Here is why I am the worst, and best, mother around.

I haven’t spoken about my daughter too much on this blog. That is mostly to protect her. What I will say about her is that she is a dream child. I am genuinely both a dreadful mother and an amazing mother and I am going to tell you all why.

I am going to start by saying the area around my pregnancy was extremely traumatic, despite being blessed with a wonderful pregnancy. By the time she came into the world, I had buried the trauma as deep as I could. As many of you know, I was already messed up before the pregnancy, after suffering 7 years of abuse that started when I was 6. I tried to be supermum with her. When she was four weeks old, I sat my GCSE’s. Despite breastfeeding her, running in to do an exam and then running out to feed her again, then running back in for another exam all day, and despite VERY little sleep, I managed to get 1 A*, 1 A, 5 B’s, 6C’s and a D in Graphics. So I was pretty damn proud of myself. Then, after the summer holidays I went back to school as an A level student. I would drop her off at nursery at 8.30 in the morning, go to school and then pick her up in the evening. I was completely burnt out by the time she got to 9 months old though, so I ended up in a mental institution for adolescents. After my 2 week respite I went back home but I was still not coping so I had to tell a lie to be able to go back to the ward. I said that I had had thoughts of harming my daughter. It wasn’t true, but they were the words of someone at the end of their tether. So off I went back to the funny farm for 3 months.

By the time I came out of the funny farm, I had realised that living in the house where all that abuse happened was no longer an option. So after many phone calls my parents managed to find me a place in a hostel. From that hostel, I eventually moved to their sister hostel which was even more independent than the first hostel. One month after my 18th birthday I was lucky enough to be given a gorgeous flat from a housing association. If you had read this blog in the past you may remember the posts about my wacky neighbours… which is a shame but the flat itself is gorgeous.

The plan was always to get Mia back. Unfortunately my mental health has deteriorated over the years so it has never been possible.

Here is what makes me a great mother though. Despite the circumstances surrounding her, I have ALWAYS put her first. I looked at what I could give her verses what my parents could and I knew she would be happier with them than she ever could be with me. With my health problems I am often confined to the flat for weeks at a time. I don’t drive and I am terrified of busses so we wouldn’t be able to go to all the places I want her to see. My parents are able to do all those things with her. Just last week she got to ride in a stretch limo to go and see Disney On Ice in London. She adored it!

When I look at the incredible young lady before me, I knew I made the right choice. She is healthy, happy, hilarious, gorgeous, well-mannered, polite, respectful and kind to others. I couldn’t have wished for a better child, we really struck gold with her.

Admitting you can’t be a good parent is extremely difficult. The easiest thing in the world would be to have her here with my like I always wanted. But I had to admit that my parents could offer her more than I ever could, and she deserved her best chance.

If you take a glance at me without knowing the full story, I would be considered a deadbeat mum that doesn’t care about her child. The truth, however, is the complete opposite. I live with the pain of her not being here so that she can be happy.

I am lucky because I still get to see plenty of her and when I am feeling up to it I take her on days out. We have an amazing bond, which I am forever grateful for.

Despite everything, as I said above she is healthy and happy. I couldn’t ask for more! So before anybody calls me a bad mother, I would urge them to take a closer look. Sacrificing what you want so your child has their best chance in life is EXACTLY what a good parent does.  I simply adore my child.

If I have to spend every day for the rest of my life in pain so that she can be happy, I will do so without complaint. More than that though, I have spent every day since she was born trying to better myself for her so that I can be the mother she deserves.

Of course I am not the worlds best mum. But I am certainly not the worst mother on this planet either. I have never introduced her to a string of boyfriends, I have never gotten drunk around her, smoked drugs around her, hit her, called her names (aside from Mia Moo!), swore around her, introduced her to anyone I wasn’t 100% sure about, I have never put her in danger. I have always tried to be the best mother I can be, and in my case that meant letting her go so she could be happy.

I have had a few people decide to judge me on my parenting skills recently, which is what triggered this post. But the simple truth is that I try my best, and nobody can ask more of me than that. Look at this gorgeous young lady and tell me she is not well looked after.

Mia again

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I survived another circle around the sun!!!!!

 

 

So, it is my birthday today! I have made 23 trips around the sun. And to be honest, a lot of them have been a real struggle. But this year, I am super proud of myself. As I have told you in past entries, my mental health seems to dip around April and August each year. The April dip, the one I am going through at the moment, is usually the toughest. In fact, I have overdosed this time of year, every year, for 10 years. But this year…. NO OVERDOSE. Which is brilliant when you take into account that I have cirrhosis of the liver thanks to the overdosing- so not overdosing is a very good thing to do.

I have struggled at this time of year for a long time now, but it was only about 3 years ago that I started to understand why. I realised that every birthday meant I had spent another year feeling miserable, fighting every second just to stay afloat, and I get sick of it. I want to give up, and throw in the towel, because I can’t bear another minute of it. Even the struggle of getting out of bed is horrific most days. I have absolutely no motivation to do anything, and even a trip to the dentist takes weeks of planning. I am going next week so they can paint some enamel type stuff on the teeth to repair the damage (nerves showing) of excessive, severe grinding… that I can’t seem to stop no matter what I try. I also have to fight the guilt surrounding my daughter, who is currently living with my parents due to my inability to look after her. Fortunately, they live very close so I get to see her all the time.

