Anxiety

A friend of mine

The worst enemy

An eye opener

A haunting nightmare

A heart breaker

An empathetic friend who reminds me of the core value of our distorted world

A disabling partner for life

It seems to be the worst curse to carry around yet I feel blessed to be a part of it. I have mastered cohabiting with anxiety.

I’ve made a tiny room in my soul for anxiety so it doesn’t feel rejected, and it doesn’t rebel to be heard or be understood because I know it so well.

I know it same as I know the darkest side of my unique and rebelious INNER CHILD.

Initial Thoughts

It’s been almost two weeks since our baby girl was born.

It’s been a challenge to gather thoughts and categorise them.

It’s been a turbulent ride of feelings and emotions.

It’s also been a wonderful time of a unique life transformation.

It’s been, it’s been… a journey of a lifetime.

Second of all, I want to say that nobody talks about postpartum mental and physical recovery of both parents. When you are pregnant you are bombarded with information about antenatal care, you are given basic info about postantal care but nobody really goes into details. Postanatal recovery is an individual process of bonding, healing ( mentally & physically) and accepting the new reality for both parents. After few first days with my newborn the reality of having a third person in the household ( apart from our demanding feline kids) has struck me hard. I’ve realised that this little person is with us and we are responsible for her. I quitely said goodbye to undisturbed days & nights. I was instantly flooded by waves of anxiety. I questioned myself how I was going to adjust to motherhood without treating my daughter like a third wheel. I simply let those intrusive thoughts go, I took small steps trying to be present in the current moment. After almost two weeks of being a parent I have accepted my daughter as a new member of our little family. I love her so much and I admire her every single time I hold her.

My partner has been amazing, he is a pro when it comes looking after our daughter. I know that he is going to have a unique bond with her and that’s what I’ve always wanted. He suffers with chronic migraines. He pulls through them like a warrior to be present for both of us. He looks after our child and offers me his support during my hormonal breakdowns ( they’ve gotten better, my hormones have started to settle- finally).

I still tear up ( I don’t think I will ever stop) when I think about first moments when I saw and held our little jumping bean. I also reminisce about my partner’s first moments with our daughter- seeing them both together having a skin to skin contact, him smiling & being the proudest father in the whole wide world and her just cuddling up to him and looking into his eyes filled me with pure joy and contentment. She is our miracle whom we love and adore. We intend to raise her as a descent human being.

This post is really made of many scattered thoughts which are still being categorised and grouped in to a descent order. I just wanted to share my initial thoughts with you of this amazing rollercoaster parenthood ride.

Toxic Family and Pregnancy

Where do I even begin?

How would you feel if your own mother didn’t respect you during pregnancy and was constantly jealous of your life? How would you feel if she made you feel guilty about ‘a better life’ ( according to her) because your brother is currently incarcerated for his own mistakes? How would you remain peaceful if she made you feel bad of the fact that other people were going to be involved more in looking after your baby daughter?

What if your therapist has opened your eyes by showing you that in fact you don’t have to entangle yourself in hours of meaningless, toxic and emotional conversation with your mother. They told you that she is an adult and it only depends on you if you allow her to mentally disturb you. If you contemplate on it you’ll assume that they are absolutely right. But there is one problem…

She is your mother. You have always felt a sense if responsibility for her. On the top of that you are aware that she acts in a certain way without even realising it. You always justify her behaviour by stating that it doesn’t fall into category of malicious intentions. At the same time, you feel mentally distorted and drained after staying in touch with her. It leaves you feeling shaky and it’s only because you defend your point of view. When you question her about what she’s said to you she always has an explanation for it trying very hard to prove you wrong and then endlessly telling you that she loves you so much. In fact, she didn’t love you that much nor let you know about it when your brother was around and you were used as ‘ a mental punching bag’ for her anxieties, frustration and fears.

How many times did she ask you if you were normal?

How many times did she tell you that if she died on a heart attack because of pain in her chest ( due to a panic attack and anxiety) it would be solely your fault? She even proceeded to telling you that you would live with the guilt. You were 13 years old.

