Heart week

So this is a hard time of year my baby boy 2 years ago was admitted to hospital because his oxygen sats dropped too low. I’m spilt in 2 because there’s the logical side of me that sees the immense progress he’s made since. A year ago he wasn’t walking or even crawling yet now he’s confident on his feet after learning to walk in July. Then there’s not so logical side of me that remembers every single part of every single day 2 years ago. It’s the loneliest i have ever felt in my entire life. It’s the most terrified I’ve ever been aswell, you hand your baby boy to strangers and you have to entrust them with his life. Longest 5 hours waiting for news in my life. 

I know he lived, I know he’s a healthy little boy etc etc I know all this. That doesn’t detach that it was still the hardest time I’ve been through. It’s not something you ever forget and its boy something you can get over in 2 years. It was a traumatic event and anyone who’s been through any trauma knows you don’t just get over it. Of course in years to come it will get easier and the awful memories and feelings of loneliness with fade. I don’t feel completely down I just remember how hard it was. 

I find it hard to explain to people who haven’t been through it. Sometimes it’s like banging my head again the brick wall it’s pointless and it hurts. I don’t feel as bad as I did a year ago or even beginning of this year. I’m not going to let myself go down that far. I have a few days like this week where I’ve mostly felt crap with good reason. I might feel anxious and emotional this week because it’s a big week for my baby. Thursday his taster session at nursery and Friday is his heart day. The day he had 5 hours of life saving surgery to repair his heart. 

I will celebrate his day and I will as always remain proud of him but I’m also allowing myself to feel however I want to feel. I’m not pressuring myself to feel great if I don’t. I’m taking each day as it comes. I’ve recovered once and I’ll do it again I have little support around me but I have a health visitor and if needed I don’t think she would mind me ringing her. 

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Having someone there

Going through things like mental illness and relapsing it’s been hard, at first I refused to believe I could have depression. For at least 6-7 months I was in denial. My son was born in April 2015 by July I was being told I had post natal depression. I didn’t accept this diagnosis ” I wasn’t depressed” despite the fact I wasn’t eating, wasn’t sleeping, I was crying all the time, when people spoke to me I had no idea I was being spoken to. I was in this daze.

I kept a lot of stuff to myself and spoke to no-one about my sons heart defect. Only those close to me knew. I didn’t want to be seen as an attention seeker. It was private for our family and extremely hard to talk about. In July 2015 my health visitor at the time came to see my son to weigh him as usual. Every week for 3 months I managed to keep my feelings a secret from her. I didn’t talk to her or tell her how I felt. She caught me off guard on this particular day. She’d seen us I was “fine” my little one had gained weight. “No concerns see you next week kind of thing.” After we saw her we saw the community nurse to check his oxygen sats they were all fine again. The previous week I asked her a couple of questions and I broke down in tears. I let my guard down. This particular day in July 2015 was the start of me getting the help I so desperately needed. During the nurses visit the health visitor was in a meeting with the nursery manager as I was at a baby group in a nursery. I’d got chatting to the nurse and once again emotions cake flooding out I wasn’t able to hide them as well anymore. My health visitor came out of her meeting and saw how upset I was so she stayed to talk to me. Already upset I couldn’t convince her I was fine anymore. I opened up and spoke to her told my fears, my feelings and that I wasn’t coping as well as I should be. 

I was referred to home start in my local town, about 2 weeks later someone came to visit me at home. Someone who came to talk to me and listen to me. Everything poured out like emotional verbal diarrhoea. 3 months of worrying and feeling alone and now I had someone to talk to. The relief was immense. Just knowing there was someone I could talk to was amazing I was so relieved. Someone to visit me at home, someone on the end of the phone to talk to. I’ll always be grateful for that. 

Even today when I’ve had an emotional week just having someone to talk to helps no end. I don’t feel so lonely when there’s someone there to listen. We’ve had snee health visitor for coming up to a year almost. Having her come to visit just means so much to me having her to talk to about things. Her telling me it’s normal to feel the way I do because if everything that’s happened with my 2 year old is a lot to go through. She came to visit today and I have no idea why I felt so anxious. I know her, I like her and I trust her. Why would I feel so anxious? It soon passed when she arrived but having it beforehand is so frustrating. As I was talking to her today about my exit interview from home start I got upset. I cried in front of her then felt like an idiot. 

I’m so scared of letting people see me as vulnerable and upset because I see it as weakness, but at the same time I’m tired of trying to act normal and lie to friends about being fine. I told a friend Tuesday I was upset and she was lovely. I told her today I’d been upset and she was lovely and understanding I’ve always felt I had to be normal around her. I don’t know why. But I’m not hiding anymore I can’t keep my feelings locked up anymore. I’m not strong enough anymore. 

I’ve realised it’s not necessarily having these people do something for you it’s just having someone there when you need to talk to someone. 

Summer is over

So I made it through the summer holidays. Do I feel proud of myself? No. No because I shouldn’t be thinking of “surviving” it should be easier to get through summer. It was hard work and I felt so low some days. 

