A sorry to all those closest to me + antenatal depression.

Haven’t done a blog in about a year and I’m going through some stuff so I figured what better way to get it all out in the open. As most of you who will be reading this know, in October I found out I was pregnant with my second bubba. I’ll be going more into this in a bit but I just want to start by saying sorry to everyone I am close to. Mainly my friends. My pregnancy started off and I was really super happy. We planned her and I’d longed for a sibling for violet. As most of you know I was, at the time, coping with my mental health by going out and getting drunk most nights. Even though that’s probably not the way to go about things I felt genuinely okay for the most part from about Feb 2017 up until I got pregnant in September. I had a really good life and amazing friends who I’d spend all my time with. Lived at home with my parents and Violet and apart from the occasional few down days I’d always have something to look forward to. I met Malachi, Emma, Konroy and Mike all in March and we became inseparable and me and Malachi got together in May. He lived in Nottingham at the time so I really enjoyed going up and getting away from medway for a few days and experiencing the night life there with him until he moved back to Kent in August. I then got pregnant in September. I thought that I was mentally strong enough to deal with it at the time and didn’t even think about the repercussions of not spending my life masking my emotions and having fun. But that soon hit hard. Me and Malachi moved into our own house In November and due to Violet being so settled and happy with my parents due to them doing so much for her over my bad periods she has stayed there for now and stays over at mine sometimes. Even though it’s only a few minutes drive this is very very hard for me as I struggle to even leave my own house when I’m having a bad day let alone leave and drive somewhere so seeing her every day sometimes isn’t possible and it makes me extremely low and depressed. From about 8 weeks pregnant I started having STRONG feelings that I didn’t want the baby. I was adamant I couldn’t do it and I needed to have an abortion. Now I’m not against abortion but it’s always been something I’ve said I’ll never ever do so I knew at this point it was my bad mental health speaking. Every time I’d listen to a song or see my friends out I’d get incredibly angry and upset. The only way I can explain the feeling is when you go through a breakup and you feel empty and long to go back to when it was happy. I missed feeling that happiness when you’re out dancing to songs with your friends and nothing else matters. This continued for a few weeks and I was crying every day, not leaving my bed or eating. The midwife even said I looked malnourished at my first appointment. I ended up losing over a stone. My mum then booked an emergency early scan so I could see the baby, as I was having a very very hard time bonding with the fact there was a baby inside of me. It helped for about a week seeing a little heart beat and knowing she was ok but after then the feelings came flooding back. Depression hit hard and fast. I felt completely different to when I got pregnant with violet. I didn’t have that intense feeling of protection and love and I just wanted it all to be over and have fun again. I was a complete mess up until I found out I was having a girl at 16 weeks and from then until fairly recently I’ve been okay on the depression front. Naming her and bonding with her over her kicks and scans etc helped me picture her and realise there actually was a little baby inside of me. I felt okay, I started buying things and started getting really excited. I didn’t mind seeing my friends go out and have fun anymore because she was more important. I cleaned our house every day and saw violet whenever she was not at playgroup or busy. Me and Malachi started learning more and more about eachother and how we both live and do things. Our frequent arguing became minimal and was never over excessive things. This was a big step because obviously moving into our own house together after only being together 7 months is very very hard. Especially as I hadn’t lived on my own. I think this was partly due to the fact I got help from people called MIMMS (Mother and infant mental health service). A lady came and saw me a few times and promised she was going to support me through my pregnancy and until Araiah was 2. This then came to a sudden end when I had a further appointment analyzing me a bit at another place and she deemed my issues to be underlying from before so had to discharge me. All I was left with was a letter telling me to self refer for counseling. I genuinely thought for once that I was going to get help for good and this came crashing down. The past few weeks I’ve gone downhill massively again. I think the fact I have no one to talk to about how I feel and the fact she’s going to be here soon. I’m also in a lot of pain due to hypermobility and every time I try and go out I end up in excruciating pain. I’m not sleeping much and have nothing to do in the days. I know this is all part of pregnancy, but as I said before. With violet I was happy to be feeling like this because I knew it was all for the fact I was growing her. I only really realised this was my mental health getting bad again when I started to have feelings of not wanting her again. I don’t feel excited for her birth most of the time, I’m scared I’m gonna do awfully as a mum and she’s not gonna get the care she needs, I see all these mums running on no sleep and I know I’ve done it before and I was fine but I don’t think I’m mentally ready now. I’ve got 12 weeks until she comes and I can’t even get myself out of bed and ready for the day. I can’t leave the house on my own without someone because my anxiety is so bad. I’m SO scared I won’t be good enough for her or I’ll get really mentally ill after shes born. Feeling like this has also led me to massively neglect my friends. They ask if I’m free and either I’ll make an excuse or I’ll just say no. For some reason I don’t feel comfortable anywhere unless malachi is with me or they come to my house. I haven’t seen anyone apart from one friend once in about 5 months. Every day I wake up and spend on my own or with violet and see malachi and go to bed. I don’t see my friends ever or do anything to make myself happy. It’s even draining me at the moment thinking of something for dinner every night and going shopping for food. I hate it and I end up wasting so much money just because I need to eat. I’d love to have the energy or want to go out with a friend shopping for the baby or go somewhere nice but I just don’t want to at all and it’s straining all my relationships. I only want to be where I feel comfortable and it’s horrible. I’m basically writing this to let you all know that I’m really really sorry for being a shit friend. I’m going to take until she’s born probably to work on myself and try and get myself in a good place for when she’s here. I’m going to need everyone’s support, my parents, Malachi and my friends but I just ask that you stick by me please. If I ignore you or don’t reply don’t take it to heart. I’m just having a bad day or week and I’ll reply when I can. Depression is a real thing and it is absolutely horrible. It’s got to the point now where I’m scared I’ll always feel like this. I know I want Araiah more than anything but my brain likes to tell me otherwise and that’s why it’s so important people understand. I didn’t even know antenatal depression was a thing as you only really hear about postnatal but trust me. It’s real and it’s absolutely horrible. I pray I start feeling okay again soon in time for when she’s here. Violets first few weeks were ruined by her father and that’s all I remember so I want this to be perfect and special. I want to be a good mum to my two girls. I hope one day I’ll be able to love myself and be proud of myself.

