AIBU and "ruining it" for the others?(19 Posts)
I have two DC, a DS who is 8 and a DD who just turned 1. My DS was an unplanned surprise when I was 18, and though I was in a committed relationship at the time I was terrified throughout my pregnancy, had a long and difficult labour and an abusive midwife for several hours of it, and suffered PTSD symptoms and severe anxiety afterwards as well as post partum depression.
These are the main reasons I waited so long to have DD. Now, she was planned, but my now ex partner and I were struggling and decided to stop trying, not realizing we were already pregnant when we decided to call it quits. As a result he was resentful throughout the pregnancy, we slept apart, and once the newborn stage was over with we broke up, so it was a thoroughly miserable year for both of us. And unfortunately I had another difficult labour with her, and I have suffered very badly over the last year with anxiety as a result. Over the last year I have been suicidal, and when I called the emergency team and told them what I was feeling they instructed me to tell my partner, whose response was to just shrug and tell me he didn't care anymore, and if I was gonna kill myself could I do it outside.
Now, I tried really hard to be nice to him over DD's birthday. I don't have any family but DD's father has an extensive and wonderful family so we agreed to go to his family house (200 miles away) for a three day birthday weekend. Which basically meant spending three days telling people the "cute and funny" version of the birth story and listening to ExP lament about how wonderful the pregnancy and birth and first months were and how everything gone to shit now. She had a great time and I'm happy, but I spent the weekend in one huge panic attack and ExP was so oblivious that he just kept making it worse. I've consistently tried to get support for my anxiety and it's frequently dismissed, and though I am seeing a private therapist now I struggle to talk about it. I have no support from him or his family, and I don't feel it's appropriate to try and lean on them for support under the circumstance, so I gritted my teeth and got on with it as best I could.
Eventually I apologized and excused myself and spent a few days avoiding him and, well, basically everyone but the baby. He wanted me to go back the next weekend for the family members who didn't get to see her on her birthday, but I refused. Since then I've had a lot of grief from him and his family and even some of my friends telling me that I'm being antisocial and I'm ruining the baby's birthday for her, and even the ones who are trying to be supportive keep telling me I have to "get over it" and I can't keep freaking out every year on her birthday because it'll ruin it for her.
I love her and I want to celebrate her birthday, but her and her brother were born in the same month and it's so hard for me to get through that time, and by the time I get to her birthday (which is later than his) I really don't have the reserves to deal with the ex and his family and the constant intense anxiety. Even if I removed him and his family from the picture, all I want to do when I think about my birth experience is curl up somewhere under a blanket and cry, and hearing that I'm being selfish and ruining things for my DD makes it so much harder.
I am sorry you had had two awful pregnancies/births. I don't have any experience of this but I would think that the best thing is that you are now getting help and hopefully your counsellor will help you come to terms with what happened and move on.
As for your ExP he sounds like a complete arse. I can see why you'd try to have civil relations with him for the sake of DD but why are you spending time with him and his family? Why not do something you and DCs enjoy for the birthday and let him do his own thing during contact time?
His family, his problem, YANBU. He can take her on his contact days if he is so inclined.
You've had a though time, take care of yourself
Sadly "contact time" is a loose term right now as the only contact he can have with her is at my house with the exception of a few weekends a year when he goes away with her. Long story, lol. I'm still on good terms with his family, most of them sided with me in the breakup, but I don't want to make things more tense by telling them how many issues I have due to him being unsupportive in that time, you know?
I have been thinking about maybe consolidating DD and DS's birthdays into an epic weekend at the seaside or something, and doing it between their birthdays. She's too young to mind and he loves the idea, especially since he lives with his grandparents due to health problems and rarely sees his sister. Then their dad's can have them for their birthdays while I'm curled up with my anxiety, heh.
You haven't ruined your DDs birthday, she's 1 she doesn't have a clue, sorry everyone is being horrible to you xx
So your DS lives with your DP's parents 200 miles away and rarely sees his baby sister who lives with you? There is obviously a back story to this?
First birthdays are for the parents, grandparents etc. the child doesn't have a clue and you have ruined exactly nothing.
