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Overwhelmed, Exhausted, and Anxious

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  • #386245
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi,

    This is more of a rant and a vent, with of course a few questions. It may be a long post, so please bear with me.

    I’ve had a really tough week. My mother took ill suddenly, with a mild fever and a running nose the Sunday before last. Of course we feared COVID-19, so she isolated herself in the living room, and I was in the bedroom. We got ourselves tested for COVID, and we’re both negative. With her ill, all the household work fell on my shoulders, cooking, cleaning, daily chores, which I had to manage along with full-time work.

    My cat had 3 kittens 7 weeks ago. The kittens are at a tender age where they are being weaned and litter box trained. While they are almost fully trained, there still are “accidents”, which of course stink a lot and have to be cleaned immediately.

    Also, my cat herself fell ill, caught a stomach bug and had to be treated for it, in the same week. So add vet visits to my list. Also, since the treatment, my cat has been acting weird. Although she was always talkative, she has become much more vocal. She keeps trilling at her kittens for no reason at all, as they are almost weaned off. They are independent now. This trilling and making noise is louder at night. In fact, in the day time she is calm. She also has developed this weird habit of screaming to go out of one window and then coming in through the other window. She does this 3-4 times a night, disturbing our sleep. She was initially a stray who moved into my house, so she usually does her business outside the house. But since 2 days, she has been doing it in the kittens’ litter box, which is difficult for us. Also, she brings in hunted animals, and we have to let her out again. This last part is natural I know, but it bothers us. I dont think I have slept more than 3-4 hours each night since the past 2 weeks. It is affecting my health. Any cat owners know what’s happening?

    With the last week being so heavily packed, and with the sleep deprivation, my anxiety started acting up: heavy knot in my chest, feeling severely overwhelmed, crying, derealization, extremely low mood. And now I feel I dont want the cats, which I cannot understand because I love my cats. The thought makes me anxious.

    Giving you a little history…

    I had adopted two kittens from an NGO some 8 or 9 years ago. I kept them for a couple of days. One of them was really ill. I did not know much about looking after cats back then, but I took her to the vet and he said she was very seriously ill. The kittens wouldn’t eat at all, and I got extremely anxious. Of course, at that time I didn’t know that’s was anxiety. But I got anxious, with the knot in the chest, the extremely low mood, etc. And I suddenly thought, “I don’t even want cats!” I gave the cats back to the NGO, despite everyone telling me to give it a little more time. You’d think I was relieved after giving the cats up. No. I was miserable. I cried and cried, and it took me a long time to get over it. My maa cried a lot too.

    Fast forward to a couple years later, a pregnant cat moved into my house and gave birth to 4 kittens. I took care of them till they were 3 months old. Then, 2 of them wandered away and the other 2 my maa didn’t want in the house. So we left them at the fish market close by. I know it sounds horrible of me, but such fish markets, in my country, are a haven for cats. The people feed fish to the cats, and the whole market is a huge cat community. So I am sure the cats were taken care of. But I still felt I abandoned them and feel guilty to this day. I was facing similar anxiety back then too.

    Now, I love my kittens. Very much. One of them is down with fever. I took all to the vet, and he is being treated for it. He’s going to be okay. What is troubling me the most is the mother cat’s behaviour. She just does not let us sleep at night. She seems distressed and keeps calling her kittens and going in and out of the house. I spoke to the vet about this, and she suggested the best option is to have my cat spayed. Her hormones will be in control after that. I am looking for trustworthy places that would carry out this operation at a reasonable price. Till then, the vet has given me a tablet which I am to give my cat at night. It is supposed to calm her, and she hopefully will quiet down and let us all sleep. The lack of sleep plus all the work has gotten to me. And now I have the same thought I had years ago: I dont want them. I could give two of the kittens up for adoption, but the thought gives me a lot of pain. They are my babies.

    My question: This thought that I dont like my cats, resent them, etc… Is it just my exhaustion and sleep deprivation and anxiety talking? Is it just because the past week was so very hectic? If I wasn’t this overwhelmed, I would not think so? Because if not, I may never be ready for any responsibility ever. What if one day I have kids? What will I do then?

    Sorry for the long post and thank you for reading.

