Tag Archive: low self esteem

I have been wanting to find the time to post tonight, but I was feeling uncomfortable with the idea of coming here into the lounge and typing my post on my computer. I just feel exposed here. I feel like I just want to go hide somewhere quiet and separate and have some privacy to post. But unfortunately I do not own a laptop, so I can’t.

I have not been having a very good week so far. I went out with my good friend who I have known since college on Saturday, which was fine and later we went out to town and had drinks. But I am feeling the effects of that decision and how it messes with my chemicals, the drinking alcohol I mean. And I do feel very strongly that I do not want to go out and get drunk again. As my mental health does not benefit, in fact my mental health suffers.

I had dinner with my oldest sister on Sunday night, which was mostly okay. But naturally the subject of my oldest daughter and CYFS(child, youth and family) did come up. And then she asked me if I have considered the possibility of my daughter not being returned to me and how would I cope with that. I told her, yes, I have considered that scenario, but as it is worse case scenario and these kind of thoughts/ideas do greatly effect my depression, I choose not to sit with that idea/possibility for long. As it will put me into a downward spiral and I have worked so hard to get to be as well as I am now. And how I would cope, well honestly I do not think I would cope. I mean if the worse case scenario did happen, I would have to learn to accept it. But I would not react well if that decision was made at the next FGC(family group conference) review. I would probably cry uncontrollably and feel very angry.

My mood has taken a downhill spiral. Not too majorly, but I have to do my best to avoid my mind going to that place of considering that possible scenario. I know myself well enough to know that I could very easily spiral downhill and go backwards very fast. That is why I make a point of not thinking about worse case scenario.

It is not like I am even in any therapy. So I can not adequately explore and discuss such things in a safe place.

I am feeling even sadder since yesterday, after hearing about Robin Williams suicide. I feel so sad and heartbroken he could not find enough hope to go on and keep fighting depression. It is so tragic. As is any suicide.

I must admit, I have noted yesterday, a feeling of hopelessness within myself. Like I just do not even want to go on or try anymore and that my family would be better off without me. Not in a suicidal way I mean. I was just lacking severely in confidence in myself at the time and feeling quite discouraged. It is not much helped by the fact I am getting a bit of a flu, what my sister said, PMS and having both kids at home. 1 who is sick also, that is my 4 year old and the other one who climbs everything!

OMG! Seriously, between the nagging on and on from my 4 year old and my clever climber(my 1 year old) and being sick. It is damn hard work, extremely exhausting and challenging! Today I was feeling like I can not handle this and I do not want to deal with this. But I try to be kind to myself and I remind myself, I have PMS, I am getting sick, I am looking after a sick child and that not surprisingly this at times is very hard to deal with. As is the fact I have not had any social contact so far this week.

Thankfully I have someone from college who I recently reconnected with coming to visit me tomorrow. I do not know how much longer I would have lasted without that very vital and very crucial, social contact.

Oh gosh, my cat! She has been SO naughty today that I was very damn close to giving her away! She got into the rubbish bag and ripped it open to get out chicken bones. So I put that bag into another one…then she did it again to the 2nd bag and guess what?! I put that bag into another bag and she did it again!

Oh and then we had the ants driving me crazy again! It seems having a used Mcdonalds cup in the recycling bin is enough to get the army of ants out in force! Argh!!!

Ok, not a new vent…but my damn fiance and his computer!!! He is so bloody annoying! He comes home, after me looking after both the kids all day and being sick and he goes and gets straight on it! So sick of it!

Right, that is all for today. I am actually quite tired. Thanks for reading.

Why be ashamed?

Why be ashamed of having mental illness?

It shapes you as a person. It is part of who you are. Why deny it.

I’m not ashamed to say I suffer from mental illness. Namely depression and anxiety.

It gives me flavor ūüôā

I saw a picture posted today on facebook. It was of a t-shirt with “no stigma” on the front and on the back it said “mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all” and I thought, hey, I’d be happy to wear that, as I am not ashamed.

