There had to be a first…

…failed relationship after my failed marriage. Yup I got ‘dumped’ on Halloween. Honestly it was the ‘right’ thing for him to do (I do deserve better and no he wasn’t being fair to me) but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. So I’ve been in a funk for over a week now about this. Even though I know it was for the best, I’m still struggling to get over the hurt. Is it just because he was the first person I opened up to and let my guard down to and introduced my son to? Or is it because, as much as I hate to admit it, I don’t like to be lonely? 

I reminded me of a post I read, It sucks to be alone…REALLY?, from a blog I follow (The Culture Monk). A couple of the questions he asked were, Will we find contentment even in the face of loneliness? Or will we let the disappointments in life swallow us up? Will we allow the feeling of being alone drive us toward bad decisions?

Hmmmmm. Finding contentment in the face of loneliness….now that’s something I need to work on. Well there’s a lot I need to work on but at this moment, this is it, along with confidence. When did I become so vulnerable and allow someone to bring down my confidence? I would like to think of myself as a strong person, given my recent struggles, and the fact that everyone tells me what a strong person I am, yet I feel so weak. Like I took another hit. Not nearly as bad as the last but still a hit nonetheless. 

So I’ve spent the last week being bitter, finding inspirational quotes online, crying and laughing with friends, etc and of course reading online. And I come across this great article The 10 Things You Need To Give Up In Order To Move Forward

  1. Other people’s opinions
  2. Explanations
  3. Expectations
  4. Mistake you  made in the past
  5. Dwelling on heartbreak
  6. Grudges
  7. Failing to appreciate what you have
  8. Excuses
  9. Insecurity
  10. Dealing with drama

 

So many of these I need to work on! I’m pretty good at not caring about other people’s opinions, unless its someone close to me, then it’s usually something I need to hear. Explanations and expectations are both a work in progress. Over and over through the divorce process I was told by a family member, “Courtney, you can’t change people, places, or things, only yourself!” I’m never going to get all the answers I want, so I just need to let it go as hard as it is. I pride myself on how giving I am. People say I’m too kind at times but it’s just me, it’s who I am and that I’m not going to change for someone else who can’t understand it. I just hope someday someone will shock and surprise me when the gestures are returned.

I learned a great deal from my failed marriage, what were my wrong doings, what I had to own up to, what I need to work on and not take into my future relationships. With my recent relationship, I made an conscientious effort not to bring my problems from the past with me. To work on improving my communication skills and being open about my feelings and thoughts when/if there was a problem or something I wasn’t happy about and to listen more.

Ahhh dwelling on heartbreak….this is where I’m stuck at now, somewhat. I get that things happen for a reason and people are brought into your life at certain times for a reason. I get it. But it doesn’t make it any easier when they choose to walk out of your life. I know I had to go through this recent relationship to prove to myself that I could move on, when I thought I never would. I guess that was his lesson to teach me at that time, that it was ok to move on, it was ok to be happy, it was ok to let someone into my little protective bubble I had around my son and I. The lesson I learned, maybe don’t let your guard down so fast!

I’m not really big on holding grudges, so I’m fairly good there. Failing to appreciate what I have, i think everyone can learn a little from that. I’m still bitter at the fact the I’m ‘forced’ to live 3,000 miles away from my family and most of my friends, that I failed to make the most of my favorite season…Fall. I didn’t get a true Fall season on the west coast where I grew up. I missed out on taking my favorite pictures of Fall foliage here on the east coast. Who knew leaves could be so freaking amazing and beautiful?

Excuses, do we all have them? Yes I need to work on this, mainly I need to stop making excuses and get my ass to the gym more! Insecurity fall into a lack of confidence for me. I think I’m a good person but I’m very hard on myself….I learned that in therapy! “Insecurity is something that holds people back more than anything else and it’s a damn shame because the person making you feel the most insecure is yourself.” So true! And last but not least, dealing with drama. I try not to but co-parenting has it’s moments and not getting along with someone doesn’t always make it easy, causing drama.

Overall, I think I’m on the right track. The right track to moving forward and the right track to finding contentment in the face of loneliness. Wish me luck on this continuing journey to learning more about myself.

