Having a rough time

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loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
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   Posted 4/18/2008 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all, I'm having a rough go these days. I met with the new therapist for the first time yesterday...I am finally going for myself again, and just hearing myself say all the things I am feeling out loud was kind of rough. Plus, my youngest son has been having these HORRID tantrums. I know some of it is age appropriate, but to the extent he goes...it is cause for concern. SO...we now have an appointment to discuss the situation with my H and older S's pdoc. Time to look and see if there is a bio component. I am PRAYING that there isn't, but given the known heredity component with my H & S...we have to at least look. I am hoping it is just a behavioral thing. But I am SO sad about it either way. I hate that he is going through these tantrums it is causing such strife and sadness for him (he is one controlling and strong willed kid!), as well as our family. I don't know how to comfort the situation anymore. He's 7, and behaves horribly and says horrific things to you in the throws of his tantrum (but not at school or on play dates, so he CAN control it when he wants)...they tend to start when he is told no - or won't take the time or refuses to listen to what is REALLY being said in the moment about anything, and then wants to apologize when it is over and have everything go back to "normal". Only, there are consequences for his actions. Once he calms down again I hug him, tell him I love him, that I accept his apology...then I talk to him about it. During the tantrum I stay calm BTW) But, then it happens again. I don't want to walk around like Sargent mom with him...I want him to feel the love. But...how do I do that and still send the message that there are acceptable behaviors, and not acceptable behaviors? Clearly it is not working whatever I am doing because there are repeated incidents because of repeated lessons unlearned by him, and then I get the momentarily sincere apology? poof...the cycle begins again.....AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SEE, being MOMMY is HARD!!!!!!!!!!!! It is all making me so sad, and I am exhausted given H & S and their never ending stuff...and now with this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then there is my daughter, his twin sister, and I feel like she gets the short end of the stick all the time. By the time I handle all that I do, deal with homework issues, eye patch issues for her twin brother, a hour long tantrum or two....I am sad and exhausted and there is like nothing left of me for her..............add this to all the other pressures. OH....and lets not forget the vicious cycle....now with dealing with the pdoc evaluation and some behavior modification work with a therapist for our youngest S....MORE money to be spent on MEDICAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippie...MORE money stress....see....back to issue number 1 again....MORE MONEY PRESSURE. See, like I said...rough go....

Thanks for letting me rant and whine! Hugs to all. LFW

mommy.michele
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 4/18/2008 2:53 PM (GMT -7)   

I am so sorry you are having a rough time of it right now.  It seems to get all heaped up at once.  I hope your sons tantrums are a age behavior, I know they can be pretty sneaky and headstrong at that age...but it is good you are crossing all your T's and dotting all your I's.

I know how hard it can be with the kid stress.  I am facing some of that right now too.  The hard part for me is the letting go as my daughter gets older.  She will be 15 next month, and is going on her first date tonight.  A group of friends is going ice skating, but a particular boy asked her.  Oh the nerves going through me!!

To me this is a big step, and I want to be a part of it, but she told me yesterday that she is going to her dads after school today and that her stepmom is taking them to the rink.  It is hard to not feel punched in the stomach  :(  So inside I am working through some depression from this.  Being mommy is hard I tell ya.

I hope your new thrapist works out...and all of your upcoming appts. go well.

Maybe mommy and your little girl need a girls night...a movie and a pedicure or something  :)


"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending" ~ Maria Robinson


loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 4/18/2008 4:00 PM (GMT -7)   
My daughter is only 7...I think a bit young for pedicures...but yes, some kind of mommy/monkey time is in order. Good suggestion. Now...what can we do that won't stress me out more???? Any thoughts? Fun, no money involved, girl stuff....??? I'd love some ideas..I am so stressed, I'm blank with fun ideas. Guess I am not in a "fun" mood at the moment. I'm trying hard though. LFW

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
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   Posted 4/18/2008 6:49 PM (GMT -7)   
LFW:

Poor thing. This sounds like you're having a terrible time of it right now. ((((Hugs)))) and sympathy. Try to remember that whatever is going on for your son is temporary, whether medical or behavioral, he's not going to be throwing tantrums forever. Stay firm and it sounds like you're handling it the best that you can -- just don't give in. You've got to be the grown up. You're doing a great job.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


olivia of course
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 4/18/2008 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   
LFW,

My sympathies to you, you surely are going through rough times. I am glad you finally get time out for yourself, and getting a chance to see a therapist. We all need time to vent. I hope things calm down for your son soon, hopefully it will all work out soon. You have been an awesome job.