Yeah, there certainly is a fair few people who still have a stigma, attitude around mental illness and yeah that kind of sucks. But hey, what does it say about them as a person? It doesn’t say anything positive. It shows they are naive, judgmental and they aren’t worth bothering with.

I have had some people show me that they have totally the wrong idea about mental illness. One such person accused me of having depression due to lack in confidence and low self esteem. And I was like, really?! You think that about me? Well clearly, you really don’t know me that well. As I have plenty of confidence(though maybe it lacks on occasion, but I am only human) and self esteem. Another person, pretty much treated me like I had a disability when I explained about my anxiety and panic attacks. I was like, really?! It is not a disability at all. I can still function.

I would never deny that I suffer from mental illness or be ashamed of it. And anyone who is ashamed to be associated with someone with mental health issues, well they better wake the fuck up and get over themselves!

I welcome people who want to share their experience with me about their mental illness. As not everyone is willing to listen and some people don’t care to hear their story and subsequently judge them. It’s your story, don’t feel ashamed and do share it if you feel comfortable to. And it’s worth sharing, as you will find some people who will get it, or aspects of it and that is comforting. Plus it is always nice to know you are not alone in your struggles.

I read something in a blog today about the blogger and therapy in the past and how he used to put across that everything was okay, when in therapy, to appear normal. And I was like, yeah, I totally relate to that. I used to, back in my youth, make out like everything was fine and I had no issues, in an attempt to deny that I was different and that I had issues. I didn’t want to go over my issues and the whole not feeling okay, as I wanted to be normal and I didn’t like being a broken person. And this of course in the long run wasn’t so helpful or healthy. But hey, all things happen for a reason and my experiences mold me into who I am today. And lessons have certainly been learned.

Eventually I grew up a bit and swallowed my pride and admitted I was a broken person and needed to get myself sorted once and for all. Which was when I was pregnant with my first child, whom I was a solo Mum to. She motivated me to sort my shit out, while I was pregnant. So I could be the best possible mother to her, once she arrived. Though granted, being there is no manual on parenting, I wasn’t the perfect mother, but no mother is. We all have flaws.

I too used to have the wrong idea about mental illness. I used to think it was something that could be cured and would get frustrated when it came up over and over again. Even though I thought it was ‘fixed’ and it shouldn’t be an issue anymore.

Yeah, clearly I found out that I was wrong.

I have now come to realize that, mental illness will always been in my life in some way and it’s about learning strategies to get through it. And with experience, I’ll get better at dealing with these down times.

Right that is all I have to say. Ciao.

hmm, now that I’ve gone to the effort of creating a blog, I’ve gone a little shy and wonder where to start on sharing my history/journey.

Right, so I guess I’ll start with some history. ¬†I was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in on 19th March 1979. ¬†I was planned and my parents were married. ¬†They were great parents. ¬†At some point we moved to Mackay, Australia. ¬†Over there, my Dad was involved in an accident. ¬†He was on a motorcycle and was hit by a cane truck. ¬†He died at the scene. ¬†So my Mum moved us, myself and my older sister back to N.Z some time after. ¬†He died at age 26 on 5th November(Guy Fawkes) 1980. ¬†So naturally we didn’t celebrate Guy Fawkes due to this.

So my mother was left to raise myself and my older sister alone.

I lost my granddad(my fathers dad) when I was 12, which was very hard for me, as I was very close with him. ¬†I was clearly very effected by this, as I have no recollection of going to the funeral, which, up until I was 25, I had believed I didn’t attend, until informed by my older sister I was in fact there. ¬†Apparently I was quiet the whole funeral and blank, expressionless and people thought that seemed strange, that I didn’t display any emotion. ¬†I still to this day, can not recall the funeral at all.

Very glad I still have 1 grandma left, my dad’s mum, as I will so miss her once she is gone. ¬†I am so glad to have an awesome step-dad and my mum is the best mother ever. ¬†I hate to think, that one day, they too will not be around, but this is just the reality of life.

