I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time but always hesitated because this is supposed to be a sewing blog. But it’s my blog and in the end I decide what gets published. I consider you all to be my friends, I’ve never related to anyone as much as to my fellow sewcialists and I’ve never felt less judged by a community. So I at last feel comfortable sharing what’s going on in my life.
It all started after the baby was born about 14 months ago (time flies). Because we were still renovating the house I was confined to two spaces upstairs with a newborn. I spend three months inside with only a TV to keep me company. I didn’t have a decent kitchen, I didn’t have a decent place to do laundry. All I got to do all day was sit at home in front of the tv and eat. So I ate and I ate and I ate. In the end I gained nearly 12 kgs. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but the more I gained the worse I felt about myself.
I felt bad because I had gained weight, I felt bad because I couldn’t keep our house tidy (which was really no surprise since it was basically a construction site) and I felt like a bad wife because I wasn’t happy and in return couldn’t make my husband happy.
It improved somewhat when I went back to work and when we finally finished our downstairs area enough to actually live in it. But in June (10 months after we moved) I still didn’t have a kitchen and I still had people staying here every Friday to Sunday working around the house. I lost it. I couldn’t handle the mess, I couldn’t handle the pressure of being a new mom and I couldn’t handle the fact that my husband never learned how to do household chores. I love him to bits and I love my mother-in-law to bits but he never had to do anything around the house when he was living at home so he messes up every single task. He can’t cook, he doesn’t know how to do the laundry and he doesn’t know how to clean or tidy things up. He leaves his stuff everywhere, doesn’t put anything back into its rightfull place so it all comes down to me. On top of that I have the sweetest family who spend entire weekends helping out and staying over to get the house ready as fast as possible. But the constant presence of all these people and having to serve them extra meals and having them critisize every thing I did or didn’t do was too much. I felt so guilty and so bad about not wanting them there when all they did was help out, that I just lost it. completely…
At the time I didn’t have a fulltime teaching job, I wanted to, but the school system is very weird in Belgium so I wanted to work fulltime but there just wasn’t a fulltime job for me to do. Financially we were barely coping. I kept telling everyone that we needed to stop construction so that we could save some money, but nobody ever listened. And money grew tighter and tighter and tighter.
I spend my entire Summer depressed on the sofa. 8 weeks of Summer holiday and all I did was cry and watch tv. I was home all day, the baby went to daycare and I didn’t even manage to make dinner by the time my husband got home.
I felt totally worthless. By then we had a kitchen and our downstairs area was looking like a house, but everything got to me and it was all too much. I couldn’t handle the mess, I couldn’t handle the pressure and I didn’t know how to talk about it. Every few days I would break down and cry in front of my husband, who tried to understand but couldn’t. I didn’t feel like a good housewife, I felt like a bad mom, I felt like a bad wife plus money was tight so I felt bad everytime I bought something or everytime I wanted to meet up with friends. But spending money was the only thing that made me feel better. It was a vicious circle.
At the end of August, I got a new teaching job at the same school as last year, this made me partially happy since I would be seeing my pupils and co-workers again and for the first time I got to recycle some of last years’ work, which gave me a bit of free time. It wasn’t a fulltime job, again, but I was hopefull that something would open up and I would get a fulltime work schedule in a few months.
In Octobre, I finally decided to do something about my weight and my depression and I started eating Paleo. I’m not going to promote Paleo here, but the fact remains that by January I had lost 10kgs, I was sleeping better and that my depression was partly gone because I didn’t have anymore bloodsugar spikes. Eating Paleo really is the way to go for me.
By Novembre it was becoming obvious that getting a fulltime work schedule wasn’t going to happen and money was again running tight. This made me feel worse again, because it was my fault that this was happening. I was the one not working fulltime. All my guilt and all my feelings of depression came back. I didn’t enjoy prepping for class anymore, my house was a mess! All I did was lay on the couch and spend money we didn’t have in an attempt to feel better. I still loved teaching though, just not the stuff that came with teaching. It was getting so bad that something had to be done and I started considering other options. By the end of Decembre money was still our biggest problem and I finally gave in and looked for another job, something other than teaching. I found something quite easily, something related to interior design which I studied before I decided to become a teacher.
