The definition of claustrophobia as given by a Google search: extreme or irrational fear of confined places.
I donâ??t think anything on the planet provides you with a bigger roller coaster ride of ups and downs than parenting. Iâ??m not one of those folks that was â??born to be a parentâ? and don’t have a desire to have any more than one. I mean, in truth, I wanted two when I was in my twenties but quickly let go of that in my early thirties when I realized how cool it was to be selfish.
All joking aside, I think all parents (or most) feel this way at some point but itâ??s quite possible that someone with my characteristics has it a bit worse. Life can be daunting enough when you deal with depression, self doubt (not the normal amount, an extreme amount), and insecurityâ?¦raising a child while dealing with those things isâ?¦wellâ?¦a mess sometimes.
I have felt claustrophobic in my own mind before, itâ??s nothing that being a parent has caused, but the added â??work loadâ? and emotional involvement tends to make it act up more than it used to. I love to work and I think I love to work because I (unfortunately) believe that if you are not producing you are worthless. Iâ??m not sure where I picked this trait up but it annoys me. So I tie value to productivity or at least the â??appearance of productivityâ?. Working from home with Sammy four days a week doesnâ??t always allow me to do what I think I need to do.
I also never really traveled for fun when I was younger, but when Annie and I went to Germany and Paris in October of 2011 I got the travel bug, but we got pregnant shortly after and the rest, as they sayâ?¦is history. This may be selfish, but itâ??s how I feel. We used to go on lots of business trips too, (Annieâ??s work) to San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, and so onâ?¦now, not so much. I guess I feel kind of stuck here sometimesâ?¦and hey man, Iâ??m like a dura electronic cigarette butterfly or something, I need to spread my wings.
Another aspect of feeling claustrophobic comes from the depression or self doubt that I deal with. If Iâ??m not feeling good about myself and it happens to coincide with Sammy having a rough patch it makes me feel even less capable. These are usually the times I turn to a cocktail, attempting to meditate, writing, or getting on the exercise bike for 40 minutes.
My purpose for writing any of this and publishing it today is not to have a pity party, it is simply to help those of you that have the same feelings some days. Life is not easy and as humans we make it quite difficult, typically on ourselves. Parenting is not easy and as parents we tend to over think, under think, or marinate in the moments of misery that sometimes shower down upon us.
Although I do not believe in balance because life things are constantly shiftingâ?¦we need to find some place of contentment and hold onto it for as long as possible. This can come from the realization that weâ??re not alone or maybe it comes from being a little easier on ourselves. This isnâ??t a search for perfection and it canâ??t be since that does not exist. Itâ??s a search for finding ways to like ourselves a little bit more which, in turn, will allow us to be better parents.
Iâ??m still, and probably always will be, dealing with this massively intense and issue ridden ball of myself but I think itâ??s my journey. I used to think â??oh poor meâ? or â??why meâ? when it came to all of the chaos in my brain but now I view it more as my gift. That probably sounds dumb but this is who I amâ?¦I am imperfect, broken in some places, and I donâ??t always feel goodâ?¦but Iâ??m always working and wanting to be better. Some of that broken in us isnâ??t really broken, itâ??s just uniquely us. Itâ??s a beauty mark of sorts, on the inside, that if looked at from the proper perspective can be a gift.
Itâ??s all about what you choose to do with it.
Who could possibly do YOU more perfectly than YOU?!?! I understand that you struggle with certain “demons”, but even those “demons” have helped create the unique individual that you are! I’ve had the opportunity to worry over you and beam with pride over you for almost 37 years now (boy, you’re old) and you have never ceased to amaze me! Sometimes with immature stupid behavior (pencil/leg, enough said) and other times with the amazing power you have to dig out from under mountains and rise up smiling and improving. We are all works in progress, but I have to say you make your sister proud. Because you truly do work towards a better present and future every day! Love you, little bro!
Matt (Dad to Little Browne) says
Wow sis, thank you. It always amazes me when others tell me how they view me…because I don’t see that. I suppose that too is normal. We view ourselves so differently than how the rest of the world views us…a good thing to remember. Thanks again and I love ya!
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