Tag Archive: trauma


So I was looking back on my recent blog posts and like I had thought, no, I had not posted anything about the latest CYFS(child, youth & family) FGC(family group conference) review. The one regarding my oldest girl.

Well, I guess part of the reason I didn’t really jump at sharing anything about the review, was because I found it pretty damn horrible.

How it felt for me was. Pretty much like I was sitting in a room, being ripped apart, insulted and attacked for about a good hour or so. It was so horrible! At one point I just could not take it anymore and had to leave the room for a period. At other times, like when my daughters granddad on her Dad’s side was attacking me basically as a parent, I wanted to throw something very hard at him. Oh and do not even get me started on her Aunty on her Dad’s side. OMG! All I have to say is, who the hell does she think she is, thinking she has such a say with regards to MY child!!! She has never made any attempt to hide the fact that she hates me. And combine that with her being in a position to potentially ruin my life by just stating what would suit that agenda. That does not help. She had the cheek to suggest my daughters visits with me in holidays, as I now live in Nelson, start with 3-4 days and slowly be built up. Um…what the fuck?! I am of NO risk to my daughter and there is absolutely no reason why my time with her should be limited. As with the arrangements previously while I was still in Wellington, I was allowed to see her as much as I liked outside of school days.

I mean, not only is there the factor of having such an involvement of CYFS in my life and how that has totally screwed our financial situation. But then there is pretty much sitting there being attacked for a good hour. It was the most intense and emotionally exhausting experience I have ever had. It was so damn horrible. I would go as far as saying it was traumatic. Just writing about it is hard enough.

My daughters granddad is fully suggesting that my daughter is not developmentally delayed by 2-2 1/2 years, like assessed and diagnosed by a Occupational Therapist and a Paediatrician. He is suggesting he believes it is my parenting and he goes as far as saying I have neglected her most of her life. He pretty much paints this out to be because I have Mental Illness. No-one on his side of the fence is even considering some of how she is, is actually personality traits. As much of what they describe, is very much describing how I was around the same age. Also, he has gone as far as saying that I have used my older daughter to babysit my younger daughter, which is not true at all. Man, how many more lies will he spin in his attempt to keep her there in Wellington?! And it does not help that CYFS pay so much attention to his suggestions. Oh, if they only knew of his parenting of some of his adopted children!

I mean, far out, CYFS are suggesting that my parenting and maybe partly my fiance’s parenting is going to make all of our children developmentally delayed. And if they have had assessments of my younger 2 suggest there are not delays, then the social worker simply asks for a another assessment from another service. It is as if they keep getting assessments until one is in line with what outcome they want. And what I hate is how CYFS will not acknowledge their part in the changes of behaviour my younger daughter is displaying. As she was actually doing very well until they became so involved in our lives and would not let her older sister return home to live with us. They just refuse to acknowledge their part in this.

They want my baby to be in daycare still, now we are in Nelson. And I straight out said no, I will not go along with that and you are being ridiculous. And I am even willing to stand by that staunchly. As I know for a fact, if they try and enforce that by using the family court, they would lose that case.

I have straight out said to them also, why are you continuing to keep suggesting I will relapse, despite absolutely no evidence to support this theory. They come back with “the majority of mental health suffers do”. To which I reply “stop putting me in that box. As you have NO evidence to support this theory and if I were to relapse, I would have by now. Due to all of this stress I have been put through”. Of course they end up stumped and have no reply.

Oh and I feel so disrespected by how CYFS, my daughters granddad’s side and even my daughters carers, talk about my older sister, who lives in the house below us, be the ‘safety net’ or ‘circuit breaker’ in case I can not handle having my daughter here for 8 days. I feel that things regarding my daughter on their side, is very much treated like a business transaction and she is talked about more like an item then a person.

Like, damn! My older sister in being used as an observer for CYFS and she is used to report back regarding our parenting. Fuck this shit!

