Saturday, 22 July 2017

Punishment, anger, smacking.

I refuse to smack, slap or physically punish my children to deliberately cause pain, shame or other dark emotions. 

I can understand why some may feel that physical punishment is justifiable:
 'I was smacked, I'm ok', 
'I smacked my kids, they're fine', 
'I smack them because it's a way of deterring them from putting themselves in danger' (y'know. They run into the road, younpill them back and give them a clip round'ear'ole).

My replies:
I was smacked, but I was also hit. I am not ok because of it.
Smacking was a deterrent, but I was a bloody good child. 
I smacked my brothers and sisters. In anger. That was not acceptable and C, D, C and J, I am eternally sorry. I was a child myself and you were left in my care. I'm sorry that I smacked you. It was what I had seen, it was all i knew. I hated myself for it.

And that's the thing. I cannot trust myself when I'm angry. It's like electricity running all over my body. I need to lash out but I know if I do, I won't stop. If I smacked one of the boys, i would cross a line that I know would break me. 

I'm not here to preach either side of the smacking argument, though I am inclined to believe the research that smacking disrupts child development, trust, etc. 

I have anger issues, I hate my anger and it doesn't go away if I scream into a pillow. Rage begets more rage. I can punch my bed, slam doors. Nothing helps, except time. 

 

Sunday, 9 July 2017

trauma?

I didn't even begin to realise I had a traumatic childhood until I had counselling during the worst of my PND. 

I guess that's sort of part of the process, how the mind deals with hardships. It rationalises, acts like they didn't happen. 

I'm at a point where I'm not sure where my PTSD ends and I begin:

Intrusive memories - these have always been there but nowadays are triggered by moments in parenting the boys.

Avoiding thinking about things that happened to me. 

Issues with falling asleep.

Depression, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, low self esteem, low mood, self loathing. 

Feeling under attack. Always on high alert, running on adrenaline - and easily startled. 

I have reached a stage where I don't feel that I'm worthy. I feel like I should have been better able to cope. That people in war zones get ptsd, not the children of crap parents. 

I need to mourn for my lost childhood. The childhood lost to the mother who verbally abused me,
 neglected me emotionally, 
abandoned me for sometimes hours on end with between 3 and 5 children from the age of 10.
 She made me believe that I wasn't good enough, so absolutely that I still feel compelled to prove that I am. 

I don't know whether EMDR will help me. But I know that the prospect of spending more years endlessly feeling like I am scared is not worth thinking about. 

I'll keep my fingers crossed 

 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

looking back at the roads I've travelled

I've finished CBT for my anxiety today. 12 sessions and 'sha-zam!' I'm anxiety free... well, not quite. Far from it, but at this important point in my journey I feel that it's important to see how far I have come, on a day to day level.

I wrote about learning to see my anxiety and I do, even more so. I catch myself mid-worry and then see 

What the worry is
Is it real?
Is there any evidence for my thoughts?
Can I do anything about it now?
Can I send it away? 

This is my mental version of The Worry Tree. A diagram which is a bit lame to be honest. It's more of a flowchart that someone drew a tree around. 

I journal and make lists - I am aiming for almost daily 'worry 15' where I can let my worries run around and I can sort them out. 

I'm less afraid of things that are imaginary - like 'what's the worst that could happen?' Isn't always a helpful question, but an 'is it likely? Is it the end of the world?' Check is pretty helpful.

I can see my intolerance of uncertainty: I can't control people, life, animals, ANYTHING! However, I've always really clung to the idea that anxiety makes everything work better for me. 

It doesn't! Preparing for the worst and imagining all the worst things made me miserable for the last 17 years. 

So I am actually better, anxiety-wise, finishing therapy is hard, it's making me feel low and sad and rejected. Probably the EUPD part of my mind.

I see now that my anxiety stems from intolerance of uncertainty and I wrote it a letter early in 2016 . It sprang up when my entire life stopped making sense: my mum and stepdad were shit, my dad and stepmum were shit, my boyfriend had dumped me and my two best friends had to resit year 12/ lower sixth. 
I had no one at school, no one at home, with the love for my siblings and a lot of praying to survive. 

I'm amazing. I've lived with GAD for years, undiagnosed, unrecognised. I have a career, a family and a husband. And friends. 

I'm not in that place I was in, but I'm glad I can see why it all started.