--fun ideas--

Baking something
going to the park/playground
arts/crafts
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
Only by seeking challenges can we hope to find the best in ourselves.
~Robert Rodriguez


marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 4/19/2008 6:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Do try to spend time with your daughter. It is only fair and reasonable. I have 3 teens of my own. Two of them are handfuls and one is the "easy" kid and it was easy to not give him the same attention.

My kids used to love to rent movies with me and do the popcorn snack thing. We still do that fairly often. Also, go for a drive and get an ice cream cone. Go walking around the mall and get her a new set of hair barrettes or a new pair of very inexpensive play earrings... that sort of thing. McDonald's breakfast is another cheap outing which kids love. Or make pancakes with bananas. Or waffles. Get out the sleeping bags and have a slumber party in the living room.

Girls at age seven are pretty easy to please. They like anything sparkly and shiny. It doesn't have to be pricey.

Your son will probably outgrow the tantrums. My ADD son did. They got less and less frequent. Stay calm and try not to make a big deal out of them. It's his way of letting off steam. Be thankful he DOESN"T do it out in front of friends, etc. This would alienate him.

wmnak
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 4/19/2008 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   

maybe i'm just  a contrarian, but i disagree with how you are handling your son's tantrums.  what message is he getting?  or, as dr.phil would say, "how is THAT working for you?"  he is getting your full attention, he is hearing his mom tell him that she loves him, and, maybe more importantly, he is getting one up on his sibling (don't ever discount the power of sibling rivalry).

when my wife and i had two of our granddaughters visit us for the summer (this was over d decade ago!) when they displayed an unacceptable behavior, we told them what they did that was unacceptable and why it was unacceptable.  then we had them stand with their nose in a corner for one minute for every year of their age.  after that was over, the offending child would have to apologize, stating the unacceptable behavior.  then, and only then, did we hug her, give her a peck, and tell her how proud we were of her for changing her behavior.

it worked for us, so i am speaking from my own experience.

i also agree about having a "special" time with your other daughter.  focus on her likes and dislikes.  taking my middle granddaughter fishing would be a real treat for her.  taking the youngest would be a punishment.  by the same token, it's always nice to "stretch their horizons," so be as creative as you can.

i hope this helps - at least a little.  remember that as they grow older, it only gets more and more complex.  yeah

warren


That light at the end of he tunnel?  It's an on-coming train.
 
 


loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 4/20/2008 12:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your thoughts, support and feedback. Much appreciated at this moment. As I write to you, we are off and going with another tantrum. We are trying the ignore technique at the moment.

Wmnak, EVERYTHING you described is what we do, however instead of the nose to the wall, we send to his room. And praising does not occur until compliance, just like what you described. So, I am not really clear what you are disagreeing with. But I do understand your experience and sentiments, and do appreciate you taking the time to share with me.

Okay...it is escalating now...I need to run. I'll check in again soon. LFW

loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 4/22/2008 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Here's a little update. We had the meeting this morning with my H & S's pdoc, to discuss what we are seeing in our youngest and if we are seeing the early signs of BP or ADHD. He said, based on what we shared, at this moment there is enough about his behavior that does not fit, therefore he thinks it is most likely behavioral, and if after doing behavioral therapy for a bit, more gets revealed...we can look again and test him for it. But at this moment he is not convinced that is it. SO....while on some levels I hope it is TOTALLY true, and he is not. We are left with much work to do with the therapist about all this. Wish us luck! Hugs to all, LFW

mogli
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 4/22/2008 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   

LFW,

I love you.  You have always been so supportive of me (as all of my HW family has).  You are so loved.  I can't thank you enough for all of your support.

I am at the same boiling point you are at; I feel like everything is going to bury me alive, and I'm about to break (too long of a story, but just feeling a ton of pressure at externship...etc...and some of the usual stuff).

I think #1 is venting in situations like this.  Seriously.  So I know you've vented to us, but is there a dear friend that you can make some time with (for yourself) and have a talk?  I know that you are concerned with your children, and I also have an understanding of what a wonderful mother you are...Just want you to take some time for yourself so that you can take care of all of this "stress" that is really affecting you.  I also find that some quiet time alone is helping me right now.  Not sure if that would help you or not?  I know it's much different at your house, than at mine.  I don't have kids (yet).

Anyway, I am thinking of you and sending you many hugs.  Keep us updated, we are very much here for you.