 

 

Advertisements

You’re Not a Terrible Parent

Not sure how I stumbled upon this little gem, a father speaking of his time parenting his 3 boys all under 5 with his wife. but I did and it was very eye opening…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-wiens/let-me-be-the-one-who-says-it-out-loud_b_3209305.html

If you are a parent of small children, you know that there are moments of spectacular delight, and you can’t believe you get to be around these little people. But let me be the one who says the following things out loud:

You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend’s children do. She’s obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism.

You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they’d be put in prison.

You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise.

You are not a terrible parent if you’d rather be at work.

You are not a terrible parent if you just can’t wait for them to go to bed.

You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop.

You’re not a terrible parent.

All of these sound too familiar to me and I only one 2 year old! Recently it’s the constant whining, the impossible mission of putting a diaper on a wiggly child with freakish strength, the tantrums that cannot involve having socks on his feet during said times, the pointing to something saying “mommmmmyyy” but wants NOTHING in sight, the list goes on and on. Do I always handle it in the best ways? Hell to the no. But I’m not a terrible parent, just a parent with “sky-scraper standards for parenting.”

Since my wedding vows are no longer existent in a marriage, but I loved them dearly, I think pieces hold true between my son and I. Promises I want to make to him…..  

I promise to stand beside you through thick and thin, through good times and bad, through joy and sorrow

I want to spend the rest of my life hearing your thoughts and seeing your dreams

I promise to do my best to make our lives better and to fulfill our dreams together

This is my solemn vow

……..only now this is to my son 

When All Else Fails, Listen to 80’s Music

Advice from a dear friend when I was having a down day last week, 3,000 miles away and she knew exactly what I needed.

This morning I hop on Facebook and read a sad post from another dear friend, with the sad face saying (insert friend’s name) – is feeling betrayed. Betrayal, the worst feeling ever. Hearing a friend cry, a friend who is stronger then she realizes, more beautiful then she’ll ever know, is heartbreaking. I know only too well the feelings she is having. Having to tell yourself enough is enough. Having to be strong not only for yourself but for your child. Having to know, understand, and accept that you deserve better. I let her cry, talk, laugh, mumble in confusion, try to make sense of it all, just be there for her as she and others have been there for me through the past year. I try not to compare situations, but give her the best advice I was given by my aunt….. “You can’t change people, places, or things, you can only change yourself!”

As much as I hated hearing those words over and over and over again over the last year, it stuck with me and carried me through. Divorce is never easy, not if you are a product of divorce and wanted to give your child the ‘perfect’ family, not if you were truly in love. But top it off with lies, infidelity, and the worst of all, betrayal.

betray: verb (used with object)

1. to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty
2. to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling
3. to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to
4. to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence
5. to reveal unconsciously (something one would preferably conceal)
 
Yesterday was my (our) son’s second birthday. I took the day off and spent time with him, gave him 100% of my attention, we didn’t do anything extravagant but we had a great day that ended with snuggling on the couch watching ‘puppy mommy’ aka Word World before I had to take him to his fathers for the night. 
 
To My Dearest Little Boy on Your 2nd Birthday,
I’m sorry this last year has not been what it should have been in your little life. I know you won’t remember any of this and what happened to our once happy little family but I’ll do my best to answer any questions you have when the time comes. I also promise to do everything in my power to make the next year and following years after that what they should be, full of beautiful memories.
 
I love you to the moon and back.

 

Day 5

I’ve been MIA but for good reason. I’ve been keeping myself occupied on these seemingly lonely nights. Mr. IR has been working late all week, so it’s just my little buddy and I. The last two days have been so nice out….rather, just not that cold…they have gone for strolls down the street after work. Yesterday was so nice that I just wore a t-shirt….crazy!

Lessons and take-aways from the past couple days:

*** Take meds with food….last night I went to sleep at 8 (yes 8pm) and woke up at 10pm shaking, sweating, and nauseous…it was rough.

*** Dr. Office called, I have a overactive thyroid that needs to be treated. Could be the cause of several symptoms I’ve been experiencing (restlessness, fatigue, clammy skin/hands, weight loss….and I thought I was just good at losing the baby weight!?!?!) and could be adding to my emotional state……..awesome!

