I’ve been thinking about writing a blog surrounding my own mental health for a while, but I’ve been suffering too much to be able to articulate it. It’s something I’ve always been ashamed of, and that most people would have no clue about. But I don’t want to be ashamed anymore. I want to be open with this, like I am with other aspects of my life.
I am NOT an attention seeker, which people get labelled left, right and centre for openly talking about their mental health. If I was an attention seeker, I’d be wanting some kind of attention from this post? Well, that’s not why I’m writing it. I’m writing it because if I’ve had these issues for years which probably 98% of people that know me, do not know about. How many other people are suffering and not talking about their own issues? We are not bad people because we have mental health issues. We should be able to talk about it. Fuck if it makes other people uncomfortable, or angry. If you’re uncomfortable, or angry, maybe you should question why? Maybe you have your own underlying issues which need confronting.
Just recently I’ve been exploring why I am the way I am. I’ve never really questioned what makes me, me! But the last few weeks, after going through the hardest break up I’ve ever been through, I’ve been questioning why, since a young age, I rely and almost depend on partners and in some cases, friends.
I have got better being independent over the years, but I notice it creeps back in every so often. So I wanted to learn why. Learn what triggers this and try to resolve it.
I always knew I struggled to deal with the fact that my Dad up and left when I was a toddler. But you almost tell yourself to get over it, and remind yourself that other people go through this, and in a lot of instances way worse. So you put yourself down for having this hang up, when I know now. It’s not my fault and I shouldn’t feel bad for feeling it.
I’m allowed to be sad about it, I’m allowed to be angry about it. I suffered a huge childhood trauma, which can of course impact mental health. Questions over my head my entire life like “Why did he leave me? Why wasn’t I good enough? Why was I not important enough to have you in my life? Why didn’t you want to be my Dad? Especially after being there for 2/3 years of it?”
I always felt that him being there, then leaving, was worse than him never being there at all. Which I now know, would lead to me not being angry at my First born Dylan’s, biological father, for deciding just not to be there. So long as he didn’t come and go like my father, how could I be mad for him making an honest decision? And not just doing something because he felt like he should, rather than because he actually wanted to. I am still friends with him, and people think I’m crazy.
Friends say things like “He walked out on you when you were pregnant” – No, he didn’t. We weren’t together. “He doesn’t care about your child and you’re ok with that?” – The way I’ve begun to look at this is, I’ve ended relationships because I’ve fallen out of love. Am I a bad person for doing that? I don’t think so. So is he a bad person because he couldn’t feel an emotional connection? Probably due to his own past? No. I don’t think he is. I think it would have been a lot worse if he tried to be a father without an emotional connection, a child would feel that and surely that would hurt more. Like it did with me.
With him I had known him for years before I started sleeping with him. I had for some reason attached myself to him for a year, after I broke up with my ex. Something I again think, reflects back to my childhood trauma. I’m not sure why him, I question now whether it was because I was head over heels in love, like I’ve always thought, or if it was more of an attachment thing.
For years and years I’ve always been anxious about people leaving. Even at parties, if someone leaves, I have a moment of panic. And this is all because I’ve been unknowingly suffering from abandonment and attachment disorders. Here is a one of the many small pieces I’ve read on various websites;
“Signs abandonment may be affecting a relationship include:
People who were abandoned as children may also seek partners that treat them in a similar way. This can lead to a cycle of abandonment. A cycle like that may be difficult to get out of.”
So is this why I clung to him? And others along the way? I was following a pattern? And I would follow this in my other relationships.
I would let people lie to me, treat me poorly, and I treated them badly too! I’m not an angel, I was untrusting, angry and insecure. But I would rarely leave a situation like that. I thought it was because I loved them, But now, I think it’s more to do with confusing attachment for love.
I’ve been reading and trying to understand it more, and I will go to therapy for it one day. I just haven’t quite got the funds for it yet.
The reason I’ve started learning about it now is because I want to change certain feelings and behaviours. I don’t want to attach myself to someone else, and repeat this same pattern. Ultimately I want, what most people want out of life. I want a loving, honest relationship.
I have my 2 beautiful children, and it is for them that I live and breathe. They are my world. But they go to bed at 19.00 every night, and then it’s just me. And one day they will grow up and fly the nest, and again I’ll be left with just me.
I’m only 3 months single, and whilst I’m not saying I want to meet someone else to be with right now, I do want that one day, and the only way I’m going to have a healthy relationship is to fix these issues now.
I have started dating again, not to meet the one, necessarily. But because why not? My children go to their dads and I have spare time, so why not? And now is when the same old cycle could set in. But I am trying with every ounce of me to break that cycle.
I have learnt after initially feeling like I was literally going to die, when my recent relationship ended, that I’m ok. I felt like I needed him, my life would be worthless without him, but I know now, whilst it’s ok to look back and miss and wish for the happy times again. I don’t need him. I’m ok.
My own company is ok, and I enjoy it at times. I would say I’m half way between the depression I’ve been dealing with on and off my whole life, and being ok again. Which I’ve also had bouts of. I’ve had a year or 2 of happiness before it sets back in again. And I feel I’m heading that way again. I have started getting out more, but I still have days when the kids are gone that I just don’t even want to get out of bed. But they are becoming less. And that’s the main thing, right now.
I have learnt to start being more open and honest with my friends. I used to tell them, “everything”. Everything being that it was only really the stuff that I was comfortable with them knowing. I never left stuff out that made me look bad, that I didn’t care about. But I left stuff out that hurt me, like breakdowns in family relationships. The bit about being so hurt about my Dad leaving, for all those years. The fact that I had been suffering with depression, for years, and I didn’t tell them when last year, depression hit full force. It took me a long time to admit that to them. Only 2 of my friends were told the day my recent ex ended things. It took me a further 2-3 weeks to tell my other closest friends.
I think I left the bits that made me feel the absolute most vulnerable and weak, and almost ashamed of .. even though I shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t be ashamed of my mental health, or being dumped, for example. But I was.
I don’t really know how to close this off, I’m now just rambling about my feelings and thoughts.
But I just wanted to share something that I wouldn’t usually share. I wanted to tell everyone that decides to read this, that we are all human. We are all going through our own struggles, some life long, some recent, some may be big and some may be small. But it doesn’t make them any less important.
Understanding is so important, speak to your doctor, search online about certain feelings you are having, like I have done. Speak to your friends / family. Even a therapist, if you can afford one. Rather than sitting back and dealing with what feels like the world on your shoulders.
I have a LONG way to go but just seeing that there is actually reason for my behaviours and feelings over the years. That they all stemmed from something that happened as a child, I feel more comfortable. And feel like eventually it’s something that I will be able to now confront, and move on from, in a healthy way!