A letter to Mum.

Where to begin? For the 31 years I’ve been on this earth, you have been my mum. The first 20 years were rocky to say the least. I have many regrets. I’ve made mistakes and messed up many a time. As a young child I lashed out and took all my hurt out on you. I blamed you. Everything that I ever felt negatively about when I was too young to understand, stemmed back to him. My dad. In my child’s mind, I blamed you. It was your fault he wasn’t around anymore. It was your fault he didn’t want me, my sister and brother. I was upset. I couldn’t process how I was feeling at that age, and to be honest, what child could? I thought running away from school at age five, six, and seven (and possibly eight, I don’t remember,) would make him come back. He may worry about where I was or who I was with, but he didn’t. The only people that worried, were the people I cared about and loved very much, my mum, my stepdad, my sister and brother.

As I grew older my upset turned to anger, especially when I hit my teen years. I knew deep down that it wasn’t your fault at all. He made his choice to walk away and not be involved with our childhood, that was on him, his decision. So I knew that but for some reason I still lashed out at you. The one stable and constant in my life. Why? I was nasty to you. I said things I didn’t mean and done things deliberately to make you worry. I disobeyed you. I drank underage. I smoked cigarettes, pot and weed. I hung out with people that were definitely no good for me. I partied hard, and each time I left the house I promised to be home by 10/11, depending on what curfew you gave me. Many times I didn’t even bother to come home and would stroll through the door the following day, rudely defending myself and insulting you in your home. You’d been up all night worrying about me and my whereabouts and I couldn’t even drop you a text to tell you I was safe.

They say having a baby changes you, but I think that could possibly be the biggest understatement in parenthood. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted you there when I gave birth. Of course you didn’t let me down and was by my side the whole way through. Pregnancy and birth. The bubble of love I was in, in those first few hours after she was born was like none other, and having you beside me meant everything to me.

Nearly 10 years on from that day and it’s safe to say that we couldn’t be any closer. Now I see it clearly, through the eyes of a mum. Of course I knew it wasn’t your fault he left, I knew that years ago but I just couldn’t express my feelings without becoming overwhelmed and horrible. Lashing out over and over again. I was a horrible daughter to you growing up. I was nasty, vile, mean, selfish, and I acted like a spoilt brat. I’m sorry mum. You didn’t deserve to be treated that way. You deserve the world, the moon and the stars. You’re one in a trillion and I’m super lucky to be able to call you Mum. There’s no one in the world that could ever replace you. Me, my brothers and sister owe it all to you. We wouldn’t be the people or the parents we are today without your love, care and guidance. And for that, we are forever grateful.

Thank you for being you Mum. I love you Xx

Poem by Joseph Columbrita. IG: @poemsbyjcol

It can’t all be bad after all…

So you see, yes I have a lot to deal with in this house. I never know what the day or week is going to bring. There are few things I do know for sure in this life. I don’t know if I’ll ever marry the man I love. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to have another baby and be made a mother again. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able follow a dream of mine and write my own book and be published. I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to move away and start all over again. One thing I do now know, is that no matter what happens and what comes my way, I will be okay.

Think positive, stay positive, be positive. It all sounds so cliché. It’s also definitely one of those things that are easier said than done. I don’t always feel strong, in fact if I had to put a percentage on it, I’d say 80% of the time I’m a crumbling mess. That remaining and rare 20% of the time, I feel like I can take on the world for all of five minutes. Those five minutes are what counts though. Because those five minutes for me, are what restores my mindset for the other times that I’m drowning. It’s a vicious circle. I feel really shitty and weak, I’m ready to give up. I don’t think I can take anymore. And then I’ll wake up one morning after a meagre four (or if I’m lucky, six) hour sleep and feel refreshed and ready to take on anything. Or I could simply sit down for a cup of coffee (I love coffee) and then get a second wind and off I go. Buzzing around and taking on the world until I run myself ragged and physically can’t take anymore. And then I’m back to square one.

