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I keep getting sick and panicky and crying about Baby P - I know it isnt normal but I am & need help

(80 Posts)
ifthatphoneringsonemoretime Fri 14-Aug-09 14:55:11

namechanged etc

When the whole Baby P thing first came in the news I purposefully did not read the newspapers about it as I knew I wouldnt be able to handle the details. I am empathetic to a fault and really internalise stuff like this and many other issues.

I have maintained my rule of not reading much about the case etc as I already knew my heartbreak wasnt going to change anything for the poor child and yet it could have a really harmful impact on me.

Anyway it is pretty impossible to avoid it totally and I have seen enough snippets & heard enough people talk at work that some of the horrific details have been filled in my mind.

I am finding the terror of it and the agony of a little child going through that almost impossible to shut out. I am crying in the night, feeling sick to my stomach etc. I have moments all my life where it feels like I am literally feeling the emotions of other people and this has hit me big. And if I could somehow make it better for poor Baby P by feeling this for him I would have done in a heartbeat but as it is it is doing no one any good.

I just wish I could stop all this madness in the world. But of course I cant. But I am really torn up and feeling all these terrible things & I just cant get it to go away.

How do I move on and how can I stop myself being so empathetic? Trust me I am in no way at all comparing my pain to his at all the whole point is I am intensely aware of the agony his little life was in and I am helpless. But my own mental health is taking a blow from it too and I just dont think that is good either. So what can I do to stop being like this horrible emotional sponge?

IChangedIt Fri 14-Aug-09 21:54:00

Name changed too.
You are not alone. I used to think about Jamie Bolger a lot too. Not going to go into details but I totally get what you're saying.

I made an effort to stop myself from thinking about it and would have a magazine nearby or put the TV on (even if it was the middle of the night). It did pass in the end, but if it's really affecting you may be you should go to your doctor. x

GwarchodwrPlant Fri 14-Aug-09 22:14:31

You are a kind, sensitive soul and the world needs more people like you in it.

What happened to Baby P was unbelievably cruel and awful but you must remind yourself he is at peace now in heaven and has probably forgiven his abusers for what they did to him in his short life.

If you can imagine he is healed now and is surrounded by love and peace and is smiling and happy I'm sure it will help you.

You cannot change what has happened or change any of the bad things that happen day in day out to little children but you can learn to accept that the world is a massive place full of every range of emotions and experiences and whilst we cannot undo every wrong, we can help others in our own way by loving those near to us, by being kind to people and gentle with the Earth.

Torturing yourself is not going to help anybody, least of all you. This will pass and the memory will fade as time goes on. I think what you need to do is limit your exposure to these stories and do something that will have a positive effect on your emotional state and give you a sense that you are helping these children.

Could you do something for a children's charity, like raise some money for the NSPCC or help out with some voluntary work?

And for Baby P, could you write him a letter telling him how sorry you are that his experience of life was what it was and how if you could, you would heal him with your love? Then you could take the letter to a spot that is special to you, along with some flowers and have a good cry. Afterwards, you should be able to let his memory go.

K999 Fri 14-Aug-09 22:17:44

It is such a terrible tragedy.

mammamia25 Fri 14-Aug-09 22:30:43

I just wanted to say I could have written this post myself. I feel exactly like you - I lie awake at night crying thinking about what he went through, it goes round in my head regularly during the day - the bits that I do know (like you, I've been unable to read all of it, but what I do know is horrific enough) and then imagining what I don't know. When it was first in the news last year I used to walk to the tube every day in tears. I also internalise things like this in a way that seems far more intense than other people. I don't know what to say, other than we wish we could have been there for him but we weren't, which wasn't our fault. What I do know is that I intend to do something in the future that will help other abused or neglected children - just not sure what that will be yet.

GwarchodwrPlant Fri 14-Aug-09 22:38:42

P.S I forgot to add that I am exactly the same- moreso since having my own DS. I just cannot imagine the mentality of these people.

My mum came over one day to find me absoloutly distraught with tears running down my face reading about Baby P and she had to remove the newspaper and talk me round.

Since then I get DP to read newspapers before me, removing any child/animal stories that I would find upsetting. I don't listen t the news either.

You have the option of absorbing it all or blocking it out. I know which I prefer to do.

smallwhitecat Fri 14-Aug-09 22:41:46

Message withdrawn

Paolosgirl Fri 14-Aug-09 22:48:29

Ditto here. What makes it even worse for me personally is that he was the image of DC3, so I keep imaging it all happening to him. I have to stop myself thinking about it, because I just keep crying and feeling physically sick. I think the only thing you can do is to block it out, as Gwar says, and physically stop yourself from thinking about it or dwelling on it by diverting yourself.

I had to see a community psych. nurse some time ago, who suggested putting an elastic band around my wrist and 'pinging' it every time I started thinking the thoughts I was having at that time. That seemed to work, as did shouting 'stop' at times when I couldn't ping the band, such as when I was driving. Maybe worth a go? Or something along those lines?

