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Ms Chase
Ms Chase, #1 Just Answer Parenting Expert
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2897
Experience:  Just Answer Parenting Mentor, Emotional, Behavioral & Physical Issues. Babies to Teens.
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My son is 4 years old and I still cry every day

Customer Question

My son is 4 years old and I still cry every day because I feel like time stood still the moment he was born and yet my husband would not let me stay home with my baby. I feel like I have PTSD, I am now a divorced mom with a beautiful boy but I still always feel like my baby is being torn from my arms every time I go to work and he goes to preschool or he goes to spend time with his dad. I don''t know anybody with a similar experience so I feel alone and a little crazy
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  danny541 replied 6 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer !

Have you ever spoke to anyone about this ? Your doctor maybe, or a parent ?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to danny541's Post: Yes. I'm a psychologist myself and I know theoretically all the "things I should be doing" etc, but I'm more saddened by what I wasn't able to do back then. yet at the same time it's such a binary quandry: Either disagree with husband (who insisted I spend my mother's maternity gift of 24k NOT on maternity but on supporting him through law school as well which REQUIRED me to work on top of it. And his family and my family even pressured me to do so because I was and still am the one who could make big bucks). I didn't want a yelling husband (he raised his voice at me any time I voiced sadness and distress and a desire for change) and ruining the family peace or leaving my crying baby. These two urges tore are me, BOTH dealing with "what's best for my son"???? I still don't know...and it drives me crazy with sadness and guilt and regret and and and
Expert:  danny541 replied 6 years ago.

You have really been through the wringer. It sounds like your husband was a real piece, but now for you.

You are looking at things in the past that you need to let go, you can't change it all now, but you can change what you are doing.

Try to have more quality time with him so you feel like you are giving more of yourself and making up for lost time.The quilt that you are feeling I'm sure its because of all the time you missed seeing him try to crawl, talk, eating his first solid food, and you are angry at a husband and his family because they pushed you into a situation you didn't want. If there is some way, you could even take some time off for a long vacation, just the two of you, its possible that you will start to feel like you are bonding closer to him.

The bonding of child with mother is a very important process, and I'm sure from having it cut so quickly, its causing you a lot of pain.

I 'd like to know what your thoughts are on this.

danny541, Parenting Answer Team
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 909
Experience: Have 5 children !
danny541 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry but your response was not helpful. I have the most enviable bonding relationship with my son and I spend every second I can with SUPER quality time with him. And NO, I obviously can't let go, that's the PROBLEM. I have PTSD symptoms.

No hard feelings. My issue is too complex and I don't expect to find any good answers online. I am feeling the grief as if my baby died but without the social awareness and empathy...since my baby is well and alive. There maybe just is no good answer to my sadness.
Expert:  danny541 replied 6 years ago.

I'm sure as a qualified psychologist that you know the symptoms of PTSD, but just in case I'm sending this site to you.

http://ptsd.about.com/od/symptomsanddiagnosis/a/PTSDsymptoms.htm

Diagnosing yourself is never a good thing to try, you need to see a professional. It sounds like you do have many of the symptoms. It would be a good idea to be tested for this reason if nothing else. Your problem is a very complex one absolutely, we can try to help as much as anyone can, but the thing is to get you in for treatment. Talking to someone as you already know is the correct way to go about it. I hope that you will do this so you will find comfort, I'm glad you have a good relationship with your son, but to get rid of the feelings you do best to seek a professional !

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you and sorry for wasting your time. I live in a small town and don't know of any good therapists so was magically hoping for something online to help me. I will just have to be patient until I can find a good therapist. Sorry that this was not something I can pay for. I get no child support and have a small practice. And I didn't learn anything new. But again, please don't be offended, I just shouldn't have even tried the online thing. I'm sure you're able to help many people.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

HelloCustomer/p>

I'd like to try an help if that's ok? I don't believe that it's impossible to find help online, it's just a matter of finding the right match, we all work differently with different people. May I ask you a few questions?

How long have you been divorced now?

What caused the divorce?

Have you been feeling this way since the birth of your son?

Is your son having any problems?

Are you working now? if so is your son in daycare?

Chase

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Ms Chase's Post: I appreciate your courage to try to help me.

