Alone with my thoughts on a day where others celebrate

AnxietyDepressionHolidaysWhat It Feels Like to Me

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As I sit down to start writing, it’s Mother’s Day 2016 at around 9 am. My youngest is still sleeping, the house is quiet except for the water flowing from the turtle aquarium and fish aquarium. My little buddies, Spooky and Mia are wandering around just doing what cats do, and here I sit with my thoughts. I have no idea what direction this post will take me but let’s see what happens.

As is often the case on holidays, it’s very hard to realize what your life is like as a single dad. I don’t really know if Mother’s Day is considered a holiday or not, but it feels like it to me. I totally dread holidays in general. They remind me of how happy so many people are, how countless families get together all across the country to celebrate and enjoy the company of one another. When I see happy couples, families, or moms out with their kids, it makes me a little sad inside.

Is it jealousy? Sure, some of it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad there are men and women who have a happy life, have found their significant other, and are living their dreams as best they can. That’s the honest truth! What stinks is, I had that twice, or so I thought, and it’s gone. It makes me question everything about myself. Where did I go wrong, what did I do to deserve being a single guy in my 40’s? This is supposed to be the prime of your life now, why not me too?

I hope this isn’t coming across as a pity party for myself, that’s not my intention.

This is the time where you’re done with school, you’ve gotten married, you have kids, you have a good job and a spouse that loves you. Maybe you have the house with a white picket fence, the 2 kids, dog, and cat. Maybe you have a place on the beach, where you can smell the ocean breeze every morning, a cabin in the woods, or a big old farm house in the country side. Whatever it is, you are enjoying this part of your life now and looking forward to what’s next because you have a family by your side that supports you no matter what.

Yes, I know, not everything is as it seems. I get it.

For so many of us, days like today are a stark reminder of what’s gone wrong in our lives and how far off the plangive-an-extra-smile-to-make-someones-day-quote-300x200 Alone with my thoughts on a day where others celebrate we’ve gone and now find ourselves. Remember that year book picture from high school or college, where you wrote down what you wanted to do and where you wanted to be in life? Yeah, that whole thing has taken a complete 180 degree turn, went around in circles, then backwards, sideways, and only occasionally does it seem like you’re moving in a positive direction.

Not everything works out exactly as we planned it, and finding ourselves in less than ideal situations tests our will and desire to keep moving forward. It tests our ability to not get caught up in self-pity, to not see the good things in our lives, and to not focus on how far we’ve come. My God, it’s so much easier to see how bad everything is. It’s comforting because it’s familiar.  I’m a pro at that, trust me!

Do I have things to be thankful for? Sure! I have 3 amazing kids that I love more than anything. I have a job, I can pay my bills, I have 2 cats that are my little buddies, and I have a handful of friends that appreciate me for me. I’m so proud of my dad for his service in the US Navy on submarines and surface ships. I’m thankful for a few family members that I feel somewhat close too and can confide in a bit.

I’m also so thankful for the amazing survivor community who has reached out and embraced me as one of their own, no questions asked.

While I do have some good things in my life, yes, I also have so many bad memories that can so easily take over. The sexual abuse at the hands of the teenager up the street, when I was a kid. The two divorces, the lack of ability to get close to people, the total lack of self-esteem and confidence in myself, problems with my mother, and just an overall feeling of being the black sheep in my family. Whether or not that last one is self-imposed makes no difference, it’s how I feel.

The anxiety is real, the depression can take over and you can find yourself falling quickly.

It’s a daily struggle to fight off the past demons, and on “special” days like today, it seems like a losing battle more often than not. So that’s why I write, to cope with my thoughts, to get them out, to validate myself and others, and to gain perspective on life.

This is how my mind works, it rambles and goes from one thought to another endlessly.

On days like today where we are supposed to celebrate and enjoy time with family and friends, just remember there are those that are hurting. Many, many people have bad memories of their mother (or father) due to abuse, neglect or some other type of betrayal, or they just never had a mother to grow up with. This day is especially hard for them too, because they can’t or have no desire to celebrate. I am one of “them”.


For what it’s worth, I was initially thinking this post would focus more on my problems with my own mother, but as it turns out, my mind went in a bit of a different direction. Imagine that.

847c5c806b7247eec7709d49a90e694a?s=100& Alone with my thoughts on a day where others celebrate
Blogger-Podcaster-Author-Advocate for Mental Health.

Matt is survivor of childhood sexual abuse & narcissistic abuse, living with Dissociation, Anxiety, & PTSD.

