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B(e)aring my soul.

I’m not really one for a share of feelings. Which may sound a bit strange to the people who know me, as I am a huge fan of talking therapies, I’m always there to listen to and advise friends, I was even working towards being a counsellor myself and sat my exams with a mahoosive bump containing a very wriggly, bladder kick-y big girl. When it comes to myself though, I tend to keep my emotional cards very close to my chest, hiding behind a wall of humour and deflection. For some reason I have felt this post bubbling away under the surface all day today and felt compelled to sit down and write it down this evening. The last few years have been really tough for us as a family. I’m not going to go into many details, but to summarise; 2 children. 1 traumatic labour. 4 house moves. Some life changing decisions. A few major health issues. 2 serious operations. Friendship struggles and family difficulties. A very long and stressful battle with the black dog that is pnd (Post Natal Depression). Now however, for the first time in a very very long time, I feel peaceful. I realised today, that I feel fine. The 20 foot high waves of anxiety and stress that I’ve been trying to navigate through have gone. Settled into a ripple free millpond of calm. It is a very strange and wonderful feeling. So alien to me recently, that it took me a good while to work out what it was. I am happy. What made me realise especially today, was because the war between big girl and small boy, that has been raging on for almost 3 years, seems to be over. They must have called a truce one night in their bunk beds without us hearing. Today I watched my sweet little son teaching his big sister how to climb out of the pool without using the steps, and saw her taking care of him as tenderly I would when he was upset after falling, and felt something magical, this is what it’s all about, this is what it has all been for. All this time I have been so worried. Worrying about whether we’d done the wrong thing giving her a sibling. Berating myself over and over because she lost such a big part of her mummy when he came along, busy with a baby who cried almost continuously for his first 12 months, exhausted because it took 18 months for him to even think about sleeping through, weighed down with the fog of pnd. I have been eaten up with guilt. For not being the mother I believe I should be. For finding it so tough. For not ringing out every iota of joy and happiness from just their existing and often praying for a break, just holding out until bedtime. Everyone told me things would get better, they said that things would settle down. It was hard to believe it though. It didn’t start well when big girl used the doll we’d bought her as a gift from small boy as a weapon to club his tiny day old newborn head. Then there was the time she pulled his leg in the bath to dislodge him from his baby bath seat, a look of sheer joy on her tiny face as he slipped out of sight under the bubbles. It really hasn’t been easy and all the while this horrible guilt loomed up behind me, but suddenly, I feel free of it. There is real love between them, they care for each other so greatly. They are playing nicely, displaying real affection towards one another, imparting knowledge and wisdom to each other, sharing toys. All these things I had seen in other siblings and feared I’d never see in my children. The relief is tangiable. Sometimes you don’t realise how much something has been upsetting you until you come out of the other side and look back. Things seem to be on the up and up in general. No more moving, that is for certain now, we are settled, have wonderful friends and have carved out a niche for ourselves in our community. There are playdates and mum’s nights, camping trips and parties. We are included in things and have so many wonderful people we want to include in the things we plan too. We are all healthy. Apart from the cake addiction but hey, pick your battles right?! Pnd is still around, may always be somewhere hovering, but at the moment it is under control, damped down, supressed, managed, kenneled! We may be somewhere where the sun is literally shining, but I feel so sure that the sun will stay shining inside me when we get home. Might sound Sounds soooo cheesy but it feels like there has been a seismic shift in just about everything these last few days, and we have all settled into a very calm, happy, unity. Just goes to show, even if life feels as dark as if there are metaphorical blackout blinds up in every one of the windows to your soul, there will always be a chink somewhere that lets the beaming rays of hopeful sunshine in. (Please don’t worry, despite being all happy and bubbly, I will still be sharing the funny stuff. Like tonight there was a drama that made Games of Thrones look like Pingu, an actual real splinter in Big Girl’s foot. I’m thinking of signing her straight up for acting classes because you would have thought she was having her whole leg amputated when I simply tried to look at it! Needless to say she is now sound asleep with said splinter still embedded…….right, where are my tweezers and torch?!)




  1. July 22, 2015 / 7:52 pm

    Lovely 🙂 So glad to hear it. And I wouldn’t worry about the cake addiction. You’ve more than earned yourself some cake. One day I will face my cake, chocolate and strawberry bootlace addictions, but I figure it’s better than hard drinking and smoking so, for now, I’m leaving it 😉

    • July 22, 2015 / 9:31 pm

      It’s all your amazing posts, if I knew your address I’d have to pop round every time you’ve been baking! 😉 I also should add chocolate & tea to my vice list but you’re quite right, no smoking, no drugs & no big drinking. A girl needs to have a few bad habits right?!

  2. July 22, 2015 / 8:37 pm

    The splinter will eventually come out on its own if she doesn’t let you get it out. It does take a while though, and hurts a lot more.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better! I didn’t realize you were struggling so much. It sounds like things will keep getting better now that you’re settled in.