I live every single day in pain. Physical pain is one thing, and I have plenty of that, but it is the mental pain that gets you. I suffer with crippling guilt about a lot of different things… and that guilt leads to excessive anxiety. I am still screaming in the night when I get flash backs. I still fight the urge to end it all, escape, and leave the pain behind. I still struggle with the BPD when my emotions just get too big to handle, and I brood over things for hours, hence me writing this blog at 3.30am!

This year, however, has been different. I thought really hard about my ‘preventative factors’… those things that stop you from killing/ harming yourself. I have fought harder than I ever have before not to fall into the deep pit I know so well.  I have been determined that this year, this year I will survive. This year I wont give in to the urge to OD. I am finding better coping techniques and I have been heavily using my Crisis Box. I am still really struggling mentally, but I am doing better than last year. After all, this time last year I was in the funny farm.

I know things are hard for me at the moment, but for the first time I am beginning to feel hope that it wont be the same fight forever. If I can manage this year without overdosing, what about next year? What changes can I make then? And I am still looking forward to the 5 year intensive psychotherapy course I have been generously offered. I have a couple of other small therapy groups to take help me through the 12 month waiting list.

My dream is to be able to live with my daughter, and have as normal a life as I can. This year, I can actually picture that happening. And that is why I will fight until my fingers bleed, and then fight some more for my gorgeous little girl. She will never know, but she is saving my life, every day, just by being there. And for the first time, I am GLAD that I have BPD, because the increased emotions are good when you are feeling the pride, love, faith, and hope that only the innocence of your offspring can be. I sometimes feel like I am literally going to burst with the love I feel for that child and my family.

After all, this time 7 years ago my princess was due, and she stubbornly waited an extra 7 days before vacating my womb, just so I can get our birthdays confused on all the forms!

I am never expecting life to be perfect. I don’t even expect it to be good. But, if it can just be manageable, I would be the happiest person on Earth. So, here is to another trip around the sun. Another year, another fight, but another year of wisdom and knowledge to add to  my ever-expanding belt… and that is what will pull me through. Bring on 23!!!!!

 

Dog bites child, who is at fault?

dog

I have just read a very disturbing article, about a three-year old child that was bitten by a Parsan Russell. I will post the article at the bottom, but be warned it contains distressing images.

There are calls for the dog to be put down. Before I comment on this, I want to give you a little background on the story, as told in the website linked below. The mother of the three-year old was busy locking the door, and the three-year old was dancing out on the pavement outside their home. The owner of the dog (a neighbour) was taking his dog out at the same time, on the lead. The little girl then jumped towards the dog, frightened it, and it jumped up and bit her above they eye.

It could have been a lot worse, the injury is not too severe, but the mother is calling for the dog to be destroyed.

This is such a sad story. There was fault on both sides, but I don’t believe the dog should be destroyed for protecting itself. I believe that children should be taught to respect animals. Firstly, the mother should not only be close to her child but be watching her too. It is all fine and dandy, but what if she ran out into the road and got hit by a car? Would the car be destroyed?

My daughter loves dogs, but is also very wary of them, and she respects their space. And that is exactly how it should be. I am a pet sitter, so I get to look after all sorts of different dogs. Some of them are great with kids, and some of them are not. You have no idea how many children think it is their automatic right to come up and stroke a dog. Even ones with muzzles on!! And the parents don’t seem to blink there is anything wrong with it. But if a dog bites their child, suddenly they are in uproar and it is all the owners fault.

I want to make it clear that I am talking about children that come up to dogs, not dogs of the lead that attack or attack when a child is not approaching them.

On the flip side, in the article the owner mentioned that he crosses the road when children are near. To me that indicates there may have been problems before, even if those problems did not involve biting. The easy solution? muzzle the dog. They may not like it, but it is worth it to avoid something like this happening. They are not expensive and do not harm the dog in any way.

It breaks my heart when I read stories like this, because they are so preventable. If you are a reader that allows your children to approach dogs without permission from the owner, please reconsider your stance in the future.

I think it is great children interact with animals and have pets, it teaches them responsibility, life lessons (when their goldfish dies) and safety. It also teaches them to respect animals.

I have had the blessing to be able to volunteer at a big cat sanctuary. When working with such amazing animals, you absolutely have to respect them. After all, they could kill you in a second. On top of that, you learn little things about them, about when they are feeling affectionate and want to be stroked, and when they are feeling angry. I could always tell when a fight was brewing with the lions. It may well be worth doing a quick internet search to learn about warning behaviours in dogs (such as bearing teeth, hair standing up on their backs, stiff tails held up high and moving side to side and warning barks and growls). That way you can have an indication of when a dog does not want to be approached and act accordingly.

Link below:

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_gazette/news/mums-plea-for-dog-who-5650/