My emotions have been on a high today I had my exit interview with HS. As soon as it started and she told what my first assessment came out very low I broke down in tears. I tried to fight them off and got no where. The more I spoke the more I got emotional remembering how bad things were when I was referred to them. I know I’ve come along way but I can’t stop the remembering. It’s my youngest boys heart Anniversary in like 10 days and the emotions of that are getting to me. I feel totally alone. Low and like I’m drowning. 

I was told I’m good at looking after myself on the outside but I neglect myself on the inside. This is why I wasn’t ready for the support to stop. This person who had known me 2 years just gets me. She understands me and knows what to say when I need someone to talk to. I’m going to miss having that person to talk to. The person who builds me up when I’m feeling low, the person who reminds me how far I’ve come and shares that with the other support worker I had. I’ve come on a journey with HS and although things aren’t exactly where I’d want them to be I stilll have them to thank for how far I have come. 

I’ve been a wreck all day I’ve had no one other then a 2 year old to talk to. I’ve cried pretty much all afternoon and I’m crying now. There’s only so many times I can lie and say I’m fine when inside I’m screaming talk to me, someone be here for me before I give up. 

Another blow

So I said that the charity that was the main support for me had lost funding so they couldn’t keep going with the sessions i was going to. A friend of mine V went to a counselling session for herself today (same one that I am suppose to be starting in a couple of weeks.) she was told that she can’t be seen anymore because she’s also lost her funding. It comes as yet another blow because I’m changing my son’s nursery day specially to fit around this counselling. I was told it would be every week on a Thursday but turns out it would have been every 6 weeks. But it looks like it’s not gong to go ahead anyway. I was relying on that to make me feel better and get better from this relapse. I was relying on to open up old wounds and get rid of old demons still haunting me, but now I can’t. What the hell will I do now? How am I ever going to feel better? And stop letting my past haunt me? How will I ever be able to talk about it.. I can’t go back to S2c because that will feel like a massive failure on my part. I tried other counselling and I couldn’t do it. I’ve fucked up my only chances to get real help.

I now have this genetics appointment through for 29th September at the hospital we always go to so I don’t have to travel too far. But to be honest it’s not the travelling I’m worried about. It’s the blood tests, the questions, the results, the whole fucking process. It’s not like it’s just one appointment. It might be 3 or 4 or whatever. What if there a genetic problem? I mean come on I’ve got one child with autism and one child with a heart defect it’s gotta be somehow my fault. I created them it’s my doing. My body let my kids down. I won’t have any other children now, i can’t put myself that through any of this again. There’s a possibility my youngest as well as having the heart defect could also be autistic. I can’t deal with it. I just try to pretend everything’s ok. My head is a shed.

Having an autistic child is extremely challenging it will make you question on a daily basis what you do wrong to start a meltdown. It’s tiring, it’s frustrating, it’s draining and upsetting when I don’t know how to help him sometimes. I wanna protect him from the world who judge him because he has a sensory disability. He hates hand dryers and we have to use the disabled toilets so he doesn’t hear the hand dryers. We get stared at for using them because people presume having a disability means a physical disability. He gets overwhelmed when its crowded, he gets overwhelmed at birthday parties. It’s a daily struggle so I can’t cope with two of them being autistic. It’s hard enough with one let alone both.

The youngest with his heart defect is seeing him before his operation struggling to finish his bottles because he got breathless quickly. He constantly fed. He still gained weight but he was always feeding. He wasn’t allowed to cry for long periods of time because he turned blue. Then taking him,down to the theatre and kissing him goodbye for what you think maybe the last time. Waiting for news for the longest 5 hours of my life. Seeing him in picu hooked up to machines breathing for him giving his heart a rest. It’s something you never get over. The struggle didn’t end after surgery it’s not like surgery is a cure it’s just fixes his heart his heart will never be normal he will always have tetralogy of fallot. This is why I will never have more children this is burned into me for life. I can’t take the risk of having another child with a heart defect.

Feelings

Some days I don’t really have much to feel in the way of anxiety and depression in this relapse. It’s weird I can go from one night feeling absolutely shockingly shit. I’d be crying, writing over thinking and feeling like I could crawl under a rock and not come out. Then the next day it’s almost as if I didn’t feel that shit, that upset, that bad. Is that normal? Is that how this works or is this what I’ve had to get used to doing and now it just comes naturally that I have to pick myself up and get over it? 

Night times are the worse. I feel stupid because I want to be alone.  I don’t wanna socialise at night once my kids are in bed  but then everything comes pouring out and the tears start to fall and I feel lonely as hell. My husband doesn’t get it he thinks everything can be fixed with a hug. I don’t need outsider support because I have him. I tell him I didn’t sleep well funnily enough neither did he. Even though we don’t share a bed. I co sleep with my 2 year old. I’m happy with my arrangement. I feel like shit guess what he does too. I can’t win whatever I do he has it much worse. 

