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Fear of Failure

July 9, 2010

I read one of my favorite blogs today or yesterday (is it terrible that days are blending together?) regarding PPD and it talked about how being a perfectionist may affect a woman’s having PPD.

I had made my own connection between my PPD/PPA and being a Type-A personality long ago, but as I read the post about it, I thought of other things.

I have been so concerned (or even consumed) with the fear of disappointing my parents, or not being perfect in their eyes, for as long as I can remember.  My dad died of a sudden heart attack when I was 13, so after that, it was more about my mom and I.  But I still wanted her to view me as perfect.

Even today, as I’m trying to open up to her about my near-breakdown last night with my daughter, I find myself holding back.  It’s like I suddenly realize that I will appear flawed  if I come right out and say, “Last night, after K was screaming her eyes out for hours straight, while hubs and boy tried to sleep through it all, I wound up in tears, on the back patio, pleading with her to stop crying!!!”, I simply say, “I almost had a breakdown last night!” and followed it with a chuckle, so as not to sound too serious.

As a child, I used to think my mom (and dad) were perfect.  In some ways, I still view my mom as perfect, though rationally I know she isn’t.  No one is.  My hell, she wigged out out of nowhere on one of the recent holidays (which I should still post about).  She is depressed, but won’t get treatment.  It doesn’t get much more imperfect, does it?

I’m trying to figure out why I can’t be more honest and open with my family (and/or friends, for that matter) about my mental illness.  (I just gagged a bit typing it out…I hate the title).

Do I fear looking like a failure?

Do I fear rejection from them?  Like, they’ll brush me off (or mental illness) and act like nothing is wrong, like I didn’t say it at all, therefore leaving me to feel rejected?

Do I fear appearing freak’ish in some way?  I know that people who still don’t know much about mental illness think one who suffers from it is acting a bit strange…or irrational.  Which is totally true sometimes, but it isn’t because they want to!

Lately, I feel a bit like a failure; failure as a mom for so many reasons, failure as a wife because I can’t cook or keep the house spic n span (the way my mom did while I was growing up), failure as a friend because I have anxiety about being too friendly these days, failure as a human being because I just can’t put on the happy face these days….

I hate to be a downer.  Especially when other fellow PPD moms are able to blog away as though they really have sunny days intermixed with the bad ones…or as if they are able to see the silver lining all the stinkin’ time.  Well, I don’t.  There ya have it.

I’m not sitting in my house, in some corner, rocking back and forth or anything.

In fact, I got dressed today!  No makeup, but whatev.

I even visited IN PERSON w/a neighbor that used to be a close, close friend.

So I’m managing, but inside, there is no sunshine and no silver lining right now.  :/

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2010 6:34 pm

    Val, I am so sorry you’re feeling like this. I too am a perfectionist but it was never a “problem” pre baby. No it’s full on. Most of that stemmed from growing up around verbal abuse. Nothing I did was ever good enough. Telling my family was a no go for me. My parents, who I am sure that they know, would have made it worse. Weakness…which IS NOT a reflection of your character at all…is frowned upon in my family. We were not “emotionally” connected. We didn’t do hugs or I love yous. So to open up and say that I have PPD would have not been a wise choice.
    Now that I am feeling better I am telling more
    People in my family and everyone of them said “ohh I knew something was up” or “really? You have PPD?”
    where am I going with this is this illness is not a reflection of you or your character. It is a chemical hormonal imbalance. It does not make you weak. Take care of you first and when you are feeling comfortable in letting others know tell them. There’s no pressure.
    My heart breaks that your so low. I know that you want that silver lining and it is there…just beyond that puff of fog. You will get there. You can do this! I am here for you ok?!

    • July 9, 2010 7:02 pm

      You are awesome!

      My family wasn’t verbally abusive, but there was certainly the disconnect for sure.

      For that reason, I didn’t tell people in the moment. When I got to my recovery, between my two kids, I started telling people. LoL Then I found myself recently struggling. And now it has become awkward.

      People were not sure what to look for after my second kid, who is now 2, and now people sense that something is off, but they don’t know what to say or if they should say anything.

      Enough rambling… I’m hanging in there, I think.

      It’s good to know that we can all hit some bad patches of fog now n then, but still come out on top, right?

  2. July 13, 2010 1:23 pm

    Absolutely!!! It sucks but we survive!!
    How are you doing?? Any better??
    Hugs,
    Me 🙂

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