However square one is a different place to where it once was. Square one used to be a place where I couldn’t see a way out. There was no escape. It was four black walls closing in on me and no light. What changed you asked? Well two years ago I decided to do some things for me. I decided that I was going to read more books. I loved reading and hadn’t been taking time out for myself and wasn’t indulging in books as much as I had done in the past. Books for me are a way of escaping your own reality, and to be honest everyone wants to escape now and again. So that was my first promise to myself. That I would take a bit of time everyday, if possible, to read. Escape, even if it was for just ten minutes a day before bed. My second promise to myself was something I should of done years ago. I always wanted to drive but never thought I was going to be able. Money was and still is tight, like it is in most families these days. I’m no different. So I got myself a driving instructor at 29 years old and gave myself a year to pass. I wanted my own car by the time I turned 30. I budgeted everything. I made cuts in outgoings as much as I could and had an hour and a half long lesson, every week. It was difficult, I’m not going to lie. My driving instructor was incredible and really understanding of my anxiety and how nervous I was. There were times where I would drive to this lay-by and get out of the car and just cry. But eventually I done it. I passed my test just before Christmas of 2017. I was so happy and so proud of myself and so was my family, friends and instructor. I had finally reached one of my goals, albeit 12 years late. I had my license before I reached 30. All of the budgeting had been worth it in the end and I hadn’t failed. The high from this little (but huge to me) accomplishment, lasted for a long time. And that was where square one became a different place. Now it was a place with four black walls closing in on me, but there was a window. There was a means to escape.

What I’m trying to get at, is that we all have struggles. We all have our own problems and issues. But no other person’s struggles are bigger than someone else’s. Staying positive isn’t easy. Taking time out for yourself isn’t easy, regardless of your situation. I’m not saying that you have to be positive for things to change but it definitely helps. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be positive and then everything fell into place, because that definitely did not happen. It was a daily battle in my mind everyday and I had to decide what was more important to me. Did I want my mind to win and for me to watch another year slip by with no accomplishments? Or, did I want to fight through my mind and experience that buzz when I smashed my goal? The latter won and I couldn’t of been prouder of myself.

The battle inside your mind is always going to be a tricky area but if you will yourself to be stronger, you can overcome it. Start with small things, it doesn’t have to be reading a book for ten minutes a day. Anything you loved to do that you maybe don’t do enough anymore. Give yourself ten minutes a day. Take that time for you. Set yourself a goal. Battle with your mind and win as much as you can. You’ve got this, it can’t be all bad after all.

You are my whole life.

Sometimes I wonder how I manage to make it through these days. You see, yes I have my problems, but the most important person in my life also has her own problems. Life is so unfair sometimes. I’m not a religious person at all, far from it. If there was a God, I find it hard to believe that he would inflict pain and suffering on children.

My daughter is sick. Not as sick as some poor children in this world, but I’m not here to talk about them. I’m here to talk about my girl. My only girl. The only reason my heart still beats.

When I met my daughters father, I was well aware that he had a rare blood disorder. Hereditary Spherocytosis. I didn’t know much about the illness and when I was pregnant, his family told me that this disorder was genetic but didn’t affect the women in the family. She was however tested as soon as she came out of the womb, and within hours I was told that she too had this blood disorder. She was monitored closely as a baby. Regular blood tests every three months to keep track of her blood levels and haemoglobin. I also had to give her folic acid daily. As she grew we had various problems but nothing as serious as some children and adults that have this illness. Her paediatrician was always on hand to give me advice should I ever have needed it. The only time we really had problems was when she caught a cold or virus. She would get even more tired than usual, and even more anaemic. It would also take her longer to recover than the average healthy child because of the amount of red blood cells that would be breaking up inside her needed to fight infections. But she was never ill enough to the point where she would require a blood transfusion, which obviously I was thankful for. And to this day she still hasn’t required one. Touch wood, she never will. Some children her age have been so poorly with this disorder that they have required blood transfusions and splenectomies. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that would be for the parents to see their children so sick.

Fast forward to a year and a half ago, she was eight years old. She was getting poorly a lot. A lot more than usual. She loved/loves school and was phoning home regularly. She would come home from school and get straight into bed and be unable to move. Crying in pain because her tummy hurt and having upset stomach constantly. She would sleep, a lot more than usual and be continuously lethargic. No interest in anything and would just be watching TV or movies and napping. Each time I took her to the doctors, they would fob me off with “Its just a viral infection and she’ll recover in a few days.” She would recover in a few days but the next week she’d be exactly the same. Finally after about six months of “viral infections” they referred me to her paediatrician at the hospital. Because she had been doing so well, they had closed down her open pass to the Childrens Ward. Her appointment was sent to us fairly quickly and we went to her appointment on the last day of January. With her being eight at the time, I didn’t want to be putting words into her mouth, so she told her specialist exactly how she was feeling and what pains she had etc. They ran some blood tests and within two days I had a phonecall from her specialist. My daughter didnt have a viral infection and it was nothing to do with her HS, she had Coeliac disease.