AbricotsSecs Fri 14-Aug-09 22:54:21

Message withdrawn

ifthatphoneringsonemoretime Fri 14-Aug-09 22:57:13

thanks everyone for your help. I was worried people would say oh shut up you attention seeker when there is literally none of that in it.

gwar I really like your idea of writing to him. I do believe somehow we can have some communication after death so I will try to mother him a bit in whatever way I can. It just makes me sick and like many of you I have a young son. I keep grabbing him and holding him because I cant believe if he were in the wrong hands he would be in so much danger. I would give anything to go back in time and adopt Peter when he was born to stop it all.

smallwhitecat Fri 14-Aug-09 23:02:59

Message withdrawn

AppleHEAD Fri 14-Aug-09 23:04:41

Why don't you try and think of some positive way to focus all your feelings. Like making a donation to the NSPCC or even raising some money for them. It is horrible to read about and I think it has made many people feel dreadful. Try to think that maybe his death won't be in vain, maybe things will change for the better.

tummytickler Fri 14-Aug-09 23:05:34

I am exactly the same. It seems a lot of us are, maybe we should be, it was so, so, so awful. Peter was the same age and the spitting image of my ds, so everytime i looked at him, for a little while, horrible thoghts would flood my head.
I too avoided reading it as much as possible, and talking about it.
I agree with the pp about loving those around you and living kindly and peacefully - i have really tried to do this, knowing that in a small way it will effect those around me for the better. We cant help everybody, but if we can make life a little better for those around us, then that is surely a good start.
I also watch a lot of comedy shows, and have taken to rereading Jeeves and Wooster in bed to fill my head up with light hearted things.
I am sure in time, you will feel better, but if youfeel you need to, do go to the doctor and see if they can help.
Maybe some charity work might help, so youare doing something constructive to help those you maybe cannot personally reach. I only do 2 hours a week, and it hads really helped to know i might be making a small differncec to somebody somewhere.

Tortington Fri 14-Aug-09 23:06:55

well i dunno it sounds like you have nowt better to worry about - get a grip

smallwhitecat Fri 14-Aug-09 23:10:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

pickledegg Fri 14-Aug-09 23:20:34

Nope I'm with custardo.

Yes it's utterly awful what happened to Baby P. But there are evil things going on all round the world all the time, to children and adults too. Children with not enough to eat, children on the streets, in shanty towns, child soldiers, children whose parents have died of AIDS, children with AIDS etc etc. It's happening all the time and it's fucking tragic. If you felt this way about every horrible news story you would never get out of bed in the morning.

What you can do is give to charity, or even go and be a volunteer and help some of them. But sitting around crying and feeling sad is pointless.

SycamoretreeIsFullOfResolve Fri 14-Aug-09 23:24:16

OP - I just wanted to post to say I have felt quite similar.

I got a bit flamed on here a while ago for posting in shock about a particular incident relating to the case which I heard on the 6pm news, on radio fricking one driving home from work...I was sick in my mouth when the news reader said it. Blood rushed to my head and my heart was pounding.

Custy - I'm not a timid person, or a pushover, or some flighty willow the wisp. I'm tough, I'm cynical, I'm world weary to an extent.

However, I do suffer, like the OP, from some sensory or empathetic overload at times. It's the same as the time I read an excerpt from AMERICAN PSYCHO as a teenager and just could not stop replaying certain scenes very viscerally in my head again and again.

What makes it worse with Baby P is that we know it's not some twisted work of fiction.

I think you need to accept that not everyone's chemical make-up is the same as yours. We can't all control how our minds respond to information like this.

I have had to work very hard at blotting out Baby P. I have a few mental tricks I implement when I see a newspaper front page, or hear anything on news/radio. Distraction techniques to make sure the info doesn't sink below surface conscience.

Paolosgirl Fri 14-Aug-09 23:38:45

Custy - will you please make one of your posts at some point a bit more appropriate. We know you all like to call a spade a fucking spade, but honestly, they're all the bloody same.

Tortington Sat 15-Aug-09 00:41:49

<holds up handbag>


SycamoretreeIsFullOfResolve Sat 15-Aug-09 08:04:39

Right, didn't think it'd be worth it.

<mental note never to bother trying to engage custy>

smallwhitecat Sat 15-Aug-09 09:51:00

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Tortington Sat 15-Aug-09 12:38:07

[gets bigger handbag..and tissues] SWC you have hurt my feelings

oneplusone Sat 15-Aug-09 12:43:55

you are not alone. I avoid all details of the case for the same reasons as you. I force myself to think about something else if i find myself starting to think about that poor little soul. I have a 3 year old DS which makes it even harder to stop thinking about what Baby P went through.

I don't have the solution for you. All i can think of is that if you do find yourself thinking about it and feel upset, have a cry and let your emotions out. I think what you feel is normal and shows you are a loving, caring, decent human being and the world definately needs more people like you in it. x

oneplusone Sat 15-Aug-09 12:53:18

custy, what better things do you suggest we think about? Something nice and fluffy so we can ignore this sort of thing that is going on around us all the time? How short sighted and selfish you are. It is people like the OP that usually go on to do something positive to make a difference in the future. People that feel great empathy for the suffering of others are usually the ones who feel moved enough to do something positive and practical to help others. Which is precisely why i am about to embark on a huge career change so that i can do something to help abused and neglected children in whatever way i can. I feel sorry for you; what can be more important for us all to think about than the life and happiness and wellbeing of our children, i would love to know?

LadyOfWaffle Sat 15-Aug-09 12:56:13

Not going to namechange - I am the same. I can't help it, I know there are things going on in the world all the time but the details are in our faces all the time. On a coping level I try and do something when thoughts fill my head - jump up and do some cleaning, think about something totally different, even if it's forcing myself to think about something else. Eventually the thoughts pass. Also trying to turn the feelings into something positive - donating, fundraising, volunteering. I mean this in the nicest possible way - there is no point wasting energy kind of sitting and wallowing, it won't change the future which is the important thing now. {{hugs}} x

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