I think one of the hardest parts of battling all my depression and anxiety, especially with my post-traumatic stress disorder, is very simply that I have a son. If Choo-choo had been a girl, far fewer issues would have arisen. Instead, I have a male child demanding attention and control of everything.
I spent so much time under the power of other males. My mind seems to associate the same feelings with my son. I really do not like Choo-choo being in control. I panic and start reeling when he tries to dominate a situation. Then I get angry. Unfortunately, I have said to him several times that he is not the boss of me.
Now, I realize some of this is also because he is the child and I am the parent. I also know that absolutely none of this is his fault. None. He played no part in my traumas. Even my pregnancy and birth issues were not because of him.
In order for me to remind us both of this, I make sure to hug him and tell him I love him often. I tell him when I have panic attacks or when I’m upset and there are other culprits that it isn’t because of him.
I am learning to let Choo-choo make some decisions on his own. He is, after all, a toddler learning independence. I’m also learning to let him take control of some situations, like what he wants to eat (within reason), what we build with his blocks, or how many times in a row we read the same book.
While he doesn’t get to dominate every idea or situation, giving him more freedom has helped him in ways that allow me to see he can have some control and this won’t hurt either of us.