I have a major fear of death, which is probably a result of losing many relatives early in their lives and my life.  I used to regularly have major panic attacks, to the point of nearly throwing up and choking and having trouble breathing.  Presently, I have that anxiety under control.

The first time I experienced depression was at 17, when my boyfriend at the time dumped me. ¬†It was my first proper relationship and he said we’d be together forever and have kids and stuff and being young, I believed him. ¬†So when everything was going fine and he just suddenly ended it, it came as quite a shock. ¬†For the first time, I felt depressed. ¬†Looked up at the tallest tree and thought to myself, I want to be up there, jumping off and ending things right now! ¬†It’s like my whole world came crashing down. ¬†I don’t think at that age, I had the maturity to realise, things don’t always last forever and people’s feelings change.

As a result of this relationship ending, I developed some trust issues and tended to self-sabotage all the good relationships I had and stay in bad relationships. ¬†It’s like, I sabotaged the good ones, just in case I got hurt, or just in case the guy found out who I really was and rejected me. ¬†Yup, clearly I had major self-esteem issues and had mega low self-confidence. ¬†And with bad guys, I knew the outcome, so I’d just stay, because I knew things would end and I would be doing the ending of things.

Little girls really need their fathers.  There has been studies done, that saw girls with no father present or a neglectful father, tend to suffer low self-esteem and seek male approval so much and will sleep with men simply to feel wanted and some form of love/affection.  This was true of me.  I would simply go there and do that, to feel loved.  Eventually I worked out I was just being used.

Unfortunately in my teenage years, I was raped on 3 different occasion within 1 year, by different guys. ¬†The first time I self-harmed, was after this first happened. ¬†It’s always people you know strangely enough. ¬†That’s the sad thing. ¬†So as a result, I would often sleep with guys, because I didn’t want to get raped again and I figured if I just said yes, I can’t risk being raped again.

I used to self-harm a lot in my teenage years. ¬†It made me feel numb, which helped. ¬†It’s like, I’d do it as a cry out for help, but then I wouldn’t want people to know I’d done it, after the fact.

I think my depression came from many things.  Genetics, there is a lot of mental illness in my families history, life events, such as losing my dad, granddad, being raped.

I have been depressed much of my life since it started. ¬†It sux! ¬†I always wished it would just get cured and never come back. ¬†But it always does. ¬†It’s so draining and such a burden. ¬†And you always feel like such a burden to people in your life, for being depressed.

Some of my depression is affected by my body image. ¬†I tend to get extra depressed when I’m not happy with my body. ¬†Especially since having children. ¬†I did have some Bulimia when I was in my early 20’s. ¬†I had a controlling boyfriend who pretty much spent 2 years telling me I was fat, though I wasn’t. ¬†So I would binge and purge. ¬†I didn’t stop until I moved out and my new flatmates kept noticing my throwing up. ¬†There is only so many times you can say it’s because you’ve drunk too much, before they start to suspect it’s not that. ¬†So it was pretty hard for me watching my changing body when I was pregnant with my first daughter. ¬†I would have to just remind myself it was ok that I was gaining weight.

I had some pre-natal depression with my first daughter. ¬†At times I would be happy to be pregnant. ¬†At other times I would hope something would go wrong and I’d miscarry and other times I would feel terrible for thinking like that. ¬†I would worry I would¬†despise¬†and/or hate my baby, if it was too much like it’s dad. ¬†As when I ended things with my daughters dad, I was 5 weeks pregnant and I despised and hated him by the end of our relationship. ¬†He was not a nice guy and played mind games all through our relationship and really messed with my head. ¬†He was also violent at times. ¬†Though I must say, emotion abuse is so, so much worse to me then the physical was. ¬†By the end of my pregnancy I was happy to soon be meeting my baby. ¬†But by the time I was in labour, like most women, I was freaking out and wishing to rewind and stay pregnant for a few more weeks or months. ¬†I was very angry at everyone apparently, while I was in labour and swearing a lot! ¬†I had trouble at times with my bond with her, but not all the time. ¬†I was a solo mum for most of her life, except the odd periods, when I had a stable relationship and man in my life. ¬†But I didn’t have anyone long term til I was 26 and I’m happy to say, I’m still with that partner. ¬†I did try having a relationship a few times with my first daughters dad before I met my partner, but that never worked long term. ¬†Her father is quite unpredictable, unstable and messed up. ¬†I often found myself attracted to that type of person. ¬†As I like to fix people, so I’d be attracted to wounded souls.