 


Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
Clonazepam .5mg as needed, Trazodone 50mg/day & Lamictal 200 mg/day


wmnak
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 4/22/2008 8:42 PM (GMT -7)   

send a kid to his/her ROOM?  When was the last time you visited that magic kingdom?  TV, computer, playstation and games, private phone.  What did I leave out?  With a friend's daughter, my frined found drugs.  I pray you are spared THAT.

is sending a child to his/her room really punishment?  standing in a corner with hands behing the back and no distractions IS pure h*ll to most young children.

only a thought, but if i were a betting man, i'd wager that your children's rooms are magic kingdoms (without Michael Jackson).

Have a think about it.

Warren


That light at the end of he tunnel?  It's an on-coming train.
 
 


loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 4/22/2008 9:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Mogs, quiet time sounds lovely (although I don't get much of it), and YES...I have been venting to a dear friend as well. I am so sorry to hear of all the pressure on you. Keep breathing through it dear girl....KEEP BREATHING! Keep doing all the calming techniques you can. We'll both make it through...I just know we will. I have faith for us both.

Wmnak, it is good you are NOT a betting man!!!!! My children's rooms are void of TV, phones, toys, computer, Nintendo's and such. They are for sleeping, and a few books and a stuffed animal or two (and their clothing of course). All toys and games and such are in what would once have been considered the garage - but the walls are finished and the floor is lenolium. It is like a finished room, and it is set up as a kids "play and study room" AND laundry room. (We are in a rather small rental house at the moment as we wait for the housing market to come back down to a reasonable price around here - but we moved here for the school district). My twins not only share a bedroom, but in the play/study room a computer and desk, and my oldest, has the same bedroom situation (no phone, TV, computer...etc.) his computer is in this "play room/study room" although he has his own desk, and while his computer has internet access it is in this public room AND we have all parental controls and behind the scenes access to review what he is doing on there and who he is talking to, and what sights he is visiting, etc... to monitor it for HIS safety. He does NOT have a my space page! Therefore, I don't think they overly enjoy being sent to their rooms (especially my 7 year olds).

So again, while I really appreciate your feedback, I think you somehow have the impression of me that I somehow am too lenient on my kids, or spoil them rotten. I don't. I do try to love them with EVERYTHING I have inside me...so they should NEVER doubt that I am there for them and they are loved. But I work to give them what they need...which isn't always what they necessarily want. I am more the disciplinarian in this house than my H, because he is all about being their playmate and is not consistent when it comes to limits and rules because of, I think, the BP. He has a hard time with consistency in this way (although over the years he has gotten better...but only a little). So, I have to take on that role MUCH more than I think I should, or want to. It just is "what is" in our house. Hope that helps give you a better understanding of my situation. LFW

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 4/23/2008 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
LFW -- Well, for the moment, I suppose it's "good" news then, although it still carries with it an imposing amount of work and worry. I'm glad to hear it. I hope the behavioral therapy works and gives you a break because you certainly deserve it.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


wmnak
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 4/23/2008 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   

ok, lfw, i give.  i've been through all of the things that many people do to sabotage dicipline, and you could be dr. phil's clone!  :-)     or, even worse, mine.  nono

you seem to have the actions down to a science.  my input is only intended to help based on my experience of how i've seen people trying valiently to win in a no-win situation.  i actually have no opinions or thoughts of how lienient or tough you are with your children.  as i said, my input is simply based on my own experience and the experience of people that i have seen.

you seem to be doing an excellent job in one of the toughest jobs knoiwn to human beings:  bringing up the next generation with proper va\lues and dicipline.  all parents who take their job as seriously as you deserve a medal.

warren


That light at the end of he tunnel?  It's an on-coming train.
 
 


loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 4/23/2008 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh...PLEASE don't compare me to Dr. Phil. Don't personally care for the man. But, I DO take my job as a mom seriously, and do try to stay consistent about things with my kids. THEY don't make it easy as they are relentless most times. If anything, I think I could be accused of being too strict, and it is something I try hard to balance with love and care. Because of the role of "chaos manager" in our household, I have a hard time putting on the hat of "fun time mommy". I don't think I am a great playmate as a result. I think it is because there is ALWAYS too much work for me to do (mom, chaos manager, bills, house, my work...etc), and when I do get a minute to let down my guard and relax and "have fun", I find it hard to do the silly things. I am not into Nintendo, video games, etc. so it makes it hard at times as that is what they want to play. And I can't go skateboarding or bike riding type of thing. But I did begin teaching my daughter last night to crochet. I think she liked that.

I guess what I find so hard, is that when I feel like we are doing EVERYTHING we can think of to "do this right" and when we simply can't get control of a situation with one of the kids over and over again, or we don't seem to be doing something effectively to help them through this stage or that....we are at a total loss. It is the most helpless feeling in the world. I feel like we need SUPER NANNY living with us! But given the BP in this house...I don't know that she could even help sometimes. So, I come here and VENT, and ask for ideas of what else we could try that may have worked for someone else, things we may not have thought of yet.