1. I have been officially divorced for 1 1/2 years. I asked my then-husband to leave the house almost three years ago. First I asked him to just leave our marital bedroom but he said that he would rather just move out than not share the bedroom. The day he was to move out, he supposedly (he told me this years later) changed his mind and was willing to sleep in a different room but because I was so set on him moving out (his yelling was getting worse, he had punched a hole in a wall, my nanny was threatening to quit), he didn't tell me at the time. So in his eyes and that of his many family members, I am the mean woman who kicked him out.
2. The vicious cycle of me being a sobbing mom who sometimes had to turn around after a 45 minute commute because I just couldn't stop crying and had to go back home and my always-feeling-criticized husband who could never have any empathy for me and just was a defensive voice raising egocentric insecure person. He already had a child from a previous relationship whom he insisted come and live with us right when I was about to give birth to my first and only baby because he had "made the promise to the mother" that he would take the boy when he was 12. He had also promised me he would quit law school for a year if I need him to because I didn't know what it would be like to be a mom and be the breadwinner. He to this day insists that he kept his promise because: every time I asked him to do it, he would yell and holler, and threaten suicide or just disappear for hours, etc. and then finally one day when I refused to "call his bluff", he finally after emotionally terrorizing me for 2 1/2 days, went to his law school and supposedly (I believe him) officially "quit" law school. By then I was so worn down that I said "never mind" because he had promised me he would work three jobs if he quit, he would never go back to law school, he would get clinically depressed, etc. etc. so I felt so badgered and "blackmailed' that I told him to keep on going to law school as his threat of how horrible life would be if he quit did cut through "the bluff" and ULTIMATELY I just wanted whatever was best for my son. And I believe that a happy daddy is part of that equation.
3. Yes, I have felt this way since the birth of my son.
4. My son is the most intelligent, well adjusted, brilliant, bi-lingual (thanks to my second language that I worked hard at speaking with him no matter what), loving, kind, funny, creative, seems healthily attached to me and his father (there was a period when he kept saying he didn't want to visit with his dad, I gently insisted that he do so anyway and that his daddy loved him, etc. ). It's important to note that I have NEVER EVER said bad things about his dad in front of him and always focus on positive co-parenting no matter how I feel about the father. And the father keeps his visitations, doesn't raise his voice as long as I just stay completely silent, and we definitely avoid conflict in front of our son, though it does happen on the phone when he's asleep or something.
5. I have worked the entire time, since 2 weeks after he was born. First I worked 25 hours in an inpatient facility, then when they insisted I take a very fancy position with a huge salary and benefits, I turned them down which no one could believe (my son comes first) and I opened my own practice and with the same will a mother can lift a car off of her child, I lifted my own practice out of nothing and had 10 clients within one month. I have maintained anywhere from 4-14 clients a week since then. I have had two major medical traumas, one car crash with a broken back, and one seizure resulting in jaw fracture and loss of 5 front teeth and I had to move my office twice due to landlord needing my office and my not having signed a lease (small town, informal arrangements, can bite you in the end). So despite all the turmoil and this being a city we (ex husband and I) moved to together so I have no family here, no support other than some nice aquaintance mommies. It's been hell. Exhaustion, pain, CONSTANTLY wondering if there is not a way I could just put up with my ex husband. he STILL wants to be with me!!!!! I wish so so so so so much that he would take that responsibility off of my back. I was raised Catholic (no more now) but still, I feel soooooooo guilty for taking my son's father out of his life even though I HAD to because he wouldn't stop yelling at me (while holding a nursing baby!). But still....he didn't beat me, he wasn't an alcoholic, he didn't have an affair, how will I explain this to my son some day....
NO NO NO. My son is NOT and NEVER was in daycare. I have tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, but my son was never in daycare. Father care and Nanny care. And now he's in preschool 4 hours every morning or with his father 3 nights a week when I work. Not even a nanny anymore.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Hello Forest,

First let me say thank you to you, for having the courage to continue and to respond to me.There is no guarantee online or offline that a person can be helped, but let me assure you that I have a handful of clients that I deal with here on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. They like it because they can post when they want, and they know I will be here to help as best I can. You can accept anytime, and we can talk as often as you like. Sometimes the answer cannot be answered at once, as I'm sure you know already. So I'm here, and you can respond as much or as little as you like.

After reading that additional info, I do have a couple more questions.

How old are you and how old were you when you got married?

Did he yell or be aggressive before you were married?

Did you know about his promise to his son's mother prior to him implementing it?

Did he threaten suicide just that one time or other times? How old is he?

Did he go back to school after quitting?

Your son sounds fantastic, it was a very smart move to teach him a second language. It's also very good that you don't talk bad about his dad, argue in front of him or within earshot, as I'm sure you know that can cause a lot of damage. Between the car accident and everything else, it's not surprising that you feel the way you feel. Were the accident and the seizure during your marriage or after you split? What caused the seizure? Are you on any medication now?

I know it's late, you can respond at your leisure.

