picnic

“Picnic” is one of my top search terms, consistently, every day. (People land on the pictures from my NY trio’s last gig.)

Why, people? Why are you searching for “picnic?”

“getting meat out of toilet”

Did your toddler put the roast in the toilet? Before or after it was roasted?

Either way, I hope you plan to throw it away once you get it out of there.

I sure hope you didn’t put it in the toilet to rinse it off. That’s not really what toilets are for, you know.

“stubborn wife help”

This search term made me laugh. Sigh.

Are you a stubborn wife looking for help to get your way? Or looking for help to let go of your stubbornness? Or are you the frustrated husband wanting to get your way? Or to help her let go of her stubbornness?

I’m a stubborn wife.

There’s something positive in that. I am not willing to be unmade, dissolved, disappeared. I will stand up for what I believe and what I value, for what I need and even for what I want.

That doesn’t mean I aim to only and always just get my way. It just means that I aim to be a self, a person in my own right, someone capable of relationship and not just a doormat or robot-servant.

There is of course the negative side, too. I can hold on too tightly, out of fear and lack of faith. I can trap myself into grudges and I can fill my voice with grating stridency.

What helps me?

Respect, dignity, compassion, kindness — treat me like a self, like a person, and I will feel more secure and less defensively fearful.

That doesn’t mean always giving me my way without a fight. It does mean that you take me seriously, including my wants, and that if, once you’ve weighed my thoughts, you want to go in another direction, you acknowledge that my opinion and my feelings matter.

Hope that helps.

“does yelling and anxiety effect a newborn?”

Yes.

But depending on how you handle it, it won’t scar her for life.

You can’t avoid negative emotions. Trying to will only make them come out in worse ways. Allow yourself to experience them and find out that they won’t destroy you or last forever. Recognize that they are part of life. Recognize that your feelings are real but are only feelings — they are not the final statement on who you are.

Counseling, a DBT group, medication, or other strategies may help you manage your negative emotions more effectively. Do some research to find what works best for you.

Make the most of times when you are feeling good or at least not overwhelmed. Use these times for positive interaction with the baby or for refreshing and replenishing yourself.

When you are feeling intense negative emotions, do what you can to minimize their impact on the baby. Put her in a safe place while you go somewhere else to yell into a pillow or cry out your fears. If you must handle the baby while feeling bad, take care to be as physically gentle as you can, and reassure the baby with your voice. Tell her how you are feeling and why, and especially reassure her that it is not her fault. Even if the feelings are about her, she isn’t doing anything on purpose to hurt you.

“wife has ppd and won’t get help”

Are you sure it’s PPD? Some women have some depression for a couple of weeks but it might be manageable and it might go away after that. But if it’s extreme (even in the first days) or if it lasts more than a couple of weeks, you’re probably right.

It is very difficult for a depressed person to make the efforts necessary to get help. Add to that the shame that still attaches to PPD — as if it’s the woman’s fault that she’s suffering this illness that produces all these negative thoughts and feelings about the baby and so on.

Go ahead and get her the help she needs. Go with her to counseling if need be. Hire a nanny if need be. Take a leave of absence from work if need be.

Be gentle and respectful. Tell her often you are getting the necessary help not because she has failed, not because she’s being stubborn, not because you know better than she does, or anything like that, but because you love her and you know she is sick and unable to care for herself, and so you are going to care for her.

“too scared and tired to continue therapy”

Don’t quit yet. You may need a lightening up in the amount or pace of therapy work you’re doing, but therapy is the best and safest place to deal with fear and weariness. Tell your therapist how you are feeling, and together you can work out a change of approach that will help. Remember that therapy will take you to unpleasant places before it will take you through them, but it’s better than hiding from them.

“i cried in therapy it was too hard”

That’s nothing to be ashamed of.

My therapist used to say his job wasn’t to make people feel better, but to make them feel worse! What he meant was that getting in touch with all the garbage we’ve stuffed over the years is going to be painful, but it’s worth it because it’s reality, and it’s better and healthier to live in reality than to fight against it.

Therapy, if you have a good therapist, is one of the safest, best places to go ahead and cry. You won’t shock your therapist or make him or her dislike you or lose patience with you or anything like that. He or she can handle your crying and can help you handle it, too.