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New here! Need some advice(2 Posts)
I'm new to this forum. I've joined because I need a place I can talk to people who will understand my situation without judging me. I have bipolar ii disorder. I am also a single mother to a rather sensitive 3 year old. I am on two different medications that control my moods for the most part. But when I get tired or stressed it triggers symptoms. Mainly a foggy, non functional state of mind, highly sensitive to outside stimulus and irritability. All things that are completely unavoidable with a three year old. When this happens I lose control of my reactions to my daughters challenging behaviour. I have smacked her lightly a few times in the past and two days ago I threw some books. It scared her and I have not stopped reliving it since. I hate myself so much for how I behaved. I hate the thought of her being scared of me. I feel like I'm damaging her. I worry that she will grow up never feeling sure of her mum and what she will be like that day. I have no support network around me. My ex has made it clear he won't help unless it is his day to see her and my family all live miles away. When I start to feel like I'm heading into a bad state of mind there is no one I can call on for help. And so I struggle on until I explode. I'm not the mother I wanted to be. I try so hard to stay consistent for her but sometimes my illness gets the better of me. I can't bare the guilt and shame I feel. I love my daughter so much and I want her to feel safe, secure and happy. I'm so worried That I can't provide that for her all the time.
I'm not sure what I want here. I think I just need to talk to someone about this. I can't talk to anyone I know for fear of being judged.
People tell me to walk away to another room when I feel like I can't cope with the situation. But I've tried that. She follows me and screams outside the door. It just makes it worse. I have no way of diffusing situations when she is being difficult. And it feels like my brain is going to explode. She just screams and screams at me. There's no third person that can step in and dilute the tension.
Most of the time we're fine. I can cope with her tantrums. I react rationally and calmly. But the occasions when I lose control haunt me for days after. And I've no way of avoiding or preventing it.
Any advise greatly appreciated.
(((((hugs))))) to you in a difficult situation.
Does your 3 year old have a nursery place at all? Do you get a break? I've not thrown stuff at my kids but when depressed a few years ago I did throw some things...my boy was around 2 and he remembered for years helping me clear up cornflakes.
Have you been on any parenting courses? I went on one (voluntarily- I thought it looked useful!) called the Nurturing Programme/parenting puzzle https://www.familylinks.org.uk/The-Nurturing-Programme and I cannot rate it highly enough. If they do it in your area please look into it. They sell the book online, but it was really useful talking to other parents (ok mums). It was non judgemental and I came away with some really useful tools to deal with my kids behaviour and it is ideal for your daughters age group. I'm a single mum to 3 with depression (at the time of the course they were 4,3 and 1) and I was left feeling confident in how to deal appropriately with my children's behaviour. I still parent according to that course 3 years on. Especially the system of rewards and 'time out to calm down' (not a naughty step) which takes a little while to get used to but works magnificently. My eldest (sensitive) child eventually started taking himself off to the step to calm down when he had got in a state.
I would suggest that you draw a line under what has happened in the past. You cannot change what happened, but you can choose how to react as you go forwards. I might sound a bit mean but I would not agree that you have 'no way of avoiding or preventing' losing control. You might find it extremely difficult, but you are an adult in control of your reactions (unless you are psychotic) and you can...it sounds like you don't have any 'tricks' to deal with when situations get really hard, and unfortunately they are not something that we are born with, and there are no easy quick fixes!!! In the meantime...if you need to be physical with something perhaps shut the door on your daughter and hit a pillow or something equally non noisy?
It might be a good idea talking to your health visitor to say how things are going. Don't be afraid to say what is happening- they will want to help you and your daughter.
Best of luck
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