Warmly

Chase

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
1. I am 39. I got married in 2000. Lived with him since 1997.
2. I'm glad to be able to answer the second question with: No sir, I did not marry someone who already had the alarm bells of a verbally abusive husband. :-) This man of Japanese-American descent (4th generation) NEVER raised his voice before I held a baby in my arms. For some reason, emotional control being very important in his culture as you may know, he lost control once he sensed the shift in power: Before, I would have simply walked out. He knew that I was not a woman to be messed with. But he knew, even if just subconsciously, when I held that baby and I would do ANYTHING for family peace, that he suddenly had a trump up his sleave. "Hey, she'll do ANYTHING not to get yelled at because at 8pm she has nowhere to go with a baby in her arms in a city with no relatives or friends....hmmmmm...."
3. Good question. Yes, I did know about the promise. But it was made when the boy was 2 years old and once I got pregnant, he got accepted to law school in a different state, etc. I asked him to PLEASE reconsider the timing of the promise and at least put it off by one year so we would have a chance to deal with the stress of a. law school, b. new baby, c. new city with no one we know, d. me getting licensed and establishing a career as a psychologist, e. me still struggling with a decade battle of bulimia which I had kept "dormant" while pregnant but was still a struggle, and f. This pregnancy was the first after THREE miscarriages that seemed to be growing and thriving.....please, can we not add the stress of being a stepmom to an adolescent and put it off by at least a year? Please? He was not to be swayed. But yes, in all honesty, I was aware of this promise. Of course, he left his child and moved six hours away as soon as the mom kicked him out (my stepson was ironically the same age, almost 2, when this happened, the same age as when I couldn't take it anymore). This fact was a constant issue in our otherwise pretty darn peaceful and happy marriage before the birth of my son. I would always ask why he could move so far away and he would always give these vague existential answers that never satisfied me. The mom of his first son by the way, as far as I know, kicked him out because he was "lacking in supporting her and believing in her and was so selfish". <-- This is what he told me a long time ago, and I figured it sounded vague and not necessarily ruining him in my eyes so that I continued to date him. Believe me, I "inspected" him. Second date: Do you want to have another child? If not, I'm out of here. That kind of stff. I was very clear and honest.
4. He gently had suggested a passive suicidal ideation previously whenever we would argue, which felt manipulative to me because of course it would change the topic from whatever i was trying to address to his existential woes. Yes, I was the only one who would address anything. He was a quiet person who however had no problem living off of my money for at least half of the years we were married before our son was born. I always wanted to support him in his various endeavors from writing the great American novel to starting his own business...
He is 43.
5. He went back to school THE VERY NEXT DAY after quitting. Re-enrolling apparently was not a problem. So, as one therapist we saw for a few sessions said, it was an empty gesture.
6. Thank you for your kind words regarding my son.
7. I had the car accident one month after my husband moved out. My son was in the car with me as we nosedived down two retaining walls into a residential backyard. He had not one hair out of place. I have a permanent scar in my face, a concussion, and a broken vertebrae requiring a back brace for three months, while still nursing. Without family in town, and continuing to see clients, without a husband, you can imagine how hard this was. I never ask my father for anything after he left my mom when I was 12, but this time I called him - he was living in China at the time, professor at a university, and told him the story. He was very sympathetic. I called him back and said: Dad, I appreciate your sympathy, but can you actually get on a plane and stay with me and my son for a few weeks because I don't know how to run a household/business/be a mom/backbrace/nursing/doctor visits/and I'm asking you for help. He - sweetly oblivous professor - got a flight and was with me 2 days later. Still brief details regarding prior to the car crash: My nanny quit, the people working on my home office disappeared a few weeks prior to my car crash, and I did probably suffer a seizure this time as well that led to the crash because there were no brake marks and no witnesses and most of all, I have no memory. Retrograde amnesia was my first "hope", but when I had a seizure while playing tennis a half a year later (my tennis partner witnessed the epileptic grand mal), I had to admit that it was probably the second seizure. I found a great neurologist who said I didn't have seizure problems but had been taking wellbutrin incorrectly (I had a shrink who told me it's o.k. to take it 5 hours apart. Well, both times that I had seizures I took his "advice" because i was sooo exhausted from single working motherhood with no family and great financial woes, so it all seemed pretty clear and I have not done anything off-label stupid like that since. I have not had any seizures. I did have 4 concusssions total because the seizures/concussions I had on those two occasions made me wobbly enough that I managed to injure myself two other times simply because I'm a very active person and didn't take into account how my seizures had affected my coordination, reaction time, etc.

Thank you for asking good questions and allowing me a space to talk about what of course is not usually conversation material yet is all bungled up inside of me. I love the part of my ex that I always loved, I hate and don't understand and don't know where the other part of him came from. You know? I always did everything I could to help him, and this was the ONE ONE ONE time that I actually had a SERIOUS DEMAND: I WANT TO BE WITH MY BABY. I HAD NO IDEA!!!! HOW MUCH I WOULD LOVE AND FEEL LIKE NOTHING ELSE MATTERS UNTIL I HELD THIS BABY IN MY ARMS - he didn't come through, he just insisted on pursuing plans as they had been laid, with me as the doctor of psychology breadwinner and he the student. I said PLEASE honor your promise to quit law school for one year. I need you to work so I can stay home. But his "threats" kept me in line.
Thank you for listening.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry, it's late, I hope I didn't push the wrong button or something. My last long reply to Ms Chase somehow ended up with me unintentionally writing feedback and possibly even paying??? danny541 when I never intended any payment for anybody but Ms Chase. I apologize but when I was prompted it didn't even occur to me to make sure that the person I had been corresponding with was the actual current person I was corresponding with. I did not feel that danny541 and I were a good match and did not want to leave feedback or financial compensation for danny. No hard feelings, as I had stated, just wasn't for me. Now Ms Chase gave me a little sparkle of hope that she might be on to something with her questions. Please make sure that payment and feedback be applied to her account. Thank you. And also i'm confused that the current status shows that I have submitted a question and am awaiting a response. I have answered questions that may or may not elicit a response. But maybe that's just a semantical irrelevance, in which case never mind and I apologize. Good night whoever I'm writing this to at this point. :-)
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Forest,

