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Early morning worrying

(10 Posts)
thecakefairy Mon 03-Jul-17 14:36:56

Hi all,
My first post......
There's no doubt about it, I've been through the mill over the last few years but gradually things have improved.
I lost most of my family a few years ago when finding out that my father had abused my beautiful daughter (he went to prison). My mother refused to believe that this ever happened and I've not heard from her since.
Then there's all the other stuff. Difficult ex-husband's wife who has come between my ex and my two children to the point that the children won't speak to him anymore. They are 19 and 17 so beyond me influencing them to try and patch it up but to be honest, it's not really them. They are thoroughly decent children and I'm very proud of them. I think they feel really let down that he doesn't put them first, at least occasionally.
Some work stuff as well but, on the face of things, it's just not that important to me compared to other things.
Needless to say, I am extremely wary of being happy these days as I specifically remember thinking how well things were going just before I got the most horrible call from the police saying that I needed to come to the school as my daughter had confided in a friend about the abuse. Obviously, there were some horrendously difficult times after this, which I mainly dealt with on my own. I got quite ill with anxiety but over time I recovered.
I moved at the beginning of last month, with my daughter to an absolutely lovely flat, lovely area and she was already going to college here, so no massive upheavals for her. She loves being away from where we were before after what happened, so all is good.
I keep waking up at around 5am every morning and worrying about everything. Sometimes, it's just generally going over what had happened in the past, the amount of people who have let me down or not supported me, sometimes it's money or work (there are no real major issues with either). By the time I am actually awake and had a shower and a coffee, none of what I've worried about is really relevant and I'm perfectly ok.
I just can't stop doing it! I don't know why. It's been worse since we moved. It was a traumatic move to add to the stress. It took around 9 months and I nearly lost my new place a few times but we're here now and loving it.
I'd like to just wake up when my alarm goes off with the birds singing and I stretch and yawn and jump out of bed feeling refreshed and ready for the day!

babybell89 Tue 04-Jul-17 10:39:09

Hi noticed no replies so though I would try! Does your worry go away throughout the day? X

KeemaNaan Tue 04-Jul-17 11:07:09

Sometimes when traumatic things happen, it takes a while for your brain to process them and it only comes out when everything seems OK as you're not having to deal with the then and now.

I'm not at all surprised that you're worrying. You've had no end of stress for the last year and anyone would be finding it difficult - the fact that its manifesting itself in worry, but you're then able to get over it shows that you're a very strong person inside despite everything.

When all of this was going on, did you ever get any counselling for yourself? Have you had chance to talk things through at all? Your options are to speak to your GP and see if you can get onto a waiting list for counselling, or look privately. Sometimes there are also charities who can help survivors of abuse - including the people it affects like you.

I think it you had chance to talk things through with someone it may help get rid of the worrying in the morning.

user1490142285 Tue 04-Jul-17 11:30:30

Bless you, how awful. There are two issues really: (1) you need your sleep so waking early in turmoil must be draining and (2) you might want to explore how you can get these worries out in the open so they stop tormenting you.

I went through a period of waking early with a knot in my stomach and tried EFT (the tapping therapy) which seemed to help a lot. Not sure I even believe in it but for whatever reason that did the trick on the knot.

As above I think counselling is a good idea.

Because you need your sleep, in the short term is there something you can do to distract yourself so you can stop your mind racing and get back to sleep? Once a habit forms - waking at the same time every day - it may continue. If you nudge it from several directions - therapy, distraction, exercise, learning to relax etc - it might just go away and stay away.

I find reading helpful. It silences my mind but doesn't engage me enough to keep me up. You might benefit from taking something - an antihistamine maybe if you don't want to use anti-anxiety meds - that will make you a little drowsy and help ease you back to sleep.

My dad is an alcoholic and a paedophile and I severed contact with him in my early 20s. The events leading to ending a relationship can be horrifying and disruptive, but don't underestimate the value of being free of draining relationships. This may also prove to be the case with your ex. If he is worth being in touch with he will rally and repair his relationship with your children, and if not, they are now safe from the effects of his unpleasant partner.

Good luck to you and I hope you soon sleep through the night.

thecakefairy Tue 04-Jul-17 15:15:16

Thanks for the lovely replies.
Once I'm up and awake, I'm absolutely fine. I feel like it is a habit that I can't break because obviously at times, I've had every reason to worry but now I feel we are in a place where we're doing pretty well.
I enjoy life and just after I found out about my daughter's abuse, she begged me to move. At the time I couldn't do it financially and I knew she would be safe where we were, even though it was quite close to where my parents lived. My dad was on bail and both of them went into hiding anyway and were rarely seen out in public.
I used to get people saying 'I haven't seen your parents for ages' but obviously they didn't know why but now we've moved and we love it where we are.
user1490142285 - I too was the same as you and felt glad to be free of draining relationships. my mother was a prize pain before all of this and I was dreading her getting older and more dependant. She thrived on misery and all her ailments. She also brushed everything my Father did under the carpet. The abuse, affairs and just general lying about everything.
I don't know why but I hate her the most. I think with my Dad, I've accepted he did a terrible thing, went to prison and that's the end of it all. With her, I feel she had choices but chose to dismiss everything and support her paedophile husband and put him first. I'm her child and my feeling is your children come before everything, however old they are. She supposedly adored my daughter too but couldn't have dismissed what she said quick enough as a made up story.
I did have counselling after. The doctor I saw was so supportive but the counsellor, although was good, did keep telling me that you are only allowed to have a number of sessions and spaces are tight etc, so it put me off somewhat. It was like they were saying that you've got to recover within 8 weeks as that's all you can have. That's the way things are now I suppose.
When I went to the doctor's more recently, I saw a different doctor and she was not really very caring and just printed me out some leaflets. When you are already feeling down and stressed, you just want someone to help you through it and take charge.
Instead, I had a lifestyle revamp (I was really overeating and binging on junk food) and ate healthily and exercised and gradually felt a lot better.
I love my new home, I love my children (and my son's girlfriend is like an extra daughter), we are all doing fine but it's just this early morning worrying. Sometimes, I wouldn't even call it worrying, its sort of griping over the past and thinking about certain situations and events, even though they've long since been resolved.
I just wish I could just let it go and unload the past and stop worrying about things that don't exist or probably could be easily sorted if they did actually happen.

