Advanced search

**Trigger Warning** Baby loss. Title changed by Mumsnet."To think that a massively traumatic event DOES affect the rest of your life?"

(52 Posts)
Hedgehog80 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:24:51

Because apparently some people think I "should have got over it by now" , "it's in the past" and the worst comment "oh you're never going to let me forget it are you ???" Said by DM (who was responsible)

Nearly 16 years ago, aged 18 I was forced to have a second trimester termination. I don't think I'll ever get over it. I've posted about it before as find it very hard in rl to articulate my feelings or find anyone other than dh or my counsellor to speak to.

Every November I nosedive into depression. DM is never sympathetic and cannot understand that it has affected my life since then and will probably continue to do so forever. A 'sweep it under the carpet' attitude. No acknowledging my pain or loss

I'm not BU am I to believe that such a traumatic event stays with you always and shapes who you are ? I feel like I was so young and somehow it did something to me, affected my mind in some awful way and it can't recover from that horrific trauma? Or am I wrong? If Iam when does that point come where I will feel better ?

Am I U ? I don't know. It's 1st November tomorrow and I hate November. I needed to talk i think that's all. Type it out, get it all out. Somehow it makes me feel like that poor poor beautiful child is still remembered, still thought about and written about but I wish it was in a better way than this

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Mon 31-Oct-16 22:31:31

Yes I believe it does. I'm so sorry for what you had to go through and I can well imagine the impact it has continued to have on your life.

My family suffered at the hands of my father's violence for many, many years. My DM believes I should be totally over it by now but cannot grasp that being born into violence and witnessing traumatic events might still be causing me damage now in my thirties. Her refusal to accept this is has torn us apart.

The only thing to even remotely help me is therapy.

Would you like to talk to us about your baby? I'm sorry you have been through this, especially with so little apparent love or support.

PlayOnWurtz Mon 31-Oct-16 22:34:11

Sorry for your loss. I think trauma does stay with you and people forget that for the person who experienced it that it will be as raw as it ever was on anniversaries.

However I'm of the school of thought that you don't sweep it under the carpet but you also need to start to heal at some point and let it settle so the pain isn't so raw. It is hard, but it's also not healthy to be ripping open wounds on a very regular basis. It's not fair on your own mental wellbeing, sod everyone else, you need to be at a point where you can live alongside the event.

Don't do yourself down, you've been through a traumatic loss, however you do need to find a way to stop it being so angry for your own sake.

Hedgehog80 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:39:11

I had hyperemesis so I was very unwell and completely vulnerable to the campaign I was subjected to. I blamed myself at first but through therapy I now know i was not to blame as i was ill and vulnerable but still it just hasn't left me.

Every year when autumn begins and the light changes I start to feel it. The mild panic at first and the way the light changes at the end of each day it's like I associate this time of year with fear and desperation and if I'm out at sunset/early evening i want to run and hide but there's no escape.
At the time I used to go for walks of i was allowed out and I would walk and think but as it went on I was not allowed out and my phone charger was taken so i could not speak to anyone.
DM started a campaign she told me awful things and made me believe dh did not want me or the baby. I was so sick I gave in

The first week I couldn't go through with it. It was all intensified and I returned the following week. When it was done and I was home she made good news calls to tell a couple of people "it's done"
I was not allowed to talk about it. A few days later I accidently broke a bowl when it smashed that was it it was like it woke me up and the loss hit me
My baby was gone and I wanted it back. The procedure had been traumatic but id blocked it out till then

Skedaddled Mon 31-Oct-16 22:41:43

I think if something is having this much of an impact on your life 16 years later that it might be worthwhile finding some kind of therapy to help you come to terms with it. It's not the kind of thing you are likely to forget and it is ok to feel regret, anger and sadness but I think acceptance is important too so that you can live your life in the present without focusing on the past to this extent. Have you had any kind of professional help to deal with this in the past?

Cagliostro Mon 31-Oct-16 22:41:57

YANBU at all sad sorry for what you had to endure

Hedgehog80 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:47:28

I have therapy for PTSD

It had helped on thsti no longer blame myself and I'm not upset all the time like I used to be. It's just this time of year I can't deal with. I try so hard and I try to get on and enjoy the beautiful dc i do have. I just feel like I'm detached as if I'm there but at the same time watching through the window and I can't stop it. The terrified and heartbroken 18 year old is still there

Skedaddled Mon 31-Oct-16 22:48:22

Ah sorry cross post hedgehog. I really think some more counselling could help. I'm really sorry for the baby that you lost and for the appalling way the 18 year old you was treated, it sounds like none of your feelings were acknowledged at the time so no wonder they're still unresolved now. Time doesn't heal until you've had a proper chance to deal with what happened and how you felt, if I were you I'd ask my GP for a referral to counselling.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:48:58


When I was 16 I accidentally fell pregnant and my mom told me, very matter of fact, that having a baby would ruin my life and the next day she had me down a Family Planning Centre and the first steps were in place for me to have a termination. No discussion was had, she never asked me once what I wanted and I just went along with it. She also told me I was not allowed to tell anyone else in my family that I was pregnant so I was utterly alone. I remember the night before my termination I just wanted to run away but I was too scared too.