I am going to read the last bit that you wrote and I will respond to you tomorrow if thats ok, it's almost 4am here and I would like to write with a clearer head. You did press the button for payment, I will contact admin and as them to contact you. No worries....as I said before, maybe we won't come up with a specific answer, but the hope is that we can come out of this with a better understanding and hopefully you can move on a little lighter and with a more clear head/heart. :)

Chase

Ms Chase, #1 Just Answer Parenting Expert
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2897
Experience: Just Answer Parenting Mentor, Emotional, Behavioral & Physical Issues. Babies to Teens.
Ms Chase and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  danny541 replied 6 years ago.

Just wanted to let you know, that when admin. asked I told them to transfer it to Ms.Chase, I'm so pleased that she was able to help you ! She is a excellent expert in her field. And I really hope that you will be well with her help !

Good-Luck , Danny541

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to danny541's Post: Thank you Danny. So sorry I am fuddling through the system and caused some confusion. Thank you for being so gracious about it. Ms Chase did have the advantage of having read what you and I had written, and that I was clearly presenting 'a challenge' that "prepared" her in a way that you weren't, so - just as an aside - I do take that into account and who knows if you'd been in the position of having jumped in second? :-) Thank you again.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Ms Chase's Post: Ms Chase,

I am patient whenever you have the time to respond. I got a message from Danny assuring me that the payment error I made was corrected, just in case you were wondering. He also said very nice things about your professional abilities. Hope indeed that I can feel "lighter" someday
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Hello Forest,

I apologize for the late response, I had a small family emergency today, but all is well.

It can be disconcerting to say the least when someone you care about does an 'about face'...in your case at a most inconveniently vulnerable time. I can tell that having this baby was something that you must have thought about for a very long time, and your expectations were very high, and set into how you wanted things to go. That's not to say that we get our way under all circumstances, but of course we have our ideals of what we think is best for our lives. The botXXXXX XXXXXne being, you did everything in your power to make sure that he understood where you were coming from....that he knew what your 'plan' was and that he agreed to it. He is the one who reneged on the plan, but there is really no way to know prior that he would. Even if you could have taken into consideration his first child's mothers reasons for making him leave, you couldn't have know that it would be the same with you. I say this because in some ways you sound like you blame yourself. While you may have made some decisions you regret now, you made the best decision you knew how to make at the time. If you ask me, you STILL are a woman not to be messed with. You are in town without family, you are raising your son AND a business and yet, here you are. I'm not so sure that your feelings are so much a part of ptsd (traumatic stress or anxiety is more likely I think), as they are exhaustion, fear, anger, and regret. Still, even with that, I see such a strong woman, fiercly protective of her son, in love with her son, creatively balancing a business and motherhood, and trying to work through her feelings and emotions while helping others work through theirs. Who listens to you? Who helps you work through your feelings?

Granted many years passed from the time he made his promise about his older son, and when the younger son was born. On one hand, you have to respect the fact that he was willing to keep his promise after all that time. Given everything you'd gone through, it wouldn't be considered an unusual request, but it's hard to know the level of his anticipation about this, and how directly it was related to his 'manhood' or simply his thoughts of what a father is, it was. Still, exceptional times can call for exceptional measure, but it does look like the only person he was concerned with is himself. Amongst everything that happened, even holding off for 6 months could have been considered an acceptable compromise.

I agree that quitting school was an empty gesture, if he in fact ever did quit. Either way, just the fact that he went back without thought, and manipulated the situation shows his total lack of concern for your feelings, thoughts and overall well-being. The suicide suggestions were certainly manipulative, and their appearance along suggests far deeper issues than you've even experienced with him. His gross selfishness and unwillingness to compromise, was just the beginning in my opinion, had you not put a stop to it when you did. I don't care what he or any of the family feels about what you did, you absolutely made the right decision, and the only reason he can't/won't see it is because he knows what he's missing, and the reason the family can't see it is an unwillingness to see him for what he really is, and only taking his side of the story into consideration. Do not let that affect or sway you.

My goodness I do not know what to say about the seizures and the accidents except I hope you know how very lucky you and your son are. I know that to look at all the physical pain, frustration and anguish you've gone through, it's hard to see a bright spot, but you two could have so easily been killed that day, it just wasn't time. Your son is here for a reason, he made it through the pregnancy and into this world, he made it through the car accident, and he will make it further than that. As will you. I think you are far stronger than you realize.

