On the eve of my Wedding, my niece came to stay overnight, it was nice to hear laughter coming from my daughters bedroom, rather than crying or screaming. My husband to be and my son slept at my Mums.
Emily came into my room several times during the night. Her panic about getting through the day was increasing. I hardly slept that night, the same as so many nights before.
In the morning Emily switched between panic and practical. I tried to keep her calm. I did her hair and foundation. I set her little tasks to try and keep her busy. She helped with the smaller bridesmaid and helped me get into my dress. She ran errands from our house to my Mums a few houses away.
I felt that I wasn't ready, I'd just not had chance to do all the things
I wanted to before I left. So much time had gone into other things I'd
felt so rushed. When the taxi had arrived I hadn't even got my dress
We left the house with rows of neighbours lining the street, cameras snapping away. Some of them know about Emily's state of mind, but not all. It was lovely to see them. They laughed as I locked my own front door and tried to fit the key in my little bag.
I had no flowers, I decided to do things differently. Handbags for me and the girls instead. How else would you carry your mobile phone??
Emily managed really well through the ceremony and photo's. Cracks started to appear when seated at the top table. She sat between her new Step Dad and my Mum. Between them they did their best to keep her calm.
As the day wore on, Emily found it more and more difficult. It seemed that the arrival of the evening guests was the catalyst for her rapid deterioration. New faces, the start of loud music in the main room were real problems for her.
It was not long after that she came in sobbing. She'd been barefoot in the garden and had stepped on something sharp. Blood now covered her shoe and the hem of her ivory dress. I was the Bride, expected to mingle with my guests, but I had to be a Mum and that was more important. I cleaned her foot, but I couldn't stop her crying. It had been the final straw, she sobbed that she wanted to go home. I was close to sobbing too.
My evening guests were still arriving, for me, going home wasn't an option, we hadn't even done our first dance yet. I think my wedding day came to an end around then. It was still early, but I'd had enough. It wasn't her fault, but it's hard to go back to 'having fun' when you know how much your daughter is hurting.
My Mum and Dad were taking the kids home at the end of the night. I had 2 nights in a local hotel as my honeymoon and I felt guilty about it.
Mum took over with Emily. She desperately wanted to see our first dance and worked on keeping Emily calm enough to last until then. My Brother in law offered to run them home as soon as our dance was over and that seemed to help.
I was so immensely grateful to all my family that night, they did all they could to keep things moving as smoothly as possible.
We did our first dance and we enjoyed it, but after, I had nothing left in me. I moved around the tables trying to make sure I'd spoken to everyone, asking the same questions, smiling the same weary smile and barely hearing the replies. I tried to dance to the music but I was tired and I'd hardly eaten.
The clock seemed to slow down, but gradually we approached 11pm, our time to finally depart.
Later, alone in our room, I lay my head on the chest of my new husband and I sobbed. He could have thought I was regretting our marriage, but he knew this wasn't the reason.
He told me to let it all out as he held me tight and that's exactly what I did.
- Mum of 2, suffering my own mental health issues, I began to write this blog as a way to release feelings and emotions. At 13 my daughter was terribly bullied which has led to her having serious mental health problems of her own. She is now 16. I wanted to document our journey and hopefully be able to look back and see how far we have come.