It’s a very miserable rainy day outside, but I’m in weirdly good spirits. I just started writing a post about R’s struggles at school but it didn’t feel right so I decided to change the subject. After all this blog is as much for me as the people reading it – if there are any.
My last post was about my team. Team Wheatuz. That team includes my family and great friends. I wanted to talk in this post about my friendships and about my social anxiety and some times how I struggle with conversations.
I feel crap quite a lot of the time not physically – although my backs not great and I’ve got this pain in my elbow – anyway I digress. Mentally and emotionally I feel crap. My self confidence is pretty much on the floor and there are days when I have such crippling anxiety that the thought of interacting with anyone, even the people I love, feels as achievable as watching ‘2001 a Space Odyssey’ without falling asleep. (has anyone actually managed this?).
For me this is a bummer, a massive bummer I am a social person I thrive on cups of tea, cake and chats. I think when you have a special needs child, or in our case 2, your world becomes quite insular. You develop, quite subconsciously, an us and them complex. You are in your own bubble while everyone else is in the ‘normal’ world. This isn’t an attitude I’ve developed over night, or one that I necessarily believe in my heart, but it has grown over the years. And on days when I’m feeling particularly low when I’m struggling the most the us and them thoughts are all consuming.
You must understand that it’s not a, my life is so much worse than yours mentality. My friends are the strongest bunch I know and they have all individually coped and are coping with things that make me regularly tip my imaginary hat at them daily. They are all heroes.
It’s me. Sometimes all I want to do is talk about how shitty I feel and how hard it is but also in equal measures I don’t want to. I don’t want people to know how inadequate I feel, I don’t want people to know that I think I’m failing and how I wish I was the mother my children deserve and not the mother I am.
I love my friends children I’ve been part of their lives since they were babies and in many ways I see them as my extended family. When my friends express their pride in them I feel that pride too. When they struggle my heart breaks for them. I love hearing about them, but that’s also the bit that hurts. It highlights what I know I miss out on with my own children. I desperately want O to have a friendship with another child. Or that R could be invited on a sleep over or even have the confidence to go to visit a friend. I know that Buzz desperately misses father/son bonding and would love to take O to the cinema or have a kick about with a football. The dream would be an actual family holiday where the stress levels weren’t magnified to such large proportions that we don’t feel like there’s no choice but to come home the day after we arrive.
We haven’t had a family holiday for ten years.
This amplifies my fear that I’m not enough. Why can’t I be happy with my lot? Why do I still compare my children to others, even though I know it’s ridiculous? Why can’t I look forward to spending the school holidays with my children instead of feeling the cold grip of fear around my heart every time the thought enters my head? How I feel about the school holidays is a blog post in itself.
I know a lot of this is me projecting my own thoughts on to my family. I’m not happy with their lot. So why should they be. I want so much more colour for them in their lives when all I can see is a kind of smudgy grey. Not so much for R I think when she gets out of the chains of being a teenager that are dragging her down, she has the capability of having a whole rainbow of colour in her life. I just have to convince her of it.
When I look back on their childhoods with the wonderful gift of hindsight, hopefully I’ll be able to see that actually both there lives were full of colour. A rainbow of love from me and there dad.