I’m ready to go home

I leave tomorrow (yes, on Christmas Day) to go back to my “real” life. I’ve been at my mom and step-dad’s out of state for 2 weeks. This is the longest I’ve stayed with my parents since I was 17 years old!

It’s gone surprisingly well, but I’ve been ready to leave for a couple days. I haven’t missed my family back home, not even my children. Which may make me a bad person, but I can’t feel what I don’t feel. I’ve called my kids every day to make the effort and show them I care so they don’t feel abandoned (none of us really knew how long I’d be gone) and they did just fine without me. In some ways better, though I don’t think it’s because I was gone. I hope not, anyway.

I had to leave the state and visit my parents because I was depleted and my psychiatrist said here or the hospital, so here I went. It’s been good for me here. At first I was worried that my parents weren’t going to be able to help me and was scared that I’d get drunk and start wondering off in below-freezing woods in the dark and just lay down somewhere until someone found my frozen body. But that didn’t happen. I made decisions that distracted me and led me away from the extreme darkness.

Every day I get up, I make my bed, I take care of my hygiene, I exercise, I eat right, I get out of the house, I go for a walk, I check the mail, I spend time with my parents, I laugh a lot, and I appreciate not being needed. It’s recharged my batteries. Sometimes we all need a break from life.

As I started to think about about going back I was at first filled with dread and become overwhelmed again. Fortunately my daughter has not only improved significantly from her anti-depressants and ADD meds, but she also has an understanding that she’s disrespected my boundaries, been manipulative, and hasn’t been contributing how she needs to in the family. I know because she told me so. My sweet, insightful, hopeful, mega-intelligent daughter showed up. I thought I had lost her.

My kids need structure and they need me to give them clear expectations and boundaries. Because I feel so bad for them that they are in a situation with emotionally unstable parents, and I know that they will have to soon go through a pending separation and divorce, I try to be everything to them. I give and give and give and don’t help them to get some of their needs met elsewhere and I’m more a friend than a mother to them.

It has become very clear to me that this has not only hurt me but also them. I know this is hard for any parent, especially moms who take on more than they should, but it’s doubly hard because I have a mental illness. But that’s not an excuse. I’m trying to use them in a way to make myself feel better at the same time, which is also hurtful. My worst nightmare is hurting my children and not preparing them for life. Yet if I don’t make some changes that’s exactly what will continue to happen.

When I get home I’m going to be serious about taking care of myself. I’m going to actively pursue things that are good for me and not apologize for it. For me, but also because they need to see that example.

I’m going to get serious about teaching them the skills they need so they can be okay with themselves, with forcing them to do activities where they have a least an opportunity to make friends and get outside their own heads, to turn to other people in their lives that can help them like their dad and grandparents, teachers and friends. So it’s not just me. And I’m going to make them step it up quite a bit around the house because they are old enough to do most everything, except drive to the store to get me stuff (a shame, I know. lol).

I know they crave all this, but their dad and I have taught them to be avoidant because we are modeling it for them. That’s the last thing I want.

I have thoughts and plans that are very good, but I know I’m going to screw up, things won’t go as I hope for, and I’ll fail a lot. That SUCKS. I’ve been spinning my wheels for so many years and when I get moments of strength here and there I’m able to try things, but when they fail it takes me so long to get back on my feet again. What can I do to change this so I an actually keep moving forward but at faster than a snail’s pace?

It feels very selfish to say this but I need to make myself a priority. Even if it’s just so that other people don’t feel the burden of trying to lift me up out of my misery. I can lift myself up, god damn it.

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 7 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write about my mental health journey with bipolar disorder, my loss of faith (deconversion), parenting teens, reading, exercise/health, work-life, and my marriage separation/divorce.