Depression and Anger: My Reasoning

c3cbd436f8c911e2a7f822000ae912d2_7Have I mentioned in the past while how terribly depressed I feel? Have I talked about my real feelings in my past few posts? No. I’ve kept them inside me for some time. I’ve spoken to people I thought were my friends and confided in them, only to have them exploit me and my comments. So, I’ve stopped. I’ve just bottled everything up inside of me. The feeling of hopelessness. The feeling of not being good enough. The feelings of anger. Wanting to scream and cry. Wanting to run away. I’ve kept it all inside of me.

I recently spoke to a therapist. I told her everything that was going on. Our hour ran out quickly and she told me she had to go. But before she did, she asked me what I wanted from a specific person I was so angry at. What did I want this person to do in order for me to feel less overwhelmed and frustrated? I told her, I wanted him to guide me, to converse with me more than just saying yes, no, I don’t know, I”m busy. After she prompted me some more, her response and question to me was, “so you want him to proof-read your work?” I was like, what? No. Yes. I don’t know. Maybe?

That’s not what I want from this man who is playing such an important role in my life these days. Stupid  therapist. Why didn’t she ask the right questions? How the heck do you get to proof-reading from everything I’ve told her? Sigh!

After I hung up the phone with her, more frustrated than I was before speaking to her, I sat there a few minutes and thought to myself, why had I made this man so important in my life? For what? Approval? Recognition? Sure, he is who he is and that has some importance to it. But I’m actually depressed, miserable, ready to cry on days when “I” feel like he’s not pleased with me. What the heck is wrong with me? I’ve given someone SO much importance in my mind (more than my husband and child) that him not liking me, has caused me to want to up and run away? How the heck does that happen?

Of course, many things current and prior contribute to this whole series of depression and anger, but he not liking me and speaking to me as if I am incompetent has really taken its toll on me.  It’s made me question my ability. It’s made me second-guess myself over and over. It’s made me so desperately want to perfect things, just to show him that I am the best for the things I do and he’s got me figured out all wrong.

I hate him for not liking me. But I hate myself more for giving this man so much importance in my life that I’ve left myself feeling vulnerable and miserable. I hate that I’ve caused myself so much anxiety. I hate that I have shut my family out and gone into a bubble of my depression and anger.

I wish I could prove to this man who I am more competent than the assholes who tell him otherwise. I wish I could show him that everything he knows about me or has been told about me is absolutely wrong. I wish I could change his mind about me.

I don’t think I can, though. I mean, he’s been fed a lot of crap about me and all I can do is try to prove myself; which I have done this whole time. Whether it’s enough or not is yet to be determined.

I think I need to step back and take a deep breath. I think I need to reassess the importance people have in my life. I think I need to reassess my self-confidence and build it up again and hopefully all this depression and anger will finally go away.

But where do I start and how? Any suggestions?

Recipe of the Week: Butter Chicken

This weekend, I’ll be making my dad’s famous Butter Chicken. After working in the restaurant industry as a chef and owner for nearly 40 years, my dad has perfected his Butter Chicken recipe and here I am sharing it with all of you (lucky you).

Butter Chicken is a well-known Indian delicacy here in North America but prides from the heart of Punjab, India. Almost everyone I know, that has been to my father’s restaurant, knows that he’s the top chef in Toronto for it. It’s his specialty and you just can’t get any better than this.

My dad retired after Ni was born and sadly sold the restaurant. But he still remembers all his recipes and shares them with me, when I need guidance.

This recipe might seem a bit overwhelming, but if you can cope with the few steps and tons of ingredients, trust me – your family will love you for it!

This Butter Chicken recipe is in done in a couple of parts. First the marinade, second the butter (makhni) gravy and third the mixture of both. So, I’m going to list the ingredients out in that order for you.

Here’s what you need to marinade the chicken:

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mustard oil

Here’s what you need for the butter gravy:

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2-3 chopped green chillies (this is your preference on how hot you want it to taste)
  • 1 tsp chilli red chilli powder (again, your preference)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dry fenugreek leaves (aka Kasuri Methi)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup puree tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 4-5 cardamoms
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 5-6 peppercorn
  • 1-3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Here’s what else you need:

  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter

Here’s what you do:

Make deep cuts into the chicken breast cubes, rub chilli powder, salt and lime juice over the chicken and set aside for at least 1 hour.