Thanks for your efforts. LFW

wmnak
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 4/26/2008 8:33 PM (GMT -7)   
lfw,

just a quick note. there is no "right" or "wrong" in the game of parenting. there are only "outcomes." many years ago, i think it was in the 60s or 70s, someone did a study of how children turned out with "lenient" and "strict" parents. suprisingly, they discovered that the strictness or leniency did not seem to matter as much as the consistency (children need to know that they are special and loved) and the feeling of "family" in the relationship. i was VERY suprised when i read this study because i'm more of a libertarian than a diciplinarian.

best of luck with your challange. from what i read, you eally care and your kids know it. love finds its own level, too.

warren
That light at the end of he tunnel?  It's an on-coming train.
 
 


loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
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   Posted 4/27/2008 9:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I think part of the problem with me, and I am going to assume a lot of spouses of BP's, so I don't think I am alone in it...is that so much rests on my shoulders for the consistency. I am kind of like the glue that keeps it all together and functioning, and the barometer to the balance around here. Then, I am the one to calm things, I am the one....etc....etc....etc.... I do so much that is never ending that it is exhausting. The pressure is enormous because if I drop the ball the chaos wins. Kids will mimic the adults behavior. My H has such a low frustration tolerance, that I am constantly needing to step in. But heaven forbid I get pissed or frustrated because my plate is TOO full....he's ALL over me with the little digging negative comments...the lectures about how the children are picking up on my behavior...that I need to calm down (of course GOD forbid I handle it with him the way he does me....(how unfair that he can say and share whatever he likes...and can go on and on about it, but I on the other hand have to always contain myself and work on picking the right words...to be shared at the right times!!!!!!!!!!). Which by the way ADDS to all the stress and pressure I'm under. Like I said...exhausting.

I sometimes think I should be voted into sainthood for how well I DO hold it ALL together. However, the stress is SO high at the moment, I really feel myself crumbling to it and can actually see and feel how sad I am all the time. It is being compounded at the moment with great guilt about it all...and as well intentioned as I am sure my H is...his CONSTANT pointing it out to me (my current lack of joy)...his comments that I TOO need medication to help me over this hump...blah...blah...blah....ISN"T HELPING. I finally shared with him in an e-mail about SOME of what I was feeling these days, and what SOME of the pressure is for me and he acknowledged with even just what I did share, it was A LOT. I told him about our son's therapist being willing to see me, and that I am going to start seeing him for a bit (again...the guilt to add to our expenses right now gets compounded for this...vicious darn cycle), anyway...he is supportive about it. I told him I acknowledge how I am feeling is bad enough that if after working with the therapist for a bit, if I don't pull up out of this funk...I am only then willing to go talk to his pdoc about a short term course of antidepressant meds for me. I have VERY strong coping skills, and am usually quite a positive balanced person...but it has all gotten so much harder of late and I am sure it is in direct correlation to how exhausted by all the pressure I am at the moment. PLUS...my right hand helper is leaving this Thursday. I also want to give me an adjustment period to wrangle the new routine around here now that she will be gone. I have A LOT to figure out.

Thanks for listening as usual gang! LFW

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
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   Posted 4/27/2008 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
LFW,

I have only (((hugs))) for you because you still have it all wrapped up. You have a direct course of action; you know just what you're going to do to try and feel better. It must be hard balancing that contradiction in your husband's expectation of you -- to prevent the chaos so that he can be free to say and do as he feels with the kids. I do sense though the huge tension you have, how wound up you are, trying to keep everything chaos free. Because that's just not possible, and I'm sure you know that. And even if your husband desires or "needs" it, he can't have it. It's going to make you nutso. You can only do so much and then you've gotta give yourself a break and he'll have to make the adjustment for himself -- and you'll obviously have to talk about this -- especially know that your helper is leaving.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
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   Posted 4/27/2008 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Believe me Serafena....even with my BEST of efforts...we seem to simply be a household of big personalities (albeit WONDERFUL human beings :-> ) and therefore, controlling the chaos is me trying to keep it to a manageable level - LOL. Many times the efforts are futile as one person sets off another...etc. But I do try none the less because I can't stand the grumblings from H about it. And when I share I don't want to hear it from him (or GOD forbid roll my eyes a bit - but successfully say nothing), he says, "your my wife...can't I tell you these things?" (only he doesn't hear, or notice, how he says it to me...it is like incessant complaining AT me - verses his sharing how he wishes WE could find better methods to keep things calmer - but sees how hard we are BOTH working). He always says how I don't hear how I come across...only, I'm the one not complaining...just working to get the job done - and then have to listen to complaining how it isn't good enough, or how HE finds it so frustrating. He never seems to include me in these statements, or acknowledge all the work and efforts. Does that make sense? I am mostly just getting it off my chest at the moment, as I don't expect anyone to really have answers to any of it. We are all going through much the same thing given the circumstance regardless of which side of the BP we're on. It is just part of the process we all get to live with. It is just sometimes more exhausting than others. Hugs, LFW