You seem to be having difficulty reconciling the love you still have for your ex husband, with the anger you have towards him for not living up to the expectations he so readily accepted. Is it possible to love someone and 'hate' them at the same time, absolutely. Love is not a light switch that can be turned off and on at a moments notice, even when we wish it was. It can at the least cause a lot of conflicting, confusing emotions as you know. Is it comforting to know that you made the best decision? That the best indicator or future behavior is past behavior, and that he would have likely continued to disappoint and break promises? Small comfort probably, but you're no longer thinking for one, you're thinking for two, so all bets are off. Know in your heart that you made the right decision, for you and for your son. I definitely welcome your thoughts, and would like to hear back from you.

Chase

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you Ms. Chase. I haven't been able to write back sooner. But I need to write. And even if it costs me, I cried and cried and cried when I read your response...so that's a good sign? :-)

The idea of my own guilt of not having done enough hit me...even though I intellectually know I did...when I say goodbye to my son when I go to work, like this evening, and he cries for me, it's as if he was still 2 months old and I still can just run back and grab him. Honestly, the potential confusion I could cause, showing him how much power he has over me in a way that is unhealthy for a 4 year old...these intellectual thoughts trump my mother urges that just want to jump off the elevator, grab him and never let him go.
All the while the daddy is just putting up with the whole "scene", not trying to engage my son, get him excited about being with daddy, just clearly excuding a vibe of "oh here we go again". On the other hand, he tells me that after I leave he will just hold him and let him be sad, not try to artificially cheer him up or distract him. So he does have little slices of "good behavior" within the whole nightmare of bad behavior.

I just wanted to clarify my background so as to maybe make it more tangible HOW MUCH I NEEDED TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY when I wanted to be home with my baby boy. I forget if you got the part or if I even wrote about not only having had 3 miscarriages before Mori was successfully and healthily born, but that I had bulimia - very bad case of it - for 15+ years that I also was still merely keeping in check for the sake of a healthy pregnancy. I was still totally struggling with food. Also, I was raped at age 17 when I was still a virgin, while my mother was "finding herself" on one of her many 1-2 week long trips to distant lands. I was raped once more (my second sexual relationship). Because being raised Catholic, I had to somehow magically make the filth of the rape disappear by creating a relationship or at least an attempt thereof....those were disasters of course.
My father was the best daddy ever, and then he had enough of my crazy mother and took off with another woman when I was 12 years old, and I saw him once every 2 years, for maybe a polite cup of coffee at a trainstation. He only lived six hours away. But his new wife was jealous of me. He admitted to me when I was 14 that the reason he stopped hugging me when he left the family was because he didn't want me to notice that he was physically aroused. I - in my desperate need to idealize my father - just applauded him for his honesty rather than thinking about how this girl was deprived of a father's love.
My parents moved about once a year on average, and we lived in Germany, and looked like weird Americans. So once a year I had to survive the initiation rite of being the weird American with the weird name and weird clothes, all within the German economy (this was no military situation, this was opera musicians finding their way through Europe, dragging their kids along with them).
I just wanted to you to get a fuller story of my background and why I might be a bit SUPER SENSITIVE about wanting to create a STABLE home life with my baby. Not to mention that when he was born, his heart rate dropped, I was shortly thereafter told that he had a heart murmur (the hole closed when he was 2 years old and he's all good, but I was FREAKED OUT at the time). And I didn't produce enough milk immediately and the lactation clinic was terribly unhelpful, just put me down and insisted I give him formula. I did a combination of formula and using a syringe to give him the feeling that he was breastfeeding, I was awake all the time for the first month. After 6 weeks, despite all odds, we had established the perfect nursing relationship. Were it not for the feeling forced to work or else my husband will jump off a cliff interruptions to my nursing bliss. I suffered mastetis, and any other painful nursing infection and stuck to it for....2 1/2 years!
And even then I only gently encouraged weaning (he was weaning himself too) because I didn't want him to feel too different from his peers.

Now...please help me deal with my daily trauma, tears, everything to do with babies and toddlers...I feel so many strong emotions and cry at anything that reminds me of him. When he's with his daddy, which is three nights a week (only one day), I can't look at any of his pictures because I miss him so much....yet I don't want to confuse him by impulsively showing up at daddy's house, not that I really have the time since I'm always either working or with my son. Period. I just recently started eeking out some time for tending to some working out before my body fails me. After all, that back break in the car crash, it did do a number on me. I'm still needing to do strength training.

I talked and cried with my mom yesterday who apologized (as always) profusely but still made me feel like it was up to me to reassure her that she "wasn't so bad". And she really wasn't. Compared to the stories I hear from my clients...I'm lucky....

Thank you Ms. Chase. I hope to keep on having you to safely vent to.

I just can't keep crying all the time. I cry on my way to work, I cry when I'm about to pick up my son cuz I love him so much. I cry cry cry. I asked his dad tonight if he'd be willing to see the therapist we went to together when trying to do marital therapy (she is the only in-person therapist I trust so far in this town) but this time just to help me deal with my inability to stop crying and berating myself for not having been able to create the bond I wanted.

