Dear you, I know

Dear you,

I refuse to refer to you as a sufferer, because that’s not what you are and that certainly isn’t what defines you. You deserve to be acknowledged for what you are, a survivor.

I know how you feel. Believe me, I do. I also know that everybody says “I know how you feel” But actually has no idea just how much pain you’re in. I know that when people tell you that everything will be OK, you just smile, nod and sigh a gentle “…yeah”, because your soul is too tired to explain just how far from OK everything will ever be. What’s the point anyway, right?

I know you want more for yourself. But you’ve been wanting “more” for so long that you no longer believe you deserve it, so you go about your life accepting the bare minimum from people because, well, this is as good as it probably gets and you’re too afraid to burn bridges in case you never get the chance to build new ones again.

I know you hate the deafening silence that you come home to. You could be in a home filled with people yet your ears ring from hearing absolutely nothing and the loneliness is unbearable. You’re an introverted extrovert and you can’t comprehend how you want new friends and experiences yet you hate people and can’t seem to find comfort outside of your bed. You don’t trust anybody so you refrain from socialising with new people, yet you’re subconsciously unhappy that you only have a handful of real friends, if that. Your phone could be off for hours yet there would still be no notifications once you turn it on. You feel defined by this and believe it must somehow be a negative reflection of your character and qualities.

I know your relationship is strained because you’re finding it difficult to express to your partner just how big of a mental and emotional battle you’re facing, for fear of seeming negative and pushing them away. Money struggles are the bane of your existence and the pressure to look a certain way is mounting upon you. Your acne is getting acne because your stress is stressing you out. Your loved ones have put you up on a pedestal and perceive you as someone happy. strong and invincible. But you’re not happy, you feel weak, defeated and as a result feel like a disappointment for not living up to the picture perfect image that they have painted out for you.

You’re perfectly content with going to sleep and never waking up again.

Well, you’re not alone. Everybody says this but you’re not, you’re one in a million but you’re one of a billion. Instead of playing sad songs in your headphones while you cry as you lay in bed, get up and set yourself a new goal to work towards. Do not stop distracting yourself with new targets until you triumph in the success of every single one of them. Stop allowing yourself to be defined by the unfortunate circumstances that surround you. You are worth the exact same as the person that you envy with the expensive car whilst you are sitting on the bus.

It’s so easy to become obsessed with looking happy and successful. But you’re depressing yourself trying to live up to everybody else’s standards rather than setting your own. Block them out. Build your own pedestal and understand that you are allowed to fall off of it sometimes.

Stop arguing with people and start responding by showing them how irrelevant they are to your success and peace of mind. Do not accept anything that does not contribute to your happiness, your peace or your future. It is so easy to turn a blind eye to toxic people because they are our best friend, partner or parent. No matter what anyone has done for you it does NOT give them a green pass to cause you any type of unhappiness. Be selfish with your aura and cut the cord with those who offend it. You would never digest something that will upset your stomach. So I have to ask you, why would you digest the negative energy of others which will inevitably upset your soul?

You are not defined by how many friends you have or how many messages you receive or even by how big or small your support system is. You will meet new people over time but take this time to work on yourself, otherwise you will never feel confident enough to feel comfortable outside of your bed and you’ll continue to isolate yourself. Your acne will fade, so stop fixating on it. Your stress will slowly disappear once you are able to accept that you are not alone and your situation is not a reflection of whom you are or whom you can be.

You are not defeated, weak or a disappointment. You are still here because you are a survivor of your own mental battles. By not giving up, you have already won. So start living, start dancing, appreciate the now and think about the future later. Take control and under no circumstances allow anything or anyone to control you. Stop hoping to never wake up and start hoping for more life. Allow yourself the time to cry and become comfortable feeling pain and sorrow. It’s important to embrace your sadness as much as you embrace your merriment, otherwise you will never be truly understand or appreciate what it is to be truly happy. Fall in love with the person you want to become and. Be selfish with your happiness and be absolutely unapologetic about it.

Nobody has the power to be anything like you, only yourself can be you. Use that to your advantage.

One parent down

How many times have you sat and asked yourself “How would life be if i had a mum?” or “Would I be a better man if my dad was involved in my life?”

I believe that every single person with an absent parent has asked themselves this very question and still is asking themselves this very question. We can’t help but wonder off into a mental alternative world where we have both of our parents in our lives, thereby dwelling on the reality that we wish we had. We then have to accept that we will spend the rest of our lives never receiving that much-needed closure and answer to the question: “why did you leave?”

Both of my parents are alive, however I was raised by a single father from the age of 3. My mum fell pregnant with me at an extremely young age, with no mother figure and a deadbeat father.  My mum decided that it would be best if she terminated her pregnancy, however from some thorough convincing from my dad, here I am.