One year later and she has been on a gluten free diet since her diagnosis. She is doing well but still gets poorly often. We are doing everything right and are super careful with cross contamination and checking foods. We have to go back to a separate specialist now as well as her HS specialist but she has lots of support from family and friends and doctors. I’m so proud of how resilient she has been. She’s taken it all in her stride and been so good with trying new foods and if anything, is so much more healthier food wise than she has ever been. When we go back to her specialist and dietician, we will be able to sit down and work out why she is still getting sick often. That appointment can’t come quick enough.

We both have our problems but hers are far more important than mine. I live for this girl and she is the soul reason why I was put on this earth. If I could take her pain away, then I would in a heartbeat. Like any Mother, we hate to see our babies hurting and in pain. Anytime I hurt or struggle, there is a reason to carry on. Anytime I cry because I don’t think I can take anymore, or I’m tired and only managing to get two to three hours of sleep a night, there is a reason to carry on. That reason is her. She is my whole life. You are my whole life!

Kimmi’s Qualms X

A glimpse into my scatty mind.

I’ve been told many times that I’m a strong woman and that I come across as always cheerful. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I have a phobia of masks (yes it is, as ridiculous as it sounds.) Ironically I wear a mask in public everyday. To the outside world, including family and friends, I am fine. There is nothing on my mind and I am carefree and happy. I am the best mother I can be, the best daughter I can be, the best sister and Aunt I can be. However, not buried that deep beneath the surface, I am in pain physically and emotionally.

Borderline (Emotionally Unstable) Personality Disorder is a nasty and draining mental health problem and there is not a lot of awareness or knowledge about it. That’s if you don’t count the many serial killers or murderers that have been diagnosed. There are more people in the world that live with BPD everyday that do not go around taking lives, than there are that do go around taking lives. We’re not all killers or psychopaths. I’ve been diagnosed with this illness for around 5 years now, nearly 6, and I’m no closer to understanding my mind. I’ve done therapy’s and meditation along with medications. Nothing has really helped to settle my symptoms. The only person that can pull me away from my suicidal thoughts on a weekly basis is my 9 year old daughter. I don’t mean she knows about my mental health because of course she doesn’t. But when I’m really low and down and feeling like I’m drowning which is at least once or twice every couple of days, just the thought of her not having her mother around is enough to pull me back in. Admittedly not straight away. There have been times where I have sat on my bed all night with a bottle of Captain Morgans and a bunch of pills. I will um and ah over the situation through silent tears and then my alarm goes off for the morning routine of breakfast and getting her to school. And just like that I make it through another suicidal night and become Mum again.

It’s hard to understand someone with this. One minute they can be high as a kite and happier than a kid (or adult to be fair) at Disneyland, the next they could be low and depressed and crying because it’s time to leave and in their mind they believe you are rejecting them, and they will probably never see you again. It sounds extreme but truthfully, it is. Anyone who knows me would tell you, I have trouble being apart from my daughter. When she went on her first residential trip last year (for 2 nights and 3days,) I genuinely cried so much when she said goodbye to me and as the coach pulled away, I fell to the floor. I struggled through those 3 days. I felt empty. I was paranoid something bad was going to happen and I may possibly never see her again. Thinking about this now is making me emotional and it’s over. She’s here with me asleep in bed but it still hurts remembering that day. BPD people love harder than any other individual, but we also cut people off fast and sharp. When we’re done, we are done. We push the people we love away to avoid the pain of the “eventual” rejection. It’s always exciting with a BPD sufferer. You never know what each day or minute is going to hold. It can change at a flick of a switch. Madness!

So that’s the general gist of what I’m living with emotionally. I said above about me also having depression and anxiety but there’s so much knowledge and awareness about that, so I don’t see the point in boring you all with it. This blog is my way of coping and looking back on the rough, dark and light and wonderful things that are going to come my way this year. I’ve always had a passion for writing. My intention is to share my life of being a Mother with illness and how I cope and get through the year. This year is about creating more good memories with my girl and indulging in a passion of my own. Writing. Even if I’m no good it, it’s making me feel more free already, and at the end of the day that’s what life is about, isn’t it? Finding the people and things that make you feel free.

Kimmi’s Qualms X