Please help me, I hate how angry I've become at my toddler(16 Posts)
I've name changed for this.
I love my children more than anything, more than life itself. Have two dc - 2.4 and 6 months.
I've always had anxiety issues and been highly strung. When dc2 came along, I had a very tough time and suffered from panic attacks.i was shouting a lot t both of them and at least 2-3 times a day we would all three be collapsed in a heap crying.
I sought help and did a course of cbt and this massively helped my anxiety issues. We've been a lot happier and apart form general snappyness etc when I'm tired, things have been going well.
Lately things seem to be unravelling. Husband has had a drink problem for a long time and 3 weeks ago finally admitted he had one. He promised he would get help, saw his GP who gave him an information print out and that's it, nothing else has happened. I've always took charge of everything, bills, mortage, finance, on ML but working full time again very soon, all parenting aspects. He leaves the house at 7am and gets home at 8pm 1-2 times per week. The rest he's out drinking and will come home when he feels like it.
Meanwhile my relationship with my family has fallen apart as my mother was very vocal about me having another dc - without going into too much detail she wished I would miscarriage and suffice to say, I have never been able to forgive her for this comment. She has never apologised either.
So a lot has happend.
The last 2 weeks or so, I feel as if I'm losing the plot and getting extremely short tempered. Dc1 is going through terrible twos, nothing out of the ordinary but there are times when I feel like I'm drowning with worry and the baby's crying a nd she is screaming for like 15 mins solid for fun after I patiently tell her to stop and try to distract her, or she's literally stepping on the baby's headache nd laughing while she's doing it. I know this is just toddler behaviour, testing boundaries, but there are two times now where once I grabbed her wrists and not exactly shock her but grabbed her and shouted at her, and the other time I sort of grabbed her face to stop her spitting and shouted at her.
Both times she cried and then I felt horrendous and non stopped apologised and then all three of us are in a heap crying.
I was so proud of myself for doing the cbt and everything was going well, but husbands drink problem seems to have just tipped me over the edge.
Please any advice is welcome, I hate myself for scaring my little girl, I love her with all my heart and never ever EVER want to smack her hurt her.
I'm prepared for a flaming, and prepared to hear this is my fault and LTB.
I just need some practical advice to please stop me being such a nasty person. I love my children and hate myself for snapping.
You poor thing, you won't get a flaming. You sound like have have loads on your plate and no one to help you.
I don't have any advice, toddlers can induce rage in even the calmest if people. Try not to feel ok bad about getting angry with your toddler, could you get any support from health visitors - advice or real support.
You have so much on your plate and have done so brilliantly to get yourself the help you've already had. This post is not the post of a nasty person, OP, but someone under intolerable pressure. Your username cries out that you need more help, now - do you know what that might look like? More treatment/therapy? Practical support at home? DC1 having some (more) time at nursery? Is there something that can be done in the very short term, to help you and DD straight away? A very good friend who could come and help?
As for your DH, tellingly absent from the list i made above.... it sounds as though he is basically absent - I can't see that he could do anything at all for the DC in those hours at home, let alone participate in your marriage. Doeshe know uow much you're struggling? Can you tell him? thy're his children too..... What led up to him acknowledging his drink problem? Are you able to talk to him about it? It's a difficult situation, in the sense that to tackle his problem he will need significant emotional support - another drain on you. Equally the process would necessarily tackle deep rooted issues in your relationship and could improve things enormously. Do you want to stay in your marriage OP? A difficult question at the best of times, I know.
Hang in there
I've told him he has a drink problem for years and he's always made excuses. One day we had a vicious and violent row. He broke down and admitted he had a problem. Saw the GP. Then nothing. All the GP told him was to cut back and sent him on his way with a print out.
He's out on the piss again tonight.
I feel as if I'm taking it out on my poor toddler. I love her why am I hurting her like this. I HATE MYSELF. Her poor scared face,why can't I be more tolerate?
I've stopped the panic attacks but now it's manifesting itself in anger. I just want to stop and hug her and tell her I'm sorry for scaring her. I grabbed her pretty hard both times. I'm disgusting. Shes 2 for fuck sakes.
You're not disgusting. Please don't be so hard on yourself - if only because it is part of the cycle that results in you boiling over.
Choices is right, everyone struggles with toddlers. You must be knackered, it's so hard not to lose it when you can't see straight for tiredness. But not everyone is in a violent marriage. How do you feel about your husband? If you ask him to get his arse in gear because you're desperate, will he respond?
About the anger, following panic attacks - can you go back to therapy? CBT is good at getting a grip on immediate behaviour but doesn't really get into underlying causes.
OP you are not a horrible person. You are clearly very stressed out. If your OH isnt willing to change then give him an ultimatum, it is NOT fair his selfish behaviour is impacting so badly on your family life. I would also suggest you go speak to your HV as i feel you have the traits of PND going by some of what you have said.
Weve all done stuff we are not proud of and none of us can wear a perfect parenting badge. But i think your biggest problem is your OH sorry to say. You need to either get rid of him or he needs to want to get help with your support. But you cant keep wearing the weight of the world on your shoulders.
I hope you get the help you need
Thank you everyone I'm going to speak to my HV today. I'm determined to be a better mum I hate being so on edge all the time. My children deserve better.