Sorry about all the swearing, but all of this is just overkill! I am not an abusive parent or negligent. I am a caring, affectionate, loving, nurturing and ok… maybe a tad over protective parent. How can those things possibly be faults? I am so protective of my children because they are my life, my reason for fighting on and my reason for living and because I love them all with every inch of my heart. So of course I want to protect them from any harm. Though, yes, I do understand I need to let them live and learn.

I was quite close to falling apart emotionally today. As the finance company tried to take a payment out a week too early and we went from having $109 to -$65. And we still need to get some more groceries and now we have no money. And because of how many times we had to get help from WINZ(work and income) when we moved to the last place, we have no entitlement for food grants.

As I have mentioned before, when things like this happen, my mind always goes into blame and guilt mode. Thinking this is all my fault for getting unwell last year.

Oh, so anyway. The outcome of the FGC review, was go to Nelson, get settled and attempt to prove ourselves as competent parents to my oldest and then have that reviewed at the end of October. So, pretty much, 3 days in August and 8 days in the school holidays after that, are supposed to be our opportunity to prove ourselves. Which to me, seems pretty damn unrealistic. As how can you show, in those 2 visits, everything that CYFS need to see? It seems like being setup to fail. Either way, it is frustrating that I thought the FGC just been, was about determining if I could have my daughter back with me at the end of the school year. But instead, that goal gets changed, because the evil aunty who hates me, does not want that to be the goal. Argh!!!

Fuck, honestly, it is not surprising some days I just want out of this life! Though I would not do that. As that is not fair to anyone and that does not fix anything, that just makes things much, much worse. I am just sick of the stress and this ongoing involvement with CYFS and the opportunities for people to have me sit there in these reviews and just attack me. It does take it’s toll.

Just so sick of stress and struggling and having my hopes crushed.

I have found the last week or so very hard. Especially the moving day and the day after. As my fiance’s response to all this moving stuff, seems to be, him being critical of me and I am left feeling attacked and more stressed and I do not need that.

So hate the money worries. It is so overwhelming and you end up feeling suffocated by the sheer panic and fear and worry.

On the plus side though. I actually feel really at ease and comfortable being in Nelson. I think knowing I have supportive family here helps a lot. And also knowing it is a fresh start and I do not have to encounter that bully of an ex friend anymore is quite nice.

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Man, I am experiencing so many different emotions lately, especially today.

Such as, grief, trauma, despair, anger, irritability, paranoia, stress, depression and anxiety.

I kind of feel like I want to numb my emotions right now. I was lying in bed before thinking, I wonder how many of my antidepressants it would take to get my mood into a good place. Maybe 4 or 5. Yeah, not healthy thinking. I just hate feeling so low and distraught.

I don’t know if my paranoia and sensitivity is coming from stress, grief or recent events.

I do know my stress is coming from recent events. Where I feel a few people are taking their stress out on me. And plus there is financial stress in there too.

I feel quite on edge and anxious. And I find myself getting easily irritated and angry. Again, I am unsure specifically where this comes from. Maybe stress and recent events of being judged and feeling picked on and bullied.

The grief and trauma is coming from the upcoming move and having to leave my oldest daughter behind until CYFS(child, youth & family) hopefully let her return to my care at the end of the school year. There is a HUGE amount of grief and trauma surrounding that. And especially surrounding her and how she was not allowed to return to my care after I came out of hospital last August. It effects me hugely this reality. And the trauma also comes from how my life got turned upside down after the onset of my extremely severe depression last August and CYFS becoming involved and how I nearly had my younger 2 taken off me and was not allowed to have my oldest living at home. CYFS well and truly came along and tore my family apart and for what?! Because I had an extremely low point last August. How does that make me an unfit mother? Mental Illness does not equal inadequate or incapable parent. The birth of my son was a trauma and then all this upheaval from CYFS created yet another trauma.

Yes, it was extremely traumatic for me having them come into my life and absolutely pulling it apart. Not just with regards to my family, but also it totally screwed us over financially. And then they have the cheek to question our ability to provide our children with enough food. Even though, there involvement has caused us to be in the worst financial hardship ever! They even went as far as to suggest I see my older daughter less, due to lacking in petrol, due to our low income. Yet, not once have they tried to help us remedy this mess that they have created. And I know for a fact they have funds and access to such help. And just to clarify, no matter how poor we have been, our children have never gone without. I am the one who chooses to go without to ensure they are all well fed.

