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.