Party Pressure

The bad scenario happened.
Well, almost.
As of late Thursday night, no one was coming to L’s first birthday party. All bar one of my best friends and her 3 year old who were coming early to help set up and have a catch up. I informed her no one was coming so was going to call off the party to save myself the sheer humiliation of it all, but we’d have a day of it instead.
I stared at the £60 odd worth of party food, the cake my mum spent hours making and had a bit of a cry.
I went to bed, and woke up feeling even worse than the night before.
Then, by some small miracle, two of the girls who I didn’t think were originally attending said they would make it, just a little late, and my sister’s mother in law said she would bring her four youngest as well. Elated, I informed my other friend of the new plan.
11:30 came, and went. 12 o’clock. 1 o’clock. 1:30. Still no friend. I messaged her, no response although I could see she was online.
The party was brilliant, the kids played nicely and the food got eaten.
6 o’clock came and everyone went home, still absolutely no word from this “friend”.
L’s dad was staying the night, I suppose the first step on working towards him being able to have her on his own eventually, so I cleaned up and got ready for bed. As I sat in silence in the semi-darkness, L all tucked up in bed and I was feeling rather exhausted I ascertained I was actually deeply hurt by this “friend’s” actions.
For some background,I had let her stay with me for a week a month or so back, which put me in hot water with L’s old social worker (who we had due to my previous housing situation). I wasn’t allowed anyone to stay at my house more than 3 nights a week, a rule I broke on several occasions. But this friend also had dealings with social for her child, for very different reasons. L’s social worker calls to check in on us occasionally and I let slip that this friend was staying with us, and she reminded me I could get in trouble with my landlord and it could cause a domino affect of issues. I let her stay on other occasions and let her keep all her things here. I also facilitated her contact with her son, and took them out a couple of times.

So for her to not turn up at L’s party, well, it stung. Especially as I had made dairy free food options for her son, who’s lactose intolerant.

I expressed my hurt at her actions and I was rewarded with probably the nastiest thing anyone has said about me to date. And to make it worse, she had published this on her public Facebook for everyone to see- on L’s birthday.

I was in bits. Which of course looks great in front of L’s father, when we already have an awkward co-parenting relationship.

As if the public humiliation wasn’t bad enough, L’s godmother didn’t stick up for me, instead went and picked her up in her car and spent the day with her.

The Legoland tickets I had got for us all as a Mother’s Day gift for this friend sit on my windowsill, a bitter reminder as to why you shouldn’t go above and beyond for people who you know care about no one but themselves.
Of course L won’t remember any of this and had no idea what was occurring, but it’s left a very bitter taste in my mouth.

Her birthday was lovely, we visited the small community farm and the park and had lunch, and she got to spend the day with her father, and mothers day we spent with L’s grandmother (her father’s mother) and step-grandfather.

But the entire weekend had just been ruined by the selfish and nasty actions of someone I was stupid enough to call my friend. Reeling from how nasty someone could be to and about me and my child, I cut more and more people out of my life. It’s hard to tell what’s actually a bad situation and what’s just my head twisting things out of proportion at times, but this was just blatant hatefulness.

Not sure I’ll even be bothering with a party next year, that’s for sure.

Coping With Losses

On the 12th of November 2016, I miscarried my baby at around 5 or six weeks. I wasn’t even sure how to feel about it. My boyfriend had a breakdown when I told him I was pregnant, and harassed me about getting a termination. Im not sure if the stress of that contributed in anyway to my loss. I guess you always look for things to blame, anything to distract you from the feeling that it’s all your fault, your body couldn’t keep your baby safe.

I had my little girl earlier in March of that year, to a man who wanted nothing to do with her and had made no effort to contact me since finding out I was pregnant.

Not only had I had the misfortune of being abandoned by one child’s father, it was happening again with someone else, someone I loved and trusted. I felt lost, alone and scared. My boyfriend was happy that our baby had died. I mourned in silence, on my own. On Christmas Day he sent me a Facebook message in a group chat with all our friends, and made a joke about the miscarriage. My friends laughed. We broke up.

No one wants to talk about it. It’s as if my baby never existed. For a short while after, I still received pregnancy update emails from baby websites. Whilst they physically hurt me to read and open, I couldn’t bear to unsubscribe. When telling a friend that it hurt to see how big the baby would be now she coldly just told me to not look at them, happy in her own pregnancy, my pain suddenly wasn’t important to her. My misery was only affecting her elation. No one offered me any comfort. I didn’t tell my mum or dad. I was worried they’d be ashamed of me. My daughter wasn’t even nine months old and I had been pregnant again.

