Selfish Wallowing

Yeah, we’re staring down the barrel of a pandemic that could kill millions and I’m over here whining about my shitty life and mental health. Oh well. I can’t do anything to save anyone else and feel like I’m not doing such a good job of saving myself, so.

After I wrote yesterday’s blog post I genuinely felt better. I was able to start listening to a broader range of music instead of the sad, wistful or despairing songs. I was genuinely relieved by the idea of just letting myself do my thing instead of conforming to expectations for how I should handle rejection or the pursuit of a relationship. I was comforted by the thought that I don’t owe the universe emotional availability.

I was talking about it with A later in the day, though, and suddenly I had this image of my life to come – kids and a job. Bam, the depression was back. That just feels so empty.

-yes, I’m aware many people are going to be utterly HORRIFIED that I could talk about my kids and my life being empty. Obviously the fact that I have children means I should be full of warm fuzzies and that their existence should give my life meaning and purpose and encourage me to keep going.

I was never that person. I was never going to find meaning and purpose and fulfillment in parenthood. Yes, I love them. I genuinely find them to be neat and interesting people and I care that they grow up healthy and loved. I also feel incredibly trapped by their existence. I don’t find that my life has meaning because they love me – I know very well that kids are going to love and bond with their parents no matter what, even when those parents are objectively shitty people. I don’t particularly draw comfort from being loved by people that have no real choice about it.

Parenting stresses me out. The cost to me is incredibly high. I do the best I can to give them the healthy love they deserve from me, but I don’t get a reward from it, I don’t get replenished by it. It’s a duty, not a delight.

I don’t resent them for it. None of this is their fault and it would be vastly unkind of me to project that onto them. Their presence in my life is neutral at best, though, not a net gain. A job in a field I dislike is not even neutral, it’s a net loss. And that’s what my life is going to consist of.

The only consistently good thing that’s a net gain in my life are my friendships, and saying that makes me experience the irrational fear that now the universe will try to take that from me, too.

I’m about to start earning a paycheck where I could at least try to provide myself some emotional salve in the form of little day trips to explore the region the way I’ve wanted to, BUT NO. Global pandemic!

And in what feels like the universe rubbing salt in the wound, we’re on our second day of rainy weather.

7 thoughts on “Selfish Wallowing

  1. Oh, my god! Yes!!!! This is sooooo perfect. I know, I sound nuts, but I totally get this 100%. I love my kids, but, god, they are a drain. They need and need and need and honestly, they are kids so they are not supposed to support me, I’m supposed to support them. And, no, there is absolutely no reward in parenting. After years (50 of them) hearing people talk like that, I’ve come to the conclusion that most of them are just repeating their conditioning. They don’t really feel that way. Oh, maybe about 5% do, but most don’t. You can see it in the way they treat their children.

    And the way you are viewing your kids will actually help you. You are not expecting some sort of reward or fuzzy feeling so you will not be bitter toward them for not living up to that unrealistic standard.

    I hope that, though you have to work, you will be able to stay well during all of this and that your kids stay well. And I hope this job works out for you.

    It’s hard right now, I know. God, I used to just shake with the fear over the future for me and the kids. It’s been a long haul to get this far, where we can all be stuck together in the house for god know’s how much longer, and not kill each other. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m always torn between being happy someone understands, and wishing they hadn’t gone through something similar!

      I’m really glad you’ve been able to get so far and improve your life so much. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it… thanks for sharing.

    And thanks for being one of the kind folks who “liked” my post from yesterday… I had an anxiety attack after posting it. Not sure why. I think I got interrupted too many times while writing it, so the feeling when I began the post turned out very different from when I ended it. Also I’m feeling waves of social love vs social anxiety lately, in alternate measures. The Covid thing is causing a lot of turbulence.

    Anyway, great post. I always admire your blunt honesty. :))

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, what goes around comes around. ;)) Thanks for sending out your writings to the blogosphere. I think in these times it’s pretty important that daily life, feelings and thoughts get documented – from as wide a variety of origins and points of view as possible. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As it happens, I agree with that! In a way we’re all contributing to creating a historical record of our times. (And it doesn’t hurt to have something to look back on from a personal perspective, either.)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Totally true, that last statement too! I tend to be reminded more often of the path I’ve taken via my blogs, when someone “likes” an older post or three. Whereas, I rarely make time to look at private journals… though I guess if I weren’t blogging, I would. ;)) But the benefit of the blog, is it might better survive somehow, even if we don’t… :))

        Liked by 1 person

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