Friday, 15 August 2014

Fighting Myself and the Impact on my Children #MentalHealth

I have spent far too much of my 26 years fighting. Fighting myself.

Fighting clinical depression.
Fighting post-natal depression.
Fighting post traumatic stress disorder.
Fighting self-harming behaviour.
Fighting anorexia nervosa.
Fighting anxiety.
Endless fighting.

I need a day of respite. One whole day to myself, without any intrusion from myself. Just accepting myself as myself.

But, this isn't going to stop. It never will stop. Day after day, year after year, decade after decade, it will carry on and on.
I'm gradually accepting that.
I have to keep on fighting, indefinitely, and that's fine. I've become accustomed to it. I have my ways of coping and, when I can't cope, there are people around me that know my 'signs.' People that pick me up and hold me up until I can do it myself again.

But...what impact will that have on my children?

What if they get caught up in my fighting?
What if I've passed something onto them, genetically or otherwise?
What if they have to spend their whole lives fighting too?

What happens when they start asking why Mummy has scars?
What happens when they start asking why Mummy has 'down days'?
What happens when they start asking why Mummy doesn't eat much?

What do I say to them then? Do I tell them I'm fighting?
Do I tell them the truth? And what impact would that have on them?

Brilliant blog posts on


  1. I wish I could give you an answer. The idea of my children self harming or hiding their eating habits from me, doing all sorts of things because they don't look or feel right in themselves terrifies me. I tell my 6yo my brains not as happy as other peoples sometimes..she doesn't need to know. I don't know what you say or when you say it for fear of making the ideas sit in their own mind and simmer away there until they latch on to something and take my kids too.
    I'm sorry that's not helpful that's just awfully depressing and unhelpful! I guess you're not alone in your fears. You have to block this one out for as lon as possible otherwise it's just another thing to worry over and fight :( xxx

  2. I feel so incredibly sorry for you having to feel the way you do. I watched my wife go through the same feelings, albeit for a much shorter time. 3 years she was suffering from depression, anxiety and agoraphobia to the point where she couldn't leave the living room to play with the kids in the garden. It broke her heart to watch me take the kids out to play, but insisted it happen because she didn't want to force the kids to share her cage, her cell. I can't imagine what you are going through or feeling, but if it is anything similar to my wife, then don't worry about the children because it adds an unnecessary stress to your already difficult life. But when questions are asked, do not lie, do not pretend, be honest and discuss it openly but not graphically. My daughter used to ask questions about why her mummy couldn't come with her and why mummy couldn't leave the sofa and why mummy was crying, it was left to me to explain to her what was wrong, but reassure her that she was loved by us both, none of it was her fault, and that in time, wen mummy was better able to cope with her illness, she would join us. That feeling of hope was what drove my wife to come to terms with her illness, she will never truly recover from it, but she has learned how to cope with it and now her relationship with the kids is as strong as ever and as loving and fulfilling as ever.

    The key point is that kids are far more intelligent than we give them credit for and when you try to trick them or lie to them, they know and it's then that they fight it and resent it. Find a way to be honest with them, reassure them and let them know that you love them and it will be fine.

    Good luck and I hope you find your own way to truly come to terms and cope with it all.

  3. So sad to read this. Have you tried cognitive behavioral therapy, one of my best friends experienced a lot of what you describe and a course changed his life! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

  4. A really thought-provoking piece. You are so brave to share this. I wish I had answers but I don't. All I can do is send you a "virtual hug".