Wednesday, July 6, 2011

3 a.m.-- the dreaded hour for sensitive people.

'Round and around we go.  It's 3 a.m. -- time to mentally beat myself up for everything I've ever done.  I hate it.  I'm better than I used to be at stopping what I call "thought attacks" before I get myself into a real funk and start thinking that I'm just plain broken and need to be "fixed", focusing on everything in my life that I think is less than perfect.  Since learning that I'm sensitive and this is just one of those things sensitive people do, it's much easier to deal with.  During the daylight hours I can "change the subject" in my head or dive into a project, stop everything and play or snuggle with my kids, get outside to get a little sun on my face and fresh air in my lungs, cook something, do some breathing and yoga poses... In the middle of the night I just lay there critiquing everything about me, hearing the criticisms of a lifetime that I refuse to allow in my life today. 

Tonight it has been the usual "I'm not doing enough as a mother", worrying that my kids will grow up with a negative view of our relationship and certain from experience that it's not possible for mothers to have a healthy relationship with their children.  I've been laying there driving myself nuts wondering when I will make the big blunder that will stretch the bond I have with my boys creating an irreparable rift between us, like it's inevitable because my own mom was never concerned with having a good relationship with her children.  I know it doesn't have to happen.  I know it's up to me to make sure that nothing will come between my boys and me.  I know I've kept that desire foremost in my mind since the first moment I saw a positive sign on a home pregnancy test, but it's there.  My problems with her are there, always have been.  As the child in the relationship I know it was never my responsibility to make sure it was strong.  I won't take that responsibility now.  I know that I put my relationship with my boys above all else in my life, even far above my marriage which I feel is as it should be, but I can't help feeling like I won't always be able to pull this off.  Somewhere along the way, maybe without even knowing it, I will do something to screw it all up and there's no way it will be alright in the end.  The frustrating part is that I honestly know this to be untrue.  I never worry about this in the middle of the day when we are going through our daily routine, laughing and giggling together over silly things, or on family outings, movie nights, long talks about life, just in the wee hours of the morning when my defenses are down. 

Tonight I was able to get over it when I remembered my son telling me as I was tucking him in that I am the "best mom in the whole wide world" and to tell his daddy that he was the best dad in the whole wide world.  I remembered cracking them up on our way into town this morning by turning up the radio to "concert mode" and doing a pseudo head bang (on my way to see the chiropractor about a stiff neck, not a good idea) as I tried to maneuver around the corners of our street.  Then after a 3 a.m. mental chiding on not getting everything done this school year that we had planned to do, I remembered that their state test scores came back above average, as usual, and told myself that obviously we were doing enough.  I can do this now, the attitude readjustment.  Up until a couple of years ago I would have fretted into the day hours and my worries would have affected my productivity the next day.  It is possible to see the glass half full for the first time in my life, I just really wish it didn't take a boxing match with myself to get there.

When I'd decided that I was pulling this mothering thing off for now, I started to worry about Dad.  The usual debate with myself, weighing the pros and cons of having another baby or two before it's too late, got me to thinking that if I did have more kids right now, I would almost be my dad's age when they were leaving home.  My dad is the youngest 60 something I know.  I can't even believe he's in his 60s he's so fit, healthy, and just plain young looking.  But then I think of my grandmother who just died at the ripe old age of 86, my other grandmother who passed at 63, Grandpa who died in his late 70s and I just don't think it's fair to do that to a child, give them between 20 and 40 years of my life and just leave them.  I've ended up in a real funk just thinking about it.  Whether I decide to have more kids or not, I am sure that I just don't want to do the next 20 yrs. of my life.  I don't want to watch Dad and his siblings age.  I don't want my children growing up and moving away.  I think of my husband's father and grandfather and I don't want him to be the ages they just were.  I'm not ready!!

Then there was the whole, "why the heck did I just start my third novel that I will never have the confidence to finish and attempt to get published" thing, the pine bedding in the farmyard is saturated with rain from the last two storms and I didn't get out there today to change it, should we have gotten a kitten when cat dander makes me break out into a rash, how could Casey Anthony be found not guilty, how is JL faring tonight knowing he's off to war in a few days, I shouldn't have had that darn Moose Tracks ice cream after dinner when I still have so much weight to lose, why didn't I finish losing weight before bathing suit season, was it really smart to start a cooking blog when I still had weight to lose, should I get up and put the head phones on with really loud music to let people do the screaming for me or do I get up and blog my frustrations to the world?

And now that I've written this, because I'm sensitive and shy (not like anyone would EVER know that by the way I type my guts out) I will fret and worry over it like I've done with every single blog post, recipe post, FB status post I've put down.  I know that everything I blog is a record of my life.  Do I want to leave such an honest legacy?  Have I remained anonymous enough to do it?  I've learned that some people will always see me as ridiculous rather than accepting me for who I am, but I worry that if my anonymity is compromised that feelings could be hurt. Then I think, to heck with it.  I've spent most of my life smiling politely while trying not to step on toes and those same people never considered my feelings or the benefit of holding their tongues.  One of the reasons behind blogging for me was to gain the confidence to put myself out there, anonymously or not, so that maybe I would have the gumption to try to get those novels finished and published some day.  I will never gain that by deleting everything I write which is always my first impulse after reading my posts. 

And maybe someone out there can relate to what I have written.  I hated not knowing why I had certain "quirks" that not everyone else had.  I was tired of being told that I needed to "be" a different way by certain family members and all but a few kind and loyal friends while growing up, which always made me feel like I just wasn't acceptable the way I was.  If you are sensitive, you don't know that you are okay, you just worry that others think you are not.  But that's a whole other subject for a 3 a.m. blog.  It's okay that my brain works this way night after night.  It's not okay that it's almost time to get up and I still have a full day ahead of me with little sleep behind me.  How much you wanna bet I delete this after breakfast...


  1. (((hugs))) I think you're doing great! ;)

  2. Thanks! I do want to delete it though. lol

  3. "Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday." Mary Schmich

    A beautifully written, touching piece.

    Never delete. ;),0,4054576.column

  4. That's so true. Thanks for sharing.