What am I doing wrong?

Sarah - posted on 06/07/2012 ( 44 moms have responded )

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I've been off work for on stress leave for almost a year now. I was bullied horribly at work and have had anxiety and depression symptoms as a result. I have nightmares about it several times a week. I've seen a psychologist and am awaiting diagnosis but suspect I have a form of PTSD related to the harassment I went through for just over a year. My confidence is gone, I have 0 self esteem, and cry whenever someone brings it up. Today my hubby brought up me going back to work (if it's not him, it's someone else in my life, almost on a daily basis). I feel frustrated because I can barely contain my emotions sometimes. My doc tried medication but because it is situational it did little to help. We have had a TON of other major stressors this year on top of this. Today my 3 1/2 year old son keeps acting up (usually he does at least once a day). My family keeps telling me he's ADHD, but I KNOW he isn't. He doesn't exhibit any of the other symptoms, and even his preschool teacher says she doesn't think so either. I am just feeling a little overwhelmed today, been in tears for hours. I feel like a failure professionally for not standing up to or being able to move on from the bullying, and a failure as a wife because it causes my hubby extra stress, a failure as a mother because my son acts up so much. Most of the time I can control him, but he will talk back when he's angry and sometimes even hit me. I will take his hands and put them together and say no. I give him time outs. I have even swatted his bum when he hasn't listened - not my finest moment. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Nothing seems to work. He just doesn't care. Then other times, he's the sweetest, most compassionate little boy ever. I love both my kids with everything I have in my soul. I do feel so very lucky to be given the gift and honour of being their mother. But I also wonder if there's someone else who could mother them better. I feel like everything I am doing in my life is wrong and don't know how to regain control. My hubby and I want to move, and I can't even make that decision because I am so scared of making another mistake (our last move to this town was a HUGE mistake). I can understand now why some kids who are bullied end things because the hurt is so great, but I would NEVER do that to my family or my children. The worst thing for me is the constant feeling as though I have disappointed and let down everyone in my life. Before this I was independent, strong willed, confident, and self-assured. I am none of those things anymore and don't know who I am anymore. I know I have let everyone down and when I try to explain how I feel this way, no one gets it. They all just think I need to "get over it," and don't understand how bullying could completely destroy who I am. They blame me for letting it. I have NO ONE to talk to and no one who understands. I feel trapped because everyone expects me to return to my profession, but I have no desire to. Yet I trained for 4 years in university to do this. I have no value for this profession, which was once one I loved. I am so scared to do anything really, I just don't want to leave my house, where I feel safe (don't get me wrong, I'm not an agoraphobic, I will leave my house). Has anyone has anything similar happen to them? How did you get through it and get better? Any words of advice to help me heal? Any ideas for behaviour correction in a 3 1/2 year old? I'm pretty consistent, and I KNOW 3 year olds act up from time to time, but when I see him next to others his age, he always seems less inclined to listen. Though sometimes he's great (I have had a few people compliment me on his behaviour being out and about) but have also had others say he's horrible. I just want to succeed at parenting if nothing else. What am I doing wrong?

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