How many times was she there for you when you started skipping school and self harming due to bullying at school?

How many times did she start an argument with you because she was in the mood for it and she knew you wouldn’t hold it back and then she acted offended for days?

How many times did she use you as a listener when she was upset with your father or her own family?

How many times did she treat your brother better to the point of other people around you ( your grandmother, your father, your uncle, your friend and even your neigbours) openly talking about it stating that it wasn’t right? When you confronted her about it she obviously didn’t see any problem in it. She told you that she treated you and your brother equally and that your brother agreed with her all the time and that’s the difference between you and him.

How many times has your mother tried to perseude you to act like nothing has ever happened? How many times has she tried to act as a perfect family? How many times has she tried to force money and gifts on you as a sign of love?

The list could go on and on and I’m not claiming that you were an angel but you were a child and then a young person who needed a mother not a mentally unstable person who put their problems and pressure on you. Your tendency to speak up out loud for yourself was a blessing in disguise because even though it had caused lots of tears and fractions it had also helped you to stay sane.

You just can’t break the cycle between you and your mother. You’ve have attempted to cut her out of your life at least three times, she apologised and things were better for a short period of time. Before your brother got himself into trouble and was sentenced to few years in prison conversations between you and your mother revolved around him of how great he was doing. I would say 70% of interaction consisted of an update regarding your brother. You were sick of it but ignored it as much as you could.

Things had been ‘normal’ for some time because you’d keep distance from your mother but you are pregnant now. You are more vulnerable, your mother has sensed it and has been preying on your emotional weakness by doing everything to make you feel guilty of not involving her more.

How can you involve her more!? You have been talking to her, updating her about the baby’s development and you have invited her to meet the newborn. She has sent gifts for the baby. She doesn’t have the financial means but you have allowed it because you thought that it would make her feel better. Then she had an idea, an idea of being your birth partner. You tried to delicately explain her that it’s a very intimate moment and your fiancé is your birth partner. You explained to her that it’s a very special time for you both as first time parents and that you would like her to respect it.

This moment has triggered an avelanche of negative behaviour from her side. First, she made you listened of how ignorant and uncaring your father was towards her. Next, how her own mother didn’t support her. When you wanted to share an experience regarding antenatal class with her she started acting jealous towards your partner stating that she never had what you have and that she had been through hell with your father and that she should have left him. The final straw was drawn when she asked you about a job. You told her your current situations and added that your partner’s mother was going to look after your child for two days a week when you return to work. She just couldn’t help herself but made few sneaky comments to awake that guilty feeling insude you that derives from the fact that she is not the one who is going to do it. Your parents live far away.

After all this, you broke in half and snapped. You had tried to be nice, calm and composed but your snapped in the end. You told her that she had no rights to act as a perfect mother or to have any demands towards you. You stated that the anxiety and panic attacks are caused by your distorted childhood and you are tired of constant battles with her. You were opened about the fact that conversations with her leave you drained and sad.

Last night you’ve given her an ultimatum that unless she starts acting neutral and calm towards you without pressuring you to do things she wants, she will be cut out of your life again because you can’t carry on like this anymore. You haven’t received any response from her.

This post may help others who have a distorted relationship with their loved ones. It’s very easy to give an advice such as: don’t be a victim, don’t let them mentally upset you, draw the boundaries or keep your distance. When it comes to family it’s difficult because feelings and emotions are involved. The dynamics are different in a family environment. They are complex and unfortunately those who are manipulative prey on feelings of their victims. Those who are affected need to do everything in their power to protect themselves and their own family from a bad influence of toxic people who are present in their life. I wish I had a golden advice but I don’t. I struggle very hard and I try to put my head around all of this.

Fear of Motherhood

Congratulations if you are pregnant.

If you are trying to conceive- Good Luck.

If you are thinking to conceive but are flooded with fear and doubts my advice to you is: go for it, there is never a perfect time or an opportunity to have a child. Life is full of hurdles so if you really want fo bring a new life into this twisted but wonderful world just do it.

