Things have been kind of ok'ish with my mom, well, not really, but I've been trying mightily to be ok with interactions. Protect myself by not ever telling her anything important, and let my kids see her and my dad. I keep telling myself that they are good grandparents, I haven't noticed them doing anything to my kids that is off-side and it is helpful to get them to watch the kids now and again.
But...my birthday and Mother's Day was the WORST. My youngest brother graduated as a Pharmacist and if I didn't go to his graduation, I would have been the only one who didn't. Ever dutiful, I told myself, no big deal, I'll just drag myself and my kids out to lovely Nebraska for a one night trip. First, an early morning flight, then getting there only to find out my mom was dictating the schedule and there was no downtime in it. We had lunch at 1pm then had less than an hour to get ready to go to the hooding ceremony, and the most I managed to do was lay down for 10 min. My kids didn't rest mind you, just me, desperately trying to regroup. Z fell asleep for most of the hooding ceremony on the bleachers. X and my niece played in the hallway, typical right? Kids can't sit through these things. After the ceremony I tried to figure out how to handle dinner. I wanted to hit up a supermarket, but my kids were DONE, and so, I discovered how valuable overpriced hotel food is. Especially when you can get it delivered to your room! My mom was surprised to see that I wasn't dragging my kids out to an 8:15pm dinner reservation, despite the fact that I told her multiple times we probably wouldn't be able to make it. What did she do? She volunteered me to watch my 5 year old niece while everyone else went out to dinner. By the time this exchange came around, I had given up. Even though I should have told my brother that I couldn't watch his kid, I didn't. I caved and it made everything worse, because of course he didn't get back until 10pm to pick her up. The next day dawned with me waking up exhausted, wondering what the fuck was I thinking and trying to figure out how to kill time before going to the airport in the afternoon. Naturally, the weather sucked so I couldn't even go to the zoo for the day, which had been my plan, and I started to break down. There was yelling, there was obstinance, there was threatening to drive around all damn day unless X got dressed. We were actually in the car with him in his pajamas and I was at the end of my rope when it finally dawned on me to give him a choice. He could choose to get dressed and we could meet everyone for lunch, or he could choose not to get dressed and we could drive around until it was time to go to the airport. Amazing how a little Love and Logic (which I hadn't been using all morning) worked. In hindsight, he probably needed to know the plan instead of me demanding he get his damn clothes on and brush his teeth. Yep, probably could have de-escalated the situation and made my morning easier. Ultimately, we met for lunch, then I and my kids went to the Children's Museum while my parents went to the Art Museum.
We got home that night and after a couple glasses of wine, S dealing with the kids and putting them to bed, I completely broke. So much crying. So much ugly crying. So much shame.
I woke up on Mother's Day still feeling like shit, puffy eyed and pounding headache. X wanted to bring me breakfast in bed and sweetly orchestrated the whole deal. So, I got breakfast in bed, but I was still so upset that I couldn't enjoy it. S gave me a pass to do whatever I wanted (although he practically ordered me to get on my bike). I rode 33 miles with a splitting headache, but I made it! When they came home from visiting S's parents, I still wasn't in a good frame of mind. S left the house for 20 minutes to get food and in that 20 minutes I managed to have a throwdown with an almost 7 year old. I couldn't keep my head straight, I said things I knew were damaging. I yelled. I cried. I hid in my room. I said things that could have come straight out of my mother's mouth. Things I never thought I would ever say to my child. More crying. More shame. Apologies. Explanations.
Stretch Guy helped show me I have more work to do. He recognized the stress in my body long before I was ready to admit what it was. He pushed me to consider different ways of dealing with it, and here I am, beginning to deal with it, but in the meantime, I feel like I'm damaging my kid in the process. Network chiropractic work is flat out weird, but something is happening. The way it's done, it's like nothing - I barely feel Dr. M touching different areas on my back. Six weeks into the work and I've gone from skeptic to, well...maybe this is working? I'm also starting EMDR with therapist #3. I was supposed to do it last week, but was riding the high from fighting against my avoidant attachment tendencies and getting to the space where I actually connected with Stretch Guy so we talked about that. I didn't think I had to talk about my mom in all of that because it was supposed to be an annoying, but doable trip, not the emotional breakdown that it was.
There's so far to go. Therapist told me I'll probably be on an emotional roller coaster as we move through all these different avenues of healing, but she's all for it. EMDR and the network should compliment each other in healing trauma. Stretch Guy is there to be a source of support. I do a decent job of telling X what I'm doing and when I lose my shit I do my best to own it as my problem, not his. But I'm still losing my shit. And he's still having the occasional scary tantrum as he tries to keep control of situations. We are in a shitty place.
I have a stupid amount of work travel in the next several weeks, and juggling my projects while traveling is a source of stress. Trying to see Dr. M 3x a week for 3 months is stressful. Seeing Therapist every other week is stressful. Squeezing in a stretch session once a month is stressful. I need all three of those things right now and there aren't enough hours in the day. I wish I had one of those totally mundane and boring jobs so that I can focus on my mental health and healing. Too bad I can't get that for a few months.