2014 A Look Back: September – December.

September.

September was a very busy month for me. I had just gone back to work after a six week school break for summer and was really feeling the long days compared to my usual chilled and lazy ones. I hadn’t imagined going back to work six months pregnant in the heat would be so difficult. After all, it was not so hard before. However, as I hit my third trimester, all matter of things pregnancy related started to change. I felt more tired, more achy. Feelings of sickness had returned. I truly felt pregnant.

I only blogged three times this month. One was a post I had written last year that I decided to re-blog. After the decision to leave wordpress in August, I began blogging key posts that had a big impact on me or others. “Revenge” was one of these posts where a former colleague of mine questioned my motives to why I was writing about the past. It upset me that she felt it was necessary to be so┬áheartless and give her opinions on a matter she could never understand.

The most significant moment of my life happened on the 23rd of this month. My wonderful daughter Ivy-Wren was born. A lot of people have asked about her unusual name. I picked Ivy as I like the nature side of it. Also, Ivy is a strong plant that withstands all conditions. I found Wren whilst searching through endless name lists on-line. It actually came up as a boy’s name but I loved that it is a little bird. My mum calls me “Tuni” which is a little Indian bird. We felt that adding Wren to Ivy’s name would be a suitable tribute to my mother. No doubt Ivy-Wren dotes on her loving grandma.

October.

Ivy-Wren was born premature by 7 weeks. Her actual due date was November 9th so we were growing used to having her with us so early. I mourned the fact I was no longer pregnant. I had looked forward to seeing the whole pregnancy through. She had spent the beginning of this month in hospital under special care. She was a tiny little thing. So very small and fragile. My heart ached to leave her every day surrounded by beeping monitors, endless strangers, wailing babies and lonely in her isolated cot. On the 6th October we were able to take our little button home after two weeks in hospital and although it has been unbelievably overwhelming and we have felt massively under-prepared, nothing can take away the fact that our little girl brings us joy every single day.

In October, I blogged about the lead up to my labour as it wasn’t at all straightforward!

November.

I was appalled to discover that there was a man claiming to hold all knowledge on how to seduce women this month. Not only that, but this awful human being advocated violence and harassment in order to do it! Julien Blanc was thankfully denied entry into the UK. The real horror however is the number of men who signed up to see him on tour. It truly is worrying that some men would consider these derogatory and abusive tactics acceptable.

December.

Well here we are on the final day of December in England (I’m sure many of you have already celebrated New Years’!). My husband and I aren’t planning to stay up. We have to embrace sleep when we can get it! Ivy-Wren has come on leaps and bounds putting on a massive six pounds since she came home. She is a delight, making us proud of her every day.

I look forward to 2015 and the journey we as a family will take together.

I am not going to draw on the negatives of this month too much. Many issues have occurred within the family and relationships have been tested but I continue to be positive when I look at my beautiful daughter.

Happy New Year to all my WordPress friends. May 2015 bring you inner peace, support and a determination to survive. You are all in my thoughts.

See you next year!!

Ros xxxxx

Here’s a little photo of me and my jewel ­čÖé

cropped-roo.jpg

 

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2014 A Look Back: May – August.

May.

This month, my husband and I celebrated two years of marriage. I do not know where the time has gone! Also this month I concluded my letter series with a piece written to my sister. There have been no improvements on that front unfortunately. She still excludes me from her life even though several attempts have been made to build bridges. I remain confused to why our relationship ever stopped and from recent events, I doubt things will ever be truly resolved or that I am wanted back in her life. It’s all very sad.

June.

I had my five month scan in June. It was an important one to see if the baby had any abnormalities. It also tested for Down’s Syndrome. We were very glad to find out that we were not at risk. Baby was healthy and growing well. My pregnancy had been going well and apart from a pretty bad case of morning sickness in the first trimester, I was really starting to enjoy it.

July.

