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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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I have a big life I find the responsibility OKMH714211

Resolved Question:

I have a big life I find the responsibility of it overwhelming and anxiety provoking My issue is what to do about it Is it my personality or is it that it truly is too much for me and I need to mak changes We have a few houses and some staff I was not brought up this way an I am very private I feel responsible to make it all perfect and cannot seem to let go and enjoy it All the money my husband spends - foreign to me So I feel anxious and then I can't be the best mom and wife I want to be

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to assist you with your question.

Dr. L :

I can understand the difficulty of having responsibilities that seem foreign and overwhelming to you. Most of us better when we are living and working within our personal comfort zone, rather than being faced with expectations or demands that drain us emotionally, physically, or cognitively.

Dr. L :

Let me ask a few more questions so that I can provide the best possible response. Thank you.

Dr. L :

You wrote about making things perfect. Do you have a tendency to like everything to be perfect? Could you give me an example or two of this. Would you call yourself a perfectionist?

Dr. L :

Anxiety is related to fear. So it would make sense to me that if you are striving for perfection and not sure you are meeting that goal, that you might feel fearful. Does that make sense to you?

Dr. L :

I think it would be good to find some ways to better manage your responsibilities so that you can lower your anxiety and enjoy life more.

Dr. L :

If your tendency is to have everything perfect, let's talk about how to set more reasonable expectations so that you can feel successful without having to feel anxious and overwhelmed.

Dr. L :

I await your response.

Dr. L :

Thank you.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Fear didn't really consider that what I could be afraid of. Yes I am very much of a perfectionist, but very aware of it. Both of my parents are type a, driven perfectionists so hard to fight it. I do try because my kids r my all. I also keep trying to adjust to this life my husband wants. He seems oblivious to my difficulties coping and quit frankly doesn't seem to care because he wants what h wants.
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : He also spends a lot of money and even though it's his that bothers me because I was not raised that way. So here I am just wanting to keep things simple and raise my kids and my life just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I feel like I can never relax and just be anymore. I'm considering mess to help me deal but I'm small and side effects always get to so I feel kind of trapped. Then I think maybe it is just me I'm negative, I obsess so my husband's right thus is "my problem."
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Have strangers working in our home very day and I'm very private
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : like to move from NY or at least move to a normal apartment
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : anyway it sounds spoiled even and narcissistic in ways, but I'm not sure what the real issue is I just think I'm not cut out for it? Some people like to manage others and can handle a lot going on. I feel like my add comes out and I get completely overwhelmed. Before our lives got so huge I sat and played for hours with my kids now I feel like I'm running all the time
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : It's needing to let go but not being able to
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Also workers cannot solve all of the issues and do everything and if I were to just do everything I would have no life at all
Dr. L :

Hi,

Dr. L :

Thanks for your reply.

Dr. L :

I can hear your desire for a simplier life and more time to be a mom instead of a slave to the business and your husband's desires.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : yep
Dr. L :

Perfectionism has it's bonuses, but also it's negatives.

Dr. L :

When I suggested that your anxiety is tied to fear...did that make sense?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : fear of what everything falling apart? The house not being perfect? I feel like I just don't want it. Lot has happened over the years and don't feel close to my husband either
Dr. L :

Yes...fear of not succeeding with the life your husband wants.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Always felt close and connected to my kids but in last few years have had some difficulty there too because overwhelmed
Dr. L :

Yes...fear that your marriage may fall apart.

Dr. L :

Yes...fear that you cannot be the mother you want with all these responsibilities.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Yes his needs and wants are hard for me to fulfill
Dr. L :

Have you ever considered marital therapy?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Yes fear that this is affecting my mothering so will affect my kids
Dr. L :

Sitting down with a marriage therapist to look at how you are feeling about your husband and how hard this life is with all these expectations and responsibilities?

Dr. L :

What I hear you saying is that all of these expectations have maybe driven a wedge between you and your husband...is that right?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I don't hunk it will help it's not what really fulfills me it's my kids and being with them and not having responsibilities I do much better in the summer why I hav he time to try to work on this now
Dr. L :

You wrote that he doesn't seem to care that you are having difficulty coping.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : No he wants me to "get over it" I frustrates him to no end
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : he is a workaholic who travels a lot and is master of the universe
Dr. L :

His saying...get over it...doesn't seem like a compassionate response.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I am running his castle and he does not welcome complaints
Dr. L :

And..it's not one bit helpful...it doesn't solve anything.

Dr. L :

I hear you!!!

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : He does not care he just bought another property
Dr. L :

Hmmm.