Life without a child as a couple is very convenient. You are solely responsible for yourselves, indulging in existence is joyful and planning expenses is much easier because you don’t bear the burden of making sure that a tiny human being who is not capable of sustaining their basic needs entirely relies on your physical, mental and financial support. I’m going to be brutally honest with you, as a mum to be, I’m terrified of that whole new sense of a responsibility. My partner feels the same. We are both excited about our new arrival, we can’t wait to meet our baby girl but at the same time we are both petrified. Hence we take everyday as it goes without assuming things or rushing into despair or fortune telling which is not an easy thing to do. For instance, I’m on maternity leave and have begun to sort my my baby’s room, I know people who thrill while doing it but I could compare the whole experience to walking barefoot on the shattered glass which has been maliciously scattered on the floor just for me haha. I know, I sound very dramatic but going into my daughter’s room is a reminder of the unknown and I associate this unknown with struggle, pain and fear. Let me explain why.

I have dealt with anxiety atleast 80% of my life and I’m already 30 years old woman. My mind is like a library. Every situation and every thought is carefully categorised and placed on the shelf. The biggest collection of ‘books’ reside on the shelf which is labelled ‘fear’. I could almost compare that shelf to Purgatory ( which is a place where Roman Catholics believe the spirits of dead people are sent to suffer for their sins) where new occurances in my life are initially placed before being adequately categorised. Sometimes I despise myself for it because if I’m being rational the fear doesn’t occur to me as much. I use the fear as a coping mechanism which suppose to protect me from unpleasant experiences. It’s obvious that this self- invented self- security system fails most of the time making my mind overwork itself. So after years of sending new experiences to Purgatory I decided to change it. Don’t take me wrong, I haven’t gotten rid of mighty selection of ‘Anna’s fears’ because it works like a filter for me. It’s a bit like OCD, I analyse my thoughts preparing for ‘the plan a and b’ but then I simply face my fears. If I didn’t face them I wouldn’t go in my baby’s room and I wouldn’t start sorting it out. I would stay the heck away from it hoping for the best ( solely relying on my partner’s help). I take one step at the time while dealing with it. For example, yesterday, I washed baby’s clothes and today I will take care of the nursery equipment and accessories. That’s my plan of action. Again, I would love to say that doing it is a pleasant experience but it’s not. The only positive idea which I’m able to think of is a sense of pride and achievement after I finish working on tasks which I have set myself to complete. I know that I will feel the same after finishing my baby girl’s room or her arrival. Afterwards, I will move the book of I’m terrified of becoming a mother’ to a shelf labelled ‘life’.

Depression has a face

Depression has a face

A face you cannot see

You are cloaked from the world

Cuddled by darkness

Sleeping with your thoughts

Past and present

Intoxicate

Attractive thinking?

A way out

Tempting

People who should be there

Hide with someone else

Depression has a face

It is behind the smile

Do you not see?

I Can’t Fix Me

I have a problem I cannot fix

We cannot seem to move forward

Only backwards

To memories I wish were gone

And say goodbye

Good-bye

To the problems, I have no answers

To the problems I cannot fix

To the problems I cannot see

Say Goodbye

Goodbye

Say goodbye

Goodbye

To the problems, I have no answers

To the problems I cannot fix

To the problems I cannot see

Say goodbye

Goodbye

I have a problem I cannot fix

And all I see

Is myself

The Invisible Wall of Harm

I am just a creature

Who can’t keep his head off the pillow

Finding comfort

From the sweat and tears of long nights

Holding on to memories

Of which were long ago

Where fear always grows

But when covered in a warm white snow

Makes no misery

Makes no fear

Makes no sense

To those who never found harm

From walking out your front door

From going to town

From talking to another one

The harm that does not exist

But feels so real

That this snow and ice

Is protection

Until it melts

And I am ready to show the world

I am a creature

I am not a man

And I hide amongst the human race