That outsider support is what I’m missing I need that someone not connected to my family or my personal life to talk to. I need that outsider perspective. Someone who asks me if I’m ok because they are genuinely concerned and wanting to make sure I am. I went to the open door sessions where kids can go and play and have a snack because it was judgement free (most of the time) now more so because there’s more understanding that my 2 year old has tetralogy of fallot and that despite being repaired it’s a life long heart defect. I don’t know what I’m going to do there’s still so much going on I’ve had a mini break from it all a taste of life with hardly any proffesionals involved and now all of a sudden once September gets here it’s all going to start back up again. He’s making great process with speech being the exception so I don’t know why I’m so worried.

Letting myself down

After my last post was so positive I’ve been avoiding my blog. Things were going really well and I honestly thought my troubles were behind me. 

I didn’t realise that anxiety is a bitch and without warning it will creep on you and attack you again. I’ve been feeling bad for a few weeks now. Not as bad as I was but bad enough to notice I’m not feeling right. I can’t get a restful sleep or when I do sleep I’m still knackered. I wake up and anxiety is there in the pit of my stomach. I wish I knew why. I maybe know part of the reason I saw a person from my past twice within days of each sighting. Since then I’ve not been right. The 6 weeks holidays have been hard and pushing me to my limit. I haven’t had a lot of time to myself, I’ve had both boys for 5 weeks and the last two weeks my husband at home too. 

We had 5 days away at my in laws it was nice but it wasn’t a holiday. I missed having my own space and my home comforts. They let my 6 year old get away with murder, they gave him all the attention he craved and then he went off on one when he no longer got it. It was hard work. 

We got home and we had a massive fight once the kids were in bed. Same fight we always has, he thinks I do nothing while he goes out to work etc etc. I was fuming and upset I threw my wedding ring at him and told him I was done. I packed a suitcase full of his clothes told him I wanted him gone. He never tells me anything, I tell him stuff it’s met with eye rolling and disgust. I’m hanging on by a thread. I keep trying and trying to make it work but I don’t know how much longer I can keep going. I’m giving it one last go then I am done permanently. It’s hard feeling the way I do because even though I’m trying to not feel down and anxious I can’t pretend. I am fighting a losing battle everything around me just feels like it’s ready to fall apart and here I am trying to keep it all together. 

I feel like a failure for having everyone tell me how well I’d done and how far I’d come and now to admit to them I’m not doing so well feels like a massive step backwards. Even though there’s been little no appointments I still have a lot going on. I have appointments waiting to be come through, once September gets here portage starts back up, I have to settle my 2 year old into nursery and wait for genetics to send an appointment through. I also have a speech and language review for my 2 year old coming up in the next month and a meeting with all professionals so it’s still a lot to juggle. 

I’m letting everyone around me down while once again I struggle with anxiety and depression. My main source of support from the charity has stopped they have no funding so that it’s my support has ended. The family support worker was going to come with me to genetics appointment because I didn’t want to go alone. She was there when I felt low and needed someone to talk to now I feel completely in my own. While I don’t need as much support as I did I still need that person there. I hide things away from family and close friends because I’m ashamed that it’s getting to me again. I held off my blog, my safety net because I felt like a fraud saying how well I’d done to now feel so shit. There’s so much going on not even I can explain it. I just keep it all to myself. I’m lucky that my youngest has a health visitor still (she’s a new one) been involved since before Christmas and she’s lovely she’s really supportive. I know she’s not gonna be around and able to visit as I need so I don’t know what I’m going to do going forward but I need to do something because I’ll be damned if I’m going any further down than I am now. 

Reading 

Reading back through some of my blog posts at the end of last year I realise how much of a dark place I was in. Reading the things that went through my mind on a daily basis. We’re almost 8 months into this year and already things have dramatically improved for me. 

By the end of April I got my wish of being depression and anxiety free after I got through counselling, I got my eldest son’s autism diagnosis. I re connected with my mum and younger sister. I think once my thought pattern changed, I realised I was never going to change them. If I was never going to change them why bother trying? I made more effort and in turn they did too. They accepted my children are different and made more effort with them too. I see them on a weekly basis now, there’s more communication between us. 

My life has improved no end since April. Hearing the news I had waited 2 years for finally freed me from the weight of feeling so shit. I love how my life is and it’s not perfect it’s still hard work but I don’t hate my life. I don’t think about clothes 3 days in advance. I don’t hold back on what I say anymore afraid of hurting people’s feelings or them not liking me anymore. 

Things are heading in the right direction. I’m starting to understand my children more. My 6 year old with his needs and wants and how he has to do things his way, I’m teaching my youngest son makaton, he’s copying things we do when we teach him. He started walking 3 weeks ago and he’s got such a funny character to him. 

Life is what you make it, you can cry, kick and scream that you haven’t got perfectly healthy “normal” children or you can grab life by the bollox and say I’m doing a bloody good job at raising my children each with their own individual extra needs. Things can only go forward from here. No more looking back. âœŒđŸ»