Next, prepare you marinade. Mix yogurt, chilli powder, ginger and garlic paste, salt, lemon juice, mustard oil and garam masala in another bowl. Rub this marinade all over chicken pieces, cover with saran-wrap and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Remove chicken from fridge and put pieces on a skewer (2-3 pieces per skewer). If you don’t have skewers, you can just grease a baking sheet and stick the chicken in the oven that way. Make sure to add a coat of butter on both sides of the chicken before putting it in the oven. Let bake for 10 minutes, turning at least once and basting it with butter on the other side as well. Remove after 10 minutes and set aside.

Now prepare your gravy. Heat butter in a saucepan, add cardamom, peppercorn, and cinnamon sticks and let saute for a couple of minutes or until sizzling. Add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies and let cook for another 2 minutes. Add in your puree tomatoes and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Next, you’re going to add your red chilli powder, garam masala, fenugreek leaves, salt and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

When all ingredients are nicely blended, add the water, let simmer for a couple of minutes or until a nice paste has been made. Add in your chicken pieces and cook for 1-2 minutes. Once your chicken is nicely covered in the sauce, add the cream. Mix well and let cook for at least 10-12 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve with butter naan or rice. Try out my recipe and let me know how it turned out!

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What’s Your Child’s Security Blanket?

Every child has a security blanket. It’s what they keep with them almost all the time. It’s their go-to thing when they are upset, angry, sad, hurt and even happy. My Ni has a “security blanket” as well; her pacifier. I cannot leave home without it and if I ever forget to put it in her diaper bag, I have to go back and get it, otherwise all hell will break loose should she get upset. It’s one of those things that I always have a spare of in my purse, car, even my jeans pockets most days. One has even followed me to work somehow and is in my desk drawer.

I’ve tried getting her attached to a doll I bought her, but she just plays with it for a bit and tosses it away. She’s had the same blanket since she was born until recent, but she doesn’t seem to miss it now that we’ve replaced it with a “big-girl” blanket. She’s not even attached to her milk bottles and will happily drink from a sippy cup or glass if the situation calls for it.

So all she has is this pacifier. A special Fisher-Price Orthodontic type, that I’ve only ever found at Shopper’s Drug Mart. Over the past year and a half, we’ve ended up collecting about 10-15 of them, as somehow we just can never find them when we need them,  so I just pop into SDM and grab a new one. They’re quite expensive, when you add them all up. But having her paci with her keeps her calm and brings down the temper-tantrums and helps her fall asleep. So, how can I put a dollar value on that?

The other thing I’ve noticed is, she always wants me when she’s upset. Daddy can be there but she almost always diverts her eyes and body towards me. Maybe I’m her secondary security blanket. Knowing that she wants her mommy, puts a warm smile in my heart. It sucks for daddy, but after all, I am her mommy. (If you’re feeling all sad for daddy, DON’T! Because the minute daddy comes home, she sprints off my lap, to the front door and into his arms – and I secretly think, she likes him better than me anyway).

What is your child’s security blanket? How do you soothe your little babe? Should I be weaning her off of the pacifier now that she’s 18 months old? Share your baby secrets with me and I might just feature you on my next post!

Happy Mother’s Day

20140511-005755.jpgHappy Mother’s Day to all the amazing mothers, to-be mothers, grandmothers and aunts. Without all of you, all of us wouldn’t be here today. Thank you for every thing you do for us and sacrifice so that we children can be happy.

I’m spending my day with my neighbour, who’s like a mother and my favourite aunt and Ni. Lunch, tea and snacks. Looking forward to a relaxed day with a couple of my favourite ladies. Unfortunately, my mom is still in India, but I’m thinking about her and missing her dearly and have sent her flowers and a cake from all of us here. So, she’ll know we’re thinking about her.

Here’s what D and Ni got me…

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And what my brother got me…20140511-005811.jpg

Lots of love to all the women celebrating this special day. Happy Mother’s Day!

Recipe of the Week: Mac and Cheese Bake

My little Ni loves pasta. I could feed it to her 3 times a day, 7 days a week and she would ever-so happily eat it and probably even want seconds. I make her mac and cheese right out of the box at least once a week. But have decided to try making a fresh casserole for lunch today. Of course, I’ve been looking for recipes on Pinterest and haven’t been able to find one that I truly like. So, I’m experimenting and hopefully it’ll turn out the way I want it to and will be toddler approved! Here’s what I’m doing:

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  •  1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter

Here’s what you do:

Boil macaroni in water until cooked. Set oven to 375°. Grease baking dish with butter or PAM, add the cooked pasta to the bottom of the dish. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.  Add 1 cup of cheese and layer more pasta on top. Layer again with remaining cheese and add slices of butter on top. Pour the milk over the top of the butter and cheese. Bake for 30-45 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven once cooked, let cool and then enjoy!