And here I was, mourning a child no one cared had existed, becoming bitter about all the friends around me falling pregnant. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss. Why had mine? I tried to be happy for my friends pregnancy announcements, but inside I was festering a deep hatred for them. I wasn’t happy. Not one bit.
And that made me feel worse… what kind of person isn’t happy for their close friends having babies? Maybe it was the fact they were so dismissive of my miscarriage, for them to rub their happiness in my face in spite of my recent loss it felt like a knife was being stuck into my heart and they were the ones twisting it.
When the pregnancy test I took a few weeks after the bleeding subsided came back negative, I sent my daughter off to a friend’s for the day and laid in the bath till it went cold. I slept. I wanted to sleep forever and not wake up.

In the new year, my daughter’s father started to see her. I should have been happy, but I wasn’t. He didn’t care about her. He never asks how she is, he’s seen her for a total of maybe three hours, out of the eight and a half thousand or so hours of her life. It always felt like she was an after thought to everyone else. Whilst most of her father’s family saw us occasionally, it felt more like pity, or like they felt obliged to see her. I reminded myself also they were there to visit my little girl and not me, thus further limiting my social interactions with actual adults to the one or two friends that bothered with me still. Part of me longed to block them all on social media and forget I ever bothered. All it did was make me feel worse. They weren’t my family and they barely felt like my daughter’s. Consistently I felt I was intruding on their lives and had once again placed myself where I most definitely wasn’t wanted, the added inconvenience of my lovely little girl only making things worse.

I started to fall further into a depression, I started to gain and lose weight seemingly weekly, going through periods of not eating and binge eating, sleeping for hours on end and barely sleeping at all. It didn’t help that some friends then started making digs at my weight, my hair, my skin, makeup and overall appearance even though that was something I still desperately tried to make an effort with. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

And through all of this, no one noticed I was falling apart. Not one person. No one asks, no one listens, no one cares.
I decided to move to another town, but realising things would be no different there as I knew people that lived there, I began toying with the idea of moving up north far away from anyone I knew. The idea of moving upset my parents and other family members, whilst I had lived on my own ,after moving out when I was 16, for four years, my family were angry that I wanted to “leave them”. It felt like they too were pushing me away.

I stopped seeing my therapist around the same time.
It came to a point when I would ring my parents’ house and my father would answer for him to rush off the phone as soon as humanly possible, not interested in talking to me. He would regularly post on Facebook that he was doing things with family friends’ children. I can’t remember the last time we had a conversation.
A few times my daughter stayed at their house and I had forgotten to pack wet wipes, or a bottle, nappies or a spare outfit. My mother would get angry over the phone at me, I was too embarrassed to tell her my memory was going and I was forgetting everything from my social media passwords to wether I had eaten anything that day, or where my money had gone, when appointments were and who I had spoken to that day.
I was made to feel guilty for everything I did. I was made to feel guilty about stopping therapy, about moving, about starting university (just about the only positive thing I had decided to do for myself). This only perpetuated my feelings of self doubt and self loathing. I felt like a grimy little spot on everyone’s life, one they couldn’t remove but couldn’t quite hide with a rug. I felt stagnant, like I was just sitting there, bothering people out of the corner of their eyes. People always made excuses to not see me and cancelled plans we made. I tried reaching out and speaking about my mental illness, to be told “I don’t believe you” by someone I had been friends with for years, despite having been diagnosed with BPD for many years prior. I didn’t talk about it again. Clearly it wasn’t worth talking about.

Everyone made me feel like a burden.

I wished I could disappear. But I knew if I did, I would eventually have to come back. I couldn’t travel anywhere with a toddler, not for any extended amount of time.
I started to spend less and less time with my little girl, leaving her with friends and family members whenever I could just so I could sleep, telling myself I’d get round to doing the housework, but just sobbed in bed until I fell asleep. She no longer wanted to cuddle me and cried when she was dropped home. I didn’t tell anyone this was going on, I was ashamed and embarrassed. I felt like an awful mother, and I don’t know if I’m going to be okay again. It’s not about the miscarriage, and I’m not even sure that was the catalyst, it all feels like an amalgamation of many occurrences contributing to a downward spiral.

Not only had I lost a baby, I was losing my support network, my social life and my will to carry on.