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Sleepless, emotional weekends SUCK

March 14, 2011

This weekend – it didn’t work for me so much.

And now I’m starting the week feeling all agitated and off, while unable to pinpoint exactly why.

Work is a little slow this week, after quite a few weeks of the perfect pace.  It always makes me unsettled when things are quiet.

Both my girls had emotional moments this weekend.  As I’ve mentioned before, Lemon had asked for an opportunity to “talk to someone” about some anxiety she was feeling.  She did that for a while, and WD and I thought we saw some mellowing of her reactions and her emotions, but she recently declared that it “wasn’t working,” and she wanted to stop.  I told her therapist about this, and she said she could sense it, too, so she had us come in for a mother/daughter check-in this weekend.  Lemon shared that she felt like “this is stupid” and it “isn’t working” and that the only reason why I think it’s working is because I’m looking for proof and finding things that were there all along.

Then I left the room, and the therapist prodded at her a little more, and she was suddenly in tears and talking about things that bother her.  I don’t have a clear sense of what that is – it has to do with her own processing of emotions.  Her logical approach and her relatively black and white way of thinking.   Maybe it’s that she tries not to allow herself emotions, but then – because of being human and all – she suddenly finds herself overwhelmed by them, and she explodes.

One thing that concerns me a little is that when her therapist got Lemon’s permission to share a little bit with me, she said that Lemon was talking about something that had happened at school … I had no idea that anything happened at school.  I don’t know what it was, but I thought that her very occasional quickness to anger was reserved for the homefront.

So, I feel a little confused.

Then, that night, I called Mouse out on being particularly grouchy as of late.  And she ended up in a crumpled ball of tears, mostly talking about how she feels completely abandoned and unloved by the Ex, and she doesn’t understand why he doesn’t care about her at ALL.  She cried for at least 30 minutes straight.  It came out that she never feels like she can talk to me about this stuff, because I don’t talk about it.

I don’t talk about it because – why?  Because I feared making her feel in the middle.  Feared I would make her feel that she was betraying her father if she spoke to me about him in a negative light.  I wanted to be sure that they didn’t ever feel like I was railing on him or complaining …

and I guess I took it too far, and made her feel alone.

Which feels crappy.

I think we’re okay now.  I think she understands that she can talk to me, and that she can do so without me judging her or him.  She wants me to talk to him for her, but I am not really sure what to say.

I guess there’s a point in all of this where I should feel guilty about the divorce.  Feel guilty that she (and according to the therapist, Lemon) are pretty unhappy about their lack of a relationship with the Ex.

I am very sad about their sadness.  But these are some of the reasons why I am not with the Ex.  Because he does not connect emotionally – at least he did not with me, and he did not with them.  He was emotionally absent all the time. Even when we were together on an outing, the look of misery on his face for having to be there was constant.

But if we were still together – would the girls feel this as acutely?  Or would I have shielded them from it?

I do not know.  But to picture that life – where I’m still married to him, and doing the best I can to shield the girls from his indifference, still being in that situation, that relationship, makes me literally nauseous.  The person *I* was while in that marriage does not resemble the person I am today.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to say to him.  I strongly believe that there is nothing I can say that will change him.  I don’t think he’ll start calling them.  I don’t think he’ll start to engage with them when they are at his house.  I think he’ll continue to find ways to say this is my fault.  Because I didn’t follow him to the state where he lives, probably.  Even though he’s this way when they were and are under his roof – it wouldn’t be different.

And with 2 new babies (one is 15 months, one is 3 weeks), he may just be too overwhelmed to even process anything I say.

Nothing can change the fact that he lives very far away – but maybe – if he responds to the girls’ feelings – he can start to call them.   If there is some effort on his part, maybe they will feel better?

_______________________________

Saturday was the tears, and then Sunday was the time change, and we pretty much all stayed in our beds until noon (11), with various electronics and books and newspapers.  Then Mouse and I went to the mall, and Lemon had friends over.  It was a mellow day, but so very short.  Between lazing around and then the time change – it felt like there was no time for anything.

And I haven’t done laundry in a month.  I need a second set of machines.  The girls almost came to blows yesterday over who was going to get to do their laundry first, and WD and I sat there looking at our own piles thinking, “Crap.”

And so now it’s Monday.  It’s dreary outside, I’m not feeling very useful at work, I’m feeling crappy about the girls’ unease, and generally am unsettled and off.

More than just a typical Monday’s worth of “off.”

I hope it’s fleeting.

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4 comments

  1. Poor girls. I wish I could give them a hug – and you, too.

    I have an emotionally unavailable father (narcissistic) and learning that he doesn’t care about me except to the extent I reflect on him – that’s taken decades to process. I’m still hurt by it. If my father had gone off and started a second family – wow. The new babies have to be a huge trigger.

    I don’t know if anything would have helped at their age except for therapy, and I hated therapy as a teen because the blame for the family’s dysfunction was placed on me, so I saw it as punitive.

    In any case, hugs to you all. They’re so lucky to have a caring mom – and a supportive stepfather in WD – in their lives.


    • Thanks, EH. I did email him and his response was quite predictable. I’m pretty bummed on their behalf.


  2. I don’t know if this is appropriate to share with them (they are still pretty young) but something my sister passed on from her therapist was this mantra that “Some people don’t get good mothers.” (Mom is also a narcissist and is actually crazier than Dad.) For some reason, this is a mantra that helps me when I’m disappointed. Some people just don’t get good parents. I didn’t. It sucks, it doesn’t make it easier, but it helps with acceptance.

    For what it’s worth, I think what you posted – you emailed him, and you are disappointed in his response – is a fair thing for you to share with them.


    • My husband and I often debate what I should share and what I should not share. I’m so vested in being a “good” divorced parent, not putting the girls in the middle or making them feel like I complain about their father, I’m adverse to sharing almost anything. But perhaps as they’re getting older, I should revisit my approach. They’re very smart girls.



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