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Mom-In-Training: When Your Child Hits Another Child

I went to pick up Ni from daycare yesterday and one of the assistants there notified me that Ni had slapped another child. I was quite disturbed to hear this because I am so against violence in the home or outside. I’m not sure where she could have picked up such behavior from. Maybe another child at the daycare had hit her and she picked it up from him/her? Maybe she saw something on television? Highly unlikely,  because I try to avoid watching anything violent when she’s around.

When she does something wrong, I bring her near me, tell her that is wrong or bad or not good to do it and if she continues after that, I’ll hold her hand and tap it, saying Ni, that is not a very nice thing to do. She is associating my tapping her with hitting and in return hitting other children when they do something she thinks is wrong?

After hearing that news from the assistant, I went home and couldn’t stop wondering, if I had taught my child to hit other people. So, after I got over the stress-factor, I started searching the web for ways on how I could prevent her from using violence to express her frustration and rectify this situation. I came across a blog post on Psychology Today that talks about preventive measures you can take to stop your child from hitting other kids.

I don’t fully agree with all the suggestions on this blog post, but some of them were worth noting:

  • Accept the feelings your child is portraying with an open mind
  • Set firm and clear consequences and limits for actions
  • Normalize your own emotions to show respect and so you don’t over react

You can read the post HERE.

When I was growing up, if you did something wrong, you’d automatically get a punishment (slap or worst). But you wouldn’t really get a talking-to. Whether that was the right way to discipline a child, I’m not sure. All I know is I hated my father and brother for hitting me. I don’t even remember most of the reasons why they would hit me. All I remember is that they hit me. Because of their abuse, I acted out more, I became stubborn and stopped caring. I had a hatred for them for a long time. It’s probably one of the reasons why I haven’t spoken to my older brother in over 7 years and don’t get along with my father as much as I would like.

Violence is not the  way to handle things, in any situation! Parents violent against their children pretty much raise a violent child, a child with low confidence and so many other emotional issues. In return, the child ends up hating their parent, going against them even more and somewhere along the road acts violently or destructively as well.

After much research and thought, I’ve decided to talk to Ni every time she raises her hand to hit someone else or herself. Since the incidence, when I notice she’s becoming violent or frustrated, I pull her close to me, I tell her that it’s okay to be upset, but raising her hand to hit someone is a bad thing. She’s only 18 months right now, so I’ m not sure if she understands fully, but it does seem to be calming her down and/or distracting her away from her frustrations.

I think I’m on the right path. What are some ways that you’ve disciplined your children? How have you dealt with your child becoming violent or frustrated? Please share your insights and suggestions with me. I’m still a mom-in-training and just trying to figure things out.

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Ni’s 18 Month Birthday Letter

Happy 18 Month Birthday, sweetheart!

Although this month has been quite stressful for mommy and daddy, your smiles, silly faces, babbling, singing and playing make everything go away. It’s like you know that mommy and daddy are stressed or upset at this very moment and you’ll do something absolutely adorable or hilarious, that’ll make us forget about our stresses and focus on you.

This past month you’ve grown so much as a little person and you’re learning something new every single day. You learned how to say the word Apple and Purple. You seem to really like the word Apple and constantly call everything apple. Plus, you’re enjoying mastering the skill of walking up the stairs. You seem a little nervous if mommy tries to have you walk down the stairs. So, I’ve decided to let you master walking up and then later we’ll work on walking down.

I’ve also been told my your daycare workers that you enjoy going on the slide now. This is very new for you and you’ve seemed to really love the experience. Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks the weather will get warmer, so I’m going to take you to the nearby park and go down the slide with you. The weather has just been horrible this winter and so far this spring. But as soon as it gets better, we’re going to start spending a lot of fun time outside, I promise.

And here is the big news of the month….

You finally have a tooth sprouting out! Yay!!!! It’s not fully visible yet, but the bump is there and it seems like any day now, they’ll be a big, white shiny thing in the center of your mouth. Woo hoo! I am so excited. I’ve always said that as soon as your first tooth comes in, I’m going to pop a bottle of champagne and throw a party, because you’ve been teething since you were 7 months old and still don’t have any teeth. And now that one is coming in, I think a party is in order.

See, darling, you are growing up and become so beautiful (both on the inside and out) every single day. You make us so proud to be parents and we cherish every moment we spend with you. Happy Birthday, sweetheart. We love you dearly, forever and ever!

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