I am a discourager.
It's probably contrary to what most people would say of me. See, I make every effort I can to encourage others, especially my more supportive friends. I find myself pouring into their lives with reckless abandon.. I'm unable to see them or hang out with them, usually, so instead I choose to do it via facebook. Lots of my friends say, "You're so sweet!"
They have no idea.
They don't realize that in my head, I am constantly degrading myself for every little perceived failure (and there are a lot of them). I'm not sure if this is something women do in general, or a side effect of having a personal history of depression and a family history of mental illness. I'm not sure what ingredients go into it, but I do know how it makes me feel.
Here's an example. Yesterday, my daughter and I were talking as we got ready for our "Mommy-Daughter (speech therapy) Date". I can't remember why, but as I was leading her by the hand, I said, "Don't you trust your Mommy?" I was frustrated with her (probably because she was asking a lot of questions I'd already answered), and I didn't pay attention to where she was going and she ran into a rearview mirror in a car. Right in her bad eye. RIGHT after I'd gotten onto her case for not trusting me, I lead her into a mirror. Wow. Mom of the Year award, anyone?
I don't do her hair cute. It's a good day if I brush it out. I don't bake bread from scratch (in fact, for years, I didn't even make dinner... someone else made it for me). I can't sew on a sewing machine and I get irate far too easily with my kids. My house is usually a disaster and I snap at my husband if he even remotely seems to hint that I've done something wrong. Stress gets to me in a ridiculously vast way, and if my husband hints that I ought to do something, I snap at him because it's easier to do than hate myself for a full three hours because I disappointed him. I am SO worried about disappointing him. In fact, I feel like I somewhat conned him into marrying me, and I need to do all I can to "save face" and keep him from leaving me (he has never done anything to make me feel like he'll leave: it's my own paranoia).
SO imagine how it felt to me, knowing that my husband requested two and a half weeks off work for my hernia surgery. I felt loved. I felt cherished. I felt... like I didn't deserve it. Yes... I still struggle with this frustrating self-loathing that I'd hoped I killed as soon as my teen years had passed. I think of my job, which I love, and my wonderfully sweet boss, and I think to myself, "They must secretly hate me there. I don't do my job right. I'm a lousy employee." The truth is that I stress far too much.
In fact, I'm sort of nervous about this surgery. Not only am I nervous I'll be in pain, or how hard it's gonna be not to pick up my kids (not to mention no driving for two weeks!), but I also think about how bored I'll be. How will I ever survive not stressing myself to the point of frantic panic?
I watched "My Sister's Keeper" the other day, and I came upon a realization: I am high-strung. I'm almost as bad as the mom in that movie! I related with her and cried as she freaked out about her kids. The thing is, though... my kids aren't dying. They have a condition called NF that CAN be fatal, but it hasn't affected them too much.
So why do I freak out so badly? And will I be able to check myself through prayer, before I wreck myself?