user1490142285 Tue 04-Jul-17 19:05:57

So I don't know if this is useful or not but could you just look at this early morning waking as something that started out maybe as a way for your mind to begin to make sense of things (a bit like dreaming) and now it has outlasted its usefulness and is robbing you of rest. Now it's just an annoying pattern that must be overcome for life to return to normal.

Any idea what might help this process along? A long bath/swim/walk before bed, eating dinner earlier or later, earplugs etc - ? (I use both earplugs and a noise machine.) Affirmations you might recite into the mirror (something like 'I feel peaceful and tranquil and enjoy unbroken sleep' or similar) before bed? Do you have a plan in place for what to do if/when you wake up? Affirmations can be a great way of self-soothing and chanting yourself away from engagement with negative thoughts. That sounds a bit woo but what I mean is that repetitive sounds, even if they're just in your head, can be restful and keep you from going down an endless looping path of painful memories.

Have you had a recent health check? When my thyroid was underactive I had a lot of trouble falling and staying asleep and I was also very anxious.

If you wanted to give counselling another go there is private low-cost sliding-scale counselling available but you may have to poke around a bit to find it. For years I paid £15 per session (I was on benefits at the time) and when I was materially better off I increased what I paid. I've been seeing the same person for over 10yrs.

Fwiw you sound like you're making the very best of your life and close relationships. You also sound conspicuously free of bitterness, which is the best gift you can give yourself when you've suffered this kind of betrayal. flowers

thecakefairy Mon 10-Jul-17 16:24:29

I think I am quite bitter. I sort of find I'm a bit judgy and outspoken and cross with people (inside) but I'm not unkind or nasty.
I am definitely unable to admit that I'm happy now or that things are mainly going ok. This is because I specifically remember thinking this when just before the total hell of what had happened to my daughter came out. I suppose it is too much like tempting fate.
I do think that just telling you all that is an issue has helped because I've been a little better since. I will really try and resolve it but I do feel a bit scarred for life, so maybe I will never feel 100% worry free.
Also, I realise I've got plenty to be grateful for now, even though, in the past, things have been terrible.

user1483981877 Wed 12-Jul-17 10:24:11

I can't decide whether to write to you or not, as I can't imagine how you are so strong after all of this, but you seem to be coping amazingly.
My circumstances are different to yours, I am currently stuck in a depression that I can't lift and I have to say that early mornings are currently brutal. I actually dread going to sleep some nights as I don't want to wake up to the constant loop of guilt-induced crap that I have going on in my head. About 5am seems to be my trigger time too. I agree that perhaps you are still processing on some level, maybe you need to get some of that anger out, scream into a pillow, punch a pillow, something like that. It might sound trite but it might work for you? All the best, I wish I had your strength.

thecakefairy Wed 12-Jul-17 16:32:17

I should say that I haven't really documented all of my feelings between now and when I found out what had happened which was May 2014.
Even before this, we had other hellish things going on in our lives, including a psycho neighbour from hell who wouldn't leave me or any of my other neighbours alone and was extremely violent and also damaged our cars, homes etc.
I think I've just learnt to live a life in which every single problem I have endured has had nothing to do with the way I've behaved, all the trauma has been caused by someone else's behaviour.
When I say I/we've been unlucky, I mean to the extreme. For the last 12 years or so, I've just been plagued by other people's disgusting behaviour, whether it has been in my marriage, family, home or work.
I think I've become really, really tough and somehow can put it out of my mind and look at the positive, especially now, as we have a lovely new flat and a fresh start.
I probably have got strength but I think it is because through everything I've been totally responsible for the wellbeing of my two children. There's no one else.
I believe that this morning worrying is quite common with depression and anxiety but I can't seem to find any help or advice and when I spoke to my doctor (a long time ago), it was plain that she didn't understand it at all.
I really feel for you and really hope things get sorted for you.

RatherBeRiding Wed 12-Jul-17 16:36:47

Yes, early morning waking/worrying/feelings of panic can be a sign of depression and anxiety.

It might be worth a chat with a different GP who has a better understanding of MH issues.

FWIW I take a (very) low dose of ADs. When I'm not on them I get the early morning waking/anxiety thing. It drives me mad. Hence why I'm on the v.low ADs.

It might be just your subconscious's way of processing all the "stuff" but equally it wouldn't hurt to talk to a more sympathetic and knowledgeable GP.

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