    Anita: I know you will read this. So… Hi…

    #386260
    Peter
    Participant

    Hi 03

    I think its good to remember the difference between like and love.  I’ve always thought that it was a good thing that the ask was to ‘Love one neighbor as oneself’  and not ‘Like one neighbor as oneself’  as it it always possible to Love someone (or ones pets) in those moments when you don’t like them. (even when Love requires a relationship to end)

    I might argue that it is precisely in those moments of dislike when we lean on Love.

    Liking and disliking will always  ebb and flow while Love is the one thing that can be practiced as a constant.

    #386267
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anonymous03:

    “my cat herself fell ill, caught a stomach bug and had to be treated for it.. since the treatment, my cat has been acting weird…  much more vocal… This trilling and making noise is louder at night. In fact, in the day time she is calm. She also has developed this weird habit of screaming to go out of one window and then coming in through the other window. She does this 3-4 times a night, disturbing our sleep.. I spoke to the vet about this, and she suggested the best option is to have my cat spayed. Her hormones will be in control after that. I am looking for trustworthy places that would carry out this operation at a reasonable price”-

    fits-cats. com/ hyperactive cat behavior reads: “Cats also become extremely active when in heat.. If, your cat is hyperactive during these times only then spaying, or neutering may be effective”, otherwise, it reads: “getting a hyperactive cat spayed, or neutered.. doesn’t always stop hyperactivity”

    It also reads: “There are some medical conditions that can cause hyperactivity in your cat… Hyperthyroidism is a fairly common condition that appears in older cats, and one of the side effects of this condition can by hyperactivity, but this is usually accompanied by other signs..  weight loss, increased appetite, irritability, or restlessness, of course not all at once, but with two, or more of these signs you may want to consult your vet”.

    With the last week being so heavily packed, and with the sleep deprivation, my anxiety started acting up: heavy knot in my chest, feeling severely overwhelmed, crying, derealization, extremely low mood. And now I feel I don’t want the cats, which I cannot understand because I love my cats“-

    -I understand why you don’t want the cats. As I was reading your story, before I read the paragraph I just quoted, I thought to myself: better anonymous03 get rid of the cats! It’s normal to think this way because your nightly hyperactive cat is really damaging your mental health by depriving you from sleep!

    You wrote regarding previous cats: “You’d think I was relieved after giving the cats up. No. I was miserable. I cried and cried, and it took me a long time to get over it.. I still felt I abandoned them and feel guilty to this day“- when I read this part, I thought to myself that maybe it’s not a good solution for you to do the same  this time.

    My question: This thought that I don’t like my cats, resent them, etc… Is it just my exhaustion and sleep deprivation and anxiety talking?“-yes. “Is it just because the past week was so very hectic?”- yes, I  believe so, I would feel the same if I was in your shoes, tired and exhausted and anxious. “If I wasn’t this overwhelmed, I would not think so?“- no.

    I may never be ready for any responsibility ever. What if one day I have kids? What will I do then?“- you would probably feel and think similarly as a mother, but at that future point you’d already have the experience of having done the right thing for your cats and for yourself, regardless of how you feel and regardless if some of what you think. Your current experience can give you confidence: the knowing that you are able to handle difficult situations well!

    anita

    #386399
    anita
    Participant

    Dear annonymous03:

    An afterthought- the title of your current thread, Sept 2021, is: “Overwhelmed, Exhausted, and Anxious“. You didn’t mention in this thread a very significant cause for your anxiety and exhaustion, if it’s still ongoing, being that you are currently still living with your mother. Here are my quotes of your words in your April 2020 thread, in regard to your mother:

    “I always got yelled at. As a child.. As I grew older, the yelling continued ..she’d come home and scream at me for something as silly as my bag being on the couch. After she’d scream, her mood would drastically flip onto a positive one”, “I always got the full force of her anger… she screams a lot…She scolds for the same thing again and again… She comments on my body, how I am too skinny, how my hair is too thin… She’d also give me the cold treatment: not looking at me, not answering me, behaving like I don’t even exist, if she would look at me, it would only be to look at me with absolute hatred”.

    If this is still ongoing, how can you possibly not be Overwhelmed, Exhausted, and Anxious?

    anita

    #388467
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, annonymous03?

    anita

    #389299
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    How are you doing? It has been so long!!

