I was pregnant and homeless with BPD and PTSD
Rita blogs about how she recovered from the most challenging period of her life.
"Omg I can’t look, here you look" I say to my best friend.
It’s the Grand National, we’ve placed our bets and we are sitting watching the race - my friend wins!
Woohoo how exciting. As I’m sitting with the drink across from me I blurt out “I think I might be pregnant”.
“OMG whaatt omg this is soo exciting” she screams (if there was ever a person who had been waiting for the day for me to have a baby, this is her).
“We are going home right now to do a test”, she shrieks.
“It’s POSITIVE”, we scream, jumping up & down.
My partner’s reaction
“OMG” I start to feel sick. What’s my partner going to say…how am I going to tell him?
Although we had agreed I’d come off contraception and see how it went…it was a lot sooner than I had expected.
But it’s what I wanted. My life had taken a different turn – Health & Well-Being were most important to me. Not only because I’d recently been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and complex post traumatic stress disorder but because I felt really good when I focused positively on these areas.
For the first time I had longer spells without the extreme rollercoaster emotions & depressive states.
I still struggled with extreme emotions and self- worth, my relationship wasn’t in a good place (It had turned toxic & co-dependent) but things were becoming a little easier to handle at times.
I was learning to catch myself and my awareness was growing with each step.
My niece bought me a card saying congratulations on it and we came up with the idea to give my partner this card when I got home.
It took him a minute to click and it wasn’t the reaction I had hoped for. There wasn’t any celebration and it took him a while to even hug me. “Ok maybe it’s just shock,” I thought, “it has happened very quickly.”
“I was homeless, pregnant and single – my mental health drastically dipped as I scrambled for a solution.”
But, things rapidly went downhill. He’s changed his mind about a baby and I moved out of his house. I was all over the place, uncertain of my future, as well as very hormonal. I was now homeless, pregnant and single – my mental health drastically dipped as I scrambled for a solution.
I physically beg him to take me back. My worst fear of abandonment had finally happened. “This must be my fault!” I told myself. “My mental health is to blame, my past is to blame for this situation”.
Cycle of negativity
The cycle of self-bashing & negativity continued “see I’m not good enough, I’m not lovable, I was right all along. What kind of life am I going to provide for my baby now”.
I looked for guidance from the local housing association – they were kind but all they could do was recommend B&B accommodation (not in my local area) at the rate of £25 per night. I couldn’t afford it.
Luckily, I found a place but as it was on the market it was unsecure & short-term because it could be sold any minute & I’d be back to square one. I was desperate and felt so alone.
The reality was too much to bare. I didn’t have the option of drinking myself into oblivion or masking my pain with drugs.
“I was in excruciating pain – screaming, crying, shaking, rocking, sobbing, and then dissociating.”
Nope, this time I had to sit in every little detail, feeling, thought & surge of emotion.
I found myself in excruciating pain – screaming, crying, shaking, rocking, sobbing, and then dissociating.
I had an immense emotional breakdown every day for four weeks.
I was grieving the loss of my relationship, a family, my home, my security and what felt like the loss of myself.
My suicidal thoughts would crept back in – “I can’t live life in this much pain it’s never going to end, you have nothing to be here for”. But something inside would speak out: “Yes I do I have my baby”.
For the first time I was starting to experience an ability to change what I was thinking.
I waited six months for a tenancy to become available and a further five months to get into the tenancy.
In that time I had my baby, found myself back living with my ex-partner as we had nowhere else to go (as the house got sold). My daughter & I stayed in the spare room while he was in another relationship. Which was very taxing on my mental health. My baby also had to have lifesaving heart surgery at six weeks old. It was so exhausting and draining. I would cry myself to sleep every night.
“Although this was one of the toughest periods in my life it enabled me to see I could get through emotional pain.”
But as the months went by, I started to slowly feel better day by day. Nearly losing a child can have a profound impact on your perception and what matters.
Although this was one of the toughest periods in my life it enabled me to see I could get through emotional pain, it wasn’t going to last forever, and my mental illness wasn’t all of me.”
I was no longer bogged down by suppressed emotions, which I had been for so much of my life as a survivor of emotional & sexual childhood trauma.
Now I was a different kind of survivor. I no longer needed to physically or emotionally mask my pain anymore. I survived it, I’m still here, I made it through and I feel stronger and more empowered for it.
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