It's bizarre and thanks to the contradiction, you can rule out any suicidal ideations Ms Chase: If it weren't for my son, the misery that I have felt due to feeling like I couldn't be connected to him and there for him the way HE needed it, I would not want to live anymore. Since that's a bit of an oxymoron, I wouldn't feel this pain if it weren't for his beautiful existence, yet it keeps me from ever indulging even half seriously or passively in such ideations...but the severity of my pain...if I were feeling this pain due to a boyfriend or some other horrible situation, I would totally have ended it by now. I hope you understand that this is just another way to exemplify how much I love my son and would do ANYTHING for him. And I definitely don't need any advice about taking care of myself that does NOT include him. I do not HAVE the luxury of that kind of time. Which is why I'm doing something like this...writing on the internet. Please help. Anything. Words. Validations. Reassurances. Explanations. Hypothesis........Thank you.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

I don't know if I will be able to give you an answer tonight, I have to cogitate on what you've written and then respond if that's ok with you. I do have two questions if you have a moment. What did he say when you asked him about the therapy? Why do you want him to go to this therapy with you?

As to me being here, I'm always here if you want to talk. It's not unusual for me to deal with my clients here for weeks, even months or longer, so don't ever think it's a bother to post to me. :)

Chase

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Ms Chase's Post: He said though he thought it was weird to be in therapy with me for my sake, he understood her limitations in not being able to see me alone and he also understood his potentially helpful role in having been a "witness" at the very least to my life since Mori was born.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry, here is my response to your second question Ms. Chase: I mostly think of the option of therapy with this one person because she will NOT see either one of us alone, ever, as she started out with us both as a unit. It's that conflict of interest/dual roles thing, I have to accept that of course. But also because he WAS there when it all happened and as much as he has a temper problem and is the most selfish and oblivious person I've ever met...he's not an evil person. Just very insecure and oblivious and selfish.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'm still waiting to hear back from Ms Chase. It's been a week? I'm confused....maybe I don't understand the system or something. But what started out feeling like a cathartic and helpful online interaction has turned into a big ???
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Hello

I really apologize for that, for some reason I haven't been getting some of my return emails, and I did not see your second response. Please forgive my oversight. I am here now, and will work on my response to you now. How has the past week been? Have you been crying as much? Does it feel at all like its gotten better or do you feel like you're in the same place? How is Mori?

Chase

Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

I understood what you meant when you said the feeling of not having done enough or missed something somewhere, believe it or not, it's a very common feeling amongst mothers. Mothers tend to have the feeling that they could have done it different or could have done more....so realize that this is a natural feeling that isn't necessarily even close to the truth. You worry about your instincts, but you actually instinctively know what to do and not to do with your son, you know that to show him how you feel could cause more damage than good, and that's very healthy.

I think that the crying, may wane in time. The other option would be to seek therapy, and possibly be put on medication to help stabilize your moods, but that's something that you would especially want if you are having thoughts you can't control, or feeling suicidal. If you find that you have the blues all the time, I still think you might at least want to speak to your doctor and see what they suggest.

I'm sorry to hear about the rape, its hard to know how much that affected so much of your life from that point, but I'm sure you know that the rapes and the feelings they bring with them do not magically disappear, and this is a pain that you may still be feeling at this point and that in some way may never really go away.

You said that you had the best dad ever, but he caused you an awful lot of pain with his distance and not keeping a relationship with you. I'm not sure what you meant when he said he couldn't hug you, did you mean that he was aroused by you? I will speak more on that when I hear back from you.

Hearing that you are exercising is good, and I do believe the crying may stop on it's own in time. When so many things go on around us, it's so easy to blame ourselves and berate ourselves....mental self mutilation if you will. However, hardly anything you've told me has been your fault, its been a mixture of fate and manipulation. I'm glad you have Mori, and I'm glad that he's healthy and vibrant and a part of your life. Doing what's best for him and being the best mom you can be will be the best medicine for you.

I welcome your thoughts and look forward to hearing back from you.

Chase

p.s. Where did you come up with the name Mori? Does it have specific meaning?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Ms Chase's Post: Hi Ms Chase,

Mori means "forest" in Japanese, and his father is 4th generation Japanese. We wanted a name that wouldn't cause Mori stress in mainstream US culture but also represented his heritage.

Yes, my father was supposedly trying to prevent me feeling his arousal. He has looked at me "inappropriately" over the years, and all that you already know, and I mostly just decided that "how honest and strong of him" to have these inappropriate (though "normal", oedipally speaking or something) feelings and not act on them. Both of my parents made mistakes but they both are receptive to talking about pretty much anything in a way I NEVER see with the clients in my therapy sessions. I feel very fortunate even if I realize some damage they caused.
Yes, my dad was "gone" after I was 12. But I guess kind of like with Mori's dad, I don't know how to fault him because I asked him about it and he, with an IQ around 180 (not exaggerating), said "oh, you seemed so independent, like you needed no one, you had so many friends". What do you do with such an oblivious system of denial mixed with selective perception to foster his desire at the time to "run away with the other woman and finally be happy after years of misery with my mom"....