*** Need to take more walks before it gets too cold…ie another crazy storm for the northeast on/around Halloween, boo.

*** Skype…….more……often! Man I had no idea how nice it would be to Skype with a friend after work, after little man is in bed, when instead I would normally be zoned out in front of the tv. So grab a glass of wine and Skype with someone you’ve been missing!

On our walk yesterday we stopped at a neighbors house, our landlords, also Mr.IR boss (weird, I know) but I got to chat with a friend about how I am feeling and dealing with this ‘delayed diagnosis’ of postpartum depression. Not that I haven’t talked (more like text or email) friends about it but they are all back home….across the country. I was nice to talk face to face with some who I consider a friend and was comfortable opening up to. She also a mother, of three beautiful boys, and also has rough pregnancies and a small bout of postpartum. Someone who could truly understand where I was coming from and told me I wasn’t alone.

All it took was a hug, a hug I needed more then anything in the last week.

Day 2

I should have wrote a post around 3am when I woke up suddenly from the sound of Mr. IM’s phone dropping, however, I though I was being shot at. I guess those pills lead to some crazy dreams. And I’m not going to lie, I didn’t end up taking the pill until 9:28pm….way after I posted that I did. I was making myself sick to my stomach, thinking this is what it has come down to, medicine. Since I was up, might as well go on Facebook, right? I hop on and come a cross this:

Notes From a Dragon Mom http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/opinion/sunday/notes-from-a-dragon-mom.html?src=tp&smid=fb-share&_r=0 Just when I think my world is crashing down around me, I read something like this. It’s a sign. Whether things will get better or ways will be parted, it’s nothing compared to what this mother and so many other mother, fathers, family and friends are going through living and loving to the end of a terminally ill childs life.

9/19/10  A dear friend sent me an email with a link to this website Goop.com and told me to read the article under “Be”  Bryce Dallas Howard about Postpartum Depression. Gwyneth Paltrow wrote about her experience, “I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life….postnatal deprssion.” She wanted to learn more about and had a doctor describe the condition, advice from a psychologist, the most touching piece by Bryce Dallas Howard, and the ‘it doesn’t get more real than this’ blogger Heather B. Armstrong’s website dooce.com.

I scoured dooce.com, reading the ‘about’ page, searching postpartum depression, desperately searching for validation that it’s ok to ask for help. All this before my appointment yesterday. I wanted to go into the appointment having an understanding or having done some ‘research’ on postpartum depression. I can across the her post For those who live with those like me where her husband Jon shares his experiences the second time around with baby #2 and by far the most eye-opening piece I’ve read in a long time, is his perspective on what it’s like to live with someone who suffers from chronic depression, How I Do. I only hope this finds Mr. IM, who doesn’t know I’ve started this blog, before it’s too late. This piece gives me hope, that we’re not alone, there is help out there, and it’s going to be hard work but most importantly our son needs happy and healthy parents.

Day 1:

Irretrievable – not retrievable : impossible to regain or recover……the old me.

I was giving my son his bedtime bottle, rocking him, and just staring at him. He’s beautiful, he’s my everything. I should start a blog. Yup, just like that and then the name came to me. I’ve considered it in the past but nothing has really driven me to like today. While I eat leftovers, Stuffed Pepper Soup (recipe to come, once I dig all the cans, cartons, containers out of the recycling bin so I can see what I threw into this lovely concoction), I type and backspace, type and backspace this first post….so work with me here, please and thank you.

Today was a big day. I went to the my gyno for my annual knowing I had a lot to get out in a short amount of time. Boy did I give her more then she bargained for when she asked a seemingly simple question, “how are you doing?”

Step 1: acknowledging you have a problem.

Step 2: accepting help.

Hi, my name is Courtney and I’ve been suffering for 378 days from untreated postpartum depression.

Today I got diagnosed and help = medication. I’m nervous to take the first dose. I’m scared it’s going to make me nauseous (as most meds do) and the fatigue and dizziness I was warned about. Well here goes nothing, down the hatch. Wish me luck and a good nights sleep…I know that’s asking a lot.