Little Steps: Day 15 – Cycle of Guilt

Day 15: 0.0 miles / Total miles: 10.71mi / Days left: 164 / Time: NA

Spring break is over. The kids are no longer sick. It was time for them to go back to school for the first time in 2 weeks.

About damn time. I love my goofs. But they needed to go back to school.

They were becoming wild hellions. They needed to get back on routine.

We do not do anything major for Spring Break. We save our PTO for Pow Wow in August. They normally go to TKD day camp.

But this year, I just couldnt afford it. And the girls were sick right before it started.

I also wanted to give them a chance to do absolutely nothing for a change. We are always go go go.

So they stayed home.

And became disregulated. And lazy. And makers of chaos.

We were all looking forward to this Monday.

And with the girls back on their normal routine, I would have 4hrs to myself once more in the afternoons.

Meaning! Time for daily hikes!

But that all changed in an instant. At least for today.

I posted this earlier today on FB:

“I got a call from school at 757AM. I couldnt answer it. But my gut instantly knew something was wrong. Why else would I get a call before school even started?

So I call back. My favorite front office lady broke the news to me. E was having a really bad morning. She described her throwing chairs and desks in the main office.

She had a meltdown [outside of] the cafeteria to the point that other kids were scared.

Based on her description of how this morning unfolded, I would label this as her most epic and extreme meltdowns.

They got ahold of daddy to see if he could calm her down. He couldnt. So he got ahold of grandmommy to go pick her up from school because E could not stay at school.

Thankfully it is in her IEP that she cannot be formally suspended.

Grandmommy is taking her to the park to see if that will regulate her. She thinks she didnt sleep last night.

I just talked to daddy.

Today’s meltdown brought to you by: she wanted a coat with a zipper. They couldn’t find one. Daddy gave her a sweatshirt.

Ugh. My heart hurts for her. She had such a fantastic day yesterday after a massive meltdown Saturday night.

But we will get thru this. Just another bump in the road.”

———–

In reality, the coat was just the tipping point. The final straw that broke the camel’s back as they say.

I started crying at work. When she hurts, I hurt. Which is why I dedicate so much of my time and energy and self to making sure she is on the right track so that these meltdowns can be averted.

I am also selfish because I expend my energy on her to protect myself.

So my soul doesnt get crushed.

And we have been doing fairly well. Or rather, she has been doing fairly well.

Well, she did have a meltdown Saturday evening that she couldn’t snap out of until I gave her an extra dose of night night.

But yesterday she had an amazing day. She was a fantastic helper with planting the garden. She was just happy yesterday.

So when I got the call this morning, I was actually a little taken by surprise. I shouldn’t be. This happens every time.

We finally get to a good point where life seems to have calmed down and become “normal”.

I begin to remember I need to put my oxygen mask on. And I make all these great plans, and schedules, and ideas replace my blood.

And then BAM!

Just kidding.

Dont forget about me mama! I need your full attention and energy.

I love my babies to the moon and back x infinity.

And that is the beginning of my guilt cycle.

I recognize this cycle. I have a love/hate relationship with his cycle of guilt.

I get to a point that I can finally remember I need to take care of myself.

And then one of my kiddos, with their extra special super powers, remind me that they need all of my energy to get them calm and regulated again.

And I tell myself that its ok to take care of myself, to refuel my energy, so that I can better help them.

But then one day, I forget to refuel.

It is usually the day that the entire house is in chaos, one or both kids have issues I need to attend to immediately.

And then here comes the survival part of the cycle. Where I am only existing because this survival has become second nature.

But only the basics are taken care of. Food, shelter, therapies, medications, clean clothes.

All the extras, start going by the wayside. Consciously eating healthy, taking time for myself, sleeping. Bye Felicia!

And then the depression phase of the cycle hits. And it is as if I am circling the drain, finger tips barely catching friction, doing anything in my power to not sink.

Sometimes this depression phase lasts days, sometimes months, sometimes years.

Depression will always be apart of my life. I am learning how to be proactive and recognize when it is starting to take over.

But this cycle of guilt, the one that initiated today, has an extra layer added.

I have been writing more. I have been reading more. I have been taking more time for myself.

I am on day 15. I made it to day 15 without feeling guilty.

Gold star for me!

But I had to seriously stop today. And think.

The time I am spending reading my own books, I could be reading to my kids at bedtime (something that hasnt been apart of our routine for years).

The time I am spending writing, I could be spending with my husband (doing the same ol, same ol because we are poor and have a lack of babysitters)

The time I spend out in the woods, I could be taking care of household stuff, i.e. cooking, cleaning, shopping (which immediately gets destroyed. And yes, the kids have chores)

I could feel the air being pushed out of my lungs as a brown burlap sack full of guilt was placed on my shoulders.

3 weeks ago, I would have said fuck it, I dont need to continue with my PCT dream. It isn’t a big deal. I need to instead focus on my children fully.

I had myself briefly convinced that the reason E had her biggest meltdown, was because I was spending too much time on me.

And not enough time focusing on her.

My head dropped. How can I be so egotistical and selfish.

When I got home, she seemed better. We cleaned the house together. She cannot have zero consequences for what happened today. But I can also not give her severe punishments for her brain being offline. So I had her help me clean up around the house.

Maybe I can do it all.

I turned the music on.

I got in the groove. I took a few deep breaths. I gave E a huge hug. I reminded her I love her unconditionally.

Yeah. I can do it all. Everything I want to do.

Hike. Write. Read

Oh and Kids. Scouts. Work. Doctors. Clean house.

I just need to organize this new vision of my life.

I am an amazing planner and organizer. I can do it in my sleep. No wonder my dreams are so efficient…

So this cycle of guilt? I say to hell with you!

I can have my cake and eat it to.

The cycle ends here.

The cycle and I are deeply intertwined so we will have to fight dirty to break up.

But breaking the cycle of guilt, is a little step I need to take in order to avoid disaster.

To avoid failure.

To avoid turning back and giving up.

To instead, drop the anchor, steady the boat, make sure we are still on the right heading after the storm of guilt has passed.

I am vowing to break the cycle right here, right now, ensuring one more little step closer to the summit.

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