And there are so many red lights signaling to me the huge effect all this has had on my 4 year old. She seems to be displaying a high level of anxiety, needs reassurance, is quite clingy and her behaviour has been effected greatly, as has her confidence and reluctance to interact socially. She used to sleep in her sister’s bed before we got bunks. Now, she either wants to sleep with the light on or wants to sleep in our bed. She has started showing what I would observe as anxiety and insecurity, by chewing on her clothes or sucking them and chewing on her necklace. She sometimes lashes out at kids at Kindy, due to being quite sensitive and/or angry. She tends to keep to herself a lot at Kindy. When her sister is here, she totally opens up and she is happy, chatty and is exactly how she used to be. It upsets me greatly how all of this has effected it.

Regarding my paranoia. I am feeling like some people are bullying or picking on me, with either private messages on Facebook or posts. And I don’t know if some of these posts are about me or directed at me or whether I am just being over-sensitive and paranoid. Though I suspect considering who is doing the posting and being they are all in the same family, it is quite possible I am not actually being paranoid.

Gosh, I was reading a post on PTSD(post-traumatic stress disorder) and just reading the signs made me feel a sense of dis-ease.

I was reading a post on a Facebook group I am in last night and what the person posting described I could so totally relate to. And I wasn’t the only one. Like, we all appreciate that we are not alone in those feelings, while still wishing the others didn’t have to go through it too. It really touched me that post.

Sometimes when I am just lying on my bed, just having a quiet moment, my emotions just hit me like a train. Just, boom and they are all consuming. Such as tonight, I was lying in bed with my 4 year old, while I waited for her to fall asleep and I am hit with feelings of grief, trauma, despair and sadness over the upcoming move and leaving my oldest daughter and also, over how my 4 year old has been effected. And I was just in tears and absolutely consumed with sadness.

I know I am definitely depressed at the moment, as I don’t want to go anywhere, I have no motivation, I want to avoid people, I feel depressed and I’m feeling alone and isolated.

I was thinking tonight, I don’t know how much of my perception of my fiance and our relationship is down to the effect of my mental health and how much is based on fact. As sometimes I truly appreciate him and feel good about us and other times I feel anger and resentment. And I don’t know what to think or feel about all this. It is all very confusing.

I feel really tired, but then again, I did an hour ago when I went up to bed, yet boom, I lie down for a bit and I’m wide awake! So I really don’t trust my bodies ability to fall asleep without my sleep medication(Quetiapine) with this fact considered.

June 2014

Wow, it’s June already! The moving date seems to be approaching faster now. I find initially the time drags, once you have decided on a date. But once it gets closer to the time, suddenly time seems to speed up and before you know it, it’s time to move. I have certainly found that to be true in the last 2 weeks. As it is now just over 3 weeks til moving day.

There was a story on NZ TV on a show called ‘3rd Degree’ last night, which was a story I was very interested in watching. Here is the link: http://www.3news.co.nz/Husband-forgives-wife-for-cutting-babys-throat/tabid/1771/articleID/347108/Default.aspx

It was about an event that happened last year I think. I recall sending a letter of support to the lady who was in this story. It is about a lady who had PPP/PNS(postpartum psychosis/postnatal psychosis) and in her psychosis she cut her babies throat and then was in the process of cutting her own wrists when her husband found her. And they had sought help just 24 hours prior to this incident. With the doctor at the local hospital responding with “oh, she just has PND(postnatal depression), just take her to your GP”. Despite the fact that she was exhibiting very obvious symptoms of PPP/PNP.

Of course after the incident occurred the diagnosis was made and she was sent for a stay in a psychiatric facility. But I feel and many others feel, this incident could have been avoided if a doctor had really listened to her and given her the appropriate help.

