Just so you know.
edit: Thank you for your overwhelmingly lovely comments. Apologies for the cynical introduction. Rubbish mood and was dreading writing this post as anticipated abuse.
I believe that the private life should be private. There are things I will not discuss here, and that’s the way I like it. There’s a lot of reasons why; just that some things are personal, sometimes I worry about other people’s reactions, and so on. I used to be much more open and write about everything, but as I’ve become older and more independant, I’m more selective.
Sometimes I wonder if I have prostituted pain for the sake of this blog. That I have shared too much of myself. It’s a cynical view but there is an undeniably voyeuristic element to mental health blogging. When someone is disintegrating, we check back often; in part to see if they’re okay, and in part to see if they’re not. It is human.
I’ve been writing this blog for over two years, and you probably understand some things about me, and have a grasp on what sort of person I am. But it is still, in part, a story. As all lives are. People will dip in and out of here in a way that they couldn’t if they existed in my real life. It can become fiction. So it can cheapen experience, because it is only really real to me. So I hesitate in sharing some things, because I don’t want it to be just a thing.
I’ve been alluding to things not being great over here, and I haven’t wanted to discuss them. Not in real life and particularly not on this blog. I haven’t known how to talk about it, and have felt that if I did, it cheapen my feelings on it, and I have not wanted to invite comment or judgement. Most people know now, when it was happening, a few people knew and I have had their support and love. I haven’t felt like answering the phone much but my sisters especially have been with me through it all.
But I feel that if I don’t talk about it here, I will never be able to write in this blog again, and that I will never be able to be honest with you again. I don’t want to pretend that nothing has happened, because something has happened and it’s not a little thing that will slip for me and leave me blissfully unaffected. And it is relevant.
For the past month I have been suffering from bone-snapping exhaustion that has left me borderline functioning. And there were other things, and I wasn’t sick and it was the obvious cause all along.
I was pregnant. And I’m not anymore.
I had a termination at six weeks. It was the hardest and most heartbreaking decision I have ever had to make in my entire life, and I am not okay.
I have always wanted to be a mother. I had a miscarriage two years ago. It was very early, before I even know I was pregnant, but it made me think about motherhood. I have PCOS, which makes it difficult to conceive, but losing a large amount of weight seems to have almost banished the symptoms. I can’t adopt.
I thought that when it happened, I’d be happy, and I’d know that I could cope and that somehow everything would be okay. I even thought that if it happened now, while I’m twenty three, it would be okay. That I would have this gut instinct that told me it would be okay.
I have apologised every single day. I’m so sorry because it won’t be okay. It would never be okay. And I can’t do it and I’m sorry that I can’t do it.
From the beginning of my treatment, I have been warned against becoming pregnant. It is so very dangerous for women with psychotic illnesses. The six weeks of my pregnancy gave me a tiny glimpse into the possibilities, the thing I had feared so much. That I would become seriously ill. And that I might hurt myself or my child. The hormones affected my moods so badly. I came closer to self harm than I have done in over a year. I wanted to kill myself. I fantasised about hanging myself. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to see anybody. I cried and everything set me off, I screamed and raged. I started to drink.
And already within six weeks my body started changing. I have put on half a stone and my legs began to swell up. I found it utterly traumatising because it was all for nothing. And I found it traumatising because I have BDD and it terrified me to watch my stomach and breasts grow when I couldn’t do anything about it and when there was no reason.
I am not well enough to have a child, or to raise one. I’m a rational person but when I am very ill, I am not rational. My stability is being held together with scotch tape at the moment. I could not bring a child into this world when it might not even have a mother, and when I might hurt it. My granny hurt my mum. My mum hurt my sister. The gamble that I would kill myself or hurt my child was too huge to take, as was the certainty of my inability to even provide for it. I’m twenty three and on benefits. I live in a small one bedroomed flat and none of that is going to change anytime soon. I cannot gamble with a life. And I am not ready, in any shape or form.
And Rob knew it too. As did everybody close to me. And it broke our fucking hearts.
I have never felt more of a failure in my life. Around the same time this happened, my housing benefit was stopped. So on the day I had to take the first pill, I dragged myself to the benefits office to sort it out (and it still isn’t). I wanted to throw myself in traffic because of the acute failure I felt. I have a risk assessment that deems me a risk to others. I am covered in scars and there are people who think I’m insane. I am not insane, not crazy, not mad, but not able to have a child.
I want to one day. We both want to one day. I want the day to come where I can do it, where I have the deep, abiding instinctual certainty that I would be a wonderful mother. The certainty, and the instinct, was not there. And I was too afraid to even talk about being pregnant because I didn’t want to begin to get excited over something I knew I couldn’t do. So I didn’t. I cancelled all my CPN appointments and shut myself away and just dealt with what I had to do. And it was harder because we’ve been together for four years and have talked about having children. This wasn’t just a whoops slip up with a one night stand. We wanted to be happy that I was pregnant instead of knowing that if we had a child right now we’d ruin our lives and theirs.
I’m Catholic and I know all the pro-life perspectives on abortion. It’s one of the reasons I have found this so hard. I’m an atheist but that morality has never left me. I had the medical abortion (the pill, which was so painful I nearly went into shock. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t scream, I just wanted help and for it to stop) because it felt more natural. This is not what I wanted in my life. I could have been selfish and had the baby and risked it. But I knew and Rob knew and the CPN knew that the risk was too great. And I would never be able to give up a child for adoption.
People who want to judge me, just don’t bother because you have no idea what I’m going through. I did not make this decision lightly. It ripped me apart to make it and both Rob and I have been crying. It was only six weeks but it was still something. But you tell me how I bring a child into the world that I can’t afford to feed and clothe, with a pregnancy that might kill me, with an illness I have to cope with for the rest of my life, with medications I wouldn’t be able to take, with the very real risk that I would hurt the child. Tell me how I would do that. Just hope and wish it would work out? It wouldn’t. And what an enormous gamble to even make. If I fuck up and die, then that’s my life, and everyone around me will be devastated but they will cope and be able to continue their lives. But I cannot do that to a child that I bought into this world. And it isn’t fair because I wish it was different.
I have been crying and raging for the past couple of weeks. If I sound angry, it’s because I am, in part at myself, and in part because I know that writing here is going to illicit some judgemental responses and that it’s a dream for those out there who hate me and like to tell me so. But these past few weeks have been absolutely awful.
So that’s what’s been going on. Pretty much everyone knows about it now. I have been logical and reasonable and am just trying to get through it, I am absolutely sure it was the right decision but it doesn’t mean that I am not devastated that I had to make that decision in the first place. The only saving grace is that it has bought me and Rob closer together but I have no idea how I’m going to feel when this is physically over, hopefully I’ll be okay. I don’t know how I’ll feel in the long run. At the moment I’m just very sad. I do know it was the right thing to do. I don’t want to pretend that this hasn’t happened because it did. And I don’t want to pretend that it was a little thing for me, because it wasn’t.
Filed under: Bipolar Disorder