I have had a really rough few weeks. The panic and anxiety that has brimmed under the surface all year came to a head and resulted in a panic attack whilst getting ready for work three weeks ago. Sine then I have felt almost paralysed in a state of fear and anxiety. Some days I haven’t even had the energy or strength to get dressed. I am trying to take ‘action’ though. I’ve gone to my drs and gone
I haven’t posted for a few weeks as truthfully I have just felt so low. Like all the energy has been literally zapped out of me!
2 weeks ago today was my beautiful daughters 2nd birthday which also represented an anniversary for me. 2 years since losing my womb, 2 years since nearly bleeding to death, 2 years since I thought I’d lost her. I hate the fact that it still hurts. Alot. I hate the fact that only my husband seems to get why. I hate the fact that my own Mum had a go at me for feeling like this and told me I should enjoy the day and not make it all about me. That cut me to the core, it really did.
Does my Mum not think that I want her day to be a happy one. That I don’t want to have to remember all that I do? That I don’t want to feel like this forever. Like I’m just existing not living. Like I’m stuck in a nightmare of awful images, recollections from theatre and ITU. Having that constant sense of foreboding hanging around me like a bad smell? Feeling anxious pretty much all of the time.
I saw a baby in the reception area of the Doctors today and melted into tears. Tears for the baby she’ll never be again, tears for the baby I will never carry again, tears for the terrible images still ingrained in my mind of her arrival.
I hate this, I hate feeling like this and I hate feeling so judged for the way I feel. My Mum judges me, the NHS judges me, friends judge me, work colleagues. One last week asked how I was and when I told her it had been a bad year when everything had hit me she replied ‘why, still?’. I felt like screaming at her but instead I sat there and tried to justify myself again, for the millionth time since it all happened.
Everyone tells me how I should be feeling, how lucky I should feel, how grateful I should be for my babies, how lucky I am to have one of each. I know all of these things. I just wish that some would just listen to me like my husband does and allow me to feel what I feel. Allow me to acknowledge the pain and grief and then I know I can move on and learn from all of this.
I’m sitting here breaking my heart again….Why? Because my family who I thought I could always rely on have completely ostracised me when I have needed them the most. Tonight I had to contend with hurtful and nasty comments on facebook from my sisters husband for all to see. Comments about me being so wrapped up in myself. I try so hard every single day. Just getting out of bed and to work is an achievement. Right now I just feel like giving up. Why is it so hard for people to understand.
I went to see a clairvoyant on Friday night with my friend…another attempt to desperately seek an answer to when I will start to feel normal/happy again. It completely backfired on me…word to the wise never try and seek help in something like this when you already suffer from extreme anxiety and paranoia! She was extremely blunt and roude and basically told me that I should not feel sad about my births…that basically I should be grateful that I didn’t give birth in the war! Belittled me comes close…another person making me feel guilty for the way I feel. She then went on to tell me that I should leave my husband and that we will be divorced! The same man who hasn’t left my side once when I have needed his support, love and understanding so desperately. The man whose put up with my mood swings, temper, inconsoleable tears and complete irrationality. So, all weekend I’ve spent feeling utterly panic stricken and upset. All because I was desperately seeking an answer..again.
In an effort to move forward I have been selling lots of my childrens baby items on Ebay. I felt like I needed to do a practical ‘clear out’ as well as mental. How wrong could I be? I have just gone to wrap up what was a baby vanity case from mamas and papas which I used for both my son and daughter. It has a detachable top and tail bowl and as I have just gone to wrap it up I got the smell of new born baby….talc and cream…I have just sat and broken my heart. I can’t post it, I can’t let go of it. I feel heart broken.
Today was really hard. I met an independent psychiatrist at the local ‘mental hospital’ who had to assess me with regards to my car crash claim. You see my crash exacerbated my PTSD symptoms so my case has become more complicated. I was doing well this time last year…managing my anxiety, lessening of nightmares, limited startled reflex response and do you know what feeling better! Then a boy racer decided to drive his car head on into me and my babies and my niece. I thought he’d killed them all. My car was written off, his was so bad even the police couldn’t say what it was. It tipped everything on its head for me. The flash backs came back, I jumped at everything, I had major panic attacks for the first time in my life…so bad my hands would go into spasm. I couldn’t sleep, I felt angry all the time and if I wasn’t angry I was crying. I even wet the bed after one particularly bad nightmare.
Today, I had to go through all of that again and my god it was hard. I felt drained, upset and really really sad. My own family don’t even understand how bad this has been and still is. When will it get better??
Sunday, 08 January 2012 1am.
Tonight / early this morning, my wife had a minor Panic Attack at the end of us watching Hereafter (A drama centered on three people touched by death in different ways, by Clint Eastwood) – incidentally, a great film that she does not regret watching.
My wife’s minor panic attack this time was only a series of rapid short breaths lasting around 5 minutes. I say ‘only’ as I can say from firsthand experience her panic attacks usually mean her hands contracting & cramping up and the attack lasting around 15 – 30mins. I eventually managed to calm her down, limiting her panic attack – I sometimes wonder how long panic attacks can last for without assistance? (please comment if you know).
She opened up telling me a few truths and thoughts that she experiences on an almost daily basis; largely due to her PTSD, but partly due to the birth trauma experiences we’ve suffered via our son & daughter. Though in my opinion, her thoughts (that I also share albeit less frequently) are simply because her traumatic births make us less able to take our kids lives (and ours) for granted compared to the majority of other parents.
Having both shed tears and tight loving hugs, my wife explained how she often wonders if our daughter is ours – rather, she worries almost daily that someone’s going to prove her 16month old daughter is not hers??!! Having collectively spent days over the last year researching PTSD via both forums and professional sessions, I believe my wife’s paranoia to be a typical PTSD symptom:
HELPING THAT SOMEONE YOU KNOW WITH PTSD
(& depression in general actually) …
I’ve researched what words I can use (and which to refrain from using) to support my wife with her PTSD disorder. Click to read up on Some Good Things to Say to the Clinically Depressed.
We have lots of plans in 2012 for ‘Birth Trauma PTSD’.
We really hope to raise awareness of PTSD after birth trauma and use facebook and twitter alongside the site. In addition we are working with a wonderful lady called Anne Marie to hopefully formally turn our group into a charity and start support groups across South Wales to give other Mums the support and help we have which proved to be invaluable!
We are also working on the ‘Dad’ section as we recognise that Dads also need support and help.
We really hope we can make these aims a reality!
Yesterday was my gorgeous boys 4th birthday. That means it was also 4 years to the day that I nearly lost my life following his birth.
But do you know for the first time I barely thought about those awful events and actually just celebrated his birthday and how wonderful that was. That felt amazing and like that dark cloud had been lifted.
Three lovely friends came who are all pregnant and whereas before that may have made me feel sad, envious etc I felt ok with it.
Don’t get me wrong its taken alot of soul searching, counselling, support from family and friends and if I’m honest medication to help but I have got there!
There will still be days when I feel upset and remember but I’m glad that finally my sons birthday is joyful and about him and not what happened to mummy.
Please know that you will get there. But you must find the right help and support to come to terms with your experience and accept that it did happen to you. Then you can move forward.
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