This blog exists to inspire all who have survived the trauma of abuse. All posts, podcasts, and videos are my life as a survivor shared openly and honestly to help inspire as many as possible to speak up, speak out, and not be ashamed.

10 Responses to " Alone with my thoughts on a day where others celebrate "

  1. This reflects so much exactly how I feel on Mother’s Day. I am a single parent too, although my sons are 26 and 22. Today is also my 1st grandson’s 1st birthday. So while I embrace the moment to celebrate parenthood, the love of our children, for us, Lyric, there is always a bullet hole that never quite heals. We learn how to cope and hide it, but the pain lingers like a concentrated ache. I don’t know if it ever fully goes away or even if it dulls. Maybe we more grow accustomed to it over time and live in spite of. As always, a poignant, vulnerable post. ?

    • Lyric says:

      Vennie, your insight and validation is always so welcomed and so much appreciated. I’m afraid I’m realizing all too well that the pain never really goes away and that bullet hole will never heal completely. It will be a scar that I will carry, as so many countless others do. I’m struggling right now with staying away from the family get together because I do enjoy seeing some of my family. However my issues with my mother and my family always wanting to ask me if I’m ok and wanting to know what’s going on with me just works on every last nerve I have left. I have no desire to go through that today in any capacity.

      • Yep that’s how my mom was and not because she really cared but because she was downright nosy. Funny, people say we hold onto the past. Naw. It holds onto us and we spend our lives prying it’s fingers away. ?

  2. Don says:

    I glad you have both human friends and 4-legged friends to help you through those days that are a challenge. The “Norman Rockwell family” idea doesn’t exist everywhere like it is portrayed to exist. Yes, I know there are families that resemble it, but there is also a lot of pain. I no longer have a mom to chat with and although its been many years now, I still miss her. For me, its my Dad and the next day that comes up where I just want to hide and think of destructive things to do.

    I’m still working on ways to reclaim the holidays so that they are good things for me and not cement nooses around my neck swimming in a big body of water. Sometimes i make better progress than others and sometimes, well it just sucks.

    You’re so correct… life has many twists and turns.

    • Lyric says:

      Thanks Don, yeah holidays….I just can’t get used to them. It’s nothing but pain and discomfort. Trying to enjoy them is so incredibly difficult. It’s not easier now than it was 3 years ago when I was divorced and certainly not easier now since I’ve discovered this new information about my mother. I hope to one day reclaim them completely, or I’d settle for at least alittle bit honestly. 🙂

      • Don says:

        For a long time when holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas would come around, I would head for the mountains far away from people. I had people that would invite me to their place on those days and while that was nice of them to do, I struggled to get through the day. I find that I want to do something now for most holidays, but that in itself is not easy. The thing I really have learned though is that I plan “something” to do on those days that I want to do and it does not have to be connected to the holiday whatsoever. It just gives me SOMETHING that I can look forward to and help take my mind off of the holiday or the pain. Regardless of what I choose to do on those days, I really attempt to honor myself and my feelings/emotions. And if I get to that day and say, not feeling like it – then that’s what I honor.

        • Lyric says:

          Thanks Don! I’ve had others give me similar advice. Try to find something to plan so you can look forward to it without focusing so much on the negativity around the holidays; like the movies, or a small trip, or whatever. Like yesterday though, I got this text from my mother just making me feel totally guilty because I wasn’t going to be there with the family and my dad misses me, etc. I knew she was going to do it but dammit she has that way of just making me feel guilty for everything that I do! I love my dad so much, he’s amazing and I’m so proud of him for many things and I do miss him. It’s just hard to find ways to hang out with him and not have to interact with her. I guess I need to find some middle ground some how.

          • Don says:

            Last thanksgiving, this started me on a downhill spiral. I texted my cousin and said “happy thanksgiving”. She responded, your brother is going to be in town, do you want to come meet at our house. You talk about taking me down. I started shaking. I couldn’t sleep. I was in complete fear mode at that point just with that little statement. I fully understand. For a time, I just shut my phone off. Take your time, make your own rules and boundaries… and let that be okay for now. Things can always change and evolve. I have no contact with any of my family so those days get pretty tough for me. Gut wrenching.

  3. Mothers’ Day is also really difficult for me. I thought I would be a mother by now, but my husband decided a few years into the marriage that he didn’t want children. It’s a tear in my heart I can’t seem to move past.

    • Lyric says:

      I’m so sorry that this day brings sadness to you Joy. I can relate to the pain you feel and the struggle of dealing with a day like this. Know that I support you, I’m your friend, and I’m always here to encourage and validate you! We all love you very much.

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