Babyloss, Friends, Life

Why you didn’t see a heartfelt post from me this Mother’s Day | Surviving Narcissistic Abuse

I wrote this 8 months ago – on the 11th of May to precise – and never had the guts to publish it. But I finally thought I’d share my story of surviving narcissistic abuse. This was written before I had a name for what my mother is, but it begins to describe how she’s affected me over the years. 

On Mother’s Day I experienced an explosion of posts on my Facebook newsfeed. Lovely, heartfelt posts from daughters to their mothers; “happy Mother’s Day to the best mum ever”, “I couldn’t have done it without you”, “thanks for everything you’ve done for me”.

I didn’t join in. I simply can’t say things like that with a clean conscience, because I don’t mean them. Don’t get me wrong, my mother can be a really lovely person. Even extremely generous. Unfortunately those moments are few and far between – at least for me.

My childhood was filled with emotional abuse, made worse by the fact that I didn’t realise that’s what it was. I genuinely thought I was just a disappointment of a daughter, a bitch, selfish, because that’s all my mother ever really told me. She also tried to divide the family in a way – she’d tell me my dad wanted to disinherit me, my brother didn’t want me at his wedding, etc etc. Almost all of what she said was a lie. The most concerning part is that she genuinely seems to believe her lies. She could tell you the sky is green and scream at you for being a horrible, deceitful person by saying it’s actually blue.

She’s always been this way, although it could be said that she’s gotten progressively worse in recent years. As I got older it dawned on me that her behaviour wasn’t normal. Eventually, when I was just shy of 17 years old, it all got too much and I moved out. This was followed by a whole heap of extra abuse from my mum, ranging from begging me to stay , “you’re tearing this family apart”, to “go be a slut and live with your boyfriend then”. She would leave voicemail after voicemail, especially when she’d been drinking, basically just telling me how awful I was and how I owed her everything and should treat her accordingly.

Then my sons died. You’d think maybe that might’ve made my mum lay off me a bit, but you’d be dead wrong. There was so much drama from her after we lost our sons, I’d be here for a week if I tried to write it all down, so I’ll just tell you some snippets.

Mum caused a whole lot of problems with the funeral “guest list” – she told several people it was a public funeral, when in fact it was a very private one, while also telling some of my closest friends they weren’t invited and that I didn’t want to see them. It was stressful dealing with upset friends, and also having to tell upset acquaintances that they actually weren’t invited.

Mum also took it upon herself to tell the funeral director “our” plans – plans that we had definitely not discussed with her and that contradicted what we actually wanted to do. It was confusing trying to resurrect our sons’ funeral from the mess my mother made of it.

After the funeral, my mum left us voicemail after voicemail just yelling at us about crap.

Some of it included how she had more rights as a grandparent because she was the maternal grandmother, so we shouldn’t show Matt’s mother any photos of our sons. She berated us for not thanking her for planning the funeral for us. She yelled at us because Matt’s grandparents were at the funeral and mine weren’t, despite the fact that 3/4 of my grandparents weren’t even living, and the remaining one was in no state to travel 5 hours down for the funeral of two great-grandsons that she didn’t even remember she had. She called us selfish for not letting her invite friends of hers – some of whom we’d barely met – to our very private, family and closest-friends only, funeral. She bought a new outfit for the funeral apparently, so we owed her money for said outfit…

She just wouldn’t stop calling.

Her most memorable voicemail lines were “my grandsons have just died, give me some sympathy” and “I’m a mother, and that’s the most important job of all”, the latter said rather scathingly, like she knew that statement would hurt and intended it that way.

Matt had to physically take my phone off me. I was ending up in tears every time she called, yet I kept answering the phone because she was my mum – I felt like she deserved the benefit of doubt. By March though, I’d decided I couldn’t keep putting myself through that. I blocked her number and stopped talking to her completely for at least 12 months. Charlie being born changed that all a little – but that’s a story for another day.

The thing about my mum is that she can seem extremely loving looking from the outside in. It’s very hard to explain just what she’s like. There is definitely something very wrong there though, I’m not sure she even remembers when she abuses you, because she then goes on to act like it never happened and swears that it didn’t. I also know my sweet little sister doesn’t see the negative side of our mother as much – not like my brother and I have. I try not to discuss my mother with her, because she can form her own opinions based own her own experiences, it’s just so strange that her experiences are so different from mine. I know this post will probably be read by her, and I’m sorry little sister for darkening your view of our mum.

I guess there’s also the possibility that my mother could read this. Maybe there’s a tiny chance that she might finally see herself as the rest of us see her – someone who needs help. The abuse has got to stop. But more likely, she will blame the rest of us as she always has, and deny everything.

I’m sorry, mum, but you’re just too stressful to have in my life. You can be in Charlie’s – as long as you don’t ever treat her the way you’ve treated me – but I don’t want to play happy families and be your friend, because the abuse isn’t worth it. I choose to believe I am more than the names you call me. I choose happiness. 

