I had planned to post something else for today, but I had a revelation last night that I needed to share. When I was young, I used to have this recurrent dream. It wasn’t a dream exactly. It was a feeling. I would wake with a feeling. It became very familiar and made me feel terrible. I remember that the only way I could describe it was that it felt like I was falling and there was nothing to grab onto. The last night that I had this dream/feeling, I had gone down to my parent’s room and told them about it. Told them that it gave me a bad feeling like something bad would happen and there was nothing I could do about it. I remember my dad prayed for me, and this haunting dream/feeling hadn’t been back since…
Last week I mentioned that I have a two-year-old daughter. Miss Naomi is a bright, healthy, busy little girl. I think she is, for the most part, a fairly reasonable toddler…. Can those words go in a sentence together?! However, I believe she inherited a special breed of stubborn, from her father, naturally… Come 8pm daily I am tense and have no interest in anything other than putting my feet up with a glass of wine…Yes-I have abstained from my hs (before bedtime dose) wine for my pregnancy 😉
However, since the Christmas break, I have made many changes in myself and our home that I knew would make me feel better. I can’t say these were new year’s resolutions. They were more like ‘I’ve had lots of time off to think while being sick during the holiday season and with baby coming, I should make these changes’ resolutions. I’ll get into those more at a later time. Important to this story, I wanted to work on my relationship with Naomi and how I parent her.
In this regard, I feel we have come a long way! My patience has grown ten-fold. Maybe this is in part due to me going onto maternity leave from school, and now from work. My general stress levels and schedule could just be significantly lighter, better enabling me to cope. I see that Naomi is responding to this and coping better as well. I am not seeing the same tantrums, we have been talking and ‘de-escalating’ any threatening blow-ups. Last night, during our bedtime ritual, between potty and bath time, this is exactly what happened. She was about to throw a huge melt-down over not wanting to bath due to the band-aid on her toe; which would have thrown me into “smarten-up, I don’t have time for this” mode, which would have in turn made her RAGE in her two–year-old, autonomous state of mind. She’d have gone to bed crying, and likely, I would have too…. Instead, I pulled my new found mom skill-named distraction, and starting quoting Disney movies to get her into the tub! She was smiling and laughing, and I ended up with tens of hugs. At one point she grabbed my cheeks between her two little hands and adoringly said, with a smile, “I love you mom”. Then she gave me a kiss. OH MY GOSH! My heart melted! It felt like we had been working together and just fought off a scary monster! But an old haunting feeling stabbed me in the gut…. Not a contraction!! 😦
Just as I was about to fall asleep last night, the haunting feeling nagged at me again. I recognized it this time as the haunting feeling that would wake me from sleep as a child. Laying there, unable to sleep, I began thinking that this feeling is what lack of control feels like. I had it often as a child… then it disappeared through adolescence and early adulthood. I think it found me again looking into Naomi’s little face last evening when I thought about how much I loved her and what I would ever do without her now that she’s in my life. I can do as much as I can to protect her and keep her safe. But she will make her own decisions. I will not be able to protect her from everything. And some hurt is bound to happen that helps us grow into the strong personalities that we can be. I never used to be afraid of death myself; I thought when my time is up, that is in the Lord’s hands. NOW, the thought of not being here for my daughter (and her little sibling) is absolutely haunting!
I think I’ve finally realized this feeling and what it means for me…. I am hoping I can learn to cope with it and that I don’t start waking every night with these terrible feelings! It really makes me think about how important it is for me to live in the moment and enjoy every day as we are gifted it. Makes me so glad that Naomi and I are getting along easier. I reflect upon how important our relationship is and how I want it to be a healthy and close one. You live and learn, but I’d like to try and make sure as often as I can that I go to sleep each night without regrets…
Has anyone experienced feelings like this, or should I be seeking professional help for anxiety??