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As I’m thinking about what could have changed in my life over the last year that may have triggered a relapse of depression, I am uncovering tiny pieces of the puzzle. Here’s one:

One of the most hurtful things my husband has ever said to
me is that our son – who suffers ADD and anxiety disorder – is “like this
because of [me].” “Like this,” from my husband’s perspective, refers to our son
being disorganized, inattentive, independent to the point of defiance and generally difficult.
Yes, it would be MUCH easier if, at 9, he could get up and dress himself, brush his teeth without a fit, etc. But he does not. And since hubby isn’t there in the mornings, I pick my battles. Sometimes the teeth get brushed… more often, the boy chews Orbit or uses one of those disposable toothbrush/breath freshner things. But he’s always dressed and, more days than not, gets to school without food in his teeth or an open fly.

My son can be a mess, as can I. But he’s also a wonderful little person. He has a huge heart that is full of compassion and love, but gets easily wounded. He loves animals and nature, but is scared of people. He has a wicked sense of humor that can break through anyone’s bad day. He’s brave enough to question rules and authority, but smart enough to stay out of trouble (most days). He has the makings of a wonderful little leader. And it breaks my heart that his idol is his father, who has such a hard time seeing past the flaws to find
the good parts of our son. It also breaks my heart that, most of the time, his father would rather play videogames than have a conversation with his own son. He keeps saying his dad never spent much time with him and he “turned out fine.” I always disagree, but it falls on deaf ears.

My mother was imperfect and neglectful. She was often too ill with her own issues to care for me. But I never once thought I was unloved. My son frequently asks me why his dad doesn’t love him. My husband is quick to tell our son he does love him, he’s just tired and needs alone time, etc. But actions speak volumes.

This leads to a whole Pandora’s Box of other issues, like me not doing schoolwork so I can spend time with our son… me worrying about our son to the point of distraction… So anyway, puzzle piece number 1 has been identified.  

3 Comments
  1. Author
    SullenGirl76 4 years ago

    Newlease1, thank you for your kind and supportive response. In addition to what you point out about people being quick with criticism, I have learned that people often do not think before speaking and that this is even more true when the speaker feels comfortable with his/her audience. I am hopeful this is the case with my husband. Whatever else happens with my relationship with him, I refuse to believe he is intentionally hurtful. My experience has taught me that most people are not intentionally cruel. Not that it makes it easier to deal with the hurt, but it does make it easier to let go and forgive so one can move on.

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  2. lecourage 1 year ago

    I can relate so much to your blog on your son. It is so heart breaking to see your kids being hurt by a parent. I’m sure you’ve heard it before that a child only needs one person that cares for them. And it sounds like you do that in spades. I understand how you’re husband blaming you for your son having ADHD could have been one of the pieces that sent your depression into relapse for sure. My anxiety loves to latch onto stuff like that so that I cannot even breathe sometimes. I will tell you an interesting story.

    I secretly have always blamed my husband for the reason my son has low self esteem, depression and learning disabilities because that’s exactly how my ex was in school. Recently, I was talking to a new psychiatrist when I got on that subject and I realized that the low esteem and depression and anxiety run in my family just like it does in my ex’s. We do fine at school. I tell you this story because it might not be just on your side the ADD. Hand in hand with ADHD comes creativity, insight, problem solving and a whole slew of giftedness areas. I taught for 29 years and found that relation in kids I taught all the time. And you know what ? Those kids turned out fine. ADHD is just a problem in the classroom and as a child when they have to follow rules of childhood like doing homework and going to bed and eating the right stuff, not the world. Take heart.

    One of the days I will always remember is going to Father’s Day kite flying at the beach with my sister, her husband and their boys who were close to their cousins, my kids. We had been going for years and my ex never wanted to do anything with us on Father’s day. my kids finally realized the sadness of being at the beach with all these dads, they never wanted to go again.

    now the kids are 22 and 25 and they do spend time with their dad, not a lot but some. When i left him when they were 12 and 15 , they refused to stay at his house and hardly ever spoke to him or did things with him. My ex cried for years about this, just sat and cried he said. I had warned him for years that he needed to change things or I would leave and needed to spend time with the kids because one day when he wanted to they would not. and it did. I don’t know if it helps, probably not, sorry, if anything, I wanted to say I understand your heartbreak. I’m listening to “The Deepest Acceptance” by Jeff Foster on Audible. It’s helping with my depression some. good luck

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    • Author
      SullenGirl76 1 year ago

      Thanks for your comment, and for your kind words. And the book recommendation! I have been looking for something to do while cross-stitching over my lunch break – something that tunes out my thoughts but doesn’t destroy my ability to do my needlepoint. I may give that audio book a listen. 🙂

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