Last night Sylvie, my middle daughter, posted a photo of herself with her dad’s girlfriend on Instagram. She added a comment with hearts and love. I admit, I felt a deep, dark pang of jealousy and resentment. Then I reminded myself that the kids like her a lot. That compared to his previous girlfriend who was an awful woman who caused us all a lot of pain and heartache, she was a nice person for my kids to have in their life.
Then I saw my older daughter Ruby post a photo too and despite me telling myself that it must be her birthday for the girls to be proclaiming their affection so publicly, jealousy stabbed meanly. Insecurity. Resentment. Jealousy.
This morning my son Tom posted a photo of himself with his Dad and sisters with the comment; They mean the word to me.
What about me? I thought. Where’s my love?
I also had a weird feeling that something had happened. I flicked through FB and saw that there had been a fatal crash in town the night before. A woman had been killed.
Then Ruby rang me. It was Kelly, their Dad’s girlfriend of a couple of years.
I’m so shocked and saddened for him. What a terrible loss. I feel so impotent but I know he doesn’t need my support, he has a great circle of friends and his family are very close. I do feel like I should be there for my kids though. I’ve spoken to Tom and Ruby on the phone. They’re in shock. They are sad, especially seeing their dad so inconsolable. A massive part of me wants to gather them up and distract them from witnessing so much anguish but this is real life, isn’t it? Their Dad has every right to be in pieces and he shouldn’t have to put on a brave face. As Rob keeps reminding me, there’s nothing bad about children experiencing grief and sadness. They are human emotions. Life isn’t happy all the time. I grew up with a mother who hid her tears from us at all costs. It turned crying into something shameful for me. I feel desperately uncomfortable about crying in front of anyone. I distinctly remember the morning of my brother’s funeral not wanting to attend for fear of crying in front of a room full of people. It wasn’t just a fleeting thought – I seriously considered hiding out. Not going to my own brother’s funeral! I did go but I didn’t go to the wake afterwards. I hid at home, ignoring all the texts from the friends who knew me best, the ones reassuring me that I would be surrounded by love and understanding.
I want my kids to be able to express themselves without crippling anxiety. I want them to be able to be vulnerable when they are in safe company. Now is not the time to distract them. They need to be there with their Dad. To see him cry and to see his friends and parents comfort him.
I write all this as if they have the same problems I do but thankfully they do not. They are good communicators. Sylvie is the only one who is more of a closed book but I feel that’s more of a personality trait. She’s just different to her older siblings. More private but she will talk when probed a little. Especially with her older sister and as long as she’s opening up to someone, I’m not so troubled by it.
I have begun to read about step 4 in A Woman’s Way Through the 12 Steps without really feeling I’ve accomplished step 3. I feel like I need to table step 3 and carry on otherwise I’m going to get stuck. I’ve felt flat this week. Almost depressed. I’m not sure if it is connected to being sick with tonsilitis? I haven’t been for a run in a week and I have no urge to. I’m sure this must be a huge red flag to Rob and normally I would force myself to go purely to make him feel better but I just don’t want to.
When I get like this I start thinking about antidepressants. My first experience with happy pills was when I was a single mother to a very young Tom and Ruby. I was put on fluoxetine (prozac) and felt better really quickly. I stayed on them for 6 months I think and weaned off. It was a success. Subsequent times have been a disaster. I have ended up seriously suicidal a couple of times and another time put on a lot of weight. All of these times I was drinking about periodically abusing other pills like Valium. I always felt much better when I came off them and started to feel again. Apart from the first time, I’m really not sure if they helped or not because I was drinking quite heavily at the same time.
Have any of you got any pearls of wisdom on anti-ds? Do any of you use them in your recovery? I feel like anxiety has played such a big part in my previous relapses that taking medication for it might be a huge help. Rob is so anti it though, that it feels like I will create another obstacle for us. I don’t want to put on 3 stone again for sure but the thought of having a prolonged period anxiety free is so compelling. I know that the last pill I was prescribed is often prescribed for bulimia. So maybe it would help with having negative compulsions?
This is just something that I’ve been mulling over the past few days. Maybe I’ll feel differently tomorrow. Maybe when the weather warms up and stays bloody warm and dry, I’ll feel more motivated again.