As the pregnancy continued and the symptoms became more prominent, my activity on WordPress began to dwindle. As a frequent writer this was unusual for me but the ever-growing tiredness was consuming my waking hours. Pregnant in the summer months was not very enjoyable and working all day did not help matters either. The end of July marked the beginning of a much needed six week holiday where I could finally take a well-deserved break and properly prepare for baby’s arrival. Unbeknownst to me, my organisational skills would save me in the end and my good preparation for baby would cause much less panic than expected two months later………

August.

In August I made a decision to leave the blog as soon as my baby came. It was a difficult decision to make but originally the whole point of the blog was to gain closure from the emotional abuse I endured for fifteen years from my father. It was to gain closure from his death and to release the anger I felt for him in a safe and controlled way. I achieved that last year so began to question my reasons for staying on here. However, with the turmoil I’ve had over the last few months mixed with the elation of creating my beautiful little girl, I’ve realised something. I NEED this site. I need to vent somewhere, to celebrate somewhere, to release somewhere, to be myself somewhere. That somewhere is here at freefromhim and I will not be going anywhere.

This is part of me now.

Ros x

2014 A Look Back: January – April.

January.

I started this year in a different frame of mind. I began the year with several promises to myself. Not resolutions but a pledge of ten things I planned to fulfil. Did I succeed? Not quite. I managed two out of ten. Pretty rubbish right? One was to celebrate my birthday (which I did) and the other was to say No. I think learning to say No is a big achievement however. Now I’ve got to learn to say Yes! That sounds hard. Yes seems more difficult than No. Yes means opening up and taking risks, something I’ve always shied away from.

On January 11th I posted a piece called “What a ‘victim’ will often hear” http://wp.me/p32vbr-1j6┬á. It was strange to look back and read the long list of insults and criticisms made on a daily basis to me by my abuser. So many women, girls (and boys) and children hear these poisonous words by people they trust. After years of listening to it, you undoubtedly begin to believe it. Thankfully, this post was followed by “What survivors should say” ┬áhttp://wp.me/p32vbr-1jM a post I should really look at more often to remind me how far I’ve come and to keep me looking towards my future.

At the end of January, I posted a photo of my cooker at home. It was one of many photos I had taken of his property whilst I lived there. I wanted proof. Proof of what we lived in. People had been supportive on this site of my story, my journey. People had been very understanding that I suffered in my own way and although there was no violence, the abuse was still destructive and destroying. Sadly, you cannot always control who reads your work. There are so many supporters and equally plenty of haters.

Soon after posting this, I received a very critical comment from a stranger. Someone who knows nothing of my past, nothing about my father and the horror I endured. Yet this stranger, thought it was okay to condemn and chide me for my post. This stranger chose to belittle my abuse and imply that I was writing this to gain attention. Many of my wordpress family came together and put this idiot straight. Emotional abuse is hidden. It’s clever. It disguises itself well. It is harder to discover and can consume you as much as a violent attack.

 http://wp.me/p32vbr-1mT

February.

In February, I began experimenting with poetry. I have always loved poetry and written many poems when living at home with the abuser. It is a great way to express emotion without people fully understanding what it is you are saying. In other words, my abuser wasn’t clever enough to delve deeper into my poetry. He’d find them and know they were about him but his lack of intelligence prevented him from confronting me about it. I’d often find them ripped up in the bin. What else could he do?

I Hate Mondays has to be my favourite I’ve posted all year. Although, this one’s nothing to do with my father!

http://wp.me/p32vbr-1r0

 March.

Ah! The joy of getting older! On the 2nd I turned 32 and received the greatest present of all – I found out I was pregnant! Happy birthday me!!

April.

In April, I wrote a series of letters to certain people and groups in my life I felt needed to hear what I had to say. I must admit that there were some reactions to these letters and some were from the people I had written them to. I stand by my words. None were lies. I do not write lies. I needed a release and did it in the one way that felt comfortable and safe. As I have said many times, if you do not want to hear these things then do not read my page. If I am a nobody to you then what does it matter what I say? If you truly believe I am lying then why question it so much? Why punish me so badly? The reactions resonated with me more than the actual letters.

On a brighter note, April would be the first time I met my baby! Not in person thankfully but my husband, mother and I went for my scan and here was the result ­čÖé

roo

I have O.C.D.

