You know, as they say, timing is everything. Not that there is ever an ideal time for shitty things to happen, but sometimes, some things sting more than others. When you are raw and sensitive and triggering things just keep punching you in the throat, it all starts to feel overwhelming and personal.
As some of you may know, my family and I recently moved from the Midwest to Mexico (Baja, California). The plan was that it was going to be a major life upgrade. And in many ways it has been, and I’ve no doubt it will continue to improve dramatically. But right now I am struggling — spiraling, if you will.
It has all been quite the cocktail of stressors so far, as any move, I suppose. Mostly positive stress, but you know, stress is stress and when it exacerbates, it tends to feel overwhelming. Then the guilt and shame set it — right on schedule. Oh the guilt. How fucking dare I not be thrilled, ecstatic, fall to my knees grateful every single day to be in beautiful Mexico with a view of the ocean from my home? It’s gorgeous, the food is nearly orgasmic in its deliciousness, and my partner is now living next door to his best friend whom he hadn’t seen in 8 years. These are all wonderful things that I am truly, truly grateful for. But the move has presented me with some unique challenges.
Two things I have attributed to the betterment of my mental health in the past couple of years are weekly therapy and weekly Church. These activities combined created a wonderful recipe for me to feel seen, heard, important and worthy. I haven’t been to therapy in over two months, and between the move and the toddler hitting his tumultuous twos in full force, it’s now been monthsss since we’ve had a proper Saturday Church session.
I’m aware that these things are just meant to be tools in my mental health toolkit, but they were both activities to rely on as a constant, no matter what happened throughout the week, I just had to make it to Thursday for therapy then Saturday for Church. As a result Sunday was usually so much more relaxed and centered after a delicious, cathartic impact play session the night before, allowing me to start the week a little more focused and confident.
Without either of those things, I feel quite small, quiet and powerless, to be honest. Not having that time every week with someone who insists we focus on me, has made me quite sensitive and left me feeling decidedly unimportant.
I am well aware it’s no one’s responsibility to make me feel important. That should be something I nurture and grow along with my self-esteem. But it is something I am not very good at. I had been finding a support system that worked for me and my mental health and I feel like that has taken a back burner and I am finding it difficult to adjust.
Mother’s day was incredibly tough for me this year. It was the first year since my oldest was born nearly 17 years ago that I didn’t spend Mother’s day with him. I didn’t expect anything fancy, or extravagant, but I must confess, I thought someone other than my partner would have taken a second out of their day to wish me a happy day. An e-card maybe? To acknowledge that I was a mother whose kid was in a different country, and that I have been away from him longer than I ever had and god dammit I just needed a friend or two. Just one of these people to let us know that we weren’t alone here. That we had people who cared about us. Even the teenager didn’t wish me a Happy Mother’s day until late in the evening.
I am sure I am being dramatic and admittedly a little woah is me, but it hurt. And it made me painfully aware that I have one friend in this entire country. And I wouldn’t even be that bummed if I didn’t feel like we were misinformed about the situation here. We were urged to move, told we were welcome. I am sure that we are, and that if I reached out and explained the situation, they would have been happy to help. It was my fault for misreading the relationships and having unrealistic expectations, like I almost always do — in every situation. I find it nearly impossible to reach out and ask for help.
My entire life I have struggled with feeling like a burden. Mostly because I grew up hearing that I was a burden, but that shit doesn’t just fade away as you get older if you don’t know how to address it. I then spent a decade married to someone who went out of their way to make me feel small and unimportant. Almost as if he was compelled to constantly prove and remind me how much more important his friends, job, hobbies, etc, were than me. Therapy helped me a great deal with my self-esteem, but considering I essentially started with a negative, the couple of years of work hasn’t quite done the trick.
The toddler keeps me so busy I feel like I don’t have a minute to myself to check-in and remember I have been training for this, to utilize the skills I have been building to grow and make new friends. I feel isolated, and that triggers my depression and self-loathing, which makes me less motivated to spend an hour filling out “Make new friends” profile pages.
Until this past weekend, where I had a brief encounter with a mother in the park, and I spent 10 minutes in a car with a driver on the way to the grocery store, I hadn’t had an in-person conversation with an adult other than my partner in over a month. I am fucking lonely. I’ve always been an introvert, and oftentimes kept to myself, but I at least worked. I’ve been a stylist for 16 years, so I have always had someone to talk to, to tell me about their day, most of the time they would even ask about mine. My clients were almost always happy to see me because I made them feel better about themselves. It wasn’t something I had prepared myself to go without completely.
It all puts too much pressure on our relationship and D/s dynamic for him to be the only person I can talk to and rely on. It keeps me in a constant state of fear that I am just one comment away from the one person I know here not speaking to me. I cannot bear the thought of it. And that’s not fair to him. It isn’t healthy for either of us. The situation doesn’t have a quick solution though, not that I can see.
I start to feel like a broken record with the phrase “I’m trying”, it doesn’t feel like enough. It starts to feel like an excuse I tell myself as to why I still feel the way I do, but I have faith it will get easier. I am trying to anyway (there’s that word again). Faith isn’t something that comes naturally to me. But I need a win, to feel like a priority, even to myself.