I’ve never attempted suicide thankfully, though I have felt like ending things seriously at least twice in my life. ¬†Thank GOD(literally) that I never tried. ¬†I once was praying desperately to GOD to let me just end things, but he wouldn’t let me. ¬†And I truly thank GOD for that. ¬†This was in my early 20’s. ¬†The last time I felt like I wanted to seriously end things, was in late 2010 and I was thinking in my head of how to do it. ¬†Then I woke up to my ideas and thought, what the hell am I thinking?!!! ¬†Both my daughters were at home and how dare I think like that and how selfish am I for thinking that! ¬†I do thank GOD I have children. ¬†That is probably the one thing that has actually stopped me from ending things. ¬†The fact that, no matter what, I don’t trust anyone to look after them like I do.

I feel I have come a long way with regards to healing and growing as a person. ¬†I used to be very jealous,¬†possessive, un-trusting, paranoid, desperate and obsessive in my relationships. ¬†Now I am a healthy amount of jealous LOL and trusting. ¬†I think meeting the right person helps a lot though. ¬†Plus, being single much of my first daughters early years, has helped and I spent a lot of time while I was pregnant wit her and afterwards working on myself and getting myself sorted mentally and emotionally. ¬†I did like that I didn’t have her father in her life, as that was a bad relationship and that is something a child should not experience. ¬†Plus I had ALL my love, affection and attention to devote to her. ¬†Though I totally understand the part of PND(postnatal depression) where you feel lost/loss of yourself, after becoming a Mum.

I was thinking, as I was contemplating writing this post, about sharing my current PND and how that happened and why and a few things that never occurred to me, about why, have now come to mind.

Ok, so before I got pregnant, while we were trying, I got severely depressed when thinking about taking a HPT(home pregnancy test) and the possible positive result and then I felt haunted, due to having a termination back in 2006 before I met my partner. ¬†Some history on that. ¬†I was led to believe my a nurse, that due to an infection, I may not be able to get pregnant in the future or have trouble, so not knowing I was pregnant at the time, was very distraught by this. ¬†I had thought I was infertile due to hooking up with my ex, whom I have first daughter with for 6 weeks and not becoming pregnant. ¬†So on a couple of occasions while I was single, I had not used protection, believing I was infertile. ¬†So when I found out a week after nurse told me I may not be able to have more babies or have trouble, that I was pregnant, it was a BIG shock. ¬†I remember taking the test and saying “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!, “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!!!” ¬†This was not supposed to be happening! ¬†So I had a very hard decision to make. ¬†Told both the prospective fathers and of course, they were never ever keen to be involved and both wanted to to terminate. ¬†It was such a hard decision, as I was so anti-abortion and it was against my beliefs as a¬†Christian. ¬†But I thought about the fact I’d taken a few party pills and drunk a lot and my mental stability and doing it alone and so many things and decided a termination was best. ¬†As I could not mentally handle being pregnant and having a baby to an unknown father and my mental health would’ve suffered badly and my daughter would’ve had a very screwed up, unstable mum. ¬†The people I did tell at my church all judged me. ¬†So I thought I’d accepted this decision once I’d gone through with the operation and had some counselling, but then I got severely depressed and would often want to crash my car at full speed into things and often wanted to kill myself. ¬†So I thought I was finally mostly healed from doing this and discovered I really wasn’t when we were trying to¬†conceive¬†my youngest daughter. ¬†I started feeling like I was so selfish, like it was not fair for me to even get pregnant, like a terrible person, that how the hell can I deserve the chance to get pregnant when I’d done such a selfish thing and feeling so, so terrible for that baby I’d terminated and got so, so depressed and had to go on medication again. ¬†I guess I’ll never be ok about doing what I did, but that is ok.