But, oh my goodness, the comments I have been seeing on just FB alone about this story! Some people are just so quick to judge and persecute this women! They do not look at the fact that she had a traumatic birth and for some, this factor alone can trigger PPP/PNP and they do not look at the fact she sought help and was effectively fobbed off. They just judge her.

I personally have a lot of compassion for this women and her situation. As I know how hugely mental health, hospitals and/or the medical profession can fail so many people.

I mean, gosh, you do the right thing and try and get help and you get fobbed off and next minute, these horrific headlines happen, which honestly could have been avoided.

There is this whole push and encouragement to seek help. Yet often people do and they are not given the help they so desperately need. And people wonder why some just don’t bother to reach out…

And maybe it doesn’t make me a whole lot of friend’s disagreeing with these judgemental types. But hey, I don’t know them, they don’t know me and I am going to support someone if I believe in them.

Unless you have experienced this level of psychosis, I feel it is not fair to judge. But people will have their own opinions and stance on this and they are entitled to that, as am I.

I cried many times through the story when I watched it last night. I cried about her seeking help and being fobbed off, I cried about her getting to such a point that she took the actions she took, I cried about her not being allowed to see her baby, I cried watching her respond to her husbands recollection of the events on that day when this incident occurred and then I cried when the not guilty verdict came in and she finally was allowed her daughter home again.

People moan about, how can they give her baby back, when she did what she did. But they forget, she is never ever allowed to be left alone with her daughter and she does have to live with what she did for the rest of her life.

I am glad though, she got the help and she is now doing so well. Back to her former self.

Right, onto another subject.

So I did end up mentioning to my CMH(community mental health) nurse about how I really felt the need for respite last week, but was unable to talk to her about it, due to her visit being cut short. And I said to her I did manage to get through the week, via self-medicating with a fair bit of chocolate LOL! And she asked me if I would still like to have some respite, before it gets too close to the moving date. And I said yes, that would be good. So she has arranged it and I get to have 2 nights in respite. Which will be tomorrow afternoon until Sunday. Which should be good, to just get me away for a little bit from my everyday life, responsibilities and stress for a short time, before it’s full steam ahead with moving duties. So I hope those few days are beneficial. As I seem to be getting more stress thrown my way lately. As it seems you sort out 1 stress and then before I know it, I am presented with yet another stress and then another.

As, money stress seems to be it presently. As we are on a payment holiday with the finance company and then suddenly they try and take a payment out, without informing us that they plan to do this and now we are in debit of $165! And then someone from a different part of their team calls us today and says the payment starts in 2 weeks and then another person says, yesterday. Argh! Stress!

And we are like, ok, this is not ideal. And then I go and pick my 10 month old up from daycare and I am told we owe the childcare place nearly $700! And I am like, how?! As WINZ(work & income) pay the subsidy and we pay the remainder, so how is there an arrears? I said to the admin lady, in theory I think CYFS(child, youth & family) should have to pay for any stuff up, as it was them who imposed this compulsory childcare on us. And we have paid exactly what the remainder not covered by the WINZ subsidy is, so it is in no way our stuff up. I just do not need anymore stress.

As I always quietly in the back of my mind, start blaming myself for all of this. I know I shouldn’t, but I do.

Last week, my stressed was nearly added to, after my sister’s ex went and told her I was worried about living in her flat(the one we will be renting) and about her taking her moods out on me. And she very nearly was going to tell us to find somewhere else to live. Thankfully my Mum talked her out of this. And she asked me about this and I reassured her, this was actually quite some time ago that I had said this and I no longer have those concerns and I was quite stressed myself at the time and I tend to over worry and get over sensitive and over-react at times like this. So thankfully she appreciated my honesty and thanked me for it and has stopped stressing.

A few days ago, my fiance’s computer monitor died. So he took over my computer, then took over my tablet and then ended up taking over the TV, by using it as a monitor! And I was like, really?! You are THAT addicted to your computer?! I was so damn bored yesterday with no source of technology, I was nearly desperate enough to do housework, simply to occupy my boredom! Thankfully my friend came and saved the day and visited at that time. And thankfully I remembered another friend has a husband who works in I.T and I asked her if they had a spare monitor, which they do, so yay, crisis averted ūüôā

Ok. So I am done with my blog entry for today and I will post again at some point. I must say, I am really looking to tomorrow afternoon and my stay in respite. I really need it right now!

