Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Morning Blues

I guess I'm feeling pretty decent...for a Monday. I've been having some issues of late with food getting stuck, vomiting, nausea. Last week at support group I asked others if they ever started experiencing these things kind of suddenly after having no issues for many months. The consensus was that I needed to call and see Dr. B. I called on Tuesday morning, went in Tuesday afternoon and had an endoscopy Friday with Dr. K. The result? Completely normal anatomy (pouch, staples, hook-ups, etc.) for post-RNY. Good, no GREAT, news. But, it leaves me wondering why the heck I've been having the occasional pain, the frequent episodes of food getting stuck, more frequent vomiting than I've had in at least 7 months? I have no answers...and now, I feel like I must be a hypochondriac. There's a reason why I don't call the doc without someone telling me I probably should...because I'm afraid I won't be believed because there will be nothing found. I actually usually feel surprised when a doctor comes back and says "yes, there's XYZ and this is why you're having this problem." I remember being almost damn near shocked when I had a tubal pregnancy back in if to say "oh, you mean there really WAS a reason I was in this much pain? Really???" Yes, I suspect I know where this comes from...does it make it any easier to deal with? Nope.

I had a date on Saturday night. It was good conversation. I suspect, however, that I won't likely hear from him again. Gut feeling. But that's was good practice for getting out, meeting someone new, making conversation, and being generally more at ease with myself. I really hate dating...have I mentioned that?

I don't think the change in my dosage of Cymbalta is making a bit of difference...except perhaps I'm sleeping even more poorly than usual, so I'm taking my Ambien almost nightly. My feeling of melancholy is very much alive and well. Some days, more than others. And it means that I'm having to make sure I focus on all the reasons that I'm a decent mother, instead of dwelling on how I feel like a crappy mother who doesn't spend enough quality time with her child. Some days, I feel grossly inept at this parenting thing, as I'm sure we all do. I remind myself that this too shall pass, and with any luck, I won't have irreparably damaged my kid by the time he's grown. I can hope, right?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Good Old Separation Anxiety

So I'm beginning to think that perhaps my abandonment issues are not all that dissimilar from Zachary's separation anxiety issues...and that there's a big genetic component to it. Random thoughts, I suppose.

Zachary's been having a really rough time with the start of school...none of it is new...we go through this same crap every year...for school...for camp...for any "new" thing or transition. He's got some significant and persistent issues with separation anxiety. I've dealt with this with him since he was an infant. At some point in the past few years, it became more than just "typical" separation anxiety that children experience and grow out of. He sees a wonderful counselor, who is helping him learn new coping skills that ideally will help ease some of this very real distress for him. His counselor has said that basically, I'm the only person who's always been here for him, and since we're very close/tight, I'm pretty much everything to him. That became even more apparent when my mom (Zachary's beloved Nana) died very unexpectedly in May 2006. And while it all makes sense, it definitely makes our lives challenging at times. Every morning before school, we go through the same ordeal. The tears start, and Zachary says he doesn't feel well, he has a headache, a stomach ache, his legs hurt, that he can't possibly go to school. And so the offer of an ibuprofen and a Tums is made, to help with his aches and pains. He's tenacious, let me tell you. He can persist with his complaints, crying, whining like this for a solid hour, despite me telling him that school is not optional, it's the law, he has to go, and then I tell him the discussion is over and I proceed to ignore the rest of his complaints or simply tell him that yes, I know he doesn't feel well, and I'm sorry. Note, there is NO indication that he is staying home, coming with me to work, or anything of the like. Unless he has a fever or is throwing up, he's going to school. We've done this for years, literally. It's wearing on me. I can't do this with him until he's 18 years old, I assure you. The counselor said that at some point, we may have to consider if medication might help him with some of his anxiety. That made me feel very, very sad.

Last night, before bed, he's laying there and starts talking about the stuff in his head, as he usually does, when it's time to wind down and go to sleep. He says to me "I'd rather me be taken away from you, than you be taken away from me." I looked at him and said "honey, neither of those things is going to happen, and you don't need to worry about that." He said "but mom, who would buy me food and take care of me?" I told him that even if it DID happen, I promised him he would be taken care of. These are his worries at age 7. What the hell is he going to have left to worry about as he gets older and life gets more complicated? *sigh* I wish I knew how to help his anxiety and I wish it felt like the things we're doing in the name of helping him were actually easing some of his distress. But most times, I really don't know he's feeling any better...and I know I'm not.

