Monday, June 24, 2013

Anxiety. (now this was a difficult one to talk about)

I. Hate. It.

It's been a big part of my life for the last 3 years or so. I know, everyone gets anxious about things every once in a while. For me, though, it's more than that.
When I was little, I was abused/molested by someone who was close to the family. I don't want to go into details, but I started to remember things when Quenton and I started dating (about 6 years ago). I had a dream about this man, and memories slowly started coming back to me. Anyway, because of what happened, I can look back at my life and see why I reacted the way I did to certain situations, and partly why I am the person I am today. What's been on my mind for a long time is how it's affecting me and my kids. 
Hazel is going to be 3 in October, and did you know that I've only taken her to a public park once in her life? I've never taken both of my kids. My first thought is that I'll take my eyes of of Hazel, or either of my kids, and someone is going to take them. I'm nervous scared to take my kids swimming, even trying to plan swimming lessons is difficult. If there is a pond near a park, my first thought is that if one of the kids ever got  away from me, they're going to drown. I often have nightmares that one of my kids has gone missing and I CANNOT find them. It even took me a while to go out shopping on my own with Quenton watching Hazel (when this all started to become a problem). 
It seriously took me until Jude was 5-6 months old before I actually went to the grocery store by myself with both my kids. Quenton and I rarely have a date because I can't leave my kids with someone unless I feel 100% certain that they'll be ok while we're gone. 
Some of these things may not seem too serious, some probably sound completely irrational (trust me, I'm not CHOOSING to react this way). But, that's my anxiety. What's more frustrating is when someone tells me, "Well, Tanya, you just need to do it. You need to take them to the park, or you just need to get out with them." Maybe that's a solution (in a manner of speaking, it IS the solution), but it's difficult to hear that from someone who doesn't know WHY I'm anxious about these situations. Bottom line is, if I was hurt by someone who wasn't a stranger and who my family KNEW for years, I don't feel I can trust, well, most people (even if I know them). This is so frustrating for me, because I used to be an outgoing, independent person, not so worried about these kinds of things. Hopefully I can get back to that.

I'm not writing this necessarily for advice, but I feel I need people to understand why I might turn down a play date, or why I hesitate even to have some family watch my kids. Plus, I just need to write it down, I guess. It's a form of therapy, right? ;)
I've talked to someone about this, and she's been super helpful. I'm constantly thinking of my kids and trying to do what's best for them and what isn't going to hold them back. I don't want my weaknesses to bring them down or affect who they'll grow up to be. It's definitely opened my eyes to how anything can change a person, and how we cannot judge why someone may act or react the way that they do. 
Through all this, I am SO grateful for a loving husband who supports me and who will put up with all the craziness that is me. :) Life really is good, there are just some bumps in the road.


Sheri said...

Love and appreciate your honesty. We have faced some very similar issues and you just do what you can and stay close to the lord and ask for guidance in it all. We will continue to be over protective parents that refuse to drop our kids off at a classmates birthday party or refuse to allow them to walk down the hall at church and enter the washrooms on their own. My kids might be annoyed but we sleep easier. You are doing great and it will continue to get easier as the kids get older and many of the safety concerns no longer become issues. Hang in there and be easy on yourself.

Jennifer Isackson said...

Prayer is what I turn to when anxiety is creeping up on me. I have been AMAZED since becoming a mother, just how quickly Heavenly Father responds to a mother's desperate prayer! He will always help us in our hour of need. I have experienced it so many times.

Most of the past 4 years I have hated being a mother. The constant worry and anxeity over these little people can be physically debilitating. It is difficult to love and care about others so much. Hang in there.... He HEARS Us!

Jenny Fitzner said...

I love your courage to be so open. Please know that you're not alone. Similar things happened to me and one of the very first things my psychologist said to me is "you can't control the world". I broke down ugly crying hearing her say that because I know how much control I crave from what happened to me. When kids come into the picture it becomes so much worse because you want to control them so much that they'll be okay, but like my therapist said "You can't control the world". It sucks, but it's true. Also, I've suffered a lot of the same anxiety and I echo what the other ladies have said... go for prayer. Prayer has helped me with some really big anxiety issues including putting Milo in school. I was terrified! He can't talk, and I'm sending him off with strangers? Prayer saved me in that situation because I had literal confirmation that he would be okay. Sorry if this is unwanted advice. Just know that you're not alone.

DeAnna said...

It is hard, having that fear of things out of your control & feeling that anxiety when you are around even close family. I had a similar experience in my childhood, with the difference being it was my sister who was molested by a family member and I was witness to some of the abuse.

What I have learned is forgiveness is a different thing completely than trust and that I will never trust that family member again, my psychologist helped me come to that understanding.

I still am very careful as to where I leave my children, I only do a play date about once a month and birthday parties are also not a place I just drop my kids & leave.

But I have learned to quell the anxiety. Prayer helps me to be in tune to the spirit, which has helped me to trust & let go a little. When I feel uncomfortable about a situation or person it is usually an instant feeling or whisper and I remove my child(ren).

Anxiety is a real disorder, it is not something you can just will away. It can be helped by pushing yourself slowly into that uncomfortable-panicky-hands shaking-freaking out inside-need to run away from that situation-zone, like maybe going to a smaller playground with your husband there as another set of eyes. Talking about the fears can help overcome them and help you heal. I have lived with Anxiety most of my life, it can get easier! Hugs!