So once I was over that, things seemed fine and though pregnancy was draining and I was really sick at the start, I was really happy to have a baby on the way and so happy to have a partner this time to share this with.

Labour this time went naturally and though it was scary, I’m really proud of myself for doing it with no pain relief(though at the time I was freaking out!) ¬†My youngest was only 2 days late, 12 minutes of pushing, 1 hour 42 minutes established labour and a water birth. ¬†My oldest, well she was 11 days late, 26 hours labour, fully induced,¬†posterior, not engaged til 1 hour before her birth, had episiotomy and forceps.

Like most mothers, I felt so happy to finally meet my baby and was on cloud 9 for days, even with not much sleep, I was still happy. ¬†Then I got the baby blues, which was fine, as I expected that, but it didn’t go away and I developed bad PND. ¬†I would so often just want to leave everyone behind and felt like everyone would be better off without me. ¬†Sometimes I’d want to take older daughter and go, sometimes not even her. ¬†I felt so depressed, all the time. ¬†And every time I’d thing, yay, I’m all better, the PND would come back, and worse. ¬†Sleep was so important to me. ¬†Often I just want to hide at home and see no-one and go no-where. ¬†Other times, I found getting out and about helped heaps and just talking about my feelings really good. ¬†But then all the social events ended and I was lonely and depressed again.

I did attend a PND support group, but didn’t get much out of it. ¬†I found the co-ordinator made me feel like, just because I hadn’t had a traumatic labour and birth with youngest daughter, what I had to say wasn’t important. ¬†I felt often judged by her and often when I would pause while talking, she’d just move on to the next person. ¬†I was really glad when the group ended. ¬†As I didn’t need to feel crap any more, as a result of this lady making me feel judged and un-important. ¬†On one occasion I just wanted to run off and cry, but then I didn’t want anyone asking where I went and why I was upset and having to explain why. ¬†I wasn’t on medication back then either. ¬†At points last year 2010, I was really not coping. ¬†I would always be grumpy and angry, my bond with older daughter would often be non-existent and I’d often want her to live with someone else full term. ¬†I often struggled with really wanting to hurt her. ¬†As her behaviour had gone downhill and she was pushing my buttons and I just didn’t have the control or clarity to see it was just a cry for attention. ¬†I did lash out on some occasions I am ashamed to admit. ¬†It took ages before my MMH(maternal mental health) lady took my thoughts seriously. ¬†It took me saying that I really wanted to punch my daughter in the face and that I could not say whether I would or would not have done it, if I had not been driving, for her to understand how much I was not coping. ¬†Thankfully I never did such a thing. ¬†But it shouldn’t take getting to that point for people to take you seriously. ¬†It also didn’t help me when I first was not coping, for my partners parents to take him away from me for nearly a whole day to help them shift, when they knew I was not coping. ¬†I really disliked them for that. ¬†I remember on Valentines Day, my partner hugged me and said “I love you” and all I could do, is be held and cry and it took 5 minutes for me to be able to even respond by saying the same.

I went to a second PND support group and that was so much better. ¬†Different co-ordinator and it was great and I was on medication by then, so was feeling a lot better. ¬†Little did I know, til just before this group, I actually have an under-functioning thyroid and that was making me feel drained, depressed, gaining weight and just making me feel crap in general. ¬†So once I got medication for that, I started feeling better too. ¬†A few months ago I was not coping again, so decided to up my medication and that helped. ¬†I hated how when I was not coping I’d yell at the baby, who is just a poor baby and just be so angry at everyone and everything. ¬†Yay to not feeling like that now. ¬†Though of course, I do still have some times when I lose it a little, but not as often. ¬†I read a book recently called ¬†‘Postnatal Moods – Emotional Changes Following Birth’. ¬†It was really good and explained a lot.

