an hour he screams like he is dying. He refuses to eat or sleep. I live 2 hours from the closest friend and family member. 8 hours away from the family I am closest to and haven't seen them in a year. I am going stir crazy/have cabin fever from being confined to home with such short trips. I find an hour long trip such a tease. I've been asking others what the hell should I do to resolve his behavior? I cannot go anywhere without a screaming baby. He does not let up no matter what I try to do. I went to try and visit friends, he cried the entire 8 hours we were there until we got home and then he crashed. I feel like I'm on house arrest! Anyway, I'm being told I'm selfish for taking him out for longer than an hour because it makes him miserable. I feel guilty because rather than being happy with him, I'm so miserable because I cannot go anywhere without ridicule. I keep trying to get ideas, but I cannot afford a babysitter or daycare. We have no family near by so I'm told to suck it up and be on house arrest. Yet, I'm supposed to go see family in a month for the holidays, the family in another state that I am so close to. It's my grandparents. They aren't getting any younger and they stepped in my dad's position when he turned his back to me. So I feel devastated. I'm not mad at anyone over it, but I feel guilty for being upset and still trying to make him get used to getting out more. It is seeming to have the reverse effect. I am constantly miserable because of this.
  7. I feel like my ex-husband is overly interested in my 13 yr. old daughter. There weren't clear signs though. I felt like I was projecting my own childhood onto hers. My step-father told everyone he was "in love" with me. I haven't even told this to my therapist. It is horribly embarassing and caused a lot of problems in my future relationships. But there wasn't physical abuse so I thought I was over-reacting. My husband began to pay a lot of attention to my daughter who was 12 at the time. I felt uncomfortable but thought I was projecting my childhood onto hers. It seemed innocent enough. She finally had a father figure who loved her. But recently she was hospitalized for suicide prevention. He paid even more attention to her. To me, it seemed to become an obsession. She had told me she was uncomfortable with his constant hugging and attention. He had started sleeping in the rec room downstairs by her bedroom at this point, to keep an eye on her "he says" At this point, I was deep in my own depression. But thanks to some amazingly supportive people on this board, I have gotten the help I needed. I am starting to think clearly. I felt like he was treating my daughter like a girlfriend, not a child. Daughter and I sat him down the other night and she talked to him about boundaries. I let her do most of the talking. He walked out only to get a bottle of pills and alcohol. He was going to kill himself because "she hated him". I stopped him. Secretly I wish I didn't. Has anyone else been through emotional/covert incest? How do you fix it?
  8. Thanks in advance if you make it through this. I came to ask a simple question and ended up posting my entire thought process. So I've just read half of the book 'Raising your spirited child' and it was incredibly enlightening. I have always considered my four year old to be very demanding, high maintenance, intense, and just plain difficult at times. I love her more than anything and in a lot of my posts/blogs I talk about the guilt I have always had feeling like I don't do enough for her. After reading much of that book, something has just clicked. My daughter is an EXTREME extrovert/spirited child. I am extremely introverted, and so is my husband. I can see now just how much stress/tension/irritability/etc this causes for us all. What she needs to be happy is people, noise, movement, she needs to constantly be talking and making noise and to be DOING something at all times. That is what re-energizes her and makes her feel good. And unfortunately those are the things that drain me of my energy. I need quiet (at least sometimes) loud noises irritate me so much, movement irritates me (when it's bumping me or causes loud noises), I need a lot of time to gather my thoughts and just be alone... which I never get. I'm home all day with her and when my husband gets home he's drained within 5 or 10 minutes. We don't have a lot of family around who are able to babysit for breaks, and I don't have many options for friends with kids to do playdates with. We see my sister and her kids, and my ONE friend and her daughter a couple of times a week. I've honestly been at my wits end trying to keep this kid entertained every day. She will not play by herself. I have tried everything. Quiet time/alone time consists of her being extra noisy/throwing things/asking me questions/basically doing whatever she can to get attention. We have a lot of activities set up in almost every room, I will sit down and do them with her for a little while to get her going and she lasts two minutes once I'm doing my own thing. She hates being alone (as is normal with extroverted children, from what I've read!). We do a lot of activities together every day as well, there is just no balance and I can't catch a break. She gets a lot of snuggles and love, we go do activities outside of the house several times a week. I never feel like it's enough because whenever I am not doing something with her, she is demanding things/crying/screaming over every little thing. And meanwhile I'm just desperate for some peace with no way to get it. I'm sure at this point she is very aware of how to get on my nerves, by being extra disruptive and as noisy as possible when she can see I'm trying to concentrate on something. When she gets room time, she screams the ENTIRE time and will continuously peek her head out to ask questions or ask if she can come out yet. If I tell her it's not time yet (she gets 4 minutes) she slams the door and starts screaming again, then ten seconds later it's the same thing. This ended up being more of a rant... but I'm looking for advice from any introverted parents out there. How do you do it? How do you maintain your sanity? I am not a loud person by any means but by the time evening rolls around I feel like I am constantly irritated with her or we are all yelling. I have tried locking myself in the bathroom but she will just sit outside the door trying to talk to me. I need silence so bad. I really hate that my daughter mostly sees me feeling irritable and upset and just wanting some time to myself. In a way I'm glad to have discovered there's a reason why this has been so incredibly hard for me (parenting), for some reason it never clicked that I am introverted (I guess it makes sense with my social anxiety too). But at the same time I feel hopeless, like this will always be extra challenging and sometimes I just feel like I can't handle it. Thanks again if you made it all the way through this...
