Do you ever find yourself being stuck in a dark, negative spiral, whereby you see no positives? One where you self-loath, hate everyone & everything around you?
My moods are like being on a roller coaster. For a time, I will be OK, then I find myself on a negative spiral. I end up stressed, anxious, feeling down, and I can honestly see no positives. The last year or so, has been one helluva negative spiral. I’ve let it take hold of me so badly that I’ve not allowed myself to accept that good things are happening. I manage to look at the good around me, and over analyse all of the ways it will go wrong, or why it won’t make me happy. I tell myself I’m not good enough, and that I’ll fail before I’ve even begun. I let other people’s negative thoughts about me cut deeper than a knife. In turn, this makes me angry and resentful of everyone.
Whilst I’m on the downward spiral, I know what’s happening, but I feel powerless to stop it. I’ve said it before; I have two voices in my head. I have my rational one that knows things will be OK, that I am good enough, and then there is the dark side of me that tells me I’m wrong, I’m not good enough, things will never be ok, and the worst will happen. This causes me to become very introvert and withdrawn. When I’m like this I try and lean on others, making them responsible for lifting my mood/feelings. Neither is healthy. If I become withdrawn, I overthink all the more, and my anxiety flares. If I lean on others, I feel that I’m pushing them further away and this makes me feel anxious too.
Growing up I was a waste of space. Those of you reading this who knew me, you’ll know only too well. It was never thought that I would amount to anything. I have worked very hard to be where I am today. Whilst others may not feel that is very far, it’s a long way from where I was. So why can’t I just be happy? Why can’t my rational side outweigh the negative?
I have been so incredibly stressed of late. I’ve got a few things on a work, that I’m trying to excel at and feeling like I’m failing miserably (shock!). I worry every day in work that I’m not good enough for the job, that people around me don’t feel I should have this job and that I’m the office joke. Every single day I let these thoughts consume me. Every single day I have to battle with myself to pluck up the courage to walk through those doors and make myself feel worthy to be there. It doesn’t help that I do work alongside some people who relish in your mistakes and like to make you feel stupid. I understand that they may not mean malice by it, and this is their piss poor attempt at some sort of ‘banter’, and I try very hard to rise above it. However, I can’t. I let their petty, menial comments cut deep. I take them to be true. I let them consume me and become the truth about who I am. My day at work could be going fine, I could have had no negative thoughts, then someone tries to belittle me, or highlight my mistakes, and there I am, sitting over analysing it. Why can’t I just bounce back from it and realise, they’re just a bit of a dick, and everyone makes mistakes? Why must it become a woe-is-me moment all the time? Well, it’s not just a moment is it, it lasts much longer than that. I received a few lovely compliments on my first few days back. I was told by a few that that office wasn’t the same without me in my two weeks off and that I was missed. That was really lovely to hear. Then I was complimented on work I did for a customer a while ago and praised for my forward thinking. This really did make me feel good about myself. It was short lived though, as I let a few menial comments from peers really get me down. Even as I type this, I know how silly it is. I know that the bad comments will come with good, and people cannot be on their game all the time. I fully understand that I’m far from perfect. So why do I have these unrealistic expectations of myself? Ones I can never possibly reach? Is that I secretly like to fail? Have I become so accustom to feeling badly about myself, that I’m addicted to this woe-is-me feeling?
Work aside, I also have family doing my head in. My Dad has always been a difficult man. He’s difficult to be around and at times, difficult to like. My Mum has said that it’s because we’re very similar. Of which, I can agree with to a point. We are both very stubborn, opinionated, and argumentative, all the really amazing qualities people just love in others. I agree that this could be a part of the problem, but it’s definitely not the whole problem. My Dad manages to make me feel worthless at the drop of a hat and treat me like I’m a young child. I’m not even sure if he’s aware that he’s doing it, or if he is, and he feels that he has the right to because he’s my Dad? Who actually knows. We could argue about it some more, but it gets us nowhere.
My father is a man who likes what he likes. If anyone likes something that he doesn’t, he wants to challenge it. Almost like you need to explain your reasoning for liking something that he doesn’t, like you’re needing to ask his permission to be different from him. This, by the way, is 100% why when someone asks me a simple question, I feel the need to go on and overly explain my answer. I cannot just reply with a simple “yes”, “no”, “it was fine”. I need to go on and explain in intricate detail what has happened, why it was a “yes, “no”, or why it was fine. Good recent example of this is when my husband and I were talking about GoT, my Dad started to growl (yes, he does this when he’s not happy) and started to question me, not my husband as he would never ever question him on anything, on why on earth I felt the need to discuss a TV show. So, I’ve then had to explain that my husband had only just watched the most recent episode, and because so much happens, people like to talk about it. To which I got, “Well I don’t see the point. I’ve never understood why people talk about TV shows. So, tell me, what is the show about?”. Now, this didn’t feel like he was actually interested in the show, for the just in case he may watch it. It was more of me having to justify why I watch it, and why people (not just me!) like to discuss it. Whilst I was talking to him, he was now sat back in his seat, finger on his temple and lips pursed, just waiting to contradict and challenge anything I had to say. My back was up, I was talking to him with complete attitude, like a huffy ‘Kevin’, but I was just so annoyed that at 33 years of age, I cannot even have a conversation with my husband without him doing something so petty. In fact, the other night, we were watching a film and I got up, and he pipes up with “Where are you going?”, so I replied with “Sorry?”, “Well where are you going?”, “I’m going to the loo, is that ok?”. Why should I have to explain my where abouts in my own home?