I’m not sure how old I was when my dad came home and called for an ambulance because my mum had overdosed in an attempted suicide, but I know I was no older than 3. Did my existence cause that much pain? Was I such a burden?

3 years old. I was 3 years old when my parents split and my dad took me to live with him while my mum went to university. I guess this is where my mum stopped being a consistent part of my life. This is a memorable age because it is the last time that I was ever truly happy or ever truly felt complete was when I was 3 years old and way too young to understand why anything had happened.

To be fair, my mum was getting herself together. She had been studying law in university until she attained her law degree. She went on to working hard and making something of herself. But she was supposed to come back for me. She did, many times…but somewhere along the line I just never ended up back where I was supposed to be. I was supposed to have my mum back and not be destined to grow up with this huge hole in my heart. But both of my parents have always given me extremely different stories and have always blamed each other for why she wasn’t in my life, so I don’t actually have many answers.

The situation caused me to grow up with this burning subconcious need for someone to love me as much as I loved them. For someone to be madly, deeply and crazy in love with me and make me feel safe and secure. The absolute only thing I have ever been interested in was finally feeling loved and having a family of my own. Do you have any idea how it feels to desperately want someone to want you as much as you want them? For your actual heart to yearn for love so deeply?

3pm. I dreaded 3pm every single day of primary school. It was the time that I would have to watch all of my friends being picked up by their mothers and it was the time where I would be reminded that I would never be a little girl running into my mum’s arms at the end of the school day. Mothers day at primary school takes the prize for the biggest anxiety trigger, because all of the kids would have a whole day to make cute little mothers day cards and to create silly little gift boxes to give to their mums. I was the only one making something for my dad every single year. Then came the dreaded question from my classmates of “why don’t you have a mum?” “I don’t know.” was always my answer. Pathetic, right? But It’s all I was ever asked growing up.

I specifically remember one day at after school club my friend had asked me what happened to my mum, one of the staff members stopped the entire class and decided it was necessary to make an announcement about how horrible it is to ask me where my mum was and why I didn’t have one. I could not have tried any harder to hold back those tears. I must have been about 8 years old and up to this day I am still embarrassed because she made me feel like a complete freak show.

Again. Anxiety. I hated meeting new family members because in getting to know me they’d always ask “who is your mum?” but I had learned the routine of looking for someone to jump in and give them the side-eye to get them to realise that such a question was forbidden. Why did I have to be such a vulnerable freak? Why did I have to be the only one?  I love and appreciate my dad more than words can ever express. But  I still have never felt complete.

In secondary school the attention started to ease off of me after a while. People were finally able to look at me and not talk about how I barely knew my mum. People would ask me about it from time to time but it gradually became easier to talk about because there were finally other people who also had an absent parent and that helped me to feel less ashamed. Still ashamed…but significantly less.

Growing up with half of my identity missing just caused me to feel so lost. I still believe I could have been a happier, more confident person with a much more positive outlook on life, if things could have just been different. I grew up finding it difficult to socialise because I was depressed from an unusually young age.  I was an only child so it was especially hard because I had nobody who could relate to the loneliness that I constantly felt. I didn’t get a chance to understand who I really was as a result of growing up overshadowed by the piece of me that was missing, rather than embracing and exploring the part of me that I did know about myself. I became this socially awkward person who would always avoid going to events or parties simply because I knew I wouldn’t know how to make friends and would inevitably end up sitting in some corner waiting to be taken home.

I always felt like a failure, as if I could never do or say anything right. I have never received as much love as I have given to someone. I have serious abandonment issues and I love harder than people love me and that’s truly soul damaging. I have attempted suicide on too many occasions and for some reason I failed every time. Why am I still here? What is so special about me that you’re keeping me here? Why can’t you just let me go?

As I started to get older, it’s as if people had started to get fed up of the idea that I could still be traumatised and affected by it all. Instead of anybody seeing that I was actually suffering with the battles of my own mind, I was called miserable and moody more times than I could remember. I was told I need to get a grip because plenty of people’s parents are dead and mine isn’t. What difference was a comment like that supposed to make? My mum wasn’t dead but truthfully it’s harder to lose someone who is actually alive, because they’re here but you just can’t reach them. You desperately want them to reach their arms out to meet yours but they just stand there, watching you as you struggle to grab a hold of them. Millions of people have absent parents but I can only feel the pain of my own situation and it’s affected me in a way that even I struggle to comprehend.

I wish I had focused on finding happiness within myself and not allowing my mums absence to take over my life, or the fact that no one understood my depression to drive me to want to die so desperately. I wish for people not to let the absence of their parent consume them because the emotional and mental results are devastatingly underrated. What we need to realise is that a lot of our character is shaped on our childhood and that “daddy issues” and “mummy issues” aren’t a joke. They truly affect your life in ways you wouldn’t expect and unless we start trying to change this, we will continue to be overshadowed by it.