Anxiety about my life: What happened to my kids?

Besides thinking about God the past couple of days, my depression and extreme anxiety have me thinking about my kids. Besides Baby Z living with me here in the Philippines, I have three boys living in the States.

Because of Facebook, I get a chance to talk to them fairly often; even more than I did when I actually lived close to them. But, I still don’t feel like I am part of their lives. They don’t bother to go out of their way to say hi to me; I always have to initiate a conversation. I stay online on Facebook all day in the hopes that one of them will just say something to me, but they never do.

I guess if I think about it hard enough, and I am completely honest, I would have to say that my relationship with my kids has always been strained at best. When they were small, I was either always working, or in bed sleeping away my depression. In addition, I was pretty much always stoned, and didn’t pay much attention to them.

It wasn’t until they were teenagers that I tried to get close to them, and by then it was too late. They had built up a wall of resentment, and even when they lived with me when their mom couldn’t handle them, they never talked to me or acknowledged me in any way. The only time I got a word out of them was when they wanted something from me, like a ride or some money.

I am going to address the elephant in the room and say what I know most of you are thinking: I am a bad father. It really hurts me to say and makes my anxiety and depression worse, but I think it’s the truth.

Now I have another child, and I see that I am repeating some of the same behaviors I had with my first three children. I am letting my mental health issues control my life and ignoring the ones I love.

There are some differences: I don’t work as much anymore and I am not fighting any addictions. I do spend a lot of time with Baby Z and I know she loves me, but I have been isolating myself too, and ignoring her when she needs me.

I know I have to figure out a way to not let my illness run my life. I can’t isolate myself anymore and ignore the ones I love.

I have no idea where to go from here.

Please follow me on Twitter, @SchizoIncognito

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9 thoughts on “Anxiety about my life: What happened to my kids?

  1. I think if you realize that you are doing the same thing with the Baby Z then that is half the battle because you are aware you are doing it. Next step is to change it. You can do it think positive and write down one thing a day you want to change.

  2. You’ve written in the past about being keenly aware of a moment of gratitude while spending time with Baby Z and your wife; if you can be mindful to recognize those moments often, that may help increase motivation to do one thing a day to change, as the previous blogger stated.

    Also, you just can’t beat yourself up about feeling like a “bad” father; if you can have a dialogue someday with your older kids about your struggles with mental health, they will know you are a person they can come to should they struggle with issues of their own. As they mature, they will recognize your persistence battling an illness, your authenticity in expressing your struggle, and your willingness to be there for them.

  3. Firstly, you aren’t a bad father. You are a good father who made mistakes. You didn’t beat your kids, not feed them or not give a shit about what they wore. You did the best you could with the cards you were dealt in life. Even the best of parents have resentful teenagers. Teenagers and parents usually don’t get along at one point or another. 🙂 As for making the same mistakes with Baby Z, everytime you catch yourself doing it, stop and tell yourself ‘I got this! I’m a damn good daddy and I’m not going to let my stupid depression change that for me!’

    You can reword the catchy phrase, but hopefully you get the point. Pep yourself up..you’ve got this!!!

  4. I agree with spreadincrazysmiles. If I think about all the times I made mistakes with my kids I could cry. We all make mistakes. At least you recognize it. Some people think they can do no wrong.

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