It really killed me to say goodbye to my school and pupils, but we needed the money. I really liked the new job, although working overtime was part of it. I didn’t mind, the only thing I felt bad about was not seeing the baby as much as I did before. I wasn’t used to working a 9-5 job.
Things started to look up until the 25th of February. Around 10 am, I was at work and had a missed call from my brother-in-law from the previous night. I decided to call him back but he told me it wasn’t important anymore. He sounded weird but I blamed the bad connection since he was out of the country. It wasn’t the bad connection. He had just gotten a call from my father-in-law with the news that my sister-in-law had been in a car accident and had passed away. Her car slipped on an ice patch, she hit the concrete bridge with her head and was killed instantly.
I still haven’t come to terms with what happened, I still don’t belief she’s actually gone. It was the stupidest accident anyone could ever imagine. I spend the entire week up to the funeral in a haze. Making sure I was there to support my husband and his family, taking care of practical stuff, calling newspapers to get the details out of the paper. I tried to stay strong. But inside I was dying, not because I was as sad as her family but because in a split second I lost whichever kind of faith I once believed in. I lost myself. It felt like something out of a film, something that happens to other families and you read about in a newspaper. i never imagined it could happen to anyone I knew, let alone family.
It made me rethink and it still does, who I am, what I really want to do with my life. Not in a kick under your butt kind of way but in a way that made me realise that I have absolutely no idea who I am or what I want. The only thing I’m certain of is that I love my daughter and that I love my husband.
But it made me realise that I don’t like to work overtime and spend more time than necessary away from home, it made me realise that my job is quiet superficial, very money oriented and I hate that people complain about their table taking a bit longer to produce than first estimated. It doesn’t seem important as anymore, nothing does.
I want to do something that I love, something that makes me happy, but I have no idea what that is. All I know and feel now is that I’m not happy. It’s a taboo to say, but I’m not happy and I don’t know how to fix it.
I don’t feel as worthless anymore as I did 6 months ago, I don’t even care about that last kg or cleaning everyday. It’s worse, I honestly have no idea who I am.
I don’t expect you to help me or feel sorry for me, I wrote this post just for me, because I have nobody to talk to in real life and these words just needed a way out. This is what my life looks like at the moment and for the past month I’ve been trying to get it back on track while helping my husband get over what happened, but I honestly don’t know if I can.
9 thoughts on “Sometimes life gets you.”
Oh Stephanie, wat kunnen dingen soms ook klote zijn. Ik ken het gevoel van afgelopen najaar, toen een goede vriendin van mij een prachtige zoon kreeg die na een week overleed. Alsof je leven over een bepaald spoor loopt, en je van het een op het andere moment op een ander spoor belandt waarvan je geen idee hebt waar het heen loopt. En dat alles in je roept dat je helemaal niet op dat spoor wilt zijn. Weet je, soms is het ook goed genoeg om je te realiseren dat je op een punt in je leven staat dat niet (meer) bij je past, om wat voor reden dan ook. En dan niet meteen alles te willen gaan veranderen, laat je onderbewuste maar zijn/haar werk doen, en langzaam maar zeker gaan dan stukje bij beetje de puzzelstukjes wel op hun plaats vallen en kom je er stukje bij beetje achter wat wel bij je past. Aan jezelf toegeven dat je dingen graag anders wilt is stap één, en dat is al een hele stap. Heel veel sterkte en een hele dikke knuffel!
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Stephanie, I’m so glad you shared your thoughts & feelings. You are overwhelmed, and I hope you are able to share your feelings with your husband and family. I am so sorry for the loss of your sister-in-law on top of all of this, but I think it is important that you seek some professional help- either medical or counseling help so that some possible ways to alleviate your burdens & stress can be addressed. You can only do the best you can, and it’s ok to say, “I need help”. Is there a local mon’s group that you could join to share friendship & play group time? I’m sending you my best and hope that you will be on your way to a solution soon!
