I can’t handle your horror stories. Or your hugs.

As you may recall, two weeks ago I gave birth to my third little earth angel. Recently, someone decided it would be a good idea to talk to me about crib death, or SIDS. while their motives were pure and they only meant to help me, I must say, it was the opposite of helpful. Too often people either forget or don’t understand what true Generalised Anxiety Disorder is. GAD is not feeling nervous before a presentation at work, it is not the ‘socially awkward’ guy who enjoys telling people how awkward he is, it is true, crippling anxiety that can terrorise the sufferer.
During the first few months of my older girls lives, they did not leave my arms. I am a co-sleeper (deal with it) because my fear of not feeling them breathing is crippling. In fact, with my newest addition, I don’t sleep at night. I sit up with her while she sleeps. In the morning my husband takes her, and I have a nap. My fear of being away from any of my children causes a lot of problems for me, especially now that the two big girls are in school. Any time they aren’t in my line of sight I don’t function like a normal person. I try, but my thoughts are filled only with wondering if they are still ok. I struggle to leave the house, and I struggle even more when they go somewhere without me. Don’t mistake my fears for a lack of trust, I trust my family completely; I know that they can take just as good of care of the girls as I can – but t doesn’t matter. When I’m not with them not only do I feel immense guilt, but the anxiety of being away from them on top of it.
Approaching me about crib death was bad for me emotionally, because I cannot deal with the information properly. Instead of identifying it as reasonable information that could be helpful, I extract only the negative ideas from it. Quickly those ideas fester in my mind and cause me to no longer see the information rationally. Anxiety affects my appetite, my sleep, even my ability to go to the bathroom. My mood suffers, and I cling to my babes more than usual. It sounds unreasonable, and it is – but that’s the nightmare that is anxiety. I can see that I’m overreacting, I can visualise better reactions, but I can’t execute them because the bad always over powers the good. There is no sweeping the anxiety under the rug, there is no drinking some tea to relax. I don’t. Relax. The only moments of emotional safety I enjoy are when I am laying in my giant bed with my three little princesses. (And their dad!)
I do take medications to help take the edge off, but learning to deal with anxiety takes time and practice. The practice includes letting the girls go on dates with their granny, letting my eldest walk to her classroom lineup by herself, and going grocery shopping by myself.
I can justify my behaviour by thinking that my anxiety keeps me vigilant. I take good care of my girls while resisting the urge to helicopter over them. It’s hard, and leads to a lot of internal stress, but I work on it every day. I will continue to co-sleep with my kids, while taking all necessary precautions to prevent SIDS. Hopefully you, the reader, will do your best to remember that sometimes your advice will affect me in a way the you don’t intend, so please consider your audience before you start trying to help.
Also, stop touching me. I hate being touched. If I didn’t give birth to you, I don’t want to hug you. Sorry.

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6 thoughts on “I can’t handle your horror stories. Or your hugs.

  1. Oh no…I’m so sorry about your suffering with HAD. I have it too.
    I apologize for prior comments I made in light of this that may have been insensitive.
    Congratulations on your newborn. I think you’re amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so vivid and well dsscribed. Thankyou for sharing what you face so that people have a glimpse into what the weight is like that you carry, for it is not light, and requires immense strength.
    I am grateful for your candid vulnerability in the words written here. The deep love you have for your children is so apparent and so beautiful, even in the midst of your pain.
    Thankyou for sharing your open heart and for your bold spirit, for saying what you are uncomfortable with in terms of touch, and setting boundaries in a healthy way. People can look at this and follow the example you’ve set in their own way, being encouraged by your bravery. Sorry for the lengthy comment, but this post really impacted me and I just wanted to share what I felt upon reading this.
    Wishing you all the best.
    Kelcey

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. Thank YOU. this comment was exacty what i needed. I’m glad that you got something from it, i always feel trepidation before posting (surprise! More anxiety!) but knowing that not only did you read it, but you appreciated it, makes me feel happier than i can express. I hope tomorrow is wonderful to you 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. p.s. what a beautiful comment above – and you fully deserve it! How funny. I didn’t see it when I first popped back on here to write a brief addendum:

    “I love your blog!!!”

    I wish you’d post more – that’s how much I enjoy your blog and I don’t usually ask anyone to post more, ha ha, but I know you kind of have your hands full at the moment! 😉

    I too get anxious before posting something, especially in regard to what I posted today about blocking someone I considered a friend, but I’m always glad I get my posts “out there”.

    Liked by 1 person

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