It’s an admission.
One I’ve kept private for many years. It’s appeared on occasion but generally it’s easy to keep it hidden. It’s not your average kind of O.C.D, I do not wash my hands 16 times after using the toilet nor do I have to check repeatedly that I’ve turned the downstairs light off before bed.
Life with my abuser left me with many problems. A lack of self esteem, negativity about my body, lack of ambition, fear of risks are to name a few. I like to think I came out of that terror pretty unscathed, I mean it could have been a lot worse. However mentally, it’s impossible and unimaginable to presume my mind and heart would not be affected in some way.
He left a legacy and I carry the reminder of what he did every day.
I have closure from him. I do not think about him. I do not care to talk about him. Time has done it’s job. I do however know that he’s had a massive impact on who I am now and sadly, I am left piecing myself back together again even two years after his death.
Today I admitted it to myself.
I have O.C.D.
I do not like my things to be moved. I cannot deal with my things being touched without my permission. They just need to be left as they were. It doesn’t bother anyone nor does it cause harm but today my family┬áexperienced my O.C.D.
I tried an attempt to explain.
Every day with the abuser was another day of being watched, checked. My room was forever “inspected”. What if it didn’t meet his standards? What if I had not put one thing back in it’s place? Well then I would know about it. He’d go in there when I was out or at work. When he could take his time finding faults.

He’d pick at everything. I’d come home to find my clothes, which had been piled up on my chair, strewn across the floor with a note saying,

“A chair is not a place for clothes”.

Or some shampoo bottles that were nearly empty – stacked on my desk. He’d point out that they should have been thrown away months ago but it was not his “job” to do it.
There were times he moved actual furniture in my room to find dust, to find mistakes. He’d do it through the entire house. He had to find fault.
I hate someone, anyone, moving my things. My personal things.
My counsellor told me that you cannot expect someone to come out of something like that untouched and perfect. O.C.D. is often associated with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I suffered a great trauma with him. He controlled every aspect of my life for sixteen years even down to the way I felt about myself. I needed to get the control back. It is a complete form of control.
He controlled my money, my health, my choice in friends, my relationships, my food, my feelings, my habits, my freedom, my choices, my insecurities.
My family can’t relate.
We have argued today.
They refuse to understand and continues to make light of these issues I have.
I cannot ever be perfect.
I wouldn’t want to be.

Please deny this man entry to the UK!!!!

This morning, I signed a petition on┬áhttps://www.change.org/p/uk-home-office-deny-julienblanc-a-uk-visa┬áto ban Julien Blanc (a professional ‘Pick up Artist’) from entering the UK.

I had never heard of this man but was horrified to read more about him.

Julien Blanc classes himself as a pick up master, able to seduce and lure any women into bed. He is not charming nor does he woo with romantic or genuine methods. No, instead, he encourages men (who pay over £1000 to take his seminars) to use force, derogatory comments and any means possible to have sex with whoever they want.

He has been denied entry and had his Visa revoked from Australia after they realised how shady and disturbing his message was. Now the UK government needs to do the same. This man (and I use that term lightly) has tour dates coming up in the UK. It is bad enough as it is in this climate. I and many thousands of women have had to endure sexual harassment from idiotic men who believe they can say what they want, anywhere at any time.

It happens every day and we, as women, are made to feel guilty or rude or stiff if we dare to say ‘No’ or worse. We become “pathetic” and “miserable” because we can’t take their ‘compliments’. Well telling me that my bum is “good enough to take a bite from” and then gnashing your teeth together menacingly, is NOT a compliment. Or making kissing noises as I walk by you six months pregnant is NOT a compliment.

Get it?

Domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment are as prominent now as ever.

Julien Blanc is giving these inbred men a reason, a justification to their obscene behaviour.

PLEASE! Do not allow this man into the UK.

Go to change.org and stop sexual predators like this doing what the hell they like.

Tuesday 23rd September- My life has changed forever…..

