Hi everyone. This is my first post. Sorry It’s a long one.
I am 33 and my beautiful mother took her own life 2 months ago, just before Christmas. I was so close to her, I was an only child and she was a single mother for a lot of my life. It was just me and her.
She suffered from anxiety and depression and ultimately just became too scared. She had a lot of things go wrong for her, she had lost the sight in one of her eyes and couldn’t see clearly in the other and she had just had a terrible fall down some stairs the year before. She became scared to trust herself to go outside and be independent after the fall. Worried I suppose that she would fall again. She developed anxiety to the point where she would get terrible nausea and not be able to eat for days.
I spent a lot of time in my life looking after her as a child…when I was a kid I didn’t really understand her anxiety and depression and just thought it was …her being quirky or different, or just FELT more than other people. But I remember when my dad left her she fell ill for months, crying and wailing uncontrollably every morning and I - a 10 year old - would be consoling her. Sometimes she would take me to A&E with her, she would be crying and saying she felt like she was going to die and needed to ask the doctors “what was wrong with her”. She would always get turned away (and never referred to a mental health team which I find pretty ridiculous looking back now)
This year after the accident she had enough. There was an avalanche of minor things going wrong that all built up for her. I would stay with her for weeks on end, cooking for her, cleaning, paying her bills, talking through her emotions with her, trying to convince her to do fun stuff with me trying to raise her spirits. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
In the end the anxiety got so bad she would worry herself sick and be so worried when she was on her own like for example she was worried that she might oversleep and not hear the doorbell for the internet shopping…(because she didn’t feel confident going out to get shopping herself) so this would mean she wouldn’t have any food.
I stayed with her as much as possible, and when I couldn’t stay with her because of work I would phone her everyday sometimes multiple times to check in on her.
In November I stayed with her for two weeks then I decided I would go and visit my friend a few hours away for the weekend to have a small mini break and come back on Monday. The weekend I left was the weekend she decided to overdose and take her own life.
That was November and since then everything has been a blur. The thing is it is so complicated. I know I have just written the negative stuff on here and how complicated our relationship was in terms of me looking after her…but the truth is that when she was well…she was the best mother ever and my best friend and my biggest inspiration.
When she was well, her joyfulness, positivity and gracefulness is just unmatched. I loved her SO much and she loved me so much. Like the outpouring of love she had. She told me she loved me all the time. She was so creative and sensitive and caring. She had an amazing, silly sense of humour and we would laugh so hard together. I direct community theatre shows and make art, and every single show I have ever done she came to (TWICE) and applauded and told me she was proud of me and had the hugest beaming smile. Her smile was so special. Everyone talks about her smile.
I just can’t believe she’s gone. In her note she said that I had done everything I could and that this was better for the both of us. She told me that I needed to embrace my life and make the most of it. She knew she had been a burden for me and didn’t want that any longer.
I don’t know how to handle it. Because on one level yeah sure. Practically my life always revolved around her. I didn’t feel like I had “freedom” to just go off and travel or leave her or be independent or whatever. Compared to my other friends I found it hard at times definitely.
But also…I loved her so much and I really loved having my life revolve around her. I didn’t really have a family so she WAS my family. I didn’t WANT to have the “freedom” to be on my own.
Neither of us had any money, she lived in a council flat …my dream was to make enough money to buy a place with a partner and then so she could live with us and not be so isolated.
It never happened.
I feel so guilty and I know I did everything that I could but at this stage you always feel like there was something more you could have done. Like I WISH i hadn’t decided to go away that weekend. I wish I had stayed with her. The mental health support team were due for a visit the next week and maybe they would have got her on some good medication.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard the last 4 years trying to get my art and community theatre off the ground. My mum was actually in a really good mental health place the last 4 years it only got really bad again after the fall. But I was so busy. I wish I had spent more time with her instead of working. I did still see her all the time…but I wish it had been more. I wish I had just tried to make money instead of working on my art…and got us a house SOONER. Then she would have felt the security of that.
I wish I had recorded her stories. She had so many amazing stories and I wanted to record them. Now I have to piece together the memories myself and my brain isn’t working. There are some things that will just be lost forever.
I wish I’d been focused on finding a relationship and having kids so she could have met her grandchildren. She really wanted grandchildren. And I REALLY wanted my future kids to meet her.
I wish I had talked to her more about her art. She was an incredible artist before I was born and we hardly ever spoke about it. I am discovering her work now and it was AMAZING. I can’t believe I never got to talk to her properly about it.
She taught me everything I knew and I really believe she was the love of my life. She was the main event. Now I have to work out who in the world I am without her. And I hate that.
Luckily I have friends who are looking after me.
And I am so lucky that I had such a beautiful and intense connection with my mother for 33 years. But oh my god.
Every day is just a fog. Sometimes I think of her all the time. Sometimes I am just getting back from work and watching hours and hours of reality tv to numb my brain and then when it’s over I remember whats happened and can’t believe it. Sometimes I talk to her like its one of our phone calls and imagine her talking back.
I don’t know. I don’t even know why I’m posting this. Sorry it is so so long. Congratulations of you managed to get through this. I guess expressing yourself is good.
I have been going to a counsellor and trying to go out of the house and walk in the park sometimes. Everything feels so confused and immediate…like I can only think of my life in terms of the next few hours…I can’t see the big picture.
Anyway. Thats that, thats a snapshot of my story. It helps to write it out. Theres so much more to it as is always the way with stories.
I just want her back. Thanks for reading.