    I apologize for just vanishing… I just had so much on my plate!

    After I posted here, all of my 3 kittens fell severely ill. And one of them did not make it. He passed right in my arms. I felt him stop breathing and then his heart stop beating. I cannot begin to describe the loss and pain I felt. I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy. I lost a child that day.

    After he passed, my other two were still critically ill and needed the utmost care. By God’s grace, they survived and are perfectly healthy and growing now (touch wood). The mother cat is fine as well. Her behaviour has drastically improved, and I will have her spayed soon. We are one knit family now. I love them more than anything. My mom has also become quite attached to them. Can you believe it?! She helped me with the kittens so much so that I would not have been able to look after them on my own, considering they needed to be kept warm with heatpads and needed their temperature checked every 2 hours. What a horrible time for us… But I’m grateful they’re okay…

    You were right. I was severely sleep deprived and it took a toll on me. It is ridiculous how much self-doubt anxiety can instill in you. As exhausted, scared, and sleep-deprived I was, anyone in my position would have probably cracked. Let alone a person with disordered anxiety. Looking back, I keep patting my back for doing everything I could for my family. I know I did beyond my best. And the next time I face a difficult situation, I’m going to think of this time and remind myself of the courage and care I am capable of.

    I won’t lie, I still sometimes reel thinking of that time; it was traumatic. And I have remind myself that it is over. I pray for my lost kitten and bring my attention back to the present.

    About my mother, yes I still live with her. The week she was ill was difficult for me. Thanks to lack of sleep and the overburden, I was quite snappy. Because she was isloating, I had to serve her everything she needed. She could get really nitpicky, and it pissed me off. I snapped at her all the time and felt horrible about it later. She wasn’t a fan of the cats earlier, so that added to my worries too. Just a week ago, I had a horrible fight with her, where I told her I was done trying with her. That I have tried to reach her in every way I could, and failed. And so I now take a step back. I will no longer try to communicate. I guess that’s best for the both of us.

    Enough about me. How are you doing? How is the pandemic situation where you live?

    Hope to hear from you soon…

     

     

    #389300
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Peter,

    What a wonderful thing to say! And so true! This is something I experience so often with friends and family, and now my cats. Even if I don’t like them in the moment, it does not mean I don’t love them… And if I don’t like them in the moment, it does not mean I’m a bad person. I am not my thoughts and feelings.

     

     

    #389310
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anonymous03:

    So good to read from you again! I am fine, thank you, got the booster shot (third Pfizer vaccine) only yesterday, my arm still hurts from the shot, no big deal though.

    I am sorry for your loss, your kitten. I feel sad as I imagine how his heart stopped beating in your arms. It makes me think how … we will all end up this way, our hearts no longer beating, some alone, others in someone’s arms.

    Looking back, I keep patting my back for doing everything I could for my family. I know I did beyond my best. And the next time I face a difficult situation, I’m going to think of this time and remind myself of the courage and care I am capable of“- I am glad that your cat and two kittens are alive and well, and indeed you deserve a lot of credit for doing beyond your best, showing that you are indeed capable of courage and care. You are amazing!

    About my mother, yes I still live with her. The week she was ill was difficult for me. Thanks to lack of sleep and the overburden… I snapped at her all the time and felt horrible about it later…  Just a week ago, I had a horrible fight with her, where I told her I was done trying with her. That I have tried to reach her in every way I could and failed. And so, I now take a step back. I will no longer try to communicate. I guess that’s best for the both of us“-

    – I am proud of you for reaching this conclusion. Notice that you felt bad for snapping at her, but she did not feel bad for doing way more than snapping at you for years (“I always got the full force of her anger… she screams a lot… again and again… She’d also give me the cold treatment: not looking at me… if she would look at me, it would only be to look at me with absolute hatred“, April 2020).

    Please do not try to try to reach her in any way, to communicate with her, to make her understand. She screamed at you and looked at you “with absolute hatred” when you were a child, being 100% dependent on her, loving her with all your heart. She chose to betray your loving heart repeatedly. And so, your distance from her is a consequence of her many choices over many years to hurt you. I wish you didn’t live with her anymore. She doesn’t deserve you.

