Sunday, February 10, 2008

Seriously, get help.

I was having a bad day. I won't get into the whys of it all, on the off-chance that someone might get their feelings hurt, but less than 12 hours ago, I was an emotional wreck. Since my children didn't disappear off the face of the earth during my little breakdown, they were being affected, too. They saw me cry, which I hate, but there was little I could do to avoid it. I snapped at them unreasonably, which I hate, but I needed space that they weren't giving me. I knew there was no magical solution to my problem, but I also knew that I needed to get these feelings out. I know how much worse it can get if I don't get that chance.

So I reached out. My 2 IRL friends that I trust with this type of breakdown were unreachable. I blabbered on a few sites, cried my eyes out, read a few sympathetic responses, and it was gone. The icky, horrible feeling of hopelessness was gone.

I can usually save this stuff up for my therapy sessions, or hide out in my room when these things happen but today, I knew that solitude would only make it worse...and I couldn't very well pop on over to my therapist! I knew I needed connection. I knew I needed someone to hear me.

My kids were fine once they knew I was fine. I don't feel like I'm a bad mother for letting them see my emotion - a criticism single moms often get. I think they need to understand that bad days happen to all of us...so long as we show them reasonable ways to deal with them.

As a friend of a friend said, it's not the feelings that are the problem, but the actions which we take with them. Crying can be an acceptable response to feeling hopeless or frustrated. Talking to friends is helpful. I apologized to the girls for the unreasonable verbal snipes.

I get mad at myself for having these feelings in the first place. I tell myself they're stupid, I should be stronger than that...those words don't make me feel any better. What makes me feel better is crying. What makes me feel better is letting the emotion have its wave, and ebb and flow itself on out of me!!

Help can come in many forms. Today, it was online communities that let me say what I felt, and the moms who simply said, "yeah, I get it, and I'm sorry" that did the trick for me. Emotional breakdowns can have their place. I just need to remember to let them.

6 comments:

Maria said...

I'm glad you're feeling better!
I have gotten awesome support from MySpace and other online communities. Sometimes all you need is what you received today, even if it's e-encouragement. :)

Huckdoll said...

Some of the best advice and support I ever received has come from fellow bloggers and online mom friends. I'm glad you're feeling better. I don't think it's bad to let your kids see you cry once in awhile though. I think it gives them the message to back off - and if they decide to give you a hug and be on their way, that can really brighten you up as well.

Kori said...

I don't believe for a minute that it EVER (and yes, I mean EVER, not once in awhile) hursts your kids to see you cry; how else are they going to learn that emotions are totally normal, and it's what you DO with them that matters? I am sorry I wasn't around this weekend....maybe it wouldn't have made a difference, but then again...with hope, we will have DSL nest week, so...we can spend our weekends crying together! :)

Natalie said...

Thanks for stopping by!

This post sounded so very familiar to me. I go through phases where I cry a lot, and then phases where I cry very little. During the phases that I cry a lot (in front of my son), he rolls his eyes, slaps his head and says: "NOT AGAIN". No joke. When I'm going through a phase where I don't cry a lot he's a bit more compassionate. I agree that crying in front of your children is not necessarily a bad thing.

The online community has done wonders for my sanity. I have to stay away from certain places because I have learned that some people are very unsympathetic, but for the most part everyone is incredibly supportive.

And oh my goodness, I am the queen of being too snippy with my son. I always apologize to him, but I also explain that he needs to work with me because what caused me to get snippy wasn't acceptable either. Unless I was just being a total turd, then I just apologize to him with an "I have no excuse" explanation. I think admitting to being wrong teaches valuable lessons too, and it sounds like you've got the bases covered.:)

LunaNik said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. I hate crying in front of my kids. The little one doesn't understand yet but the older one...well, she takes it very hard when mommy is upset. Isn't it amazing how much better it makes you feel just to have someone say "I understand, I've been there...and it will be ok"

Doesn't matter if it's IRL or in a comment.

Hope your feeling better.

Kate said...

As I have discovered sometimes all you need is to know that someone is listening/reading and at least sort of get it. It doesn't always fix it or make it all better but at least it helps you get through it.