Monday, July 4, 2011


I've admitted to myself lately that I am wound pretty tight.  I've discussed here about how my temper has been flaring up more regularly.  I can physically feel the tension in my body.  My stomach is upset often.  I do this weird jaw clench thing (ironically I remember my grandmother doing the same thing) that is happening more frequently.  I have always been a bit of a control freak and perfectionist about some things.  K is constantly complaining about me overreacting to situations.  My stress levels are extremely high.  I'm on vacation in a beautiful, chill location and I'm a ball of stress.

I've also noticed, though, that I've become hyper vigilant about the boys.  Since the accident, I worry about them all the time.   I make L hold my hand everywhere.  I need to know where they are at all times.  But it spills over in other areas.  I overreact when their behavior isn't ideal...D's language (calling his brothers idiots or his newest "what the hell")...A's absentmindedness...L not listening when I ask him to stop doing something.  I worry that I've ruined the boys' life by taking in the girls.  I worry that their innocence has been lost by the accident.  I worry and worry and worry.  This translates in overreaction and anxiety.

Control is at the center of all of this behavior.  Just like L refuses to go to the bathroom in the potty (yes, he's still going in the diaper although he wears undies all day) as a way to gain control, my actions are probably my attempt to control  things when something happened that I couldn't control.  The accident changed everything.  I can't control how my sisters and parents have reacted.  I can't make K be more than he is.  I can't bring them back.  I can't take in the little girls too.

So how do I change this?  How do I get off of this scary ride of tense emotions and stress?  I don't know how to find the balance between letting some control go, but also being able to keep the reins on the chaos that is our life.  I've thought about medication to help with the symptoms of the anxiety and stress.  To be honest, I"m scared of this approach.  I'm searching for something physical, spiritual and emotional to help me. I've lost way too much weight and am completely out of shape.  I guess if I'm admitting it's an issue that's a step in the right direction.

All I know is that my behavior is affecting the kids.  I don't want my nervousness to keep them from having fun, being carefree and not worrying themselves.  There comes a point when my vigilance may keep them safe, but on the other hand it can also become suffocating and unhealthy.


  1. I can relate to this a tiny bit because I remember how short my temper was during my husband's deployments. The stress was terrible and I was not my best self just as my children most needed me to be.

    You have it much harder because this situation is not temporary. It must be exhausting not to have a specific light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to, just the hope for improvement on some nebulous timeline.

    What do you like to do just for yourself, Peg? Is there something you've always wanted to try or something you'd like to go back to? You're a good writer, have you ever played with fiction? I just know for myself that during both deployments, even though spare time was non-existent, as long as I was plugging away at making a new violin once in awhile, I felt more like me again. Find something about yourself to control and you might be happier.

    Wishing you the best.

  2. I second Korinthia - it's so important to find time for yourself. I can only imagine how difficult that is with 5 kiddos in the house. I know I am a much better and more patient momma when I take a little time for myself.

  3. Hi Peg. Sorry I've been a bit MIA lately. I've been spending time with B and trying to get the house ready for HHD 2011.

    I definitely understand your hyper vigilance. I talked at great length with my girlfriend Sarah after Hannah died. She was the one with me that day, the one who has two little girls the same age as mine (okay, so Lauren is a year older than Ellie, but still...). Anyhow, we talked and talked about how we needed to let the girls have as "normal" a life as we could, and how we just wanted to put them in a bubble and not let them do ANYTHING.

    I can tell you, after four years, I'm not that bad, I'm really not. There are still triggers and things that flip me out (murky water is a BIG one), but over all, the girls are allowed to be little kids--I'm just more aware that bad things do in fact happen, even to Pollyanna. :oS

    But, life was meant for LIVING, and that's what we all try to do, it's what I try desperately to let my girls do. It'll be okay, I promise. Just take it one day, one moment at a time. Don't look too far ahead, that's the big thing that helped me.

    And, most of all, you MUST do things only for YOU and not for someone else. Take time for you.

    If you are interested, I'm always willing to email as it isn't quite as public a forum as our blogs. My email is rachael(dot)davis(at)cox(dot)net. Please don't feel like you *have* to email me just because I provided it, I just wanted to let you know I'm there if you need someone to talk to.