Tuesday, July 14, 2015


As I sat in my therapists office Monday the only way I could describe the way I'm feeling is disconnected.

I haven't felt like writing.

I have stopped texting with friends.  Two friends who I've had an ongoing group chat have gotten kind of annoying about my absence which is only making me want to ignore them more.

I've been trying really hard to focus on the kids and make sure they don't notice the difference.  Not sure how successful I've been.

We went to the beach with K's family and for multiple reasons I spent the entire week fighting overwhelming feelings of anxiety and annoyance.  I woke up most mornings just wanting to go home.  Which I did at the last minute Friday night and, as I drove off island facing a late night of driving, it was the best I'd felt all week.

I feel disconnected from K.  That makes me unbelievably sad.

I don't feel like myself.

As we tried to troubleshoot why I'm feeling this way, the only thing I could pinpoint was that I am unbelievably tired emotionally, mentally, and physically. 

I was thinking this morning that when we adopted the girls I didn't take any time off.  I continued to work.  I kept up with all the kids activities.  My mom duties around the house were the same.  Only now we added two traumatized children (one with special needs).  This is in stark contract to the 3-4 months I took off for all of the boys' births.

As I tried to establish the new normal for our family, I was determined to move forward without skipping a beat.  I've definitely documented in this space how hard that has been.

I'm sensing a new shift in our family too.  D especially is sliding into puberty and getting more disgruntled by the girls.  Even A is starting to verbalize his frustration with E and M and how they are so disruptive to our family dynamic. E being home this summer has not been easy. Lately there has been renewed talk about dying and the little girls and how the decision came about.  It's hard to navigate.  It's part of the parenting gig that is especially draining for me.  Probably because it triggers my own grief and trauma.

Problem is that now after 5 years of this most people think that we are all totally adjusted and it's a breeze now.  I get kids to activities, dinners are made, parties thrown, work done (mostly), appointments are made, school stuff organized, hugs given, and somewhere in all of that I've gotten lost.  I've lost weight and nobody seems to notice.  I get shingles and was told by everyone I need to slow down and take care of myself. How?  There is nobody to pick up the slack.  I need to work for our family financially.  I love how active our kids are and how many cool interests they have, and that requires a lot of time and effort.

Not sure how to get back to feeling better this time.  My therapist and I talked about figuring out some strategies when we meet next (taking the kids to AZ next week so it will be a few weeks till we meet).  Some things have brought me some measure of joy...the spectacular World Cup win by the US women (I'm friends with the coach and can't wait to see her at a wedding in two weeks), watching A skate awesome, laughter between the kids at dinner time, cuddles with L, and escaping with my book for a few minutes at night.  None of these things, though, have squashed the feelings of being overwhelmed.  Sad.  Alone.  Worried.

I'm not sure why I had the urge to write tonight.  A first step to getting a grip on things and feeling better?  Not sure, but hoping it helps.


  1. I'm glad you wrote, regardless of what drove you to the site. I think you touched on something really huge -- the fact that we pause after a birth to regroup and honour the huge change. And the fact that you didn't get to take that after the girls and how you had to plow through. I have to think that it contributes to the stress even now.

  2. This might sound crazy, but is it possible to take a short leave from work now? I realize that it might be financially difficult, and might require some uncomfortable confessions (you aren't entitled to FMLA for the adoptions after all of this time, but could probably take a leave for anxiety or depression), but it might give you the chance to breathe a little. Hang in there!


  3. I'm glad you wrote. Sometimes getting it out there does help. XO

  4. Of course it's hard and has been hard and always will be hard (not withstanding the joyful moments). I'm sorry that the people in your life can't see that.

    I think a huge part of this is your disconnect from K. It's exhausting emotionally to feel distant from a spouse. Did you see the NY Times article about fixing the sexual part of a relationship first? Maybe something to talk to your therapist about.

    Good luck to you!

  5. I wish I could stop time and give you two hours a day to yourself. To decompress and devote to you. You are a ROCK star. You are the manager and the glue and the scheduler and the love and the everything in-between. I wish you could take some of that love and care and support and apply it to you.

  6. I left a comment earlier, but apparently it didn't take. I'll try again and see if I remember all I said.

    First, I'm glad you wrote. I love the way you write, so it's mostly for selfish reasons, but I know I feel better somehow when I can get my thoughts straightened out into words so I hope it helped you, too.

    Second, I think if I could magically convince you to do anything it would be to ruthlessly carve out a regular block of time for yourself to do something you love. Every day is best, but once a week is better than nothing. Your kids are old enough to maybe do dinner and clean up once in a while. They won't do any chores you assign them as well as you would, but eh. It's part of learning, and everything shouldn't be on you all the time. It just shouldn't.

    I keep thinking about when my husband was deployed--particularly the first time when I had a preschooler and toddler and a newborn to care for and no help--and I had to find time to build violins in order to have any identity. It was beyond hard, and often meant leaving dishes in the sink, etc., but I was so alone and stressed and tired. I had to do something for me or I would have disappeared on the chore treadmill. I would have nothing to offer my children if all I did was tend to them like a servant. I had to be a person, too. That person happened to build violins, so that's what I did, and it helped. It's not selfish, it's necessary.

    What would you do? Play soccer? Write? Take a walk and listen to music? It's not too much to ask that you get to do something just for you. That's what I would wish for you if I could make it happen. Maybe if that sounds good to you, you could make it happen without wishing.

    1. I trying to do this is going to be key. Right now my "me" time is Monday morning going to therapy for an hour. Not really the same. I also think getting more exercise is important. Right now just hard finding time and making a priority. Thanks!!

  7. Grief know no time limit. It is supposed to get easier to deal with but if you do not give yourself sufficient time to grieve and you stuff it down it will come out in physical forms. Try to take some more time for yourself. I know sometimes the only time I get to myself is when I shower in the morning.

  8. You sound completely burned out. That would leave anyone feeling sad, anxious or depressed. Disconnection actually brings you peace because you don't have to fake it anymore. I've been there. It's hard to give when you feel tired and empty. You know what you need, I think in your heart and the hard part is finding your way to it. How does one take a break, take care of oneself when you're the worker and the mother and the one who keeps everyone going? My heart goes out to you. Don't just put a bandaid on and keep going, find out the root of your anxiety. Tell K to take the kids to his family and then you stay home. And rest.

  9. I've certainly been disconnected from you and my online life of late. I think sometimes we need that break. I just caught up on all I've missed, and I've missed so much. I hope First Communion went well (see, reading between the lines here), and that maybe you're beginning to feel better and more like you.

    I've missed you and kept meaning to check in. I wish I had the words that would make this alright, make it okay and go away and suddenly everything in your life would be magically wonderful.

    I fear none of us has that power. I hope and pray you and your therapist are able to find the words and the way, that you will start to feel like you once more.

    Hugs, my friend. Big fat hugs.

  10. I'm rooting for you. Sometimes life is hard and then it gets harder. Feel free to reach through the computer and punch me, but you have got to put your own oxygen mask on first. I'm so glad you are in therapy - I know different things work for different people but it seems like it helps you. I'm pretty sure I would be a mean and angry person, making my family miserable, and very likely divorced, were it not for therapy.

    Hang in there as best you can.