About Me

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.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Tired and unhappy

I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror this evening.  The sallow skin, dark circles around the eyes, the down turned mouth, but worst of all were my eyes themselves. They are so full of sadness or maybe, dare I say it, hopelessness.  The two things that give me some respite are also the things that will be my undoing.  Food and alcohol.  My weight is increasing at an alarming rate and I can not spend an evening without a drink.  I am ashamed of myself, ashamed of what I have become.

Every time we have a set back, I ask myself how much longer I can carry on.  I even found my inner voice recently saying, 'get through Christmas and then you can go'. But I can't go, there are too many people who would be left behind and they would be hurting.  My Husband, my Son, my Mum and Dad, maybe even my Daughter, but at the moment I think she is so lost in herself, she wouldn't notice.

From days of seeing the old Emily starting to emerge, the slope has been very slippery indeed.  She has started to self harm again and she claims to have tried to hang herself in her bedroom last weekend. I say claims, because whilst she gave me a detailed account of her actions (while her grandparents were visiting) I heard no noises and there were no marks on her neck.  I hate myself for thinking she is lying, but I can not see that she is telling the truth.

Once again I find myself feeling like there is an alien in my house.  This is not my daughter. 

Today she finally had a first visit back to mainstream school.  She went with someone from the Unit and as it was a teacher training day, there were no children in school. The idea was a relaxed first visit to speak to the adults who would support her transition.

When I collected her this evening for her regular 'Wednesday night at home'  I was looking forward to hearing how school had gone.  I asked the question in the car.  I was told she had 'freaked out' and 'had to be taken back to the unit'.  I asked what could freak her out about a school with no children? Emily could not say.  I asked her, "So what happens next?"  Emily said she would try again and if she freaked out again that would be it, she wouldn't be going back to the school.

Whatever was left of my sanity now left me.  I couldn't stop myself from shouting out how she damn well would be going back, it was a fantastic school and I had fought to get her into it.  What on earth did she think were the alternatives??

When we arrived home, she went into the back room on her own, with Dvd's on the TV and her laptop for company.  I spent a couple of hours in my bedroom.  I noticed that my husband looked tired and unhappy and all I wanted to do was have a drink. To blot out the crap.

Emily and I have not really spoken since.  She asked for, and received, a hug before going to bed and said goodnight, but that is it.  I have nothing left to give.  Every bit of strength I had has left me. 

I am so tired and so unhappy.  I want to run away and leave all this behind, but there is a little boy who still loves me.  And yes, I know its likely my girl still loves me too, but right now, right at this very moment, it is incredibly difficult to love her back.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Phoenix rising?

We did talk that evening.  I was able to set aside all the childish parts of me that wanted to stamp their feet.  I talked to Emily about how our relationship had changed and that I was sorry if I didn't always understand or do the right thing.  We cleared the air and it was worth it.  That would be my one piece of advice to anyone with teenagers,  talk to them and make sure you listen.  You don't always have to have the answers.

Since that weekend there has been a noticeable change in Emily.  She had side effects with Fluoxetine (prozac) and is now taking something different.  I'm not sure if its the new medication or the work the unit do with her, or in fact a combination, but there has been an improvement.

After weeks of having cut off her father, she called him and arranged to go to a community bonfire.  I had mixed emotions.  Part of me was pleased that she had the confidence to venture out.  The other part of me was resentful.  Why did she not agree to go out with me?  How come he was forgiven all of a sudden. Once again, I set my feelings aside.

On the Sunday we managed a family outing to a local park and small animal centre. Not much, but it was nice to be out as a family. My Son is so desperate to do something at weekends that even these small outings placate him.

This last weekend Emily was so animated.  Laughing one moment and a stroppy teenager the next.  I didn't mind the stroppy teenager.  After all that's just normal.  When we talked she told me she was no longer interested in hurting herself and she was looking forward to Christmas.  We went shopping together and she enjoyed looking for presents for people.

She is unfortunate to suffer from very greasy hair which, as she has got older, has changed from a lovely blonde to a dark mousey colour.  I offered to add some highlights.  Emily decided on a full head of blonde.  The transformation was instant and I don't mean the colour.  Her head was held higher and she actually admired herself in the mirror.

The following day she wore make-up, the first time since my wedding day.  With the hair and the make-up came a confidence that had lain dormant for too long.

Was it really possible the phoenix was rising?

Friday, 9 November 2012

Time to talk

When I went to visit Emily on Tuesday last week, she was disinterested and standoffish.  I can't say that I behaved much better.  She couldn't wait for us to go and, I too, took no pleasure in being there.

Due to work commitments, our family therapy session had been cancelled, but the therapist was still on the unit at visiting time.  One word I will use about the staff is commitment.  It was 8pm and I knew she'd been there from around 9.30am..

After our meeting with Emily, our Family Therapist asked how our meeting had gone, she could sense from my response that it could have been better.  Taking my husband and I into an office she asked more questions.  She then shared with us some comments Emily had made in individual therapy the day before.  She had said that we did not always feed her properly and that she didn't always have clean clothes.

My first reaction was anger.  The Therapist made it clear that no one on the unit believed what Emily had said.  They could all see that she was well fed and clean and tidy.  That didn't stop my anger, but by the end of the meeting it had turned to sadness.  I had always prided myself on the relationship I had with my daughter.  We could talk openly about anything and even more important, we were both truthful and honest. This no longer applied and it was this that hurt the most.  I was not used to a daughter who lied and could not be trusted.

Even so I sent her a message by text on the Wednesday, Halloween, to say I hope she enjoyed her party.  I received no response.

A nurse called me at work on Thursday.  Emily was coming home that day, being picked up by my parents at 4pm.  The nurse explained that Emily was upset that I didn't believe her when she said things and that I didn't listen. The nurse was kind and accepted that I was in a difficult position.  I drove home arguing with myself.  I wanted to be childish, ignore her, be nasty, shout at her.  I came to the conclusion that that was what she was after.  That would give her a reason to feel persecuted and unloved and she was neither. The battle in my head continued with a voice saying over and over 'you are the adult she is the child'.  By the time I arrived home I was ready to talk.