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Old 06-10-2012, 05:13 PM   #1
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Really non-traditional situation and struggling with it...

I'm in the process of seeking a divorce. STBX and I have two young'uns together: a 3yo boy and a 1yo boy. STBX has a very rare early-onset dementia (runs in his family), which he has been lucky enough to be diagnosed with after already suffering a severe head injury (and subsequent personality change and anger management issues) almost 10 years ago. I stuck with him through the head injury. We were so in love before it happened. He needed me, and I tried to do the right thing by staying with him. The problem is that what I thought was the "right" thing to do has turned out to be the completely wrong thing.

I realize now that I should have left him then. I could still care about him, and I wouldn't have all this resentment and anger for being in this situation. I didn't want to raise two small boys on my own. I wanted those kids with a dad, so we could do things together as a family. Here in Colorado it is expected that custody will typically be split 50/50. This would have given me more time to myself to process stuff, to grieve, to be able to give my kids my best self.

Instead, I'm at my wits end. The past several years have been filled with him recovering (ie - hell on earth), moving to another state, buying a house, having a second kid which meant needing a bigger car, selling a house, buying a bigger house, having my mom move in to help with the kids, me going to school and trying to figure out a major, illnesses, etc. It's been a lot of stress for far too long and it just isn't over. I haven't had a rest and I don't have the money to go on a desperately-needed vacation. My poor mom moved in to help and she's getting close to her wits end, too. The kids just need so much.

I find that I want to avoid them. I'm their mom. I wanted kids so badly and worked so hard to conceive the first one (second was an oops, but he's amazing all the same). Yet, I have trouble enjoying them. I just feel like I need to be alone and yet there is always someone there, someone who needs me, crying, whining, demanding. After helping STBX through his brain injury recovery, I just find I have trouble with people needing things from me. He was such a jerk to me. That's why I have to get the divorce. I couldn't take being yelled at for stuff that wasn't my fault anymore. He wasn't able to be reasoned with, and you can't reason with kids, either, so I think that is why I feel the way I do. I just want to be alone and do my own thing, but I can't.

I don't know how to get over this. I'm tired of being upset at my kids for stuff that really isn't their fault. I'm tired of feeling resentful and angry at STBX and worrying that it is causing me to dis-attach from my kids. I'm tired of feeling like a bad mom because I just don't want to be a single mom and they are just so darn hard to take care of. One kid would be do-able, but having both is just so hard, and STBX can't take any of the load off of me. He needs to be supervised himself. I don't want to be alone forever. I want to be married and have my dream of a family, but I'm afraid now that I'm damaged.

I talked to a therapist over the Spring and she gave me a workbook to help with my emotions, so I'm trying to learn more and go through it. I just feel so overwhelmed. Does anyone else ever feel overwhelmed and like it's just too much? What do you do? How can I be a good mom, even when I feel like I can't handle it anymore?

Thanks for any suggestions. Please, don't judge me harshly. I don't need any lectures. I'm in serious pain and am trying to feel better so I can do better.

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Old 06-10-2012, 05:21 PM   #2
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Re: Really non-traditional situation and struggling with it...

Lissa You are very strong to have come this far. I don't think the way you feel is abnormal in the least and it certainly doesn't mean you do not love your LOs to the ends of the earth. You are only human and your well is DRY!! All of the challenges with STBX are enormous and have sucked you dry. I can't imagine how you have managed all of this and going to school? Thank goodness you have a mom that can help you. I have a feeling that once you have your own home you will feel like a huge weight has been lifted. You cannot possibly relax or rejuvinate with all of that chaos. Try and hang in there. You are so close to having a real life for you and your children.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:35 PM   #3
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Re: Really non-traditional situation and struggling with it...

I feel overwhelmed all the time and after reading your post I realized I don't have even a quarter of the weight your shouldering by yourself. Give yourself a break mama, anyone would feel overwhelmed in your situation. But your not damaged and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. We are so lucky as mamas to experience the love and devotion that your children surely feel for you, there is no love like it. Hold on to it and stay strong, you will make it through. Hugs!
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:53 PM   #4
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Re: Really non-traditional situation and struggling with it...

I agree with both pp's. I hope you're able to get that family some day. You are not broken. Try to keep your head up. Is there anyone besides your mom who could take the boys for a couple hours so you can do whatever? Hugs mama, hang in there.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:06 PM   #5
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Re: Really non-traditional situation and struggling with it...

MDever - you are totally right, my well is definitely dry! Trying to figure out how to fill it again but it just gets sucked right out...

Sunfish75, thank you so much for reminding me how much my kids love me. Sometimes I feel frustrated that they need me so much when I have so little to give to them. Remembering that they do love me that much...maybe it can help me have more to give.

Pine apple goat, my dad can take the kids sometimes, but he already has his hands full because he has STBX living with him and he isn't really a kid person. We have taken him up on it a couple of times, and I'm wondering if we need to arrange for another one. Unfortunately, there isn't really much other family nearby and there is no way I can move closer to other family. I have some friends, but only one is really able to help with the kids and she's pretty stressed with her kiddo. I might try reaching out to others soon, just cuz I'm getting desperate. Thanks for the support.
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:50 PM   #6
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Re: Really non-traditional situation and struggling with it...

It's no wonder you feel the way you do...you have a lot on your plate! It sounds like you need time to breathe...not just a few hours break but a break from your life! Hope...you need hope! There is no need to feel guilt about your less-than-stellar mothering...we all fall, stumble but we get back up and keep on. Try to extend yourself some compassion!
I definitely encourage you to widen your support network..perhaps another single mom or two with whom you can vent, have fun with and exchange childcare. I was once a single mom and I remember the angst of loneliness and an uncertain future. You're not damaged..you're strong!
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:49 AM   #7
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Re: Really non-traditional situation and struggling with it...

What part of Denver are you in? My sister lives in Stapleton suburb and they have an amazing, welcoming, super-help-you-in-need church there. I can ask her to have them contact you, if you want?

Also wanted to add, I have 4 children and the most stressful and difficult time as a mother was when I had just a 1-yr-old and a 3-yr-old. They are big enough to run around and get into trouble, but not necessarily play well together yet. The older one was going thru terrible threes but despertely wanted a playmate (which I couldn't do ALL day every day), the younger one couldn't talk yet so she just screamed, it was awful. Soon, within a year, they will probably become best friends and not only need less of your time, but also bring a smile to your face when you see them play together. During those times, it helped to just "fake it" a lot. A LOT. I smiled at them when I was seething, I hugged them when I wanted to spank them (which I don't do anyway!), and I HOPE they didn't know the difference. They didn't seem to

Hugs. You have so much on your plate. I wish I could help somehow. I do believe you will get the dream family you want someday, it will just be a roundabout way of getting there.

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Old 06-30-2012, 08:30 AM   #8
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Re: Really non-traditional situation and struggling with it...

Thanks so much for the support. I'm doing better. I've been learning more about how to relax from that workbook and I changed my diet to cut out sugar (which was seeming to make things much worse). I'm still not 100% crazy about being a mom to such demanding little ones all the time, but its a lot better and by feeling more relaxed I can have more fun with them. I joined a gym that has a nice childcare center in it, so the kids get to play and have fun, and I get to workout and burn off some of the extra stress. The divorce is finally finalized and having my maiden name back really has helped me to feel like a new person again. My life isn't perfect, but I'm learning to accept that my imperfect life is perfect for me, and I finally have some hope for the future.

Thanks so much for the suggestions and the offers of help. They have helped me to feel better, and I'm so grateful that I was able to vent on this website. You ladies are awesome!
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