I Said It, and It Feels GOOD

I told my mom that I have anxiety and depression.

I told my mother-in-law that I have anxiety and depression.

I told my husband that this isn't a 'new life change' type of hard, having the boys- this is two years of anxiety and depression crashing down on me.

I told my case worker- I am so sorry, but I have untreated anxiety and depression. It is making my heart race and I'm unable to eat due to stress and I feel so bad for failing these boys but I can't do this.

Do you know what every single person said?

Thank you for being honest- please get yourself the help you need, and thank you for trusting me.

EVERY SINGLE ONE.

I was worried my mom would either a) cry that something was wrong with her baby, or b) say I told you so regarding foster care. What she actually said was "This is what we were concerned about (plus, with the PPA/D), if it is happening I'm so glad you recognized it and are being honest."

That makes it sound kind of like an "I told you so." It truly wasn't, and I am super sensitive to I-Told-You-So's. It was more an acknowledgement of "There were XYZ possibilities, Z occurred, good job on recognizing it is Z, thanks for being honest."

When I mentioned that I wasn't sure what to say to the social worker but I was trying to hint that I didn't think it could be long-term, she said "No. You have not been being truthful for two years- it's time to say it. No hints. Be blunt. Tell the truth."

I was worried my MIL would say something similar or be worried about Babycakes. What she said was "PPA/D is hard, I had it. You feel alone, and I hate that you feel that way. But what you are doing is hard and you have a right to say that and take care of yourself. Be honest."

I was worried Hubs would be mad at me for willingly going into foster care without admitting my unresolved issues. What he said was "I didn't know this was that bad, you kind of made it sound like you thought you were over it. If you're not, okay. Tell the case worker it's too much."

I was worried my case worker would be mad or disappointed in me. What she said was "This is not unusual at all, it happens all the time. Please don't be so hard on yourself. You are great with the boys and this is part of our job. You don't know until you are in it, and that's just the way it is. Thank you for being transparent and honest with me. It's so important to be upfront and let us know."

I cannot stress enough, it is not the boys. It's not even having them in my home and dealing with any "issues." Truly, the behaviors they are exhibiting are super mild for foster care. Every story I've read is "Well I finally had enough when I ended up in the ER and all my money was gone." THIS IS NOT THAT. These are perfectly lovely boys...and if that is fucking me up, then I NEED HELP.

And I don't want it to be a cop-out, BUT FUCK I NEED HELP. I HAVE UNTREATED ANXIETY AND IT'S GETTING WORSE. I actually made the call today to get a doctor's appointment and discuss this shit.

For two years I felt alone, and like I literally couldn't breathe sometimes. I thought 'Oh postpartum issues eventually go away when your biology straightens out, right?' WRONG. While there is debate over whether this is postpartum or just regular anxiety/depression...it's here and it's only getting worse.

And you know what happened when I finally forced myself to say the words?

EVERYONE WAS FANTASTIC. I seriously thought these conversations that day- because I just let the floodgates open on everyone- would be the hardest I ever had.

Not even fucking close, guys. 

Every single person was like "Yeah that happens, cool let's move forward with this new information."


I told the case worker there was no rush, and initially wanted to keep the boys with us until the next court date which was about 2 weeks away. However, Hurricane Florence drastically changed my plans. The initial path predicted had my area of NC being hit at a catastrophic level. The reality was, if I was stuck at home alone with 3 kids for days at a time during that intense of an event...I would have had a panic attack and/or mental breakdown. And I say alone because my husband is considered emergency personnel and truthfully I didn't know when he would be back home, if at all. And while I could have evacuated to my family...evacuating hours away in a natural disaster with high-needs children would not be great for my anxiety either. So I requested a new placement for them before Flo hit. It was difficult and piss-poor timing, but I felt oddly good about standing my ground and being honest.

Foster care is a supremely shitty thing to have to fail at. I know from the outside looking in, I look like a careless idiot.

Part of me thinks I should feel like a monster. But in reality...I feel like I just got my first deep breath in a long, long time. And the relief of that is how I know I am mentally unhealthy. Because a part of me realizes I could be judged...but a bigger part of me just doesn't care.

For the first time in a long time, I'm being honest. And it feels amazing. And hard, because I have let the floodgates open and now I have a LOT of shit to work through. But I'm doing it, and the world isn't ending.

3 comments

  1. Yay! I'm so glad that everyone is so open to your honesty!

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  2. I'm outside looking in and you don't look like a careless idiot at all.

    May the truth set you free, as it so often does, and sounds like it has. We have all of these expectations of how the world is going to respond to us and they hold us back from so many things, including helping ourselves. I'm glad you said it and said it and said it.

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