Dr. L :

So...is he expecting you to manage the staff?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : He said he house we live in has "everything he needs" meaning shut up you have everything too why r u not happy
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Yes he is
Dr. L :

Would he consider hiring a manager and you just supervise that manager?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I was not meant to manage staff I have to manage myself
Dr. L :

Yes...I understand your position. You have enough on your plate without all of this management of the castle stuff. But he is NOT listening...and rather keeps piling on more work for you.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : We have. Mgr no one can replace me unless I just let go - he makes lot of errors - my husband never considered that "good help is hard to find"
Dr. L :

Would it work if you went out and hired a manager...would he accept that or blow up?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Not listening
Dr. L :

I see...you have a manager and that manager doesn't fulfill all the tasks and makes mistakes.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Right his plus is his loyalty
Dr. L :

Does your husband know this and still expects you to handle all these issues?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Yes because he sees it too but he doesn't know what to do
Dr. L :

What about firing the guy and getting someone new who CAN handle the job?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : He's busier than ever and h likes to do what he likes to do h comes first
Dr. L :

Hmmm

Dr. L :

And you and the kids come where?

Dr. L :

What about the couples therapy? Would he go?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I am looking for better help it's hard and I can't handle too many people so we r probably understaffed what a crazy way to live
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I don't know what ct would solve? Unless I leave, move etc I don't see how it can change unless I change or have a heart attack!
Dr. L :

Yes...work ethic has changed. It's not like the old days when everyone knew how to work hard and you could trust people to get the job done.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : So I am kind is screwed huh got myself in a pickle?!
Dr. L :

How therapy can help is by having an objective person help the two of you communicate about your life together and how these expectations he is putting on you are too demanding and are putting an unfair burden on you. A couples therapist is trained to help couples better manage expectations and to work together as partners.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Is it just the way I am looking at things my thoughts? I have asked myself that question, but it's all real I don't know why any woman would want to do it
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : But I can't blame him m parents did too his started way before him! How Di I end up in a situation like t his? Wasn't it inevitable when all spectators were put on me. He's just an extension of that. The sick joke is I have all this money a nd I cannot enjoy it!
Dr. L :

That's a complicated thought. First, your view of the world is something that comes from the "map" of life that you learned from your parents, teachers, and other significant people in your life.

Dr. L :

Your "map" or "world view" is yours...no one else has the same map. Your husband has his ow "map"...and it sounds like it is quite different than yours.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Yes and everyone's expectations of me. The perfect one
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Very different
Dr. L :

So...it is quite apparent that your two maps are different and his wants/desires are different than yours.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I also was always the belle of the ball but I dated few men who tore me down
Dr. L :

It doesn't seem like you want his map...and he doesn't want yours.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : lot of pain in this current relationship from some things that happened early on I think I never had any confidence
Dr. L :

So...the two of you need to take your maps and come up with a new map...an agreed upon map.

Dr. L :

I know I am simplifying things here...

Dr. L :

But I think you can follow this logic....right?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I think it will come down to self preservation for me at some point that will force changes
Dr. L :

Yes...that may be very true.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I don't trust my own gut anymore he tells me I need to talk to someone to figure out why I am fighting "the life everyone wants" and that I'm "obsessing"
Dr. L :

Have you ever considered individual therapy...to understand how to better manage the expectations that people have put on you and how to have more confidence?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Then I think we'll maybe that's just the problem it is me yet I struggle everyday
Dr. L :

I'm sorry that he is trying to make you the bad guy here. I see it differently.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Yes I have considered it and would like to
Dr. L :

I see that you are trying to be the best wife and mother that you can, but the expectations on you are too overwhelming.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I think what's wrong with me I do have everything why am I not enjoying it? Why do I worry about the money it's his? Why am I stressing?
Dr. L :

It is not a character flaw or crazy thinking to say...whoa this is more than I can handle and I want a simple life that allows me to enjoy what is around me rather than working like a fool.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Is it expectations on me or that put on myself?
Dr. L :

It's likely a little of both.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : How can I be happy if I stay?
Dr. L :

First...you have perfectionistic tendencies. Striving for perfection in a world that is not perfect can run you down.

Dr. L :

There is NO way that you can ensure that everything runs smoothly, on time, and so forth.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I don't know how to stop and of course it got worse when we moved into this crazy house
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Too much to control
Dr. L :

It is a matter of setting priorities...for example, what needs to be A (perfect) work, what can be B (very good) work, what can be C (good) work...and so forth. Setting priorities is one healthy strategy for reducing stress and unrealistic expectations.

Dr. L :

What is the point of controlling the uncontrollable?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I feel like my environment is too much
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Could be wrong but if it was simpler and smaller I feel like I might be calmer and happier
Dr. L :

Who says you have any ability to control anything? The only control you really have is over yourself. You cannot control your husband. He is his own person. You can't really control your children...they need independence in order to grow and mature. Yes...you have responsibility to make sure that they are loved, shelter, educated and so forth. But they deserve to be taught how to be their own person.

Dr. L :

Do you see my point here?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : being zen with all I have I should be so grateful but rather I'm stressed is that weird?
Dr. L :

NO...it's not weird.

Dr. L :

You are under your husband's thumb...he is off building his world and has left you to manage. Wow! That's a lot of pressure.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : 2 years ago after my husband made several comments about my belly button sticking out after tiny me had a few big babies I decided to have it fixed
Dr. L :

And likely he wants things done well, done on time, and, as you said, he doesn't want to hear complaints. Sounds like a whole lot of control going on.