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Life

Back In Action!

If anyone out there actually follows my blog, you will have notice I have written anything in a long, long time. I have a few excuses: I’ve been really busy, my laptop has been broken, and my phone screen is smashed to pieces so blogging from my phone hasn’t been fun either.

BUT I’M BACK! I got my new laptop today. Just in time for me to blog about my sons’ upcoming 3rd birthday / ‘angelversary’ and my rainbow’s upcoming 2nd birthday. They’re 6 days apart. It’s an emotionally draining time. I’ll tell you all about it next week.

I’m also starting university next month, and I’m hoping my blogging will help me in that regard. Writing is an invaluable talent as a student and I’m afraid I’m a little bit out of practice. I am, however, incredibly excited to be studying again – it’s been so long since I’ve felt like I’ve done something productive (besides raising a child of course).

Let me know what you’ve been up to lately in the comments. I’ve missed you! Will be back soon.

 

*Quick footnote: we’ve raised $2,690 for a Cuddle Cot through Bears of Hope! You can donate here.

 

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Friends, Life

A Review: Jamberry Nail Lacquer

Let me preface this by saying that I’m a complete amateur when it comes to nails & makeup. But I’ve recently been branching out a little and I know I haven’t written much lately so I thought I would tell you about it.

I’ve tried Jamberry nail wraps twice, but I’m not so good at application. So when I noticed they also sell nail lacquer, and wanting to support my local Jamberry consultant, I thought I’d give it a shot – even though I’m probably equally bad at painting nails as I am at wrapping them.

I bought a lacquer called ‘Pink Lemonade’ for $22. My first impressions were that the bottle was a little small (admittedly I’m not super familiar with nail lacquer bottle sizes so I have no comparison for that) and that the colour wasn’t quite what I pictured from the catalogue, but it was pretty none-the-less.

As soon as I put it on I FELL IN LOVE. It applies so beautifully, and even though I did a pretty terrible job of it it dries to look almost perfect. I decided then and there I’d buy more.

But I’ve had them on now for less than a week. After 4 full days of wear there’s almost none left on my nails. Granted, I didn’t use a base or top coat lacquer. It applies so bloody beautifully that I AM buying more and to see how it fares with a top coat.

My nails after application.

My nails now – and this is the better hand.
Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

I do love that it’s 5 free, and the application is to die for. Reserving the rest of my judgement for when I have a top coat lacquer. 

Check out Jamberry here: Delicious Digits Jamberry Shop.


Not a sponsored post.

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Babyloss, Life, parenting

Fundraising Update

Yesterday I received a phone call from my local hospital in regards to my Cuddle Cot fundraiser. 

It was a bit out of the blue. Obviously I have spoken to them before and when I first started fundraising actually received quite a few calls from them, but I couldn’t think of a reason why they would be calling yesterday. Except perhaps in regards to my upcoming community event. Nope.

They actually called me to let me know that someone from Newcastle had just contacted them, with 3 Cuddle Cots ready to go, wanting to donate one of them to Tamworth within the week. Which is fantastic news, really. But the hospital aren’t sure they’ll need another one – the one I’ve been fundraising for. I must admit I got off the phone and cried. 

It just meant so, so much to me to donate a Cuddle Cot in my sons’ names to the hospital they were born in. The people who would have used that Cuddle Cot might’ve recognised my boys names, knew their story. And I feel so connected to that place, I held my boys there, my boys existed in that hospital – sometimes it feels like it’s the only place they did exist. 

I’ve already raised $1,400, and my first community event is only weeks away. But now I’m not sure exactly where the money raised is actually going to go. I might have to find another home for my boys’ Cuddle Cot, and the community will then no longer get the satisfaction of knowing that their donations are actually going to help local families, which has honestly been a big driving point for my fundraiser.

Obviously I’m glad my local hospital is going to have a Cuddle Cot – and sooner rather than later means more families will be helped in the long run. I just can’t help but feel sad that my sons’ legacy might not get to live on in the local area.

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Babyloss, Life, parenting

Twins: Together Forever

One of the advantages of having two babies at once is that they have a built-in playmate, a friend to learn and grow up with. It’s something everyone said to me when I found out I was having twins, that they would never be lonely. And it’s one of the consolations I have about losing them. That they have always been together, and will always be, even in death.

When we first lost them and were “doing the rounds”, calling everybody to let them know, one of the first things people said was ‘they couldn’t even save one?’. It’s hard to explain why, but this question made me hurt even more. If I couldn’t have them both, why could I only have one? How could I have chosen between them? How could I separate my boys like that, when they had only ever known each other?

The only, tiny comfort I had when their hearts stopped beating was that they stopped together. That even in the afterlife, they will always have a friend. They naturally shared a coffin at the funeral, and we released two blue balloons, tied together, after the ceremony. One balloon dragged behind a little bit – I know this was simply the helium starting to run out, but I like to think of it as my little boy Eric reluctant to leave us, and his bigger twin brother gently guiding him to a better place. Helping each other just the way they would have if they had lived. 