    It’s been raining here so much that there’s lots of flooding. During the drought of last summer, including the heat wave of June 2021, I thought that it will never rain again, but it floods! This all amounts to Extreme Weather, a consequence of global warming/ climate change. We are all paying the consequences of ours and others’ behaviors and … misbehaviors. How is the weather there?

    anita

    #389313
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anonymous03:

    I just read your reply to another member, a perfect reply, perfectly written, I am impressed, had to tell you!!!

    anita

    #389348
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    So lovely to read from you as well….

    Happy to know you got your thrid booster. I hope your arm feels better. I’m fully vaccinated myself and that sure does feel better. What with Omicron now, I wonder how much longer till this virus is just another one that only makes you sneeze and have soup in bed.

    About my mother, I realize how exhausted I am. Trying to reach her, o explain, to get to know her, to understand her… is tiring. And I hav accepted that we are just not meant to be friends. And that is alright. I told her I will not try to communicate anymore. That I will back off now. I do not talk to her about my personal life; she betrayed me way too much to be involved in it now. I only talk to her about basic stuff. It is scary and I feel alone, but it is peaceful. I am trying to not need her validation anymore. I will try to move out soon too. Let’s see how that goes.

    I am sorry to know you were affected by the floods. I hope you and your family are okay. We had a heatwave when we finally expected the weather to turn cooler. Western India is hot, and we eagerly wait for winter. Just when we thought we finally get to wear our jumpers, the weather turned on us. And then it rains. It’s like the weather can’t make up it’s mind. We keep winter wear, umbrellas and windcheaters, and summer wear all handy. It is funny. You are absolutely right. This is all a consequence of mankind’s carelessness, and I’m afraid it might just be too late to make amends.

    I also wanna tell you… I went for a vacation this week. I’ve always been conscious of my body. But this time, I did not care about my stretch marks or belly rolls or cellulite or scars. I wore a bikini. I have never felt freer. It is a huge step for me….

    Thank for your kind words…. 🙂

    Hope to hear from you soon…

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #389351
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anonymous03:

    Congratulations for wearing a bikini and never feeling freer wearing it, cellulite and whatnot. I am sure that the perfect beauty of the freedom in your face was way, way more noticeable than the body’s imperfections!

    It is interesting for me to read your paragraph about your mother, how “exhausted” you are from all that trying, “trying to reach her, to explain, to get to know her, to understand her“. I was exhausted too, trying and trying for many years: what a waste of my time and my life. There are many people who are not worth all that time and effort. It is difficult for a daughter to think that her own mother is in this group of people, but truth is, she is. The main reason: her dishonesty, her lies and pretenses, portraying herself as someone she was not. Lies and pretenses are confusing, and in the way of getting to accurately know a person. Here is a 3-L sentence I just came up with: When your mother repeatedly Lies to you, better Leave her than Live with her, or close to her. Can you think of your mother’s lies?

    It is Friday 7:32 am and 4 degrees Celsius here (38F), Western U.S., and according to bing. com it is Friday 9:02 pm and 20 degrees Celsius in Western India. Is it?

    anita

     

    #389400
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    You were absolutely right about the time and temeprature!!

    Yes, I can think of a lot of lies and manipulations that my mother has subjected me to. Lies about our family, emotional blackmail and manipulations… My therapist had warned me not to let her get involved in my life, especially my personal life, as my mother is so anxious that she is incapable of thinking about anyone but herself, and she may engineer things that may affect my life drastically. So I do just that. Today, she asked me about my plans for marriage, and even though I do like someone, I told her I am not ready for it at the moment. She kept badgering me with the same question even after I answered it, and I lost my cool. I yelled at her, shouting, “NOT NOW! I TOLD YOU!” That was it. She has been crying all day. I apologized. And then she told me she is reliving past trauma. I don’t know what to do with that. There is nothing I can help her with if she won’t open up. I have stopped asking her as well. Then there is the cold treatment: no looking at me, no talking to me, acting like I am not even in the room… ughhh… My anxiety shoots right up when she does this. Knot in my chest and the intrusive thoughts and that demonic voice in my head… I can’t relax… This has been my whole childhood, and I resent her for it. Now, I do not have even basic compassion for her. Even when she cries, I feel no empathy or sympathy. I know it makes me sound like a terrible daughter, but what do I do? I just don’t feel it. I feel really guilty about this lack of compassion too, but I can’t help it.