  9. This question is mainly for parents of younger kids. My daughter is four. Ever since she was born I have never felt like the time I spend with her is enough... which I'm sure is a common worry among parents. Especially new parents. I know this is largely due to my severe anxiety and I just thought I would ask how other parents do things. Today I: spent 20-30 minutes playing dolls with her, we went to the library and checked out some children's books and a dvd, we picked up a snack and came home and watched the movie together. This is about the norm of time spent focused solely on her/activities with her. I try and do one activity a day, but even writing this out it just doesn't feel like it's enough. The rest of the time when I'm trying to get things done she asks me to play all day long and complains of being bored. Which immediately gives me guilt/anxiety and makes it hard to get anything done. I do include her in tasks around the house but that is just a few minutes here and there. I also make bedtime a priority and spend a lot of time reading her books/singing songs/talking about the day before she goes to sleep. I just wish the rest of the time I could feel okay about focusing on other things instead of being overwhelmed with all the guilt/anxiety and feeling like I'm being a bad mom. It's worse when I'm just relaxing or on the computer (like right now). Sorry for the constant posts/blogs on this topic... I'm having more anxiety than usual lately.
  10. What do you say when your kids see you taking your meds, or see your bottle of meds, and ask "Mom/Dad, what are these for? Why do you take these?" I don't have kids but I was wondering this the other day. My mother was so upset when my school counselor phoned her and told her that she though I needed medical attention for my depression. It took her years to accept the fact that I needed medication and she tried to hide it and hated it when I was open to everyone about it. She thought she failed as a parent. So I was thinking, how do you explain to your child that you have a mental illness like depression or anxiety? Or any MI really? My worry would be that my child would think it was their fault that Mommy is sad. How do they understand that Mommy is sad all the time for no reason, and that they don't have to worry about this? If I have kids someday this is inevitably going to come up. I think it's wrong to hide it, I like to be open about it. but I don't want to put any unnessary burden or anxiety on my kids either. Edit: Also, I don't want to give them the impression that drugs are a treatment for teenage angst either. I'm definetly not anti-med, but I wouldn't want my openness about taking medication for depression lead to them being more open about trying illegal drugs.
  11. I'm a bipolar in my twenties, and my husband and I are expecting our first child this fall. I'm a wreck. My moods are unstable, even though I've been allowed to stay on a stabilizer while pregnant because I'm on Latuda and it is schedule B. I have recently had to add Xanax for overstimulation, I need an SSRI (but can't have it because I'm pregnant), and I am tired and lethargic all the time. I'm a writer and my creativity and spark have been sucked out of me. I am panicked about this baby for a variety of reasons, the biggest one of which is sleep deprivation. I know from the DR and from experience that I don't have an ice cube's chance in hell of having my meds work if I'm not on a consistent, full sleep schedule. How exactly does one do that with a newborn? I am trying to figure out if I can afford an overnight sitter, or what my other options might be? On another sleep related note, I often have terrible problems with overstimulation. One of the best ways to turn it off is to lay down and sleep. I won't have that option anymore and I don't know what to do. The overstimulation gets so unbearable that it is as uncomfortable as a mixed state. It isn't uncommon for me to have to get up and leave stores and restaurants. But now when I'm overstimulated I can't just lay down. I'm going to be responsible for someone else. How did you handle sleep deprivation and the demands of a baby with the demands of bipolar? Did it go better than you thought? Did you have an overnight sitter? Did you hire a babysitter or daycare center for your baby? How many months old was your baby before it got easier, or did it? I don't know what to do. I'm having this baby because my husband wanted one, and I'm trying to be excited about the poor little thing. but I don't feel cut out for this. It takes all my time and energy just to take care of myself. I don't see how I'm supposed to handle a newborn.
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