I received an email from a mother struggling with her drinking and it inspired my last post. I wanted to share her story with you and she gave me permission to do so. Please offer her some support by reading her words. I remember so clearly exactly how it felt to feel what she feels in the fight to get to 5 o’clock and the fight to stop. We all need a better understanding of this very personal and painful struggle. Thank you.
I’m keeping this mother’s identity anonymous:
(sorry for the really small text at the beginning. I just can’t seem to get it to get bigger.)
You are almost 2 and 1/2. You are a good – sweet – amazing girl, but today – this week – you have been extremely emotional and aggressive. I myself have been feeling the same. The weather is turning, you are growing and I am dealing with a heavy head every single day. The hangovers keep getting worse, like a run-on-sentence….
Today was going to be the day. It was planned. Daddy working late the next 3 nights so I thought I would get a head-start. 3 days under my belt, build up strength to go a whole week. Build it up when he wasn’t home to see me writhe and squirm and feel out of sorts – out of myself. See me struggle.
Maybe then I could stop without him knowing I even had a problem.
We went to the zoo. We played and it was fun and good. And I started to get excited because it was after 3pm when we left. With the 45 minute drive home, that meant we would hit the house at 3:45. So close to 4pm…..I wouldn’t have to wait.
But then I remembered. I was stopping today. I was going to try really hard.
Got home – you were cranky and I was too. I secretly was relieved (I had an excuse now – a long, hard day – if I decided I needed one). You hit me in the face hard when I tried to change your diaper. You tried to kick me. This is very unlike you and it hurt my feelings more than my face.
We played blocks, played farm – all the while the clock crept to 5:25 and I felt PROUD. I haven’t made it to 5:25 since forever.
You haven’t napped and your hungry and you lash out by hitting me. I tell you “NO HIT” you do it again, but harder. I remain in control. Moments later you want to play “tickle me, mommy!” so we do. You get over excited and you kick me square in the face. It hurt. So many things hurt.
You want juice. I give you water, as its too late in the evening for juice. You throw the sippy cup and it hits my head. Hard. I cry out. “OUCH”. I yell at you. I put you in time out. I try to explain that you have hurt mommy – “that HURTS MOMMY”. So many things have hurt and no one understands. Ever. No one listens, especially not a 2 year old.
I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to deal with the hurt. I cant make you understand that you hurt me – of course I cant, your only 2! I cant do feelings – I don’t know how to because they overwhelm me. I prefer numb. But this is the story of my life.
YOU have hurt me and I need to make you SEE that. But it never happens. So I nurse my hurt with a bottle of wine. The wine makes it all feel better – erases the hurt feelings, the guilt over yelling at my 2 year old beautiful, innocent daughter. The fear I have that I cannot control my life, that my LIFE AND myself is out of control. The fear that I am subtly teaching my daughter the same issues….
So I have a glass, then another. I feel better and I realise that I am trying to fight a battle with my 2 year old that has nothing to do with her and everything to do with me. The wine calms me and makes me feel more in control. I am a better, paitent, more fun mommy. I hug and kiss you and everything is alright for now.
I put on Yo Gabba Gabba and step outside to smoke a cigarette and calm myself down.
Despite everything, I am still able to put it aside and be a mom. Get things done. Dinner, bath, books, bed. Love. So much love. Probably too much love than you can handle.
What will happen when I don’t have a buffer?
Thank you, Mama, for your courage in sharing with me and allowing me to share you with the friends of this space. You are stronger than you think you are. I’m sure of it.