    My therapist had told me not to take this reliving trauma bit too seriously; it may just be another form of emotional blackmail. I am trying to do that. But it affects me. Seeing her so sad and her coldness towards me. I’ve had such a bad day. I simply dont get why she wont leave me be.

    How is your weekend going?

     

     

    #389416
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anonymous03:

    You asked about my weekend: it is Sunday morning at this time, not raining, which is good, but I am very tired, so I am not feeling good so far. I bet I’ll feel better soon enough.

    Today, she asked me…I told her… She kept badgering me with the same question… I yelled at her… She has been crying all day. I apologized“- You had to raise your voice (it was the right thing to do!) because your only other option to stop her from badgering you, is to answer her every question and otherwise say and do whatever she wants you to say and do at all times. She did you wrong to you by not respecting you when you answered her the first time, proceeding to badger you, and then trying to make you feel bad by crying (while all along you did nothing wrong!)

    And then she told me she is reliving past trauma… There is nothing I can help her with if she won’t open up…  Then there is the cold treatment… My anxiety shoots right up when she does this. Knot in my chest and the intrusive thoughts and that demonic voice in my head… I can’t relax… This has been my whole childhood“-

    Notice: (1) You did not cause her childhood/ early life trauma, whatever it was. She caused your childhood trauma and continues to fuel the trauma that she caused by badgering you, giving you the cold treatment, and more, (2) You want to help her in regard to the trauma that you did not cause, but she is not even willing to stop fueling the trauma that she did cause (by no longer badgering you, no longer giving you the cold treatment, and more)!

    I resent her for it. Now, I do not have even basic compassion for her. Even when she cries, I feel no empathy or sympathy. I know it makes me sound like a terrible daughter… I feel really guilty about this lack of compassion too, but I can’t help it“-

    – (1) It is natural for an abused person to feel resentment/ anger at the abuser (in nature, anger motivates animals to protect themselves from harm), (2) It is unnatural for the abused to feel compassion for the abuser (imagine a deer feeling compassion for the mountain lion approaching it… the deer would stay there and get eaten!), (3) You are not a terrible daughter, you are an unfortunate daughter who is stuck with a terrible mother who has no compassion for her own daughter!

    It affects me. Seeing her so sad and her coldness towards me. I’ve had such a bad day. I simply don’t get why she won’t leave me be“- because she is a terrible mother. She sees how hurt you are, and she tries to hurt you even more! Who keeps feeding “that demonic voice” in your head, if not the demon itself???

    It angers me so, I wish you no longer have her in your life!

    anita

     

    #391574
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, anonymous03?

    anita

    #391685
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I am doing okay. How about you?

    How are things pandemic-wise? I hope you are safe and well.

    The number of times I think of just talking here on Tiny Buddha! But the company I work for has started this new thing. They moved my team to a permanent WFH model. They made us install this software that has a time which I’m supposed to turn on once I start work in the morning, and I’m supposed to clock in 8 hours each day, exclusive of any breaks! That is not all. The software takes screenshots of my screen every 3 minutes! So I cannot be doing anything personal without it reaching my boss and management. I find that a preposterous breach of my privacy. By the time I am done for the day, I am so tired that I just shut the laptop. It even keeps a track of which websites I opened, how many times I used my mouse/keyboard, and for how long my laptop was idle!

    I’ve been feeling seriously low on my self-esteem since a little while now, and I’m trying to go back to my previous self-care habits that had been disrupted due to the holidays last month. I guess I’ll start a thread about this when I find the time because I could seriously use some help. I am making some changes regarding my career (wont say what as of now because I’m afraid of the jinx), and I cant afford hitting a low now. My anxiety makes it so difficult for me that it has taken me years to take any steps for my professional growth. I’d love some more insight. So I will start another thread.

    I got together with my ex; we’d broken up in March because I realized I needed to be by myself. But we got in touch again and rekindled it. So far so good.

    I got Lily spayed, and she is fine. 🙂

    Enough about me… How are things with you?

     

     

     

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