Ok, I am going to admit to something that has being going on with me for some time. Possibly since last August.

It is related to sleep and dreams.

I actually slightly dread going to sleep and feel a certain degree of anxiety about falling asleep. And we all know how important sleep is.

My problem is this. My dreams are so vivid and they actually feel extremely real. I find this really concerning and it actually makes me feel quite fearful of being asleep. As I know I will dream. And because of the content of my dreams and how vivid they are, I don’t know they are actually dreams until I wake up.

On Saturday night/Sunday morning, I was having a horrible dream. It was like I was trapped somewhere and this place was kind of like a prison, yet also kind of like a psych ward. And I was so desperate to escape this place where I was trapped.

I actually find dreaming kind of traumatic and depending on the content of the dream. I can still be haunted the next day or so. It’s really horrible.

I have no idea what I can do about this. As sleep is necessary and dreams are inevitable.

I really hate feeling so fearful of my dreams and it’s like torture to me at times.

I just wish I could get some peace from this horror. It is really unpleasant.

Anyway, it’s 1:30am now, so I better take my medication and sleep, even if I fear my dreams.

It is Sunday right now and the FGC(family group conference) review regarding my 2 youngest child is tomorrow morning. So I hope I am able to get a decent sleep tonight, with that being so soon.

I had even more stress thrown at me yesterday. I received a letter from IRD(inland revenue department) stating that they will be taking $17 per week out of my benefit for child support. I believe the reason this has all fallen on me, is because my older daughters Dad has become uncontactable. But that does not make it any less unfair. As we already struggle so much which money and this has just made things even harder.

I am not impressed that today is already 1/2 over and my older daughters Granddad has not brought her over yet. As I have not seen her for 2 weeks. I feel it is quite selfish them taking her the majority of the weekends. As I am supposed to be able to see her every week and I am her mother after all and she is my 1st child and was my only child for 6 1/2 years.

I was thinking late last night … instead of sleeping as I should have been. And have considered these thoughts a couple of times in the past. That my mental health taking such a huge dive downhill directly after I had my son, was just not as simple as the fact the labour was so traumatic. I feel that happening was more of a trigger, that brought up a culminating of events and issues that were unresolved from my past. And that was what made me experience a whole new level of mental unwellness. This is part of why I feel such a need for actual one to one therapy. As, though I have done much of the work myself to get to where I am now with my mental health. It doesn’t truly fix things and work through any unresolved issues from the past.

I don’t know if I have ever talked about some of the events in my past that have been pretty horrible in themselves. These are some of the events. My Dad being killed in an accident, which involved him on his motorbike and a truck. This was when I was 2 1/2 years old and I have always grieved for the Dad I never really got to know. My Granddad(my Dad’s father) whom I was very close with, dying of a stroke when I was only 12. My aunty(my Mum’s sister) dying of cancer. And my cousin(my Mum’s sister, who died of cancers son) being murdered a few years back. And then, while I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter, we were robbed and the same week I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter, my older daughters Dad had tried to commit suicide and nearly succeeded, so was in ICU for some time and my Mum had a heart attack. Thankfully she was ok too. Plus there is how many times I was raped in my teenage years. And when I was 7, on a school bus trip. The bus we were on hit a motorcyclist and he was quite badly injured.

So yeah, those traumas in the past, I felt, came to a head with the trauma of my labour with my son.

And while acknowledging all this is big. It still doesn’t resolve the issues.

It’s just 7 days to go before we move house. And it seems the closer that date is, the more I find I am struggling with my emotions and mental heath.

I was sitting in the bathroom yesterday morning, crying, panicking, anxious and rocking back and forth. Feeling agitated and shaky. With tears streaming down my face for quite some time.

These intense feelings I so don’t want to deal with. It makes me want to get in the car and disappear til all is done, regarding the house move.