wmnak
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 4/27/2008 8:09 PM (GMT -7)   

lfw,

my wife is a lot like you.  anal retentive.  everything has to be PERFECT before she can go on to something else.  i keep telling her that life isn't perfect and that there are a lot of fiddly bits and pieces going counter clockwise all the time, preventing the perfection.

she has a perfect image in her head and moves heaven and h*ll to get it.  she wears herself and me out trying to get there.  and when we arrive, she discovers that she didn't get the whole picture the first time.  she (and you) are in a no-win situation designed to send you to the hospital for a long, long time if you are unable to break the pattern.

one of the things i ask my wife when she gets into one of the heroic drama queen phases is "what is the worst thing that can happen if you do (or don't do) this task?"  usually, the frightening outcome is trivial.

lfw, there was only one perfect human being on this earth according to the christian tradition.  and look at what they did to him.  leave perfection to the gods and deal with the imperfect realities surrounding you every day.

i hope this helps clarify what i've been trying to say to you.

warren


That light at the end of he tunnel?  It's an on-coming train.
 
 


loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
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   Posted 4/28/2008 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your input Wmnak, it is always appreciated. I do understand what you are saying and get your point. I believe though that I am simply striving for the basics in my attempts to at least keep some degree of order around here. I am not what I would call, or any one else would for that matter, anal retentive or a perfectionist. ONE look at our house would reveal that. I am clear no matter HOW hard I try at things...PERFECT as you suggest, or put it, is NOT an option here. I am simply aiming at balanced.

I am currently overwhelmed because I already work so hard, and with my home helper leaving....MORE will land on my shoulders to do with the house, groceries, schedules AND I am also looking for work on top of it because my business is not reaching a self sustaining level as of yet and we need me to pull in a second income. SO, on top of what was already a VERY full schedule, and all the other pressures of living in a house with a BP H & teenage S (my S also has ADHD as well), and 7 year old twins who are active and the male twin is showing signs of tantrum issues at every turn - which sets my H off....etc....etc....etc, and then we are off and running....I will end up taking on more and more to keep the dream of my company alive and hold this family together to remain functional....and therefore I am fearing being crushed by it all. I am NOT seeking perfection....just survival and not letting my kids and family down. Make sense? LFW

wmnak
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Date Joined Jul 2006
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   Posted 4/28/2008 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   

of course you make sense.  and i stepped in it again by using the word "perfection."  i apologize; please forgive an old man who is trying his best to express some very difficult and complex issues.  nevertheless, perfection or simply keeping the lid on is wearing you down and tearing you apart.  at some point your body (or brain) will simply say, "i've had enough, lfw!  slow down or stop now or i'm going to do it for you!"

at times like those, i have found from my personal experience, to slow down or stop on my own rather than have my body or brain so it for me.  those parts of "us" can be so irrational and not understand that the world is falling apart without my total commitment to keeping a lid on everything!  my, my, they can stop you dead in your tracks.  and who will keep the lid on then?  or perhaps the lid will come off and a cleansing explosion may occur.  you never know.

warren


That light at the end of he tunnel?  It's an on-coming train.
 
 


sukay
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 4/28/2008 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello LFW,

I'm so very sorry to hear things are still so hard on you. I wish I could offer some good advise. I can offer to give you a     (((( BIG HUG))))) though!

Are you still able to see your own therapist? Are you seeing her enough, or did something happen that I missed? I thought that was a wonderful idea for you. My therapist doesn't just listen, she gives me such wonderful advise and tips on where to get the right information/help when I need it.
 
I understand some of what warren says. I know you are in a very tough situation, but you do need to plan a way for you to be able to get out of the house some to just let things go and get a breather. Life at home will still be there when you get home. But honey you need some de-stress time and TLC.
 
Sometimes I just want to get alone with myself. I think about renting a nice hotel room and bringing my a book, a magazine, nail polish, bath beads, ordering room service etc. If would be even nice if you could bring a friend along and split the cost of the room.
 
I hope things look up for you soon, my heart goes out to you.
~sukay~
Diagnosed Bipolar - August 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 
 
Leo Buscaglia

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