What’s just one more thing to make me feel worthless?

Let me preface this post by explaining that I’m not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me. This is just how things are and I know it will pass. Venting is good. Now, to continue…

The last few days been really crappy. Yes, I use that word a lot, though maybe I shouldn’t. My disorder (though always present) has been particularly ugly and mean. And though I know better, I feel like a worthless piece of junk because of it. It’s hard not to think I ought to be able to do something about it, even when I know that fighting it just makes it worse. I’ve been sleeping poorly and wake up sore every morning and, oh my gosh, my jaws! I grind my teeth at night on a regular basis but so much worse when I am stressed. In short, I am telling myself I am a good person that is just struggling extra at this time but I am so not feeling that.

Then there was an incident this morning. The following is not for the faint of heart, and be thankful I didn’t take pictures because it was bad. Real bad. I walked into the kitchen and my eye caught something on the floor. Something I thought was perhaps raw meat drippings hubby hadn’t seen last night. And then I saw tiny paw prints, and then I saw blood. Blood, blood and more blood all scuffled through with tiny paw prints. Hairs dragged through the blood. Blood spatter all over the baseboard, blood drag marks all across the kitchen floor for heavens sake! I saw the mouse trap that had been triggered but no mouse to be seen.

I was furious! Livid that some stupid mouse had gotten wounded and escaped and dragged it’s bleeding body all over my house! I was sick to my stomach as I cleaned it up and curse the name of mouse forever! But then, as I walked into the living room, my eyes caught sight of the hamster cage. The hamster cage with the top door wide open. The door that I had forgotten to shut after filling the Hamsters food bowl last night. I knew in an instant that it was the hamster that had gotten injured by the trap and that it was my fault.

Yes, it’s a hamster. Yes, it’s a rodent. But she’s my rodent, my responsibility to protect and take care of and I had failed. Now she was probably off somewhere bleeding to death because of my mistake. I freaked. I lost it completely and hubby just held me as I sobbed into his arms. After I collected myself I took the flashlight and went searching for her. I was amazed to find her in the first place I looked - in the back of the kids closet. She came crawling out looking dazed and I saw a part of her nose had been snipped off. I was amazed that all that blood came from that. She’s back in her cage now and I don’t know if she’ll live or not. But yeah, I feel like a failure, as I look at her sleeping form.

I think I did learn something important though from today’s experience. I am a mother, and if I felt that guilty over an injured hamster, how much more awful would it be to have something happen to my kids (or someone else) because of a mistake I made. I have chosen to be a mother and I have the responsibility of taking care of them and keeping them safe to the best of my abilities. How often do I speed when driving? Or let teaching moments slip away because of laziness? I think I’m doing a good job but I could definitely be doing better. I love them so much and I don’t ever want to let my carelessness hurt them.

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Comments (13)

KarleneJuly 23rd, 2009 at 1:10 pm

1. Somehow, I allowed two hamsters to escape. No blood, but they were certainly gone to hamster heaven because there were many cats around. Let it go.

2. You will, at some point, cause pain to your children. Can’t help it. That’s life. I’ve hurt all of mine–physically and emotionally, mostly be accident, and always in ignorance. That is what the atonement is for.

I’ve told my children that if they need it to heal, I’ll go on Oprah (or whatever) and let them humiliate me in front of the nation. Thankfully, none of them have chosen that path yet. But seriously, that’s all you can do.

KarleneJuly 23rd, 2009 at 1:12 pm

P.S. We also once accidentally locked our cat in a metal storage unit in the middle of summer for over a week. She was alive when we found her but the vet said she wouldn’t make it. Two years later, she’s still fine. Hope your hamster is too.

Becky NewsonJuly 23rd, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Agh, what a heart-paining story, especially with the perspective it gave you on children there at the end.

Carelessness is a tough one. We’re all careless at some point, aren’t we? I’m not convinced that it’s completely preventable. But yes, I’d absolutely die inside if I ever brought serious harm to one of my children because of that carelessness.

Karlene… thank you for point #2. It was uplifting to read that immediately after my thought.

KimberlyJuly 23rd, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Oh Summer, I’m so sorry. Sorry that these thoughts are plaguing you right now. I think you already know what I’m about to tell you, but sometimes knowing something intellectually isn’t enough. Maybe hearing it from someone else will help reinforce?