I wish someone could tell me why some kids think this way...and that somehow, it's a good thing in life to be a deeper thinker. But in my personal experience, I'm not convinced that's the case. I think I'd personally like to be blissfully unaware of the crap of life at times. Awareness is not something I'm able to dismiss though...and as such, things weigh heavily on me...and they always have. Another thing to have passed on to my child that I feel oh not so great about. But you know what? I think he's even MORE obsessive with things than I am. I don't remember too much of this type of stuff from when I was a kid. I remember significant events that triggered my abandonment and anxiety issues. I had a recurrent nightmare as a child that I can clearly remember and the theme there is obviously being entirely alone and abandoned. But I don't ever recall just thinking about stuff like this, like Zachary does. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Autumn, Anniversaries, Abandonment?

It's been a rough few days for me. Yesterday was really quite a crappy day all around...too much thinking and junk floating around in my head. There were a couple of people that let me lean on them yesterday, in whatever capacity they were able. I emailed Pat and Melinda, because they've been there for me for over the past year now. They both offered their words of support and encouragement and ideas. I called my doctor who prescribes my sleep and antidepressant meds and left a message for him to call me. I see him later this month, but at Pat's urging, I called him to see about getting a sooner appointment. I fought the tears on and off all day at work...not all that successfully. I know others at work saw my face and my tears...and not a single one asked if I was ok.

On the way home from work yesterday, I called one of my closest friends, Tammy. And when she asked how I was, I tried so hard to hold it together but the tears started to well and my voice started to crack, so I grew silent trying to keep it in check. She could hear it in my voice and said "I'm going to pick up Katlyn (her daughter), we'll be home in 45 minutes...come for coffee?" So Zachary and I did.

I shared with Tammy everything that has been going through my mind and heart these past few days. Things about my history she didn't have complete knowledge of, current things, and all that they trigger. Without getting into all the icky history, suffice it to say that I have some significant issues with abandonment. I don't actually ever expect anyone to stick around for me...though I still always hope for it. I'm not sure whether that is a hope I need to change or not...I guess that will be topic for discussion in therapy on Thursday evening.

This time of year just seems to trigger so much of my abandonment anxiety in spades...the 20th anniversary of my father's death was this past Sunday...half my lifetime ago. That one event altered the course of my life in so many ways. The anniversary of my son's father leaving me pregnant for a 17 year old is around this time of year. The anniversary of my ex-husband ultimately leaving. Shit, there's just a ton of stupid triggers...and I can recognize that they are in the past, that they are done, and not now...and yet they still are triggers for all these feelings. Have you ever had that happen to you? Things that you know are not rational enter your brain and kick off a chain of events in terms feelings? And it is that irrational thought part that compounds it for me and gets me so worked up...I KNOW the thoughts aren't here/now/rational, but it still comes up. As such, I'm embarrassed and ashamed to share them with anyone for fear they will say "well what did you expect?" or "that was so long ago, it's in the past." What I really need is for the person to just hear me. I don't need their judgment of me/my feelings because they are neither right nor wrong; I'm not looking for them to agree or disagree with me, or tell me that I should feel differently than I do...just hear me. Once that has happened, once all the "truth" of my feelings is out, it's like the feelings start to dissipate and I can move on and get past it.

Tammy listened to it all yesterday. And she held me while I sobbed for a minute or two in her arms. I don't have the physical reassurance/contact of a person to hold me most of the time when my heart and spirit feels like it's in pieces. There is no person at home to do that for me. Zachary can obviously be affectionate and give a hug...but that is a very, very different kind of affection than I need when I am feeling that vulnerable. I have had a really, really hard time asking for that from any friend because it feels so helpless and weak and, quite frankly, scary to me. I am trying really, really hard to learn how to let other people in a bit more...friends who have never given me any reason NOT to trust them. Tammy reminded me that we ALL have these times and things that will cause us to plummet from time to time...that none of us is alone in that. We all cope with it differently, though. She gets aggressive and angry...I get weepy and sad. She needs to be alone...I need to be with someone who makes me feel loved, accepted and safe.

For today, I feel better...and a few folks know a little bit more about me, the person, my heart, my feelings. I really do have wonderful, wonderful people in my life. And I know, have to believe, that even on the crappiest days, it WILL be ok. Just gotta give it time.