On the morning of the termination I cried the whole way there and not once did my mom even ask if I was ok, she just carried on driving.

As I lay on the anaesthetic table and they came at me with the syringe to give me the anaesthetic I was desperate to cry out, to tell them I didn't want to do it, but I didn't. From the start my mom had made me feel like the choice was not mine to make.

After the termination my life completely spiralled and I changed into someone I didn't recognise, I was always drinking, destructive behaviours, having sex with lots of men, I just went crazy. I was full of guilt for what I had done and full of guilt that I hadn't had the courage to stand up to my mom. I hated myself.

For years and years I tortured myself over it all, went over and over it again in my mind, constantly berating myself for letting it happen. The ironic thing is that I was so, so angry at myself but never felt anger towards my mother.

Every year when the anniversary date of the termination came around I would shut myself away for days and just cry. I did the same when the anniversary of the due date came around each year too.

I lived a life where no matter what I did the trauma of my experience stayed with me every day - it was always there behind my smiles and it was like a weight I carried around with me.

I would say it took about 12 years until I actually made some kind of peace with it. The only way I realised that I was on the road to recovery was because one year the anniversary date of the termination came and went without me even realising it.

I'm 33 now, so 17 years have passed and I would say that it's only in the last 2-3 years that I've found myself in a place where I can think about the termination, and talk about it, without crying.

What happened is never, ever spoken about between me and my mom anymore. We act like it never happened. Once, when I was about 23 she made a reference to it and described it as "that trouble I once got myself in" but since then it's never been mentioned.

You have my sympathies because emotionally coping with a forced termination is soul destroying in a lot of painful ways flowers

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Mon 31-Oct-16 22:50:18

I just want to hug you from afar, you have been through so much and I can only imagine how it must have felt to have your mother manipulate such a situation. Do you still go to counselling now?

Hedgehog80 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:50:56

The minimising does not help at all. Or how DM cried if I am upset and says that I won't let her forget it and she was only doing what she thought was best for me.
In a way I wish it had been out of misguided love and old fashioned ways like she says but it wasn't. I know this because when I cried and sobbed and begged and screamed where was my baby and I wanted it back she said to me "they will have just thrown it in the hospital incinerator with the clinical waste and sluice"

Empress13 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:56:25

You poor thing OP can't imagine how traumatic that must have been for you as a young girl.

Agree more counselling is the way forward for you to try and come to terms with your loss. You also need to try and resolve the issues with your DM because in order to forgive yourself you need to try and forgive her.

Hedgehog80 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:57:38

writer I'm so sorry you have been through this too flowers

I too just before wanted to say I couldn't go through with it. I asked DM to get the doctor to remove the pessary and she laughed and said no and I couldn't get up through fear the baby would just fall out I was petrified. When I was finally taken down o sobbed and begged them to please not hurt the baby and to make sure it went to heaven and then that was it I dont remember much more after that it was dreadful

Skedaddled Mon 31-Oct-16 22:57:58

Sorry x-post again. I'm glad you have counselling, and it sounds like you are making steps and moving forwards. It's really hard when negative emotions and trauma have been bottled up for such a long time, it will take time to process all the emotions that were too raw when you were so young. Hopefully one day you will feel strong enough to get through November and remember in a more positive way, like planting something for the baby who you lost.

FrancisCrawford Mon 31-Oct-16 23:00:14

My heart goes out to you both.

My late DF definitely had PTSD from all he went through in WW2 and it definitely affected the rest of his life; from the "white nights" where he relived things, to his hoarding tendancies (his country was occupied, he escaped and was in the army but had no home for 10 years, which explains a lot) and then finally when he was ill and in hospital he thought he was back in the war and captured by the Nazis. This led to him escaping from a locked ward in the middle of the night, and eventually being found in the car park.

No counselling was offered to him or to the thousands like him who had to live with the consequences of all they had seen and all they had done. Dad was not quite 18 when war broke out. He never saw any of his family ever again.