Beth xx

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What depression feels like

  1. Every day feels like a struggle. From the moment you wake up, everything is 1000x harder.  Its not just waking up and feeling tired, its feeling absolutely no motivation to do anything let alone get up from bed.
  2. People saying ‘You just need to get out more’ irritates you A LOT.  Its not as simple as just ‘getting out more’. That will only ever be a temporary fix.
  3. Everything you used to enjoy, feels boring and like a lot of effort.  In my case, I’d be at gigs every week.  Now I never bother because I don’t get enjoyment out of going to them.
  4. Sometimes it feels like you can feel nothing and no one seems to understand that. I can appreciate why because its hard to explain it but its almost as if everything is just grey. You cant feel happiness or sadness and its horrible.
  5. Sometimes, you feel happy for short periods but that can change, quickly.  You’ll just start feeling happy all of a sudden, and usually it’ll be a ridiculously hyper state because after all, mania is the opposite of depression. In my case, after this comes a horrible low state.
  6. Relationships are near on impossible.  Most of the time, the significant other just doesn’t quite understand exactly what you’re going through, and they just think you’re being rude or hard work. Truth is, they’re probably one of the things keeping you going the most. You just cant express it in the way you want to.
  7. Most people don’t actually know you’re depressed, because you’re a great actor.  I consistently find myself acting ok, or telling people I’m fine because its easier than trying to explain why you feel so low.
  8. You feel like everyone hates you.  I find myself losing friends easily because I think they don’t care and then I get angry, when reality is they probably do. You constantly feel self conscious about everything which makes little things like talking to people in shops etc hard.
  9. Often find yourself getting angry instead of upset.  I frequently get very angry very quickly because I prefer being angry to sad, its my way of coping. This causes a lot of problems at home and with friends/boyfriends.
  10. Very jealous and protective over friends and boyfriends. Kind of links to feeling self conscious.  I think everyone is better than me and they would have a better time without me.
  11. Its easier to push people away than get close to people and risk getting hurt.  This may not apply to everyone because for me it links to more past experiences but I find myself causing arguments and becoming distant because to me, its easier than giving your all to someone for it to get thrown back in your face.
  12. Most of the time you have no idea what you want. People may say ‘do you want me to come over’ and you just don’t know because either way you will feel like poop.
  13. The little things people say, you remember. Just little things people say when they’re angry like ‘everything your fault’ stays in your mind.
  14. Nothing can make you happy, and that’s no ones fault. Most people don’t understand that you cant just do something that makes you happy to feel better.  It doesn’t work like that.  People often think its their own fault, its not.
  15. It feels like you have lost everything. This is not an understatement.  Everything constantly feels like its falling beneath your feet.

 

All you gotta remember is, hopefully, it shouldn’t last forever.  It will get better in time, you just gotta ride it out and get help in your own way.