Dr. L :

Really? Why?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Yes he wants all you said and he gets very mad if I complain or if I'm down if I have one complaint or criticism ruins his day so insecure to be so darn successful
Dr. L :

Bingo. You hit the nail on the head.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I had a hernia bu he
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : he kept saying I needed it fixed we didn't discuss I just did it and then I got very depressed after
Dr. L :

His inability to handle any disappointment or "flaw"...is about his own insecurity. And insecurity that he covers up by being a workaholic, by building an ever bigger empire, and by putting unreasonable demands on you.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Wasn't really what I wanted and made me feel vain and less connected and less of a mom
Dr. L :

Yes...I'm sorry. And the only reason you did it was for him...not for you. You let him control your body image and that got you in trouble.

Dr. L :

Do you see that?

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : doc told me he "cut my umbilical cord" underneath to fix the hernia - stupid thing to tell me and really made me feel depressed like he metaphorically cut my connection - been rough time
Dr. L :

And do you see how his lack of confidence is what is pushing him to build, build, build.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Yes I see it all and oddly I felt so much better about myself and my body with a mommy belly than now
Dr. L :

I'm sorry. That was not a kind way for him to describe his work.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : i don't even think it looks good and certainly is not a "perfect" job so what was the point to have all of the sadness and feelings of bring disconnected after??
Dr. L :

Yes...that mommy belly was a metaphor...it was a way to identify yourself to the world...and more importantly to yourself.

Dr. L :

Have you thought about talking to the doctor about this? How troubled you have been since the operation and how unkind his words were?

Dr. L :

You have the right to do that.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Yes it was and I lost that so feel horrible now
Dr. L :

This incident would be a good one to talk to a therapist about...it really says alot about you and about how you view yourself.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : i did tell him and I told a friend plastic surgeon who thinks that doctor is very strange (knows him) and thought it was not something I needed to know
Dr. L :

I agree...not something you needed to know and was more about his own issues not yours.

Dr. L :

Have you thought about other things that signal that you are a mom?

Dr. L :

Maybe you wear a mother's ring...or have a locket with pictures of your children...

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : i don"t know what or why he knew beforehand I didn't't want that and he insisted only way so I was intimidated by him too and went ahead knowing I would be upset what does that say about me I'm self-destructive
Dr. L :

There are other ways to make your motherhood known.

Dr. L :

NO...it doesn't say you are self-destructive. It says that you are loyal. It says that you give in when intimidated. It says you don't like conflict.

Dr. L :

It's not about self-destruction.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I'm going to absorb all of this and revisit later or tomorrow will contact u
Dr. L :

That sounds just fine.

Dr. L :

Until then...take care.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : it's upsetting I feel like I ruined by beautiful pure mothering insticts
Dr. L :

I'm very sorry you feel that way.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Me too I don't know how to fix any of this
Dr. L :

I do think that individual therapy would be one way to address this and to work through the emotional pain.

Dr. L :

Obviously you are very, very hurt and very sad.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I am going to explore is it normal to feel the way I do from what I did?
Dr. L :

You likely feel some resentment to your husband as well.

Dr. L :

Yes. Very normal.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : since I did it then I don't know how to change it or let it go and be the mom I always have been
Dr. L :

You did something to please your husband and you gave away your own personal power. Now you regret that decision and you are very angry and upset.

Dr. L :

I do think there is a way to think about this differently and to learn from it.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : How?
Dr. L :

I encourage you to think about all the ways that you are a mother...

Dr. L :

How you devote yourself to your children.

Dr. L :

How you love and care for them.

Dr. L :

Think about the "map" you are creating for them.

Dr. L :

Being a mother is more than birthing...it is a life long commitment to loving.

Dr. L :

Think about that...about the loving attention, care and concern you pour into your children every day.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : did what I did ruin all that though was so stupid
JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I definitely love them
Dr. L :

If you would have known the consequences of that action you never would have done it.

Dr. L :

So...you did the best you could with the information and knowledge you had at the time.

Dr. L :

It would be helpful to forgive yourself...that's where you are stuck I think. You feel to blame for this terrible decision.

Dr. L :

What I hope you can come to see is as I wrote..you made the best decision that you could at that time. Today you would make an entirely different decision. But that is hindsight.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : yes yes I do and feel like I ruined things like I always do and this time I can't let go because my kids r my life
Dr. L :

Please consider forgiveness.

Dr. L :

No...you did not ruin things. You may have made an unfortunate decision. But it does not change how you feel about your children or how they feel about you.

Dr. L :

Your children do not need proof of your motherly love by looking at your belly. They have that proof from the love you offer them every day.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : I need to process I feel like I ruin things
Dr. L :

Yes...please take some time to process what we have chatted about today.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : The best thing I ever did in life
Dr. L :

Then - when you are ready - recontact me.

JACUSTOMER-krybmsx9- : Ok
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience: Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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