Thursday, 19 March 2015

All that she wants...


I HAVE BEEN BACK AND FORTH WITH THIS BLOG AND I HAVE REMOVED IT THREE TIMES NOW. THIS TIME IT IS HERE TO STAY. IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED THIS BLOG PROBABLY ISN'T ONE FOR YOU TO READ

Having mental health issues brings me up against a great many obstacles. Most of them are surmountable. However, there is one obstacle that I can't seem to clear. Children. I absolutely love kids. My life is dedicated to the little buggers. I work as a nanny and I fully intend to work with children suffering mental health distress once I finally complete my degree...! 

I want children. Not yet but I do want them eventually. I just don't want to give birth to them. I cannot tell you the amount of arguments I have had over this. It is something I have thought very long and hard about. 

When I was 17, I was pregnant. I couldn't have been too far along but the 20 or so pregnancy sticks I peed on all said at I was. I felt sick. I was mortified. I thought I'd been careful. I was on the Depo injection and I'd used condoms with my boyfriend. I think. Had I used one EVERY time? Had one of them split? I was convinced the tests were wrong. How could I possibly be pregnant? I was only 17!! I had to tell the father. He needed to know and needed to accept responsibility. I wouldn't accept any less. It never, for even a second, occurred to me to have an abortion. That's not something I could do. I have no issue with women who do have abortions and I am 100% pro choice and for me the choice is to continue the pregnancy. I'd made my bed, I had to lie in it.


Long story short, something happened and I suffered a terrible miscarriage. I had actually written in detail exactly what happened but I'm not quite there yet to be able to own the incident. This is the first time I have ever gone "public" with this information and disclosing the whole situation was just too painful. 

After my miscarriage, I started drinking heavily. I used to handle drink very well and it would take a lot to actually get me drunk. I would go to work, all smiles and happiness then I would come home, kick off my shoes and retreat into my vodka bottle. 

I very quickly got into a relationship with someone else and we moved in together almost immediately. It didn't feel as though I'd actually moved in with him as I still had stuff at home. All I had at his were clothes. I knew the relationship was bad but I didn't care. I was hell bent on self destruction. He seemed impressed by my capacity for alcohol and we would go out almost nightly. He encouraged my drinking, a lot. Before we went out I would have a bottle of vodka. Sometimes I would mix it with coke but more often than not I would just drink it straight from the bottle. Then once we got out I would drink whatever was going. 

Miraculously, as a teenager and into my early 20s I rarely had hangovers. I would get up for work sometimes still drunk.  I would work a long shift, sometimes a double shift, and then I would repeat the cycle. Drink, sleep, work. I never considered myself an alcoholic as I wouldn't dare touch a drink in the morning - unless I hadn't been to sleep yet. I wouldn't drink until after midday and I had myself convinced that was ok. 

After about two months of self destruction, the new boyfriend and I went to the park with some friends. It was a rare Saturday we all had off and we decided to make the most of it. The weather was glorious. That justified my drinking. It also made it ok that I was drunk before midday! After about 5 hours of drinking we headed into the city to get food. 

One of my friends was working at the McDonalds we went to. He took one look at me, came around the counter and took me into the bathroom. I was resisting him, angry at him for daring to touch me. I was lashing out at him. Screaming at him. Trying to bite him. He got both of my arms twisted behind my back in a Full Nelson so I couldn't move. There he forced me to look at myself in the mirror. He was repeating over and over; "Just look at yourself." At first I screwed my eyes shut. I was angry. How dare he. He stood there for a good five minutes telling me over and over to look at myself. 

Eventually I did. What looked back shocked and disgusted me. I was a mess! My hair was all over the place. My clothes looked as if I'd found them in the streets. I had dark circles under my eyes and a greenish tinge to my pasty white face. He told me he knew I had been going into work drunk. He said he hadn't realised how bad my drinking had become and I just collapsed into a heap. I was crying and retching on the floor. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to purge my body of alcohol and everything it had done to me. Nothing was coming up though. I was empty. 








Looking at my face in that moment sobered me up. It was like a slap to the face. Had I looked like this for a while now? What were people saying about me? Why had no one stopped me? What was I doing to myself? I had no answers but I knew something had to change or pretty soon I'd be dead. 

