Parenting with PTSD can really suck sometimes. But you are not alone.
Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and anxiety, my mood and well-being can vary from day to day. I just recently lost an entire week to depression and PTSD triggers, barely able to function. For a few hours a day, I was able to work, have conversations, and be with people. The rest of the time, I was in my bed or somewhere equally quiet.
Sometimes I can go for long stretches of feeling pretty stable and good, then I can plunge into a depression that can last for one hour to several days. And sometimes, the depression and PTSD-crap happens at the worst times, like during vacations – I’ve also experienced this recently.
When Parenting With PTSD Sucks
First, there’s the “I can’t even with this parenting crap,” a statement that I have said even on my best days. When Oldest has a toothache and needs to go to the dentist and Youngest has some kinda weird foot pain with a side of drama that he has saved for his momma and there’s nothing defrosted for dinner and music lessons are that same night and Husband is working and…you get the idea.
Then there’s the guilt. The questions about if the children will be scarred because their mom struggled with PTSD and depression and anxiety but really did her best to take care of herself and them. The wondering if you’re spending enough quality time with them, hugging them enough, listening. Especially when the idea of someone touching you or the constant noise makes you want to tear your hair out.
Then there’s the beating myself up over whether or not I’m doing enough with them, like hiking or going to the zoo, especially when I’m dealing with a trigger. I wonder if they think I’m lazy because I’m often in bed when they get home from school. I mean, it’s for self care reasons, but do they know that?
Parenting With PTSD on Sweatpants & Coffee
Remember how I said that there’s hope? I mean it. If, like me, you are parenting in the midst of PTSD challenges, know this: you are not alone.
I am OVER THE MOON to announce my new column about parenting and sanity over at Sweatpants and Coffee. The title of the column is That’s What She Said.
Why? I can do hard things. That’s what she said. This joke is basically my life. And while each article will be infused with humor – is there any other way? – my plan is to also use this amazing outlet to help shatter stigma about what it’s like to be a PTSD parent. And while this particular article focuses on depression, I think the practical advice may help when we crash from the expected or unexpected PTSD triggers.
If you haven’t yet been inducted into the Sweatpants and Coffee world, it’s time. And what better way then to read about What To Do When You Can’t Even With This Parenting Crap in my new column, That’s What She Said? If you’re a PTSD Parent, this will give you some hope and practical tips (twss).
A Funny and Poignant Grief Book
For twenty years, I thought that I had been marching through the stages of grief in a straight line. I had been following the formula, crossing each processed grief experience off my list.
Except that I was totally deluded. And I didn’t discover that until Jim, my beloved father-in-law, died. I found myself drying off from my shower the morning after his death, really hoping he couldn’t see me naked. Or, if he could, that he was averting his eyes.
From that moment, my path through grief resembled a roller coaster, spiraling and twisting and turning, circling back around. Echoes of past trauma, including childhood abuse and cheating death, would no longer be ignored. I somehow needed to get from the beginning to the end of this grief adventure, and I don’t have a good sense of direction.
But what is always present during a journey through grief, regardless of the path chosen?
Caskets From Costco is a funny grief book that demonstrates the certainty of hope and healing in an uncertain and painful world.