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Lifted the baby now my back hurts

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  • Since my first surgery in February my wife made is very evident that she couldn't handle the house with out lashing out at me about it, so as soon as I was able(despite constant pain from the surgery being a failure and impending fusion coming in a few weeks) I did anything and everything to lighten the load, cooked, cleaned, said yes to every request to purchase anything and everything she wanted(we redecorated the entire house), we have two kids a 7yo(my daughter from a previous marriage, and our 20 mo) the 7 year old was a bit of a hand full with ADHD, and being prone to tantrums. But with my wife's struggle during my healing from the first surgery and the stress added from my 7 yo, I gave over to the idea of letting my 7yo go live with her mother. Well, since she's gone I've not been the same. I'm a mess. I cry all the time. I miss her like I've never felt anything before. I think my wife was expecting us to have a honeymoon stage with one less child in the house. But I've just fallen apart, my marriage is all but over, and my wife continues her assault that I'm selfish and a shit father and don't do anything(I'm about a month post op). I can't help but pine for my daughter. My wife says she's better off and I'm a this and a that. But I can't help it. My daughter being gone, combined with the depression of being sedintary from surgery has left me a mess. I'd give anything to have her back in the house, tantrums and all. I've been sleeping in her room since my discharge, and often cry. My wife says I never did anything with her while she was here, and I didn't "parent her" because I liked to do things for her despite her being deserving of not. She doesn't understand. I'm actually willing to let her leave with our 20mo, though missing the baby will also hurt, the prospect of having my 7 yo back and it being just the 2 of us sounds amazing and refreshing. I'm so torn. I don't know where I'm going with this rant. I miss my child. I get scolded by my wife for talking to her multiple times a day, but I seemingly neglect my wife and child that our actually here with me. I could just lay in bed all day and look at pictures of my daughter and cry because I won't be picking her up from school. My life seems to be crumbling and I almost welcome the solitude of my wife and other child leaving. It's almost as though if I can't have them all my heart won't let me fight to keep whose still here with me. That I'd rather them all just leave me alone. I'm seeing a counselor Thursday. My wife had suggested that I let my oldest go to bio moms family many times prior to either surgeries and I'd sworn that I'd never let her go. But in the end I did.. Now the guilt of not having her to tuck in and kiss at night has put such a hole in me that I don't know that it will ever be filled. I am lost.
  • The sedentary nature of being post-op makes you feel very isolated, vulnerable and emotional. These are normal feelings and you should be compassionate with yourself. You are not in an easy situation. Being sedentary also means that you spend a lot of time thinking and over analysing things. When I get like that, I try mindfulness and meditation. It really helps for me, and I suffered from anxiety and depression for a long time. It won't solve your problems, but it can calm and ease the emotional stress. Good luck and I hope things improve soon.
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  • Mindfulness and meditation aren't really tools in my box. I'm a navy deep sea diver. I've prided my self on my ability to preserveir and over come challenges. Most that came were physical or fear based. Mind over matter-if I didn't mind it didn't matter.  Having myself stripped of the things that made who I was is very damaging. I have coping mechanisms for being sedentary, I can literally watch Sci fi, and action movies from sun up til sun down, and watch the same movies with out getting bored. I've tried to explain to my wife that I just need to be able to do what I need to do til I start physical therapy, and start working out and get back to work, but she won't. She knows these things will help me cope, but because she doesn't like them, and because she thinks I need to look at the baby all day she turns it into a "you don't care about us and we're leaving" situation.. It's really pushed me into a corner where I don't want her to leave, but at the same time if she did, I could just do what need to do til I can get back to business as usual. I gave up my daughter to make things easier on us(I say "us", but I really mean my wife. Which now with nothing to do but think and dwell on her absence it makes it all that much worse. I just don't know what to do. I know I'm not myself, but it feels like it's because she's trying to make me be what I'm not.
  • It's just so hard. I slept in bed with her the last night she stayed here, and she told me "I don't know if I want to move", and it broke my heart. She had moved with her family (us) before, but she was moving all by herself now and it was this big unknown, yeah she was going to live with her mom, but she hadn't lived with or seen her mom in person since she was about to be 5(she's about 7 1/2 now), and watching her get into her grandfathers car and drive away, it's like a peice of me went with her, then with the surgeries even more of me. After the first operation she would always come and hug me before and after school(I was stuck in a recliner for a few weeks). We had our moments, like I said she was a handful, and my wife says now I want her because I don't think about the hard times with her while she was here and basically makes me feel like I was a terrible father(and tells me I was and am). I see her on FaceTime everyday and she looks happy and laughs and is her bouncy self it seems, so I guess she's doing well there, but I have this hole still. Her little sister calls her name up the stairs(all the time)like she thinks she's here and I have to tell her sissy isn't there. We go for walks and I see her friends playing, or for a half a second I think one of them is her. I know she's just a few hours away, but it feels like a world away, and that I'm never going to hug her again, and my chest is filled with regret, that I could've done more for her, been a better father, held her more, just been more. I feel guilty because I feel like I pushed her away sometimes or did things differently because I was trying to keep my wife happy. I did what my wife was telling me to do instead of what my instinct told me to do, because happy wife happy life right? Now I'm stuck with this mangled mess of a back, my wife hates me, and the only person who loved me unconditionally, that wanted a hug and kiss at the end of every day no matter what I sent away. Now I play the tip toe game or the fight all day for days game, with no hug, no kiss ever, much less good night. My wife always insisted that there was something wrong with her. That she wasn't just a rambunctious kid, which some of her behavior I agreed with. im going to let her finish this school
    year with her mom, spend part of the summer there, but when I go to get her I'm keeping her. She belongs with me. If my wife doesn't like it, she can leave(she has said our marriage can't handle her, yet she married me when I was a single dad?) I haven't signed any papers. she's is technically on an extended visit. I'm willing to change custody orders, but she needs to live with me. Or am I just being selfish? My wife says we needed her to go so we could fix our marriage, she was here before we were married. If our marriage won't work with my child, then is it going to work at all? I'm rambling now.