It must be nice to watch your twins grow up together, knowing they will always have a friend. I don’t get that. It is admittedly painful for me to see other twins displaying that connection.

I do, however, know that that special twin connection is a beautiful thing; and that it can’t be beaten by death. My sons will always be twins, and always have each other. Even if one had lived and one had not, I have come to realise that that would always be true, just in a different way.

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Baby Number 3, Babyloss, Life, parenting

Mother’s Day approaches.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, in case you haven’t noticed. I’ve looked forward to it every year since becoming a mother. Even though my first Mother’s Day was spent with empty arms. Even though last Mother’s Day, Matt and I had only recently separated, and he’s not a terribly thoughtful person to begin with. Even though this year, while it’s off to a better start than previous years, is probably set to end in a similar way. Me feeling sad, under-appreciated, but also strangely re-affirmed in my role as a mother.

My first Mother’s Day I remember I wanted so badly for other’s to recognise that it was my Mother’s Day too. My sons may not have been there, but I was still a mother. Matt wished me a happy Mother’s Day and gave me a quick hug as I got out of bed that morning, and that made me feel pretty great despite the sadness hiding within the hug. But what followed was a completely average day. There was no breakfast in bed, no barbecue in my honour, no cards, no cute home-made gifts, and most importantly no babies to hug. Getting back into bed that night, I cried thinking of what my first Mother’s Day should have been. Even if I hadn’t received anything else, I should have had two little boys to hold tight and make me feel grateful to be a mother. Instead what I had was emptiness. But as I pulled my blankets up, I looked out at the stars, and thought of my sons and how they wouldn’t want me to be sad – especially on Mother’s Day. I was their mother, after all.

Last Mother’s Day was, as a mentioned before, not long after Matthew and I separated. It wasn’t the best day. I spent it with Matt, I’m not even sure why considering I’d just left him. We invited his parents down to the local pub, ate pizza, and drank vodka (or at least, I did). At the end of the day, I was still pretty sad, but I had Charlie to cuddle and I felt pretty damn grateful for that.

This Mother’s Day I’m not sure what I’m hoping for. The truth is, every holiday sucks a little when you’re a bereaved parent. Even on the happy days, if there’s not at least tiny bit of sadness then there’s guilt for not feeling sad.

Anyway, happy Mother’s Day everyone! Whether you’re a new mum, a single mum, an empty-nester, or a mum with empty arms. Whatever kind of mum you are, happy Mother’s Day.

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Baby Number 3, Babyloss, Life, parenting

Recap: April

I haven’t felt the urge to write much lately. I usually use writing as a bit of an outlet during bad times, so basically life has been treating me well recently. I’ve been feeling really good. Not a lot of down days – although even on a good day I still believe life is unfair – and lots to keep me busy.

Here’s a quick recap of my last 2 weeks:

  • My cuddle cot fundraiser has been featured in the newspaper, on the radio and on TV – The local news really jumped on it, and the response has been fantastic. Charlie, my boys & I featured front page on our local newspaper Tuesday morning and as a result we received a message from ABC Radio wanting an interview, our local Prime7 News followed not long after. I was pretty nervous about being interviewed, but I think I did okay. Check out the article here: ‘Gift offers time with lost babies’, or watch my nerve-wracking TV appearance: ‘Mum on a mission’.
  • My fundraiser is now at over $1,100 – As a result of the recent media coverage, we’ve now raised enough for 1/6th of a cuddle cot in only a month of fundraising. Which also translates to 22 Bears of Hope packages in honour of my boys (if enough money for a cuddle cot isn’t raised).
  • I got chickens – probably not an important point but I find it exciting. Six 6-week-old Isa Browns. Seriously looking forward to not having to buy eggs in the near future. Charlie also absolutely adores them, which is a nice little bonus. We spend probably half an hour with them every morning playing outside and it definitely makes the day seem shorter having so much fun.
  • I spent some time with my beautiful sister, and my brother also visited from Melbourne – Family is important. Mine may not be very functional at the best of times, but I love them all the same and Charlie spending time with my family is also very important to me. My sister’s visit meant non-stop giggles from Charlie, we’ve missed her while she’s been away at university.
  • We got out personalised child loss book in the mail yesterday – From the author of Sam and Finn, these books are ‘a story of hope created especially for you’. It’s going to be beautiful reading it to Charlie as she gets older – a special little story about her big brothers. We already have Someone Came Before You, and it’s lovely, but this book actually has Andrew & Eric’s name in it! You can buy your own here: Personalised Child Loss Book.

That’s pretty much it. Condensed into a list, none of that seems as big of a deal as it actually was – I feel like there’s been so much excitement here lately!

My laptop is officially up and running again by the way, so look forward to more frequent blog posts. Unfortunately there’s been a hiccup with our new internet installation, but hopefully that’ll be working soon too.

How have you all been while I’ve been gone?

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