I spent some time alone with my mother-in-law yesterday. I showed her the notebook I made to keep track of all her medical issues. She loved it and was extremely grateful of all the work I did. The visit went well; we get along great. It was just emotional for me. There were a lot of details in the notes that my mother-in-law didn’t understand. However, I knew what they meant because I heard them a lot from my father’s cancer. Her illness is bringing up a lot of emotions and memories of my dad. I just want to be able to support her and my husband without bringing up stuff about my dad. I’m not sure if that’s possible, but I’ll do my best.
I got to spend time with my granddaughter yesterday. Lacey is 22 months old. She is fun to spend time with, but at the same time it’s hard for me emotionally. I never had any kids. It was my choice, but it wasn’t an easy one. I decided that since I can’t even take care of myself on a regular basis due to my bipolar disorder, then I shouldn’t have children. I didn’t think it was a good thing for me to bring kids into this world.
That decision was a rough one, but I still think that it was the right choice for me. I regret that choice every day, but if I got the chance to do it all over again, I would do the exact same thing. I’m not sure if that makes any sense or not. Because I don’t have my own children, it can make it emotionally difficult for me when I’m with my husband’s (and my) granddaughter.
I’ve been having a hard time staying in contact with friends lately. I think it’s my bipolar depression that makes me not want to connect with people; even when I want to connect with people, it’s a difficult activity. It takes a lot of work to stay in contact with people. Talking to people, whether they are family or friends, often feels like work, even when I’m talking to people who I want to talk to. It maybe something similar to emotional detachment, or it could be a reaction from my PTSD due to fear.
I do my best to stay in contact with a couple of people, such as my husband and mother. However, it gets harder and harder as time goes on. I’ve always been such a talker, so I find it weird that talking to people is so difficult for me. I notice that as time goes on, I talk to fewer people. Especially my friends; I let go of them when I’m struggling because it’s too much for me to manage. While I separate myself from them, I’m thinking of them often. When I’m doing better, I then try to reach out to my friends. I’m lucky enough to have friends and family members understand what I’m going through and they don’t judge me for separating myself from them.
When I was a kid, I was bullied by kids, but I also bullied other kids. For some reason, I didn’t put it together how hurtful it was to be made fun of, so I mocked other kids. The first time I remember being made fun of was in kindergarten, and it still affects me to this day. I remember being laughed at in my Halloween costume by upperclassmen. I go back to those feelings of embarrassment and misery every year at Halloween. I was made fun of at various times from kindergarten through high school. I was even made fun of while I was in the popular group.
I’m ashamed to admit that I bullied other kids, but I need to be honest. When I was bullying others, it was because I thought it was going to make me feel better and increase my self-esteem. I wish I could go back and tell myself how much harm I was doing to others, and that the kids who made fun of me were doing it for the same reason I was. During high school, I was made fun of because I was different from the other kids. I didn’t quite fit it and it was because of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. I feel horrible and guilty because I was hurtful back to those that hurt me. I think more about the harm I did to others. I wish I could take it all back, but I can’t. Bullying is permanent; once you emotionally hurt someone, the damage is done.
I don’t know why I feel guilt so often. If someone is upset, I feel as though it is my fault. Not only do I feel guilty, I feel as if I am responsible to resolve the situation. This is an exhausting and daunting task. I’m trying to fix this by not responding to someone when I know I am not at fault. I can say, “I’m sorry you are struggling.” However, I don’t need to take over their situation. I think my husband was the first one that pointed this out to me. I ignored it for a while because I thought he was wrong. However, I’m starting to realize that he is right. It’s not necessarily about what I say to others about feeling guilty, it’s about how I feel internally.
The feeling of guilt is overwhelming and onerous. Does anyone have other suggestions? I’m open to any ideas.
I’m not exactly sure why, but for some reason I feel as if I’m just going through the motions. Nothing that I do seems to matter like it used to. I don’t care about things the way I did before. No matter what I’m doing, it seems that the only thing I look forward to is finishing whatever task or event is at hand. I wonder if there will be a time when positive things start to happen again in my life. Will I ever care about things like I used to?
Last night, my step daughter invited me and my husband over for dinner. We were both really excited because it meant that we would get to spend time with our granddaughter, who is almost 8 months old. Sometimes, I have a difficult time getting into ‘play time mode’ with her. My emotions take over and I often can’t help but feel sad because I can’t have children of my own. Of course, it is sad that I cannot have children, but it was a choice I made because I felt (and still feel) that it was the right thing to do. However, I do not want my emotions to get in the way of my relationship with my granddaughter or either of my grown step-kids.
Well, last night was different. It took me a little while to get into the swing of things, but after about 30 minutes, I was able to play with her. I could act goofy, play peek-a-boo, and play tickle monster with her. It felt amazing. She started to laugh for and at me. Simply seeing the joy on her face and watching her smile made my heart fill with delight. The fact that I could make her laugh and smile was breathtaking and I can’t wait to see her again. Plus, I continue to get closer with my step-daughter and her boyfriend. Watching the two of them become responsible adults is so wonderful; I can’t even imagine how great it must feel for my husband to watch them grow into mature and reliable adults.
After my husband and I got home, I started shopping online for clothes and toys to give to our granddaughter. I enjoy the shopping. In fact, I’ve tried to explain to my husband that the shopping is more for me than for her. Now, I just have to wait until I see my granddaughter again in one or two weeks. However, I will get to see my step-son in the next couple days, which is also exciting. I love my family and they do bring me so much joy. They can bring me temporary joy, but the depression is still there. At least they give me a break from it.