I had my first therapy session this week.
I knew I was going to cry, but I was surprised at how quickly I was able to gain my composure. I was able to say some things out loud that I've been keeping in my head and that felt better than I expected.
I've already been given some tools to help change my thinking patterns and been presented with the idea that perhaps some of this is persistent because of OCD. I admitted to some OCD behavior and came to realize I had more than I thought I did (nail biting, skin picking, counting, and now potentially obsessive/repetitive thoughts). It makes a lot of sense.
As a mother I'm still feeling incredible inadequacy on a daily basis. Some days are really good and I get glimmers of confidence. Some days are really bad and I throw things and scream. (Yep. If you know me you're probably having trouble picturing this, but it's true. I've also punched a few walls. Yay overwhelm!) In my mind I'm constantly questioning myself and my competency. I'm still convinced on most days that Norma would be better than me.
Who is Norma?
Norma is the fake woman in my brain that my family would be better off with, and the reason I often think about driving away forever or into a busy intersection. She's basically perfect and 'normal,' hence 'Norma.'
Her heart expanded and her life had a hole filled when my baby was born. She couldn't imagine life without her. She knows what to do when baby won't stop crying and she has all the patience in the world. Her presence is soothing and loving. She is naturally nurturing and confident. She recovered brilliantly from childbirth and she loves babies. She has never regretted having a baby. She's basically a manifestation of everything I think I lack.
I try really hard not to think about Norma.
As a wife I feel useless and like I should probably be replaced. Having a child is exhausting and being anxious and depressed is exhausting and by the time I've gotten kiddo to sleep, dried my tears, and calmed my racing thoughts... there's nothing left. There's nothing left for him and there's nothing left of me. I'm an empty shell that falls asleep on the couch at 8pm. I don't understand what he could possibly be getting from me and our relationship at this point.
I love him. So so much. He is so incredibly supportive of me despite everything... If he cheated on me I would totally get it.
Norma would have the energy for sex.
As a human being I'm holding on. I'm taking steps in every right direction I can see because I don't want to feel this way. I've quit most social media, I've started reading about women who have been where I am, I've started meditating, I've started therapy. I'm attempting to simplify and I think it's starting to help.
I want to get to a point where I can say, "Fuck you Norma. I got this." Where I can visualize myself, as imperfect as I am, and know that I'm the best thing for my family.
I just need to stop telling myself I'm awful.