Letter to Myself

I see you.  I see you driving away from your house with tears of shame and defeat in your eyes.  Feeling hopelessly messed up because you desperately (trying not to sound desperate) texted your neighbor to see if she could watch the kids.  You were falling apart and scared: scared by how much energy and self-control it was going to take to get to the end of the day.  You didn’t think you could do it.

You feel like you’re a horrible parent for leaving – for not being able to handle the kids in their worst moods and contain your own storm that was raging inside.  You felt frightened that you were going to yell at them and be unkind and basically totally lose your shit.  From past experience you know you’ll be fine – that they’ll be fine – but it’s impossible to believe it when you are becoming disconnected and wondering how the hell you’re going to make it to the next moment, let alone the next hour.  There have been worse days than this but I know that is no comfort right now.  Those moments when you feel like you are in over your head always feel like the worst and that’s okay.

Just know that you are not a failure.  Sometimes the best thing to do for you and for others is ask for help even if it makes you embarrassed and ashamed.  Don’t listen to those voices that say that you are not enough, that you can’t do this and can’t do that.  Don’t lie to yourself in thinking that you are irrevocably screwing up your kids or your marriage or your friendships because you are screwed up.  This is a planet full of broken people.

I’m reaching through your loneliness and shame and urging you to give yourself grace.  Take a moment and see what a good thing you did: you admitted your weakness and did the best you could for both you and the kids.  Take a moment to rest in that fact and breathe.  Breathe so deeply that you feel peace.

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