Hedgehog80 Mon 31-Oct-16 23:00:14

I forgive her, but I know she is a terrible person and I keep my distance where I can and if I can't physically keep a distance emotionally I try to

It is worse than ever this year as dsis is expecting her first baby and it is being treated as if it's the most wonderful thing in the world, which of course it is but I feel an undercurrent of resentment and despair that her first baby is being rejoiced and mine was talked about like it was disgusting and I was forced to kill it and the pain I feel is immense

kerryob Mon 31-Oct-16 23:09:34

Your mother sounds awful, is she still in your life? You can't changed how your mother will act with you but you can choose to ignore her or not be around her when you feel like this.

Continue with therapy as it sounds like you still need support, you will never forget your baby & you will never forget your pain. But you do need to be able to live, you deserve to be happy, every winter shouldn't bring you anxiety that you sinks into depression. I lost a baby on 11th November, it's still hurts after 12 years, we light a candle to remember. I do dread that date but once it's over I feel relief & sadness if another year. Do you do anything to remember your baby?

Hedgehog80 Mon 31-Oct-16 23:12:40

We put our tree up every year on 27 November with dcs
Every year I had for a small decoration for my baby and they all go on the tree. It's the only way of turning an awful day into something to get some joy from with our lovely dcs as they are always so happy decorating the house and tree

YouJustWouldntLetItLieWouldYa Mon 31-Oct-16 23:15:01

It does, but I think it's something you have to choose whether it's going to define you or not. And how you handle that.

A family member experienced an awful, childhood event, we all did tbh. Some of us suffered a great deal more than this family member and yet she's the only one who has the major outbursts and treats people awfully each and every time she'll being up the events of 40 years ago as a reason, it's been the reason her husband has spent the last few Christmases sleeping in his car (( too ashamed to tell anyone )) the reason she turned up drunk at her nephews birthday party and smashed plates off the wall, the reason she takes herself off in a dramatic whirl for days then re appears as tho nothing has happened.

Ultimately it's up to us to choose how to handle a traumatic event as an adult and how we want it to define us, I honestly think in my relatives case she needs to hit rock bottom, she needs people to say enough's enough and turn their backs a little, as it is she has too many people holding her up and that isn't ok.

Hedgehog80 Mon 31-Oct-16 23:18:35

Sometimes I feel like I've turned a corner yet it takes me by surprise
The change in light this time of year is the worst. I can literally turn a corner and the sun is setting through the trees, the colours are beautiful and that autumn chill is in he air and it takes my breath and my heart hurts and aches and I'm back there. I'm 18 again and walking and wishing and scared and alone.

Hedgehog80 Mon 31-Oct-16 23:20:30

Maybe I fight it too much. Perhaps I need to feel it an break down each time and cry and actually feel it properly because at the time I didnt

Writerwannabe83 Mon 31-Oct-16 23:33:30

Sometimes I wondered if subconsciously I was making myself think about it all the time, making myself angry, making me hate myself all because for some reason I felt like I deserved to be punished.

It was a very irrational train of thought but I almost believed that unless I punished myself it meant that I didn't care about what I had done.

I barely think about what happened anymore because I must have slowly realised that I had to leave it in the past, I couldn't change what had happened and hating myself, punishing myself, focusing on anniversaries etc wasn't serving any purpose except to make my life a very unhappy one.

What we need to remember OP is that what happened to us was out of our own control. We both wanted to stop the terminations going ahead but were too afraid to say so which proves our feelings and actions were under the control of our mothers. You should absolutely grieve for the baby you lost but somehow you need to find a way to realise as horrific as it was, it can't be changed and you have nothing to feel guilty about. I found shaking the guilt was the hardest thing I did because that's when I realised I had to stop punishing myself which for many, many years was something I believed I deserved.

Hedgehog80 Mon 31-Oct-16 23:37:40

I did blame myself for a long time and it wasn't helped by DM saying how it was my signature on the form so I was ultimately responsible

Dh made me realise it was not my fault and that nothing was going to happen as 'punishment'. Sometimes though it just all comes back and it's such a dark place even in therapy I'm scared of truly opening up as I honestly worry I may just die of a heart attack going back there and remembering in detail. My mind stops me from going too far

bunnyfuller Mon 31-Oct-16 23:51:12

Have you tried EMDR for the PTSD? Talking therapies are fab, but EMDR helps you file the memory correctly instead of it feeling so fresh - you don't forget it, but it doesn't hit like the storm it was. Hugs xxx

stella23 Mon 31-Oct-16 23:53:23

Wow your mum! There are no real words to describe how awful she is. Im sorry I know she's your mum.
But reading what you have written and the complete lack of care and sympathy she showed you makes me just want to give you a hug.
Honestly only have her In your life if it benefits you.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now