If there's one thing I have in bucketfuls, it's determination. Especially when someone tells me I can't do something. That day I stopped drinking. It was hard going home and not getting my usual vodka. I stopped joining my boyfriend at the pub. At first he was annoyed with me. Soon enough though he seemed to enjoy the alone time. I should have left him. I know that now but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. I ought to have known there was a reason he wanted to continue going out without me as opposed to supporting me through this difficult period in my life. What I never imagined was that he was back with his ex.


Anyway, I digress! Having considered my options and looked at the evidence around me, I have come to the conclusion at it is not in my best interest to physically have a child. 

The women in my family are predisposed to post natal depression. I have enough psychological issues to see a psychiatrist into comfortable early retirement - most likely brought on by seeing me..! 

I have a friend who has offered for many years to be a surrogate mother for me. That way I could have progeny with my genetics. However, I'm not certain that I have genes worthy of respawning! There is also the option of adoption. 

I have thought about these options at great length. I have discussed them with numerous friends. Some of them are horrified that I would consider such a thing. They say things like "if you adopted, that child would never really be yours" or "you'd miss out on all the beauty of pregnancy. You will never have felt your child moving inside you". I've even had people suggest that pregnancy may "fix" my mental health issues! 

Being an insomniac, people suggest that night times would be easy - "since you don't sleep anyway"! That's not really how insomnia works though. I don't choose the hours I sleep. Knowing my luck, the 3/4 precious hours I would normally get would come right at the time my offspring is crying for some reason or another! The other women in my family are seemingly super fertile, most of them have multiple children - I have 12 nieces and nephews and 2 more on the way. It won't be long before they start having kids themselves. That will keep me occupied enough I'm sure!


I'm about to cross a line here that some people may dislike. I have been shot down a great many times on this issue but I will continue to hold my opinion firm. 

IF YOU ARE EASILY UPSET OR OFFENDED PLEASE DON'T READ ON.  

You often hear in the news about a woman who has killed her child/ren. It is something the media feast upon. They sensationalise it. They speculate on it. The typical knee jerk reaction here, brought in by this type of media, is that she is a "sick twisted bitch". Let's look at the first part of that comment shall we? Sick. This word is thrown about so much these days I don't think people actually realise what it means. If an individual is sick, surely they need medical assistance? Shouldn't they be treated with kindness and compassion? Not in these cases it would appear. If a "sick" woman murders her child then she deserves to be nailed to the wall right? Wrong! 

If you have never suffered any mental health issues then you are entirely incapable of understanding what people go through. 

In my last blog I wrote a little bit about hearing voices. The inner turmoil I suffer in regards to suicidal ideation. How do people know that these women don't suffer similar disturbances? It appears that not only do they not know, they simply don't care. 

It goes beyond all rationality for a woman to murder her progeny. It is a biological imperative that women have. Unless, of course, you look at motherhood throughout the species. If a female in the animal kingdom thinks that their offspring is in danger, she will kill it. Why? Because it's better for her to do so than for her to either watch the offspring die or watch someone/something else kill her precious babies. So it's ok in the animal kingdom? What people seem to forget is that human beings are animals too. We all have instincts that seem unreasonable. Sometimes, those instincts overpower us and we act in a seemingly illogical manner. I'm not excusing such behaviours. Infanticide is deplorable. Taking the life of any innocent is wrong, morally and legally. 


However, if a woman has mental health issues, she is not in her right mind. That is another phrase that seems to be slung around "not in her right mind". Come on people, pay attention to the things that you are actually saying! 

It may or may not surprise you to learn that sleep deprivation is a form of torture. The effects that sleep deprivation have on the body and the brain are catastrophic. I have recently completed a Sleep Consultant course that qualifies me to help parents with babies and children who don't sleep well. I'm currently doing research in order to complete my coursework. Some of the effects of sleep deprivation are listed below. This is by no means an exhaustive list;

Irritability
Stress
Short temper
Poor self esteem
Guilt
Poor physical health
Aches and pains
Relationship/sex life issues
Eating problems
Headaches
Dark circles/bad skin
Poor concentration
Confusion
Feeling overwhelmed
Isolation
Attachment or lack of
Masking



Now, stop and think for just one second. Cast your aspersions aside. Leave the emotion at the door and look at this;

A woman has recently had a baby. Let's say the baby is 2 months old now. The baby doesn't sleep through the night. There seems to be no reason. They're fed, clean, comfortable. Yet they continue to cry throughout the night. Mum hasn't slept more than 3 hours on any given day since giving birth. Her body has been traumatised. Her hormones are up the wazoo and dad seemingly sleeps through it all. How do you think she feels?  

