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Having an A-ha moment...

Ok, earlier today, while replying to comments on a previous post, I had an a-ha moment with regard to my relationship with my boys...

I feel like I'm not taken consideration of.

That is to say, I feel like I'm trying to consider Dave's need, and Erik's needs, and Luey's needs and Bryn's needs, and then I come last. And while I don't feel like I have to the right to put myself first, I resent that they often don't seem to want to consider me.

Dave does try to consider me, in practical ways. He's very helpful with the boys, and helps around the house, but he's just plain refusing to get a lisence and I have to be honest and say I feel like he doesn't care about me when he can't see how much him not having a lisence impacts on my life, on all our lives. He also isn't doing anything about his sleep apnoea, and so he's still sleeping in the study and we're living like platonic flat mates who coparent. He's in "his room" right now watching a dvd or something. He is affectionate, and he does show that he cares in other ways,. and we talk and stuff, but these two (nay, three) things really have me feeling like on a basic level my needs don't count.

The boys are just children. To expect them to consider my needs is really too much at this age. They barely understand I have needs - Erik is coming to that age, and it shows, he is being more considerate of late, but then he's just 7.5 and he forgets a lot too that I even have needs seperate to his own. The other two, well, they just can't understand yet, but here I am expecting them to understand, and thinking them not understanding is somehow a reflection of their love for me...

So, there it is... I think that's the basis of my rage. Feeling like I'm not important enough to warrant consideration, when I feel like my needs are being ignored it fills me with hurt and rage. I can see how I've felt that way towards more people than my kids and Dave, I've felt that towards my friends and other family members too, but I can't act out with them.

So, how to resolve this...

Comments

casso said…
Hon I think every mother can appreciate what you're going through to one degree or another. Being the primary caregiver of anyone else (child, invalid) means a level of self sacrifice that you're not really aware of until one day, after a while, you turn around and realise that you're no longer doing *anything* that you want to do anymore and everything is for others.

First things first though. Sit down and speak to Dave about it honestly and openly. Ask him genuinely about the license situation. Is he scared about failing the test? Scared about what it means to have the license (eg: more reponsibility on him, having to go places he normally wouldn't)? Worried about the cost of a car to the family? No-one procrastinates that long about something that they think would be a positive impact in their lives, so he may be nurturing some anxiety there which you need to help him with. I really think it's such a huge issue for your family as a whole that he needs your help to understand what's stopping him from helping out.

Not working on his sleep apnoea...is it true apnoea that he's had diagnosed? There are options such as dental plate or the breathing apparatus but he needs to have been diagnosed at a sleep clinic first and have a discussion about the best option with his doctor. Is he wanting to find his own space and so is enjoying the spare room and doesn't want to give that up? Does he feel he needs a sanctuary from the rest of the house? Can you use that room as well? Is it a 'parents' room'? Or just Dave's room? One of my favourite short stories ever is 'To Room 19' by Doris Lessing which, despite the ending, you would really enjoy I think. Actually I can photocopy it for you and send it to you if you want along with the UP dvd.

As for why you're feeling unimportant and unloved - as you say, the boys aren't really capable of it at the moment in the way you're seeking. But what you want is for family harmony, and because you're working so hard running around putting out fires, you're feeling harried and worn out and unloved. Fair enough! :o)

I guess it's all about what steps can you take to start feeling ike things are changing, rather than lumping everything all together and feeling overwhelmed, tired, unloved and alone. :o( Maybe write down a list of topics to talk about with Dave to start with?

In any event hon, huge hugs to you. I'm sorry you're feeling like this. You're not alone by any means, we're all out here loving you in cyberspace! :o)

Cheers, Cass
Nic and Beren said…
Oh I can so relate to this post Sif. What to do about it, I dont know. But I agree that sitting down talking things through with Dave might help. It kinda does with Michael but it goes in one ear and out the other.

Im going to try some classes or some hobby outside of the home this year, so maybe you can try that.
Sif said…
Thanks guys :)...

I did talk to Dave last night, straight after I posted (I tend to be very proactive (hate that word, what a tautology) and Dave and talk about everything)... He hasn't gotten a lisence because he feels like he doesn't have time to give it his focus - I don't think this is the real reason because he spends his evenings "bored" flicking through his DVD collection, looking at snippets of this DVD or that DVD and looking up movies, or bio info. on directors or actors online. I think it's more than he feels like he can't focus enough to retain any info. that he'll go to sleep as soon as he starts reading (he even does this when reading a favour novel, for example, so doesn't read as much as he used to either). This is because he feels tired ALL the time. He feels tired all the time because he doesn't sleep well. He doesn't sleep well because he has asthma and sleep apnoea (diagnosed Dec. 05, he was meant to get fitted for a mask last Jan) and sleeps on a carpeted floor in the study whic is full of dust and probably not that comfortable but he sleeps there because he snores so loudly that if he sleeps in with Bryn and I then WE don't sleep.

He won't be fitted for a sleep mask because he's convinced he won't be able to sleep with it on, and if he just looses some weight the sleep apnoea will go away. He's lost about 12kg but it hasn't gone away, or even improved.

That's the merry-go-round. I can see how to fix it, but he has to want to fix it, and basically, atm, he feels like he's get "enough" sleep to "get by" even though he feels exhausted all the time, too exhausted to study for his lisence...

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