It all started in August 1988, the day I was born. I was not allowed to call her mum, my own mother that is.
My mum was young, 18 at the time and living at home with her parents, from what I know, I wasn’t planned and she was not in a relationship with my dad.
The decision was made that my grandparents would bring me up so that she could have a career.
Please remember, that whatever I say further down, I love my grandparents dearly and will be eternally grateful for that they have given me.
My first memory is my mum driving a car, with her abusive partner in the passenger seat and his friends in the back with me.
As my mum is driving along, he unclips my seat belt and opens the door and tries to push me out, and his friend is pulling me back in whilst I clutch at my little quilt, I was no older than three at the time.
I do not know what happened after, my mum left him when I was about 4 and met a new man, who she married in 1995 and is still with him now.
My grandparents continued to raise me, they also encouraged contact with my dad and tried with my mum, but in my opinion, I do not think she was that interested.
I was lucky at the age of 4 to be taken on a holiday of a lifetime to South Africa for 6 weeks, I don’t remember much of it, but there are some photos and I look happy.
My next biggest memory is when my little sister was born, she was about 1, and I idolised the ground she walked on, it would have been early 1995, few months before my mum’s wedding.
I was not allowed to call her mum
After school, I used to go to my mum’s house after school as my Nan cleaned for a few hours in the evening in a nearby local senior school.
My mum had told me I was not allowed to call her mum when her future mother in law was about, I didn’t understand why so I had to be careful to remember to call her Susan and I would say upstairs out-of-the-way.
At the age of 11 – 12 I was sent to a private school in the town my mum worked, she would take me in the morning and pick me up after.
Every morning I would receive verbal abuse because she was late (I still lived with my nan, so would wait outside until she picked me up), and on some mornings she would scratch at my face and pinch me wherever she could grasp.
The following years were a blur, but during the time until I was about 16, my step-mum told me that my dad didn’t want me, he told her to have an abortion but she wouldn’t, in the attempt to trap him.
I asked my Nan about it, she told me my mum couldn’t have an abortion as she had meningitis and it would have killed her.
I learnt that when I was younger, when I had to call her Susan, was because they had lied to the mother and father in law about me, and they only admitted to them two weeks before the wedding that I was, in fact, her daughter.
Also during this time, my dad chose that he didn’t want me in his life anymore and cut all contact.
I moved into a hostel at 17, and became pregnant, it wasn’t planned, but my belief was that if I could put myself in that situation to create a child then I should deal with the consequences.
Throughout the pregnancy I lived in a shared house, I went to scans and appointments alone and tried as best as possible to buy everything I needed, I couldn’t afford much, but I got the basics and I was given quite a bit free.
My mental health started to seriously decline at this point
I would cry every day and night, wishing the pregnancy away, wanting to hold my baby and have someone who finally wanted and needed me, in December 2006, my beautiful little girl Mia was born.
I started to become seriously depressed, I bonded with her, but I felt a failure, that she would be better off without me, and in October 2007 I took an overdose of 40mg citalopram and a litre bottle of baileys.
I was taken to hospital, but of course, my attempt failed.
Everything became a blur, and fast forward 5 months I met my partner, I started to feel better, I had my down days, but I had another focus.
We decided to have a baby together and in July 2009, my second beautiful daughter was born.
The years between 2009 – 2013 are a blur, whilst I never attempted suicide, I wanted to.
I continued to hate myself and question why I was allowed to live, and if there really is a God, why would he put me through this, was it a sick joke or a test?
Things weren’t great with my partner; I felt rejected again, alone and unwanted.
I became pregnant in 2013 (with the same partner), at the time I had decided that I was destined to be alone in this world and I was the only person who would ever be able to support myself fully and provide for my children how I thought best, I started an Access course.
The hospital tried to refer me to a mental health midwife, telling me I would more than likely have postnatal depression again, I refused, adamant that it would be different this time.
March 2014, my third beautiful girl was born
I was fine after birth, I went back to college 2 weeks after birth, determined to pass my exams to start Uni this September.
I didn’t have time to cry or over think things, I just plodded on.
I finished college in June, passing my course with distinction, but then I had nothing to do, I wasn’t rushed off my feet; I sat around, thinking.
Here we are, in August, the day before my 26th birthday, dreading it, another year I have lived for, that I shouldn’t have been allowed to, and another year my mum has to know I exist.
I do not speak to my mum very often, she doesn’t ring, text or visit.
She sends cards saying “to my special daughter”, cuts me up, even more, reading her lies.
She doesn’t think she has done anything wrong, and naturally, my grandparents will always defend her.
I have to deal with the decision my parents made, and I am treated as it is my fault, even though it was all beyond my control.
I have no-one to speak to, no-one willing to understand, my childhood eats me up inside, I really want my life to be over.
I cannot see a way of overcoming the past
I have no emotional support and although I know a friend would listen, I just don’t feel I can open up to them.
I feel stupid for feeling this way; everyone has had a hard life in some way.
I start university this September, I will be studying social work, I want to specialise in child protection.
I want to help another child from feeling this way into adult life, I am a statistic, I have suffered years of emotional abuse and it has seriously affected my life.
People assume that it is mainly physical abuse that affects children, but I have felt alone, unloved and unwanted for all of my adult life and most of my adolescence.
I do understand that I could not have changed the way I was treated, but even to this day, I wish that I was either adopted or aborted, given a chance to a person who desperately wanted a child to have one.
I crave love and affection
I need to feel safe and wanted, and I will seek ways to feel that way.
My life is a constant battle, I come close to ending it all very often, and no tablets or therapy has helped.
With my emotions running high due to my birthday and having no-one willing to listen, I wanted to get this off my chest, to give me a few days of breathing space.
If I can stop at least one child from feeling the effects of emotional neglect and abuse then I will have made a difference and all this would have finally had a purpose.
I was not allowed to call her mum, but was she really a mum after all?
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