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Posted by: Maria | 2010/12/05

Why is the season of sunshine and holidays so dark for me

Hey CS

Hope you and kitty are well. One of our recently trained us very efficiently to understand which food she does and doesn''t like. This involved alternating meowing and purring loudly at 4 in the morning. Got to love the furballs.

It''s been a tough end of the year. I had exams, my mom had a serious back operation, my hubby''s much loved aunt died of cancer, a friend found out she has MS... I am in rising demand as a horse riding instructor, something I love doing but currently just experience as an intrusion. I found out Friday that I did exceptionally well in my exams, my mom is ok although needing ongoing support, and school is almost finished so the relentless daily rhythm of get ready, go to school, pick up, do home work, get cleaned and fed, go to bed, will relax a bit.

Yet I am grumpy, finding it difficult to relax and enjoy, unable to celebrate my academic success, being incredibly hard on my daughter. I exist at work but really do not earn my pay. And I struggle to care. This always happens. And despite the press of peace and goodwill, the short Dec/Jan break never seems to rejuvenate me. I feel guilty because I don''t feel like connecting with friends I''ve been neglecting, rather than happy at the opportunity to do so.

Guess I could see my psychologist, but it''s so same-old, same-old. Could see my p-doc but I''m not taking any more meds than I do right now, otherwise I''m never sure if I''m crazy because of or in spite of the meds. I also have a problem with these two gentleman in that our relationships have crossed the boundary from shrink-patient to people with mutual respect and almost friendship. My psychologist I''ve just known too long I think, almost 9 years, but I can''t face starting over with someone else. My p-doc is incredibly supportive of my studies and tells me I must come and work and his practice once I''m qualified. (Many years hence, sadly.) I also became good friends with his sister (her of the MS above) which further extended our outside-the-office relationship. Unfortunately I''m now finding it hard to tell the two of them exactly how bad things are when they''re bad, because I don''t want to expose the dark side of myself to them and perhaps they don''t want to believe it? I need to take this up with them. Sometime.

My daughter took her great-aunt''s death badly. She isn''t a talker, but having trouble sleeping. She has also started a very disturbing habit of trying to placate me and assume responsibility for things she should not, when I''m a bit crazy. At only 8 I don''t want this, it''s not good for her. The shrink who knows her story well lives way over on the other side of Cape Town and I think she will benefit from a couple of regular sessions with someone, also for other reasons not directly to do with me. Which means I have to actually make a call, and tell the whole convoluted story, and explore my part in my daughters woes. Sometime. Sooner rather than later.

Ag CS no question really, just needing to vent. This too will pass. It always does eventually.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi Maria,
Yes, indeed, cats are worth studying, as their ability to understand how we work and to train us, often greatly exceeds our ability to understand orm train them. And Food is central to their value-system, of course, and much of what appears to be adorable affection is designed to induce us to produce what they want and when they want it.
Have you discovered the notorious " icanhascheezburger.com " website ? I find it reliably produces some smiles even on bleak days.
Odd, isn't it, how unfortunate and stressful events tend to cluster in bunches ? And then issues like the success of your riding tuition, which would ordinarily be so welcome, become added stress when coinciding with the test of the stresses.
Our capacity to feel and show caring can indeed be limited by such combinations - when our Mild of Human Kindness goes a bit sour or just runs out for a while.
I think the assumpion that the Festive Season must invariably induce universal joy is so inacurate that it ads to the blues that often arise at this time of year. GOod to hear that some of the things that you may have dreaded a while back have turned out so well - but after a while amod the encircling gloom, one may find it hard to feel and celebrate the good things.
One may reasonably not share the darkness of our shadow side with friends, but a p-doc or shrink needs to know about it. Otherwise it's like seeing a surgeon but coyly refusing to reveal where you feel the pain or to talk about it. That renders the process one of veterinary psych, not an easy field !
Maybe you're right that your daughter will benefit from a couple of sessions with someone skiled who knows her. And don't feel guilty if you play some part in her concerns - as a good mother, you're automatically part of the bad as well as the good aspects of their life.
As you say, these things do pass ; its just often uncomfortable in the waiting room.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/12/06

Hi Maria,
Yes, indeed, cats are worth studying, as their ability to understand how we work and to train us, often greatly exceeds our ability to understand orm train them. And Food is central to their value-system, of course, and much of what appears to be adorable affection is designed to induce us to produce what they want and when they want it.
Have you discovered the notorious " icanhascheezburger.com " website ? I find it reliably produces some smiles even on bleak days.
Odd, isn't it, how unfortunate and stressful events tend to cluster in bunches ? And then issues like the success of your riding tuition, which would ordinarily be so welcome, become added stress when coinciding with the test of the stresses.
Our capacity to feel and show caring can indeed be limited by such combinations - when our Mild of Human Kindness goes a bit sour or just runs out for a while.
I think the assumpion that the Festive Season must invariably induce universal joy is so inacurate that it ads to the blues that often arise at this time of year. GOod to hear that some of the things that you may have dreaded a while back have turned out so well - but after a while amod the encircling gloom, one may find it hard to feel and celebrate the good things.
One may reasonably not share the darkness of our shadow side with friends, but a p-doc or shrink needs to know about it. Otherwise it's like seeing a surgeon but coyly refusing to reveal where you feel the pain or to talk about it. That renders the process one of veterinary psych, not an easy field !
Maybe you're right that your daughter will benefit from a couple of sessions with someone skiled who knows her. And don't feel guilty if you play some part in her concerns - as a good mother, you're automatically part of the bad as well as the good aspects of their life.
As you say, these things do pass ; its just often uncomfortable in the waiting room.

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