Shortly before midnight on the 23rd, I succumbed to the idea of using painkillers. Not that I was adverse to using pain relief, I just couldn’t estimate how painful my contractions were and ended up being. The only thing on offer at first was paracetamol. I was initially surprised at the offer of something I’d normally use if there was no ibuprofen in the house, you know as a last resort sort of thing. However, as it was the only relief they provided, I immediately took it.

Unsurprisingly, paracetamol did not work and within a few moments I was begging for something stronger.

The midwives consulted with each other and ended up prescribing codeine. A much more powerful painkiller. Yet on consumption, there was no real pain relief. Clearly my contraction pain was at it’s peak. My husband spoke with the nurses, concerned at how I had gone from zero to one hundred in the matter of minutes. A doctor was called to check my dilation and discovered I was 1 cm gone – not much at all but as my waters had broken the week before, I needed to be closely monitored. She decided it would be sensible to send me to the labour ward.

I packed up my belongings and slowly walked to the exit. I was met by a midwife named Amy. Little did I know then that Amy would be my salvation for the next five hours.

Once in the labour ward and into what would be my room for the following few hours, I couldn’t believe how the pain had increased. My husband, who had been my rock coaching me through each contraction, was now beginning to worry and panic. I suppose he knew what was approaching. My temper was wearing thin and I started to snap at him. The pain was not only excruciating but terrifying too. The right side of my back throbbed uncontrollably at each contraction and the cramping made my body spasm. I wanted to cry and scream but somehow I held it together knowing that it would only make me more anxious. Plus, I was incredibly worried any screaming would induce a panic attack which then in turn could inspire an Asthma attack. I absolutely did not want that to happen.

I told Amy that I was really struggling. At one in the morning, she gave me diamorphine. A drug that was injected into my thigh. She told me that it would make me very drowsy – a prospect I was very happy about (I hadn’t slept for over 24 hours). It did make me drowsy. However, the strength of the contractions by then were so forceful that I was waking every two minutes in unbearable pain, waking my sleeping husband each time as I let out a groan of despair. Both exhausted, the next two hours consisted of a combination of agitated sleep, mind-numbing pain and a strong urge to go to the toilet every so often. The third feeling was crucial to what was happening at that point in my labour.

Amy spent time coming in and out of the labour room, checking mine and baby’s stats. She could see the depths of my pain and as I complained that I needed the toilet for the seventeenth time, she decided to check on my dilation. In the space of three hours, I had gone from 1 cm to 6 cm dilated. I was now in full labour.

A baby doctor came into the room to discuss what would happen as soon as baby was born. In all honesty, my mind was on other things at that point. The doctor came at a really inappropriate time. I was still dosed up on diamorphine and that combined with the agonising pain made me just nod at her whilst she fired a list of things at me. Climbing back onto the bed having changed into a hospital gown, I questioned Amy on further pain relief. My labour had progressed rather quickly and although the pain was horrific, she was impressed by how well I had been handling it all.

The subject of an epidural arose.

Everybody I had spoken to in my pregnancy recommended it. I was never one to turn away pain relief, I hadn’t gone into the pregnancy hoping for a purely natural birth. Up until that point I had been terrified at pain. I wince at the dentists for crying out loud and that’s just on a routine check up! However, I was doing okay. Better than okay. Perhaps I didn’t need the epidural. Amy certainly thought so and practically refused to give me one! She positively told me I could do it without. She had the confidence in me. Pushed on by my encouraging and supportive midwife, I accepted that I could do it alone.

I don’t need to say how painful labour actually is. I’m sure all you mothers out there know already. I can say it is an amazing experience and although it seems like a blur and a dream, I can see myself doing it again. I would only hope that next time, my baby arrives on time and not so early ­čÖé

Ivy-Wren was born at five in the morning weighing five pounds.

The doctors took her away to the Neonatal Unit almost immediately after she was born. She wasn’t placed on my chest naked nor did I breastfeed her within moments. My baby was taken away from me. I did get one chance to hold her after demanding it. The doctor didn’t seem happy but I knew my baby needed it. All wrapped up, she was placed in my arms.

I held her tight and promised her it wouldn’t be long till we’d be all together. She was a fighter and I knew she’d prove that to everyone.

And that she did.