Being in an emotionally abusive relationship

You don’t often hear about emotional abuse, you usually hear more about physical abuse or ‘domestic violence’ as its more commonly known. Headlines often hit the news about people that have been a victim of domestic abuse and have either been severely hurt or even killed because of this.  I agree that things like this should hit the headlines however, it leaves the people suffering emotional abuse wondering why it’s not as much of a deal.

If you have read my previous blog about being a teen mum, you’ll already know that i was in an emotionally abusive relationship with my daughters father.  At the time i was only 14/15 and he was 16/17.  This just goes to show that you can be in any circumstance and still face abuse.  You might see a very seemingly happy elderly couple walking down the street who themselves are in an abusive relationship. You just can’t tell and it can happen to anyone. One of the main things about emotional abuse is that very little people know, because to everyone else, the partner that is abusing you seems totally amazing. I’d like to think of it as suffering in silence.

When i met my daughters father, lets called him Aaron for now, he seemed amazing. He was lovely to me and made me feel loved and to tell the truth i did fall in love with him.  I got pregnant after being with him for only a few weeks and it was the first time i had ever had sex.  This is when everything changed. I wasn’t safe going to his parents’ house anymore because of how they reacted about me being pregnant, so if he wanted to see me he had to come to my house or we could go out somewhere.

To put it bluntly, he didn’t want me to keep the baby at all. He tried anything in his power to make me have an abortion.  This is when the emotional abuse started. One of the first things he said that made me feel as if this relationship wasn’t how a relationship should be was  ”Look, if you abort this baby i’ll stay with you forever and we can get a flat and ill have more money to buy you loads of nice things”.  That was essentially a bribe to make me abort the baby. Despite him continuing on and on and getting his friends to inbox me to tell me to have an abortion, i didn’t listen. Obviously i kept the baby.

Now its hard for me to actually write this as i didn’t even realise i was actually in an abusive relationship until my mum told me, but i still stayed with him.

One of the main signs of emotional abuse is control. He would never let me go on my phone when we were together and all he would let me do is leave the room to go to the toilet. If I picked up my phone to answer a friend he would smack it out my hand. He also demanded to have my Facebook password.  It was my last few months having my parents to myself and he started saying he’d end it with me if i left the room to go downstairs to see my parents.  I had to wait until he was asleep to see my mum or dad. I wanted to go shopping with him to get baby things but he wouldn’t let me, he just wanted me to stay in my room with him for hours on end. He controlled what I did and when.

Also using pets/children as a weapon. I’ll touch on children a bit later on but he used to be abusive to my pets as well.  He’d throw them on the floor with a strong force.

Another main sign is remarks to make me feel bad about myself. Now these were constant.  Horrible nasty remarks that have ruined me as a person. Here are a few examples;

”You look like a beached whale” -At this point i was pregnant.

”I hope your stretch marks go they’re ugly”

”I don’t like your hair straightened”

”You and your family are too poor to live in a house where i live”

”What the f*** is that!’- to something on my body

The list is endless.  He also used to make remarks about my family, which made me really angry.

Another key sign of an abusive relationship is consistency and promises.  He’d always promise me things and every single time without a doubt he’d break that promise.  He only came to 1 scan out of 5, he has never payed a penny towards the baby, he never came to any appointments and oh guess what he promised he’d do all of that! He always used to promise he’d come round to see me, and cancel 10 minutes before.  I never received a card or present or anything bought for me over the year we were together. Every single time he said or did something cruel, he’d always try and bribe me back by saying things like ‘i’m sorry ill make it up to you’. Yet he’d still do the exact same thing 10 minutes later. At this point things got out of control with him and his parents and police and solicitors had to get involved.  However i frequently got told i was being silly and abuse is only physical!

When the baby was born, it took a big turn for the worse. I didn’t allow him on the birth certificate because of things he’d said that worried me whilst i was pregnant and i wanted my baby to be safe. We received endless calls from him and his family screaming down the phone that they were taking us to court.  This started when the baby was 3 days old. From then on anything I’ve said or done, its been ‘i dont care im taking you to court’. He continued on making remarks about my body and my looks.  I’d only just given birth to his daughter!  When she was a few months old, i decided it would be best if he saw her in a contact centre due to him trying to take advantage of me at visits to see her.  He told the manager that i had been physically abusing him and that’s why we were going for a contact centre! If they had told social services i could of had my baby taken away.  He was trying to ruin my life.