So, what I know is before pregnancy with my youngest, the breakdown due to previous termination contributed to the PND, as did the fact that the week I found out I was pregnant, ex was in hospital after trying to commit suicide and close to not making it and my mother while on holiday in Australia, had a heart attack. ¬†Also, before I got pregnant, partner had lost his job and we had flatmates in who screwed as over financially or wrecked their room(resulting in us losing our bond plus $350 extra). ¬†Then while I was pregnant, last flatmates robbed us, making me feel very paranoid, fearful, anxious and on edge. ¬†It’s so violating being robbed! ¬†And it just seemed like we could never get a break. ¬†Partners parents didn’t help us out at all and only visited once baby was born, if in the area! ¬†And they live in the same city!!! ¬†My parents in Australia put in more of an effort! ¬†We had constant car troubles, so we always had to use spare money on car repairs instead of baby stuff. ¬†Luckily before I had baby my partner got a job, which he still has and enjoys. ¬†So not surprising that I developed PND. ¬†So it seems for me, to have come down to, older daughters hard to handle behaviour, lack of money, bad things happening, isolation, tiredness, thyroid problem, previous depression, past termination, feeling lost, lack of control and like I was just existing to keep partner happy and be a mum. ¬†Also, my partner has had trouble dealing with and bonding with my older daughter since we had our baby(the youngest) together. ¬†He just always seemed to be telling her off, seeing only the negative and it seemed like, he’d be happier if she wasn’t around, as in not living with us. ¬†So often I would want to leave him and despise him. ¬†As hurting/rejecting her, hurts me. ¬†Plus she got to the point of just hating him and never listening to him. ¬†So his lack of interest in her, for a while, affected me and I rejected her too. ¬†But I am over that now too. ¬†I guess it’s hard to cope with a new baby and a suddenly, what seems like, impossible older child. ¬†And also maintaining a relationship and making it all work. ¬†It’s a LOT of pressure! ¬†I was not used to having all this to deal with when it was just myself and older daughter. ¬†It was a real shock to the system. ¬†I wanted to say, though I had severe PND with youngest daughter, I never had any issue with bonding with her. ¬†I think the natural birth, with no complications probably did help with that. ¬†And maybe all the intervention with oldest daughter in labour, may have contributed to the bonding issues with her.

I did at times struggle with my confidence as a parent, after my daughters teacher expressed concerns for my older daughter and referred to me as: unemotional, unaffectionate, with no bond, neglectful and she also said, she wondered if daughter was given breakfast and/or even dinner at home!!! ¬†Which she does. ¬†She gets fed very well. ¬†So knowing someone I respected and liked, thought this, was hard to swallow. ¬†With regards to my older daughter, she has developmental delays and behavioural problems and we are in the process of getting her assessed. ¬†So thankfully I now know, it’s not our parenting, it’s just things that are going on in her, that none of us can control. ¬†I am happy she is very loving and affectionate and really loves her Mummy. ¬†I know I have done a good job and no-one is perfect and we all make mistakes.

With regards to my partner.  It must be hard being a step parent and it is normal/natural to have a stronger bond with your biological child, I get that.  We will get there in the end.  Now we are getting more support outside of the home.  But damn, it took a while before we got that help.

What I’d love, is some more close friends and for people to come visit us or me. ¬†As only one friend does and that’s not as often as she’d like, as she doesn’t live close. ¬†The others, well they all live closer, but I have to go to them and they don’t put in much effort and having crap all money, doesn’t help, as I need petrol in the car to get to them.

That’s all for now. ¬†Thankx for reading ¬† ūüôā