What's wrong with me?

Avatar for trevsmomm
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
What's wrong with me?
Tue, 10-21-2003 - 11:15am
Hi everyone,

I'm new to this board, but have been hanging around ivillage for quite sometime. I'm hoping you gals can give me some insight, advice and support.

Well, I hate to sound like a complainer, but I have a feeling that's how this message is going to come across. I have been in somewhat of a funk for about the past 2-3 years. It all kind of started when I got pregnant. We had been trying to have a baby, but when it finally happened, I was still shocked at how much my life would change. Call me selfish, but I was so used to being a career woman, making a great living, and having tons of free time. Of course, I wasn't stupid - I knew things were going to change, but it was still a shock. However, things have gone downhill from then. I have been having major financial problems, which is creating horrible stress in the marriage (my husband is self-employed and makes decent money, but we were used to living with twice the salary before my son was born). I was diagnosed with a chronic disease last year, which is not iminently fatal, but it definetly can turn that way if I'm not very careful. I was let go from my job of seven years in May due to supposed dire financial problems the company was suffering. Personally, I think they regretted agreeing to letting me work a part-time schedule after my son was born, and needed an excuse to let me go. (I have an outstanding personnel record - in writing.) Knowing that something was up at work for about a year before I was let go, I started looking for a job back in the summer of 2002, with no luck. The stress of being "stuck" at home with a toddler was making me crazy. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE MY SON with all my heart, but I wasn't having any adult interaction and I was just going crazy. With the stress between my husband and I, nothing was right in my life. I finally landed a job through a temp agency last month, but quit because I was there for almost a month, and had not even been given access to the computer system to do my job. I was already a month behind in my work, and never had a chance to catch up. Not to mention, I was only there on a temp basis so I didn't have any insurance, and nothing to look forward to. I had been an executive secretary for seven years, and was assigned to a job where I was answering phones and not able to do the rest of the job I was hired for - for half the pay, no benefits, and no future with that company. It was ridiculous. In the meantime, my husband's brother left company they were owners of, and turned it all over to my husband. This move has turned out to be a blessing and a nightmare at the same time. I now have something to take up some of my time (I'm doing the bookkeeping for my husband's company) but I've never done it before, so I'm struggling to figure it all out. Plus, my son is home with me 3 days a week, so hardly get anything done. In addition, my grandmother died 2 weeks ago, I have a non-existent relationship with my other grandmother, and my father who I am VERY close to is in poor health. I don't know how I can handle any more stress in my life. Some of my close friends have started half-jokingly calling me "tightly wound" - my new nickname. While I try to laugh it off, I don't think they realize it does hurt. I'm just so stressed about about EVERYTHING that my brain is fried. If I don't get this under control very soon, I fear that I'm going to spiral into a major depression.

I'm so sorry for the rambling message, but I kinda felt like I had to vent. The bottom line, in my opinion, is this: I think that I have tried so hard my entire life to feel validated, and it seems the harder I try, the less appreciated I feel. There also always seems to be something "going on." Either a death in the family, loss of a job, the diagnosis of illness, etc. I'm sure people are tired of hearing me complain, but really, I'm looking for support and advice. The stress is overwhelming (I didn't mention half of the other things that are going on) and I don't know where to turn. I have sought professional counseling in the past, but I can no longer afford it at this point. Any suggestions and advice would be much appreciated.

Avatar for angedeciel
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 10-23-2003 - 2:25pm
When it rains, it pours. I didn't feel like you were complaining at all--it sounded more like lamenting. You've "lost" a lot over the last couple years (although you gained ONE HUGE blessing--your son), it sounds like you are in a grieving process. Loss of career- identity, loss of a loved one (or the reminder that your father is ill and that deeply concerns you), financial challenges....WHEW! That's a lot to tackle.

Just wanted to tell you that I didn't think you were complaining, it just sounds like you've got a lot on your plate and it's OK to feel overwhelmed. Maybe try to prioritize and focus on one thing at a time (if you haven't done that already). If you still feel overwhelmed, you might consider visiting your doctor for a depression evaluation. Even if you're a "little" depressed, your doctor can give you suggestions on how to manage your feelings.

Have you called your father lately? Even just to say hello?

Take care,


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2003
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 10:25am
Your not complaining. I am new to this board as well. Angie was right, you do need to focus and prioritize. Most of today's life problems are overwelming when we look at everything at once.

For the work that you are doing with the family business (bookkeeping) you might want to look into a course to help give you the foundation to handle it properly. That might also open some doors for you. Companies will always need someone to count the beans so taking a course and getting comfortable with the family business will give you experience so you could get your foot in elsewhere. If you enjoy it you could be looking at new career change.

Don't ever feel guilty because looking after your son is not enough for you. I have two wonderful children but I knew when I took the maternity leave with the first that as much as I loved her I had to work as well. I don't think that makes me less of a parent but rather a better parent. I need the adult interaction as well, so working relieves stress for me and then I am able to function better with them. I am a single parent who is also taking correspondence online courses so that I can get my designation in accounting, I sell Avon on the side to save for vacations. It's a full plate but I think the only thing suffering is the housework.

To help with the finances you might want to investigate some of the work from home opportunities out there. Selling products as an independant dealer will give you the freedom to work at your own pace, extra money, and give you the interaction you crave.

Dealing with the death of your grandmother, the health of your father and your own illnes is a bit daunting but remember nothing in life is permanent so make the most of every day and enjoy each one to it's fullest.

As for looking for validation, its way too exhausting to look for validation externally. Look internally. If you feel that you have tried your best and at the end of the day you're satisfied with your accomplishments then thats enough. Part of the reason (there were a lot of other issues) that I am no longer married is that my ex was one of those people that couldn't be pleased. He never saw what was accomplished but only what was not and was constantly telling me so. I did try for years before I finally woke up and said enough was enough, I couldn't please him but I could please myself. It was his issue and I was no longer going to make it mine.

Just remember, live everyday, plan for tomorrow but live today, and discover what makes you happy and then run with it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Sat, 10-25-2003 - 8:26am
Hi ...I'm new here too, and a mom at home w/three kids..I used to work as well, and remember the time after my first child was born and how tough that was.

I totally understand about feeling unvalidated in what you are doing now. I worked so hard to get my master's in special ed and elementary education, and worked for a year in a substance abuse rehab w/teenagers in crisis. It was extremely rewarding and I always felt validated because people gave me a lot of credit for doing something they perceived as "tough". But I can tell you looking back it wasn't nearly as tough as raising three kids.

Your validation has to come from you. People will not necessarily give it to you for raising your kids, and even my husband doesn't make me feel he appreciates what I do some days. But your kids will. You are doing something so incredibly valuable and amazing in shaping that child's future and personality, and that is something you should be really proud of.

I am now at the point that I am considering going back to work, and that time may come for you too. But in the meantime, just enjoy being at home w/your child, and know that you're doing the best you can.

Anyway, I totally relate to what you're saying, and I hope you can find a place of support here! Cindy

Avatar for cl_calley7
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 10-25-2003 - 11:23am

Hi Trevsmomm,

Sometimes it's all the "little things" that keep happening and add up that overwhelm us.