Finally after a horrible nasty year of being together, i finally realised it wasn’t a healthy relationship to be in at all. I found myself dreading him coming round and crying in bed when he’d fallen asleep at the things he’d said to me.  Running into my mum’s room and bursting out crying. I ended it properly when she was a few months old. He still now causes all the trouble he can, and whenever i try and be mature and facilitate contact for him he goes back to his old abusive ways. But I’ve realised he is the problem, not me. This is only a brief touch upon what it’s like to be in an abusive relationship. He did many many more things which i’d rather not mention.

Abuse isn’t only physical.  I decided to seek emotional support after my ordeal and realised I wasn’t being silly. Emotional abuse can ruin lives. If you, or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship. Get out of it. Whether it be emotionally or physically. If you suspect a friend or a relative to be in one, print of the emotional abuse wheel and show them.  This is the thing that helped me realise.

Don’t suffer.

http://vocal.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Power-Control-Wheel1.jpg – link to the power and control wheel

I am a teen mum.

I was 14 years old, going to gigs every weekend and getting drunk, not listening in school, spending my time hanging round the streets. I’d never really had a proper relationship before, only the little kid relationships that last about a month. I didn’t know anything about life or what being an adult entailed. I was just living life as it came and enjoying myself. I was so naive and so immature.

It was a very cold Halloween night in 2012 and as usual, instead of going out and spending Halloween with my family I went to a gig with my two best friends. I met some people who asked if I wanted to be in their band as I’m a drummer. I immediately said yes and got told to add the guitarist on Facebook as he had made the band. We got talking and I thought he was amazing. Sure enough from then we formed a relationship and I thought I loved him. Things happened and on January the 5th 2013 I fell pregnant.
I took the morning after pill so thought there would be no chance. But then I started feeling odd. My boobs got huge, I was sleeping alot and I needed to pee loads. So I went to the emergency doctors with a suspected water infection.
“your daughter is pregnant” the lady shouted at my mum.
“what do you want to do? Do you want me to book her in?”
By this she meant for an abortion. I was absolutely horrified. Not only had I just found out I was pregnant at 14, I was already facing discrimination and assumptions . This was just the start.

I instantly knew i was going to keep the baby, i didn’t even consider the other option.  I may of only been 14 but i knew i would be able to cope, i mean come on, i got myself in the situation, i needed to man up!  I text the father and i assumed he’d be happy but my god was i wrong.  What me and my family were going to face for the next two years i wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

I’m not going to go into what happened, i might another time, it just gets me so angry and upset.  BUT basically, him and his family were not happy that i was keeping the baby and said and did very nasty things.

Despite this, stupidly enough i stayed with the father up until i was 36 weeks pregnant, even though i faced constant emotional abuse about my appearance and a lot of other things. This abuse has basically ruined my life and i will probably never like myself because of some of the things he said.  One example is ‘your stretch marks are so ugly when will they go?’.  Who in their right mind says that to a pregnant girl carrying their child? I should love them because i was lucky enough to grow my baby inside me, which is such an amazing thing, but i don’t and have tried so many ways to get rid of them because of things he said. I spent near enough my whole last 20 weeks of my pregnancy in my house because i was too scared to go out in case people thought bad of me and in case i saw the baby’s dads parents.

I completed my GCSE’s in year 10 at school whilst i was pregnant, and luckily passed them all, so i could take the whole of year 11 off to spend with my baby.  I was due to give birth on the 28th of September 2013.

Once i had finally seen my senses and realised the baby’s dad wasn’t good for me i ended things.  I didn’t allow him at the birth because i felt self conscious and on 4th of October 2013, aged 15 i gave birth to an amazing baby girl who was 8lb 7 (i got told i was going to have a small baby! 😦 ). She was so perfect, i instantly fell in love.

I still got abuse from the father and his family, and they tried their hardest to ruin my first few precious days with her.  But i had my baby girl, nothing could get in between that.

Then came all the hard things about being a mum-breastfeeding, abuse off strangers in public, night feeds, expressing etc but it was still amazing.

The last 2 years have been the hardest but most amazing time of my life and it kills me that I’m a stereotypical single teenage mum but I will make my baby proud. I’m on my way to going to uni, which I probably wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t got pregnant.  I’m now 16 with a 14 month old girl and i’m sure i’ll go into other things that happened with the dad/the last 14 months with my baby girl in other blogs but for now i’m finished. All I want to say is, if you’re in an abusive relationship, get out of it. I know that’s harder than it sounds but please. Don’t let yourself get hurt like I did.

I still face struggles with her dad, i doubt that will stop for a long time, he will never mature. It is a lot harder that i expected it to be, i have to realise we couldn’t be the family i thought we could be, and i’ll probably never have someone interested in me,  but i know i have produced an amazing, wonderful, perfect girl and i don’t need anyone else.