Let's look at it another way. It's 4am and you're wide awake. You're tired but you can't sleep. It's been a week now. Every day for the past week, people have been congregating at the corner of your street to sing the Lord's praises. Why? They want to "cleanse the area". Your windows are tightly shut yet you can still hear them. You can't wear your ear plugs to dampen the sound because a few nights ago you put them in so far you damaged your inner ear. It's not comfortable to sleep in headphones. You can't play music to drown out the singing as it would wake your housemates up. How are you feeling right now? The council tell you it's a police matter, you've contacted the police about anti social behaviour... they don't seem to care. You have to be up in less than 3 hours for that job interview. Everything hurts because you've been tossing and turning. You can feel a cold coming on. You have a headache. You know you will have dark circles under your eyes tomorrow. That's not a good look for an interview. Now how do you feel? You can't take a sleeping pill because they make you feel groggy. Besides, you look at the clock and notice you now only have two hours to sleep. Sleeping pills knock you out for longer than that. How are you feeling now? The birds are starting to sing. It's 6am. There's no point in trying to sleep now. You have to be up in an hour. How are you feeling? Do you want to break something? Do you want to hurt someone? Are you ready to go outside in your pjs and punch the singers? Have you had that psychotic break??


This happened to me. A whole week of sleep deprivation thanks to the singers at the end of my street. By the weekend I was about ready to kill. Am I a monster? That depends. Who are you asking? Am I wrong for wanting to grievously harm the individuals keeping me from my precious sleep? How is this any different really? 

Another problem I am cursed with is fibromyalgia. Everything hurts - all the time! It is potentially linked to the hyper mobility syndrome I also have. As I mentioned earlier, I work with children. I work long days. I know how much of a strain they physically put on your body every day. They want picking up. They want carrying. You bend down so they can whisper something to you. They want to hold your hand so they can skip with you (all the while wrenching your arm). The physical pain I endure every day ought to be unbearable and sometimes it really is. My body actually produces its very own analgesic properties. Another symptom of hyper mobility syndrome. Painkillers don't work on me. When I go to the dentist for a simple filling, I need at least 4 injections and I can still feel the pain! I refuse to put myself, willingly I might add, through the physiological and psychological sufferings just to please some barbaric social convention. Fuck the Pope



I think the main issue here is that people get too caught up in the emotions surrounding children. Why is a child's life any more valuable than the lives of others? A child is innocent you say. Of course. I couldn't agree more! However, do you think a sleep deprived brain could rationalise that? Not a chance! 

Again, flirting with the taboo here, what makes a child's life any more precious than anyone else's? Why is the loss of a child always deemed greater than the loss of anyone else? As far as I'm concerned, the only thing that makes any one death more horrific than another is the manner in which it occurs. For example, murder is far worse than dying of natural causes. Here I am taking two extremes purposely. People have often said to me "you don't know what it's like, you've never lost a child". They're wrong because I have. 

There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think to myself; would I have had a boy or a girl? Would they have looked like me? What would their personality be like? By now my child would be 13 or thereabouts. Just starting out in secondary school. Would they have been bullied like I was? Would they have suffered like I did? 

I never had the chance to meet my baby. Some could argue that is worse.

The point I'm trying to make here is that I don't think I would be able to withstand the psychological and physiological sufferings brought about by pregnancy and I shouldn't be bullied into doing so!  

It is arguable that people who have had mental health issues are in a better position to actually adopt. Especially if they adopt an older child  I would, of course, be subjected to a psychological evaluation but I cannot be discriminated against owing to my mental health status. 

People have the right to choose. You are entitled to your own opinion but just remember, that's all it is!

Keep Smiling :(: 

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