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You are going through a difficult time, and allowing yourself to take responsibility for everything that isn’t working. Sometimes the other adults have to step up .The only person in this who absolutely needs you doesn’t judge you. Cut yourself some slack.
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What an awful series of terrible things to happen, and all this at the same time you became a mother with all the changes in life and perspective that will bring. So sorry to hear your story, I hope it helped you somewhat to share it and please remember that you have no reason to feel guilty about any of this
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In truth, I don’t know what to say other than I am sorry. It sounds like you have had a terrible time recently. I agree with Ellen above – it may be worthwhile talking to someone professionally, if you can’t talk to a friend or a family member. You can’t continue to carry all this burden. (On a more practical note (and one for much further down the line), you might want to encourage your husband to do more around the house. Even if he’s rubbish, he will learn eventually. It’s only fair if you both work full time, IMO – but as it said, not one for right now. I am one for practical suggestions!). Sending you a virtual hug. X
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Wow, that’s a lot of stuff going on. I would really recommend seeing a counsellor as well as your doctor. There’s nothing like professional help…trust me. Talking to friends etc is fine but those professionally trained people know how to help. I’d also be giving that husband a boot up the bum…an adult shouldn’t have another adult cleaning up after them. He’s not 5 years old any more. I hope things improve.
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Oh Stephanie – I don’t really know what I could say that would help. You have had a really hard time recently (perhaps a touch of post natal depression?) and I am so sorry to hear about your sister in law. Hope your family is coping ok. Will be thinking of you xxx
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Aaah, zo verdrietig om te lezen. Ik zat met een brok in mijn keel. Ik weet niet echt wat ik moet zeggen, behalve dat ik je kan aanraden om professionele hulp te zoeken. Ik heb zelf (twee keer) een postnatale depressie gehad. En heb daar m.n. de eerste keer echt heel lang mee gelopen, ik had ook het gevoel dat ik altijd iets moest bewijzen aan mijn familie en niemand van mijn vrienden had ook in de gaten dat ik eigenlijk in een crisis zat. Logisch, want op de momenten dat ik bij hen was, kon ik even ontsnappen aan mijn claimende baby. Knap dat je dit op je blog durft te schrijven. Ik weet niet of jouw depressie postnataal is, maar dat doet er nu eigenlijk ook niet toe. Belangrijk is dat je dit hebt uitgesproken en dat het de wereld in is. Het is okee om hulp nodig te hebben. We hebben allemaal soms hulp nodig. Zoals je zelf al schreef ben je nu ineens aan het beseffen wat echt belangrijk is. Hopelijk schijnt dat wat licht op het pad dat je nu wilt gaan bewandelen.
Over wandelen gesproken: van de hele dag binnen zitten wordt niemand gelukkig (i’ve been there). Dwing jezelf om naar buiten te gaan, een stukje te lopen. Al is dat het enige wat je doet de hele dag (vergeet het huishouden!), ga naar buiten! Het klaart letterlijk de lucht in je hoofd.
liefs en een knuffel. Dit gaat goedkomen.
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You are so brave to share this story with us. even though we have different experiences I feel like I know exactly what you’re going through. Parts of your story I can relate to 100%, especially the part about working part time, not feeling like you’re contributing, and don’t know what to do with your life. (Not to mention having a husband who doesn’t clean up after himself….)
I can’t offer any advice other than what others have already said, but I can tell you that it really can help to talk to a professional. I saw a psychologist after my accident to help with the PTSD, which did wonders to help me get over a hump of doing exactly what you were doing: eating, watching tv, and not much else.
I am glad that you’ve been feeling a bit better lately and hope you can keep up the momentum to keep improving a little bit every day. If you ever want someone to talk to, feel free to chat me up.