  • Mindfulness and meditation aren't really tools in my box. I'm a navy deep sea diver. I've prided my self on my ability to preserveir and over come challenges. Most that came were physical or fear based. Mind over matter-if I didn't mind it didn't matter.  Having myself stripped of the things that made who I was is very damaging. I have coping mechanisms for being sedentary, I can literally watch Sci fi, and action movies from sun up til sun down, and watch the same movies with out getting bored. I've tried to explain to my wife that I just need to be able to do what I need to do til I start physical therapy, and start working out and get back to work, but she won't. She knows these things will help me cope, but because she doesn't like them, and because she thinks I need to look at the baby all day she turns it into a "you don't care about us and we're leaving" situation.. It's really pushed me into a corner where I don't want her to leave, but at the same time if she did, I could just do what need to do til I can get back to business as usual. I gave up my daughter to make things easier on us(I say "us", but I really mean my wife. Which now with nothing to do but think and dwell on her absence it makes it all that much worse. I just don't know what to do. I know I'm not myself, but it feels like it's because she's trying to make me be what I'm not.

    I know where you are coming from, I have similar background, and a lot of people think they can brush past mental health issues, but they can be very real and damaging even for the strongest of people. I only took up mindfulness precisely because of increasing emotional problems, and did it through a book initially. It sounds like you enjoy solving problems and challenges, and when your world narrows with an injury like this, that can turn into a hugely exhausting mental process where your brain thinks about situations, analyses, thinks again and overanalyses until you can't think straight anymore. Remember that your thoughts are not you, they are your brain trying to make sense of everything in the only way it knows how. It sounds to me like you need some time and peace to be able to see the situation clearly enough to know what step you need to take next.
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  • Unfortunately peace for me was in middle of 4-5 miles, or pulling 425lbs off the floor, feeling the pulse of all my blood rushing into muscle from my feet to my face, the scream leave my lungs to push me just that much further to lift it just that much higher to full extension , to run just that much farther..finding the energy to finish the last 1/4 mile of that last mile that's all up hill. Music screaming in my ears so loud it's probably doing damage...or the exact opposite..walking on the bottom of the ocean with nothing but bubbles of your exhale as you slowly dance across the bottom. Those places, those times are where I'm at most peaceful. Now I don't have them, and may never again. When I couldn't get by a problem I just "lifted" it so to speak..I was told I'm like a whole different  person in those places. But at home a teddy bear. Now I can't be one with out the other.
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