Bad Mum

Magazine

7 September 2017

My Story

When I had my eldest son (16) the Iran/Iraq war was starting to rumble and although he was about 11 months when Blair agreed the UK would join I was still breast feeding him and would say I had had a permanent feeling of 'blue'.  He had been ill, suffering an unusual reaction to the DTP vaccinations and I had decided to leave my job and become a full-time Mum (enjoying it but always feeling wobbly).  Anyway, when the news announced that UK would join the war I turned to the Current Husband and said "you go to Tesco and stock up on water and tins and I will continue feeding the baby to keep him alive".  I was serious.  His face was a picture.  I put my dark mood down to the fact that I was overwhelmed at bringing this baby in to the World and I had to protect him.  It wasn't until that moment that I realised it was a mental issue.

I decided to have acupuncture and very quickly felt much better. Falling pregnant with my daughter in early 2003.  The depression started whilst I was pregnant and I knew I was having a girl - I felt so different.  The depression once again manifested itself in me feeling so overwhelmed at protecting us - our family.  Because I could see how unreasonable my thoughts were, but could not stop them I continued with acupuncture and counselling.  She was born in November, a very cold and wet Winter followed which added to the gloom.  I made myself go out.  I made myself walk. I made myself breath.

As you know a family member suggested that our family was complete because we had a boy and a girl but due to my crippling thoughts I felt I had to experience pregnancy again to "get it right' - I can't explain how I felt being pregnant again would make me better, to this day I'm not sure what my thought process was.

Number 3 arrived in early 2006 and all was well mentally.  However in 2005 we attended a wedding in Central London and there were armed guards everywhere following the London Terrorist attacks. I had a hair appointment off of Oxford Street and having walked past guards on the way I sat in the hairdressers for an hour before I was able to go back to the hotel.  Physically the pregnancy had been tough but I felt I have battled my demons and was an absolute dab hand at getting 3 children out of the door by 0815 every morning.  Filling the pre-school day with soft play and baby gym and backing up the eldest reception school education!

Pregnant again in 2007 and the doom descended,  I felt physically and mentally drained.  I subsequently found out that I had a prolapsed bowel and Chinese medicine links the brain and the gut and I genuinely feel this impacted me physically more than mentally but the dark thoughts were still there.  So much so that once number 4 was born I wouldn't go any further than our immediate vicinity and school.  I would insist that the Current Husband drove us all to Bluewater so that if anything happened we would all die together.  (I'd heard the Bluewater Shopping Centre could be a potential terrorist target).

I guess I take from this that I have a subliminal fear of war/terrorism (it has never impacted my life) but something about it, combined with the children makes me want to protect and save us.  I have a need to make us - especially them - survive.  I feel permanent anxious, which the Current Husband describes as living at ‘defcon4’.

I still have acupuncture, which is a superb treatment for depression, particularly PND as it regulates female cycles/hormones and I also had CBT in 2009 – again great.

Anyway, the youngest is nine and what I would like new Mum's to know is you can live with it, sometimes it isn't full blown depression and you need to over think IT to get to the bottom of IT.  Mine is obviously a need to ensure survival.  So much so that here is a photo of our shed "the Armageddon Shed" as it is know.  I took this yesterday and I have been obsessed with survival since 2002!


Written by Claire @clairelgoodtimes

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