I met a man about a month ago who seems crazy about me and most of all, totally loves that I am dedicated to my son the way I am. He is my age, has an older kid himself, mostly he seems like he could be a very serious "candidate" (I would keep any dating development secret from Mori so as not to confuse him were we not to work out. I have this idea of at least 6 months, ideally one year of things working out great before I will "share" the fact that a guy is more than just a friend with my son Mori. So far, I've had one significant relationship (secret the whole time from Mori) and dated 2-3 guys once (as in: nope, you're not it. I'm not looking for fun, I'm ready to be single however long it takes before I expose the dramas of romantic love to my son). He's had enough drama, and though I don't like Dr. Laura's hatemongering and meanness towards many of her audience, nor her fanatacism in many areas....I DO respect her absolute and total CHILD BEFORE ALL ELSE attitude that precludes ANY dating until the child is an adult. Yeah, I'm not that strong, but that IS the ideal in this world of uncertainty. My son needs me. And his dad. He does NOT need stepparents or bad mate choices of his parents...
No, the crying has not gotten better. In fact, it's gotten a little worse since I have started even thinking about this new man. The guilt. The time I spend with him that I could be cleaning my son's room, arranging his new batch of art work he's brought home from class, just do SOMETHING that is mommy related and not just "hanging out, dancing, taking walks, etc."
The funny thing you will find hard to believe...I am so very NOT depressed in any other way. Sure, I could be channeling everything into my ptsd about Mori as a baby. But I feel honestly joyful, in love with life and mankind, I have hope, I do not have any scary thoughts, suicidal or otherwise that would require medical/psychiatric attention. I know what you're checking on...nope, nothing psychotic or self-injurious going on here with me. Just so full of this mixed intertwined feeling of bitterness towards the father and sadness and just the most deep, wrenching pain I have ever come any where near experiencing, when I think about - well, I basically DON'T let myself think about it most of the time because it paralyzes me with sobbing and just such such excruciating pain, physical pain too, that I just have to put the lid on it most of the time. So of course the smallest thing...every sound of another small child when he's not with me...a toy of his that is broken...just reminding me of the vulnerability of him...a present he made for me that HE may have even ripped up himself in his zest for using scissors....EVERYTHING....makes me feel this almost unbearable depth of dedication and love....Ms Chase, the thing is, I know everybody thinks their child is super duper, but Mori literally always stops people who just can't stop commenting on his glow, his smile, his gentle spirit, his brilliance, his blablablabla...the list goes on and on....and they may have children themselves and often will say things, I kid you not, like "god, I wish MY child ......." (not in front of their kids, thank god). Even my brother admitted being jealous because Mori is SOOOO incredible and his kids are more "average difficult exhausting whiny"....Sorry, I know that sounds terrible, but I'm just trying to illustrate how I feel like I don't just love my baby, I love this most perfect child in every way. Three miscarriages before that, relevant? Him having a heart murmur, and the hole didn't close until he was about 1 1/2? My theory is that simply the fact that I NEVER had a choice but nobody around me could SEE that I didn't have a choice in the matter of staying home with Mori, that choicelessness with the added factor of social invisibility/acknowledgment (including most importantly from his father who argues that I just didn't make myself clear enough <-- thus making it MY cross to bear kind of...) I mean, I cannot relate to a mom being bored and wanting to work to get away from the kids, or needing "adult stimulation" or whatever. But who knows if I had not felt like my baby was ripped out of my arms figuratively speaking by putting me in this mental vize grip of knowing that "work or I will shout at you and make you choose to go to work 4-6 hours a day rather than have your precious baby exposed to this horrible energy between his parents and really mostly the shouting. His family faults me BIG TIME, SIMPLY because I had a career and the ABILITY TO BRING HOME THE BACON. I will never understand why a man such as Mori's dad (very brilliant computer software, reads about nanotechnology for fun, etc., brilliant in so many non-social ways) could possibly keep up this ability to just dismiss my experience and yet at the same time INSIST that he loves me and wants us to get back together!!!! If I could have an answer to THAT (I couldn't get it in 20 therapy sessions, we tried different therapists too) then maybe that would be a start. An answer that HE TOO would realize and accept. Because it's like he makes me feel crazy. I feel SO SO torn to just get back with him and keep my mouth shut, not even so much to "sacrifice" myself for my son but to finally stop crying all the time because I miss my son so much!!!! His father refuses to change the visitation plan which has him with daddy 3 nights a week. And I don't have money for therapy nor for a lawyer.
HERE IS MY BIG QUESTION FOR THE DAY: is it POSSIBLE, not necessarily in my case or any absolute statement like that, just IS IT POSSIBLE, in your opinion, that my mental health would be best addressed by my just throwing up my hands after trying THIS situation for 2 1/2 years and it NOT getting any easier, and GETTING BACK TOGETHER WITH A MAN I AM ABLE TO GET ALONG WITH AS LONG AS WE DON'T TALK ABOUT OUR HORRIBLE DARK CHAPTER or whatever he would call it ("can't we just let the past be the past and move on?" <-- his favorite philosophy for us). At this point, would it be MORE of a sacrifice for me to be without my son three nights a week than to just enjoy the peace of mind of him getting to have both his parents near him in ONE home while I eventually (with our combined incomes and one household having more financial options) being able to be in therapy to work on what most would think is twisted, it's not mainstream psychology, but COULD IT POSSIBLY be the right thing for ME? Knowing that I would have to find a therapist willing to help me "keep my mouth shut and just come to therapy to vent, and to cry about my ptsd grief, my resentment at the man I'm CHOOSING to live with, etc.
IS MY LOVE FOR MORI BIGGER THAN MY RESENTMENT TOWARDS HIS DAD??? and can i learn to live that way. A big part of me just wants to run into that situation so i can stop crying about mori and maybe just cry about my lost love for his father. By the way, I would of course be honest with his father about this. He has already said he would be ok living with me EVEN if I did not share the bed with him and only could HOPE for our family's sake that we could SOMEHOW SOME DAY RESURRECT my love and respect for the father???
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.
Hello