Big changes and my mental health don’t mix well. It’s just such a big, scary thing. I’ve not moved for 3 years and the last time I moved, I was not experiencing bad mental health. So such a big change and move is kind of doing my head in and I so don’t want to deal with the process.

It’s not helpful that my fianc√© has not done a thing to help pack or anything regarding moving house and the preparation. Instead he’s either, playing GTA 5 online on the PS3, on the computer or looking after the baby. But in the times when the baby is sleeping, when he could be helping, he’s just thinking about himself clearly and gaming. That annoys the hell out of me! I talked to him about this and his excuse was the baby and the fact he will be doing half the lifting of items into the moving truck on moving day. I was like, “well the baby does sleep and that’s no excuse to leave all the packing and preparation up to me”. How is that fair?! I feel he is being quite selfish and inconsiderate. Newsflash! I suffer from severe depression and get easily distressed and panicked and he knows that. So I’m feeling really unsupported.

It’s so hard lately to keep my emotions in control. I don’t know how I’m supposed to survive like this and get through the next 7 days.

I mean moving to a totally different and unfamiliar suburb is scary and a new neighborhood. Definitely way outside of my comfort zone. As you get quite comfortable when you’ve been in the same suburb for over 4 years and I’ve been living in Wellington suburbs for 10 years. And now I’ll be in a totally different part of the lower north island. I’ll be in Wainuiomata, which is in Lower Hutt. Which is a city in itself. But still is in the wider Wellington area.

I’m hoping once the move is all done, that I will feel more at ease.

My sleeping has been quite terrible the last few days too. Sunday night I was having a really unpleasant dream and I’d also taken forever to get to sleep in the first place. The dream involved someone being pregnant and giving birth and for some reason my fianc√© and I were there and he helped her give birth. I recall feeling quite disturbed by being part of this. Due to my unresolved issues regarding the trauma of the birth of my last baby. Apparently dreams are your subconscious trying to work through difficult emotions, which are unable to be worked through consciously. So that explains why I often have very lucid dreams, that seem quite real and are often based on this years experiences.

I’m feeling quite tired today. Which I think is a combination of stress, feeling emotionally exhausted and bad sleep.

New baby & other things

So, I actually managed to get some much needed sleep. My lovely fianc√© was really great and looked after bubs downstairs for 5 hrs while I slept. Much to my surprise I actually did manage to sleep that whole time, which was such a relief. I feel more content today. Which is nice. As, compared to the previous 5 days, where as you’ll know, I was feeling so low. I think blogging helped, as did talking to my midwife about my feelings. Clearly I needed some way to vent about what I have been going through.

I think though, if I find I am suffering of PND(postnatal depression) long term, that I will make a point of contacting PND Wellington, about attending a PND support group.

I talked to someone at Maternal Mental Health about whether I can access them, but they seem to want to avoid handing me over to them, due to me being under Community Mental Health. Which is frustrating. As like I told them, I do not find my support person there very supportive or compassionate and she just is not the right person for me. They said they would have to chat to her though, my support person, which is fine, but I told them I no longer want contact from her. Kind of not happy about the whole thing.

Just wanted to say, regarding my bubs, I do love him so very much, despite what I have been feeling. Which is why I felt so distraught. As I think he’s such a darling little boy. So feeling all those negative emotions messed with my head a lot. And I felt such a sense of guilt, feeling that way. I do fear feeling that low again. As my emotions seem to go all over the place lately. But getting a good 5 hrs uninterrupted sleep has helped for sure. I actually spent a few hours this morning just having him sleep on me, while I just relaxed on the couch. It was really nice. And I felt such a sense of love and pride in him.

Boy, I so did not expect this mix of emotions post pregnancy. I expected to feel positive and relieved and happy. So those bad feelings of the past 5 days took me by surprise. Though, a traumatic labour did not help, that’s for sure.

I’ve added a picture below of my little family.

Right, I think that was all I wanted to post about. Thanks for reading ūüôā

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For those of you who go on PND thread on OB, you’d have read this. But for those who haven’t, I just copied and pasted what I wrote on there.

