The Incapable Parent

I would exchange my right arm for my son. My left leg! My heart! My brain! My lungs. My life. In reality, I happily exchange my sanity and grown-up conversation for a little boy who will be four in a few weeks.

I have complex trauma that started from the very beginning, but I was about four when my life came crashing down. As a result, I have some major triggers. Four year olds. Injury. Pain. Fear. Crying. Tantrums. Children bed-sharing in any capacity.

It is a simple task that comes with being a parent. Nightmare, inability to breathe, bloody nose… Whatever the reasons, sometimes four year olds just need to sleep with Mommy and Daddy. Most moms (dads too but this is a mommy’s blog) pull their kids into bed and fall asleep with their mommy arms safely wrapped around the child’s body… The child they grew for nine months and then spent the next year(s) catering to them at any (or all) hours of the night.

So why am I incapable of bed-sharing with my sweet boy? That is a loaded question, yet it is the most simple of needs that I cannot provide for him. It leaves me curled up in a ball in tears.

Someone once told me that I cannot let “this” overtake my life, I have to overcome “it.” I have PTSD, and will probably have it to a varying degree for the rest of my life. It is not my choice to be so triggered. I am doing my very best to not let it affect my parenting. But, it has and it does. I have very little control over this monster in my brain. I do not know how to calm my inner child who is screaming for my son’s safety in the big bed… Even though there are four safe arms wrapped around him.

This inner child is raging to be heard. Until I listen, she will continue to strive to destroy. Even a sweet little boy’s heart who just needs Mommy’s arms wrapped around him.

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“Permanent Damage”

Following my first EMDR session over a week ago, it seems I have regressed to having high anxiety and flashbacks nearly all day. I’ve been needing naps during the day because of my inability to fall back asleep after nighttime feedings. I have not been this exhausted since I was pregnant. I even had a brand new flashback, one that has sent me into hours of researching the cult one side of my family was raised under. However, I know I have not completely regressed because I had a doctor’s appointment two days ago; my fourth in five months for the same problem. I was not triggered during the exam like I typically am. He told me I have “permanent damage” from giving birth and that I’d most likely have mild pain for the rest of my life… unless however, I had more children, then it would worsen. He gave no recommendations, just a professional “suck it up” and was out the door. I was more bothered by the news than the exam itself. It wasn’t until several hours later that I began to spiral because of where his hands were touching me.

I spoke with the EMDR therapist on the phone yesterday and she’s sending me back to my regular therapist for more CBT until both my containment skills are improved and the baby starts sleeping longer. It was so disappointing; I had a glimpse of healing and relief. I am ready to move on with my life.

I have not fully regressed. I still have yet to yell at my son due to his overwhelming urge to exacerbate my symptoms when I only want to be left alone. I even had enough patience to teach him to read three letter words.