It's no wonder you feel as though you're falling apart, in your situation I would probably be the same. And your children are probably picking up on it.
I would try to refrain from taking it out on your kids and take it out on your partner instead, it seems he is your main problem.
I hope your HV is helpful, and I hope you be kind to yourself. You're having it tough and need support.
OP stop being so hard on yourself, you're not the only one who feels close to snapping at times and most of us are not under the huge stress and strain that you are under. I agree that of course it isn't great to shout and be a bit rough with lo's, but you aren't doing that out of cruelty or lack of love. You need some help and support to help you cope in those moments when it all gets too much and the lo's drive you over the edge. CBT is good, which you've already done. I can recommend an excellent book called The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters which is very readable and has some really good simple strategies for helping you cope at those moments of extreme stress. I'm a GP and he was head of our Psychiatry dept when I was at medical school - he's brilliant.
I hate to say it, but your dh is responsible for causing you a large part of this stress. It may sound like his GP didn't do anything to help him, and I have no idea if they were or weren't very helpful to him, but actually it is impossible to help someone with an alcohol problem until they fully accept responsibility for their problem, recognise the damage it is causing their loved ones, and are determined to change. All 3 of those criteria must be met or any treatment is pointless. IF he is serious about dealing with his problem then he will need to be utterly ruthless about avoiding situations with alcohol, no going to the pub, stop seeing friends where the friendship is based upon drinking etc. He needs to sign up to AA and start going regularly. Tbh, no matter how much you love him, you need to be giving him an ultimatum right now. He needs to do the above, or face a future separated from you and the children. How old do children need to be before they start noticing a drunk dad or a dad who smells of alcohol? My lovely neighbour left her dh who she adored because he wouldn't sort out his alcoholism and she couldn't let the children witness his behaviour. It comes down to whether he is or he isn't prepared to stop it NOW. It's a simple enough choice on his part. Alcoholics usually need a massive wake-up call before they get serious about stopping the drinking. Unless life seems about to fall apart, the act of stopping seems too difficult or not urgent enough.
I am sure that contemplating being a single parent, even if temporarily while he sorts himself out, would be very daunting, but in reality you are having to be a single parent now anyway. Not having to take responibility for his drinking and worrying about the state of him coming home would likely reduce your stress levels. This is entirely based on what I would do so feel free to ignore much of this advice if you wish, but I would start looking to the future for you and the children and tell dh that it's time to clean up or he won't be a part of it. Sorry love, sending a hug for your very tough situation. You're a great mum, not a bad one, you love your kids and I'm sure they know that.
You're doing brilliantly. I often end up sobbing at or shouting at my toddler and I have hugely supportive parents and a lovely DH.
to you. Don't be hard on yourself. You sound like you have far more to cope with than most people.
Where did you have your CBT last time? Was it at a primary care mental health team? Can you call them back up and explain you're really struggling and need a few top up sessions? That's how it works around here.
Or if not, did your GP/HV refer you last time? You could ask them to re refer you.
Fwiw I had CBT for post natal anxiety which really helped with the anxiety. But then a few months later I found I was really struggling with anger and feelings of rage towards DS. I went back to the mental health team and had a few more CBT sessions specifically around dealing with anger and managing my temper. It was really helpful and apparently quite common once you've got on top of the anxiety a bit, to develop issues in another area like anger.
Hope you can access the help you need soon - you sound like a really good mum who loves her kids loads, but who is struggling in pretty shitty circumstances.
I think you are expecting a huge amount from yourself! I snap at my toddler sometimes and I am not carrying the emotional burden that you are about your husband
I think that as long as your husband is causing you so muh pain and worry it will be difficult for you to be a cheerful calm mum! Cbt doesn't deal with underlying causes of anxiety or worry - I would suggest a proper talking therapy - speak to your gp also look at the BACP website for a cheap counsellor in your area
There are groups that offer phone etc support to families of alcoholics ...
I would speak to the gp not HV and think about doing CBT again.
I would also go to the gp with your husband again and to discuss drinking and the effect it is having on your family. Did you go with him to the appointment? I bet he downplayed it.
You know it isn't right to physically manhandle your toddler (were you also shouting at your baby) - let this be the wake up call. Can you afford to put her in childcare two or three mornings a week? Does your DH or you from your job get childcare vouchers at all_?
You need a bit of mental space to cope with having two littles ones (your 2 year old is still little even though she seems much older) - all the other shit makes it worse.
Do you have friends that you can have play dates with? Even if you cannot share the emotional burden it keeps you sane having adult company!
Under exceptional circumstances I think you can access free childcare hours at age 2 instead of 3. Talk to your local Sure Start Children's Centre.
And I'd recommend Al-Anon for yourself. It can help you understand more about family dynamics when someone in the family has a drink problem and how you can cope (whether he leaves or not). If you can find a daytime meeting they may not mind if you bring your kids.
Poor you. You sound at the very end of your tether. I would say seek some help from your GP as soon as possible. If there's nobody to help you look after the children for a while during the day I think you should make sure that your day is structured so that every day you take both children out for a few hours, to get fresh air and avoid you all getting cabin fever. Be kind to yourself.
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