We struggle to have a normal conversation. It always becomes an argument or a debate, and to be honest, I’m so incredibly sick and tired of it. Since him moving home, he’s just stressed me out even more. He’s been in bad health, and I’ve always said that I would look after my parents if they needed me. I’ve tried to be there for him as much as I can, but being around him is becoming painful. I’ve bitten my lip so many times over the weeks, but yesterday I exploded. Actually, screamed at him and told him f*ck off. Not one of my finer, or prouder moments. My Mum was privy to it, and I thought she was going to have a go at me, but you know what? My Mum had my back, and could understand why I’d flipped. My Mum has never ever had my back in anything, but this she did. My Dad, however, cannot fathom what he’s done to deserve the outburst. It’s the constant little comments, it’s the butting into my husband and I’s conversations, it’s the questioning my every move, it’s the condemning Aaron and jumping on his back before he’s been able to take a breath in the same room as him, it’s the comments he makes about my poor husband and how hard he works, yet no recognition for the fact I work bloody hard too. I have gone from spending my 2 weeks off moving home, to being on call and working a full week. Some nights I got a straight through sleep, others it was broken, or like Thursday night, it was almost non-existent. I still got up, got my son to his club, got to work, went and picked up shopping, came home, cooked tea, didn’t sit down until after 8pm. No offer of help from my Dad, just a “When’s tea going to be ready?”, as he can see it cooking. That got my back up too, given he’d been home since around 4. Later that very evening, he passed comment to my husband about how tired he must be, and how he really needs to take it easy this weekend. I’m sitting there thinking “he’s worked for 4 days. I’ve been working the whole week and doing on call. Can I not be knackered too?” It was then I realised that I was now pissed off, and that this was feeling like a competition? My Dad then turns to him and states “Well see tomorrow night, I’ll buy in tea for everyone, as I know you’ve been working hard and it will save you cooking”. Well, my face felt like it started to burn. I was furious with that comment. I’ve been the one who’s been home every night this past week, making his tea, doing the cleaning, finding time to work etc. Why not just buy the meal in to treat everyone? Why does it have to specifically be to save him cooking? Ah but you know what, I’m a woman! My Dad is incredibly old fashion and very chauvinistic. Women are just supposed to cook, clean, look after the kids. Simple. Women just do and just get on. Men though? Pffft, they work, watch sport and go to the pub in my Dad’s world. If a man works a full week, they must be knackered. If I work a full week, see to the house, kids, him, and cook, well that is just my remit. Also, let’s not forget, my job is just ‘sitting around all day’, I have no right at this point to be knackered, or to have meals bought in to save me cooking. I felt my anger flare like it’s never before. He has always been the same. He can never just say that I’m doing well, or heaven forbid, that he’s proud of me. Never. Everyone else and their cousin and their dog are just awesome, me? Pffft, nope. Why now, at my age, do I still let this phase me? I let it stress me out. I sat and over analysed everything I’d done in the last week, looking for times where I may not have appeared to be busy, or did I negate to do something around the house that could have been done, that in turn has made me look lazy. What the actual…? Now I’m doubting my worth at home. Does my husband do more than me? Do I not work as hard as him? What is it that I’m doing wrong? By this point I’m furious, the red mist has descended and I can see my Dad far enough. My husband too now, as he just laps up my Dad. He even goes as far as to join in the jumping on my back. Another thing my Dad does, is he pushes my buttons. Buttons he knows will only achieve a negative reaction then points and states “Look at you, overreacting”. My husband does this too, but more so when my Dad is around. Me being me though, I do have to question if it’s just in my head. Am I just being overly sensitive to things being said, because of my Dad’s presence. Well no. I can feel happy that I’m not. As without even a word from me, my Mum turns to me and my Dad yesterday and asks what my husband’s attitude toward me is all about. Someone else sees it. A someone, I might add, that never ever has my back or sees me as being right. A someone, who will champion anyone else. I actually felt like I could cry. This is not in my head, and it’s very much an issue.
I’m now living in a home, with two people I can see far enough, who I have absolutely no inclination to want to spend any time around. I’m stressed to the hilt. I’m angry beyond all reason, and I can feel myself being sucked into the dark spiral once again. I genuinely see no way out of this one. I’ve done this completely to myself. This entire situation is 110% my fault. It was my choice to be here, living with them both. I cannot be more angry at anyone else right now, than I am at myself. This all being said, I know I do have my positives. I have my kids, who keep my spirits up and thankfully back to work tomorrow. As stressed as work makes me, I’d always much sooner be there than be home. I think the big question here for me is, ‘How to be happy, when I am the root to everything that makes me sad?’. I think the answer is that I’ll just never let myself be happy. I will be stuck on the shittiest rollercoaster of emotions, because I just do not know how to stop it. And on this really cheery note, the PMA I’m clinging to today, is the fact the sun is shining and I will get to go out and spend the day with the kids. Everything else might be stressing me out, but I have them and I do love it when it’s sunny out. Something about the sun that just lifts my mood.
Do any of you have issues like this with family? I wonder if I am the common denominator here, and that it is all stemming from me? Or if others face the same with their parents/other halves?