No one needs a three day birthday weekend (repeated again for those who missed it), never mind a one yo
Dumpelstiltskin not quite - DS has a different father to DD. DD's father has family 200 miles away, DS lives 40 miles away with his father and grandparents. DS has some mental health issues they're currently investigating which make him very emotional and he struggles to control it, leading to occasional violent outbursts including threats against his sister and one attempt to kill her, leading to him living with his dad. However I'm still good friends with DS's dad and we often meet up for days out/weekends so the children can see each other safely as he handles DS and I look after DD, so they can play together without danger to them.
YANBU. You made the effort to go there for an extended period and put your own feelings aside. The PTSD sounds like the real issue tbh. Difficult births can cause severe pnd and ptsd. Until you resolve that, it will be really hard to build relationships on an even basis - you are always on the back foot iyswim. If you feel like it's hard to share your feelings with this counsellor, it may be they are not the right one for you. It's so important that you can trust your counsellor and build a relationship with them.
You really have a lot on your plate at the moment and it sounds like dd's father is too immature to support u atm. You really need to put yourself first now. Your dd is so young that the best thing for her is that her mum feels well. So looking after your mental health is the best thing u can do for her too. I'm amazed that your friends are giving you such a hard time. Are you honest about how fragile you are feeling? If so, I would give them a wide berth until you are feeling stronger in yourself.
I do feel for you and hope that you can find a way to deal with the PTSD effectively, so that this month-of-birthdays becomes less panic-inducing for you.
I don't think you are "ruining it" for your DD - certainly not at the moment, as she is far too young to have any kind of clue! - but obviously your exP is a selfish bastard who doesn't give a shiny shit about how you're not dealing well with the time of year, just thinking about himself and his family's needs. You don't have to put up with that.
But equally, for your own benefit, do continue with trying to deal with the PTSD. Did you ever get a decent de-brief after the birth of your DS?
You're definitely not ruinging your dd's birthday, she's far too young to have any idea what's going on, so forget that.
Concentrate on getting your counselling and getting yourself better. It sounds horrendous, what you've been through, and are living with atm. You are doing seriously well getting on with anything, let alone a 3-day w/e in someone else's home and all that that entails - with a surly and unkind ex thrown in. Well done. You must have some great strength in there somewhere, even if it doesn't feel like it right now.
ThumbWitches I didn't get any debrief after either of my children - both were born at night and in both cases there was a quick check on both of them to make sure they were healthy and I was out of the hospital before lunch. Yay NHS.
I'd really recommend you approach your hospital to ask for a debrief - I went through PALS but you can also enquire via the supervisor of midwives. I found mine very helpful and it has gone some way towards giving me a degree of closure. I had a failed induction followed by EMCS, on paper not that bad but I found it very difficult to get past and have had months of flashbacks and intrusive thoughts. Counselling plus the debrief have really helped. for you, it's tough and it sounds like you could do with more support.
Oh, and YANBU. You're entitled to feel as you feel, and first birthday celebrations are not for the baby!
Yes, I would say the same as ACat - go through PALS and ask for a debrief. Even at this stage they should still have your notes and be able to answer questions - and it may be beneficial in the treatment of your PTSD.
What matters, with your baby so young, is that you are being supported properly and in the best position to meet her needs. Anything else is insignificant. Others might not realise that in their excitement, but it's true. Think about you and what is best for you and DD. Don't worry beyond that.
YANBU. Anxiety and depression can be totally controlling and overwhelming. You can't "just get over it". Getting help is from a counsellor is a good start, now you have let her help you. It's not easy to bear your soul to someone when you spend your whole life hiding it from everyone, but once you do it will help enormously. It took me months to open up but when I did I felt like a.huge weight had been lifted. It is not a quick fix but it will work. You are not spoiling your DDs birthday. It is not your fault ExP and family live so.far away. You cannot live your life just to please everyone else. If they weren't there then tough. You need to be strong and stick to your guns.
Your ex's family are shitbags to tell you that you ruined a one year olds birthday by not taking her on a second visit a week after her birthday. They all sound like manipulative passive-aggressive horrors. And a one year old doesn't understand the concept anyway.
Try to disassociate your dc's birthdays from their actual births, which should get easier as they get older. I have no good memories of my ds's birth but I enjoy his birthday as a day to celebrate the fact that he's in my life.
Thanks guys, this is really helpful and really appreciative. I'll look into PALS, and I saw the psych again yesterday and we agreed to try some things for the PTSD. I'm nervous as hell but it needs to be done.
Thank you all again
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