You are a gift and a blessing to your family. You constantly seek and strive to learn new things and become your best self. You love you family, and you struggle to be a good example to your children. The thought of one of them in pain horrifies you. All that and more adds up to the simple fact that you are an exceptional woman and a loving, kind hearted mother. Our struggles don’t define us, they refine us, and you are a beautiful example of that.

There are children in this world who are not loved by their parents. Some, horrifyingly, are even hurt by those who should love them. Those are the bad mothers, in my opinion. Every mother who LOVES her children and is TRYING to do the best for them is a good mother. A fabulous mother.

What you seem to be wanting right now is to go beyond that. To become the best mother you can be. And that? Is a worthy goal. But it is no small goal to be attained in a moment of remorse or guilt. It is something we spend the entirety of our life working towards. Be gentle with yourself, and remind that horrible nagging voice in the back of your thoughts that it is wrong and you are amazing. ~hugs~

kailaniJuly 23rd, 2009 at 3:40 pm

As parents, we all make mistakes at times. It’s just a part of parenting. Don’t be too hard on yourself. On the positive side, it made you stop to think about what’s important in life. :heart:

AnnetteJuly 23rd, 2009 at 8:38 pm

That’s a moment enough to make anyone feel awful. But hamsters are excellent escape artists no matter what. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It really could have happened to anyone.

But man, you poor thing.

Dave ThurstonJuly 23rd, 2009 at 11:03 pm

How about a different spin . . .

Maybe God created that hamster just for you. Maybe that hamster (somehow) knew what he was signing up for. And maybe that hamster was not only okay with it but is now bursting with pride at helping you to see the great positives that you have by allowing you to see some of the negative.

Maybe you are playing right into God’s Master Plan. And now that you’ve shared your story . . . maybe that is a bonus part that God wasn’t sure about. And now He’s pleased that you’re lifting others up to see their positives. Seems like this could be the start of a pretty good facet of life.

Well done.

kennaJuly 23rd, 2009 at 11:49 pm

I so know how you feel. I don’t have your same disorder, but I suffer from pretty severe depression and anxiety (at the same time, even tho they are technically opposite each other) from time to time. Okay, at least once per year. And my brain is telling me the entire time that this too shall pass. That I’m normal. That probably a lot of people don’t have it together as much as they appear to in public and they’re just big fakers too (in terms of faking “having it all together”) just like me. That I’m not crazy, it’s just a chemical issue that I need to get under control. Yet despite my brain telling me all that, I still sit paralyzed on the couch, staring at the wall for hours because I simply can’t do anything else but feel badly about myself. I know that’s different than how you feel. But it’s similar in that you KNOW you’re amazing, but something beyond your control is telling you differently, and even though you know it’s a lie, it still hurts, even physically. I don’t know why I just typed all that. I hope it doesn’t sound trite. I just thought I should say it. And that you are great. And cool. And talented. And your kids are lucky. And everything everyone else said, too.

DanielleJuly 25th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Oh sweety, I’m so sorry!! What a rotten day. You truly are AMAZING!!! Really, there are so many times when I just wish I could do or act, or say, or try what you do. I look up to you tons- even after your hamster bad day.

PamJuly 27th, 2009 at 8:59 pm

I didn’t read the comments because after reading your blog I had such strong feelings. Oh how much life can hurt. We can learn from the experiences of others and hopefully not have to experience everything ourselves. The atonement of Christ helps each of us and each of our children. It doesn’t matter how careful we are, our children will hurt. The can have peace through Christ. We can have peace through Christ.

PamJuly 27th, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I like Dave’s comment.

LaurelJuly 27th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

I don’t have a hamster (and I probably never will), but that story hurts my heart and hits home in more than one way. I’m not sure I can fully describe it. But I FEEL for you having gone through this experience. I am the type of mom who gets UPSET with my kids for getting hurt–ME upset when THEY’RE the ones hurting physically. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s just one of the MANY faults I have as a mother (I won’t go into all of them). I guess what I’m trying to say is, I am feeling so inadequate in the most important role I’ve ever had, that if my hamster got its nose snipped off in a mousetrap, I would feel just as you did, in every stage of it. I am glad you found her and I hope she lives.
Incidentally, Noah has gotten his hand snapped in a mousetrap TWICE now, and how do you think I reacted? Not well.
Oh yeah, I think we arranged for a family migration of city mice to the country (horror of horrors)!
Sorry for rambling. :)

chauwellJuly 28th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

I hope that things are better now!

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