    • July 22, 2015 / 9:34 pm

      I will leave it, don’t want to disrupt her sleep as hard of the problem is over tiredness from an exciting week with beloved grandparents. I think I am very good at hiding things to do with feelings & emotion. Maybe it is me that could become the actress! 🙂 I have had many years practise though.

  3. Caz Dawson
    July 22, 2015 / 9:12 pm

    there is an ointment you can get that you put on it then cover with a plaster and it draws it out naturally but I can’t remember what it’s called sorry maybe ask at the chemist they will know 🙂

    • July 22, 2015 / 9:36 pm

      Good plan! I think I’ve heard of that. I’m sure a salt water bath is good for that too. Though I’m sure we will just have to put up with some exaggerated limping & some real invalid behaviour until it works its way out without any interference from us! 😀

  4. July 23, 2015 / 3:01 am

    Thank you for sharing this 🙂 I’m glad to hear that you’ve come out on top of all those struggles and are feeling better. It happens like that with me too (no pnd because no kids, just regular d). It gets better gradually and you don’t notice until suddenly you look around and things are okay.

    • July 23, 2015 / 6:00 pm

      It is so crap isn’t it? I’ve battled it before in my teens and so I was always going to be more susceptible to it but it surprised me how I didn’t recognize the signs and didn’t realise how it had been shadowing everything without me even really noticing. Going to keep on top of it this time! 🙂 Hope you are in a good place at the moment too.

      • July 27, 2015 / 2:59 am

        It didn’t occur to me when I wrote my comment that the “it happens gradually” thing applies to it coming as well as going, but you’re right, it totally does. I am doing well at the moment, which is good. Probably at my highest point in years.

  5. July 23, 2015 / 1:19 pm

    It’s funny the day you realise you are no longer under the fog of depression, it’s almost a let down that it wasn’t an instant ping but instead crept up on you, sill a nice feeling to be out the other side.


    • July 23, 2015 / 5:47 pm

      That is so true. I am just so relieved to be regaining some control over it all. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  6. July 23, 2015 / 3:53 pm

    Hi from Dave’s stepsister, Charlie, sounds like quite the journey. With my children unable to get on at all age 5 and 8, I cannot even imagine what a relief it must be.

    • July 23, 2015 / 5:45 pm

      Hi Charlie, yes it has really been tough. Normal service has been resumed today with a lot of ‘you’re not my best friend’ and squabbling. It’s ok though because I have seen that glimpse of how much they love each other deep down and if we get even just a 50/50 ratio of love to squabble I would be happy. Sorry your two still don’t get on. It is so unbelievably draining isn’t it?

  7. July 23, 2015 / 5:44 pm

    What a lovely reverie. I think I was shocked when I realized that joy is this place of calm peaceful beingness, not loud and rambunctious. I’m glad you’re there. Here from #bestandworst.

    • July 23, 2015 / 6:05 pm

      I think I always knew that the calm place was where to be but often you fill your day with activity and noise to quiet the turmoil inside. Thanks for your lovely words, rambunctious is such a brilliant one! 🙂

  8. July 24, 2015 / 8:44 am

    I am so happy to read a post like this. You sound like you have had a very tough time and it must be such a relief to get to the other side and feel happy. Watching your children not get on and feeling guilty must have been terrible for you to see, especially with the fog of PND. Let the good times roll and enjoy it! Thanks so much for linking up to #bestandworst and see you soon xx

    • July 24, 2015 / 10:49 am

      Thank you Sarah, it has been tough but I am a firm believer that if we made it through the last few years relatively unscathed, we will all be just fine in life. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Plus I have been blessed with some amazing friends & family who have really helped me through. Pnd just magnifies everything & hopefully with that in check I can move on……and just deal with all the usual mummy guilt that arises every day! Cbeebies & biscuit lunches again?! 😉 xx

  9. October 31, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    It’s hard to bare your soul and it sounds like you’ve been through some tough times. I’m wondering, having read this, if I’ve had PND. The last six months have been awful with my now just turned 2 year old and six month old. Such a small age gap had taken its toll on me and us as a couple. There were times when I thought what the fffff are we doing. When I’d love to hide in a hole. I feel like you today though, things feel a bit easier. I feel more confident about the future. But I also still feel a lot of guilt for those months where I felt I wasn’t doing a good job. I was literally surviving and just keeping them alive. How do you know when you’re just exhausted and down vs have PND? Something I’m off to research a bit now I think! thank you for sharing xx

    • November 2, 2016 / 10:11 pm

      I think that everyone feels the same way. But please believe me when I tell you that your children won’t remember the very early years, I was convinced mine would, but they genuinely don’t have a clue! They remember the now. If you ever need to chat, please just DM me, I’m always happy to chat about these things. You’re not on your own.

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