I find depression comes in waves. And it can be, calm, calm, calm and then the storm. That rocks you and then eventually it’s becomes calm again. But it’s hard to ride through the storms.

I think a big problem with PND, is we get lost in life, the day to day and trying to manage everything. And we really, really need time, either just alone or with a good friend, but only a good friend who really get’s it.

I just find sometimes, when it’s all feeling a bit much, I just want to be alone and maybe as I’m calming down, but still fragile, I need to be around a good friend. As DP’s/DF’s/DH’s are great and all, but they don’t have the same connection as good friends. And that’s ok. It’s ok if they are you ‘best friend’ and lover in life and it’s ok that they can’t be everything to us all of the time. They do plenty as our partner in life, but I think, they can’t be it all. That is why we have friends and need friends. My friends are invaluable. I would be lost without them.

Also, though your relationship maybe awesome with the man in your life, that doesn’t necessarily mean everything else sound be perfect of fall into place, even if that area lacks nothing. As it really is hard, when you either become a 1st time parent or 2nd or 3rd and have to manage either, just you, your relationship and a new baby or you, your relationship, other children and yourself.

We get really stretched with all those things we have to manage. Then thrown in there can be, financial stress, un-settled baby, feeling out of our depth, lack of sleep/disrupted sleep, traumatic birth or simply one that didn’t going according to ‘the plan’, managing and maintaining the household and losing who ‘we’ are in all this.

I feel this big shift of things, can cause us to have a major identity crisis and get so lost amongst it all.

We asking things like:

Who am I in all this?
Where do I fit in all of this?
Who am I now, really, after being a mother and a lover?
Where is the meaning in life?
What about me?
Do I even matter? Do I even factor?
Am I invisible? …as it sure as hell can feel like that sometimes!
Why is no-one acknowledging me and all I do?
Am I just a failure?

And maybe you catch yourself thinking. Surely I must be some kind of failure, as all these others women I see are managing, coping, calm and it all seems so effortless with them. I must be a failure. I ‘should’ be happy.

‘Should’ is a very punishing word. It makes you feel like a failure if you think, speak in ‘should’s’ often. It’s like the lady who took the PND support group I went to said, “the word ‘should’, is like someone standing there cracking the whip at you”.

Simply, sometimes the day to day running of the household, simply is too much for us, in our periods of PND. Even the simple tasks are a chore and an effort. And if you try and force yourself to keep the household running perfectly and as you expect it should be run, you can just dig yourself into a hole and put too many expectations on yourself and when you’re not really at a place where you are coping, this makes things worse, as it causes more stress. I did, literally as advised, leave the dishes and the housework, as it’ll still be there later and there are at least ‘some’ supportive and helpful people in our lives who will help us out with those things. As, I am important, you are important. You do need to come first! But with PND and the big shift it many areas of your life, everyone else comes first and we come last and there lies the problem. Not surprising if you look at it like that, that we do get depressed.

Medication does help a lot of people, not all, but most people. Sometimes it’s just all you need to get the wheels in motion and once things are in motion and much more balanced, then you really must, work on getting to the core of the problem. Because, it’s never as simple and as straight forward as, having a baby and chemicals and hormones getting imbalanced. Medication alone, is never enough. I can testify to that. Counseling to me, in my life was vital and a huge factor in getting to where I am today. And I still have a fair way to go, but I’m on the way forward.

Diet for me, does help, as does exercise, as does knowing I am supported and have support. Having friends who really, really ‘get’ me helps, so, so very much!

Having a helpful, supportive man in your life is great. Though I’ll admit, sometimes I don’t really appreciate him like I should and I do bitch and moan at him a bit and go off at him in times of stress.

I know those of you who have unhelpful men, must have it a whole heap harder. And I’m so proud of you for being strong and sticking around and living through this crap, even if it is that you are barely holding on. Fact is, that you are holding on and you are still here, so you are strong. Same goes for those of you who do have great men in your life, but still have this struggle. You are all awesome and strong and I love knowing you all and I love sharing with you all and supporting you all.

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