Now I understand your screename "Customer" (smile) What a beautiful name you chose for your son. Don't ever feel badly for loving your son and cherishing him the way you do.

Thats a lot of info you gave me, and I have a couple comments before I answer your last question.

In many ways I don't think you are angry enough at your parents. I know that sounds strange, but I feel that you excuse them for the things they did, or you have accepted their excuses. It seems that you've brought yourself around to a form of forgiveness, but it seems false to me....like something you tell yourself, just to get through it. I could be wrong, I'm just saying that it sounds that way to me.

As for your father, do not give him credit for being honest, because some things are simply not meant to be told to your child. Whether you act on them or not is incidental, because they were not MEANT to be acted on. Do you give yourself credit for waking up today and not murdering someone? Did you give yourself credit for walking into the bank and cashing your check instead of robbing them? Of course not. You don't give the man credit for not acting on feelings that he should not even be considering, no less doing.

As for the new guy, your marker of 6 to 12 months is right on the mark. It's a good base to move toward or past before exposing your son to him. I suggest to my clients to wait 6-12 months before becoming intimate with someone, as it takes you at least that long to get an honest handle on someones personality. If after your marker, you don't think that things will become stronger or more involved, you shouldn't even bother to introduce them unless things change after that time.

As for your last question. Although I think that you are giving this serious consideration, I cannot say either way if this is something you should do for sure. I worry that he will go back to his controlling ways and it will put you back to square one in the sense that you will be in a situation that is not good for you, that you don't want to be in and that can become destructive to you and your son. However, if you honestly feel that you want to give it a go, and see what happens, then by all means, do it. The hell with what anyone thinks or says, this is your life you are living. I would caution you to keep a bank account that is yours alone, add money to it as often as possible, and if things don't work out, you will have the money to make any moves you need to make quickly for you and your son. I would like to know what you decide, and hope that either way, you'll keep in touch and let me know how you're doing.

Warmly

Chase
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Oh no...I HAVE introduce the "new man" to my son Mori, I just have presented him as a friend (no touching, no intimate gestures or words as discussed prior to meeting my son). Is that o.k.? I would never have the time to see this man if I didn't include him in my day-to-day life at times, including playing at the park with my son all the while my being of course totally present and mindful, if I'm not working, I'm with Mori or asleep. I have NO FREE TIME, no complaints! Just fact of life at the moment. Choice....Mori likes him very much but I do not give him any ideas about the significance of this person...just another friend coming by....he has many regular friends (playdate kids with their moms) and many occasional friends (stressed out to the max moms who only venture out once a year and I'm not able to explain their issues to Mori either, even if their kids used to like to play with Mori, etc.)

You may very well be right about my parents. I'm open to that. Though don't feel very optimistic about how to approach it, basically HAVE NO TIME. These emails I send are last measure attempts at doing something with my emotional state re my son....I know this is no question, but I'm not sure where I'm going with what has felt like the most promising and helpful email exchange/anything therapeutic period! in a long time...thank you Ms. Chase
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.
Hi

No worries, you are still doing the right thing by keeping him as a 'friend' and not allowing your son to see any type of intimacy between the two of you. Also, this gives your son a chance to get to know him as well. If you do decide to get more serious, the fact that Mori knows him will help, because he will tend to think that your friend is trying to take his dads place.

When we talk you don't have to feel that every response you make has to be a question, at this point it's moved beyond that. As you know there's much that can be resolved just by talking about things and getting a different opinion on it. So if all you want to do is post back and talk, we can do that. If there's something in particular you want to talk about let me know. I will always give you my thoughts on anything you post, whether it's in a question format or not. I'm pleased that I am able to help, that is always my ultimate goal, and I'm here whenever you need me...whether its an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year from now. :)

Warmly
Chase

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