PTSD and me

Today as I stepped out of bed on day 550 without you I looked out of the window for some inspiration. I didn’t find any.

There is no one day easier than another, I am yet to wake up any morning and think, well I don’t miss you as much today. My thoughts are always with you. My tears are all for you. I suspect you can see mummy from the little white fluffy cloud on which you now reside; but I know if you can see your mummy you’ll also know that she can’t help it. I have long since given up thinking that time heals, that one day I’ll come to terms with losing you. Simply, I won’t, how can I?

More than ever I can’t cope with knowing that I couldn’t save you. You didn’t deserve this. You deserved the world. You deserved to be happy. You deserved the chance to live your life how you chose. Your life so cruelly taken away from you by others. Maybe that day they went into work with something on their mind, perhaps they were tired. But you gave your life for their mistakes, there is no bigger sacrifice, and if mummy could she would give everything for you to have breath back in your broken little body.

Sweetheart, I think that some people think that after 550 days I should be functioning better, that I should be capable of getting through a day without breaking down. Or that perhaps I shouldn’t be as vulnerable and fragile as I am. I don’t think anyone will ever understand the path that I tread. It is not a path that anyone else can say they have been on, after all, only I know my pain of losing you. Daddy treads his own path, others tread different paths. But no one treads mummy’s path.

The moment that mummy heard those words ‘I’m sorry my love, but he’s gone’ my life changed irrevocably. There was no going back, no going back to the normal life we had created together. No more cosy morning snuggles, no watching you point your toes and jiggle your little feet when you are excited, no sneaking into your room in the night to stroke your silky soft hair. Mummy used to do that, you probably knew that, but you let me, because you know mummy needed to. What I would do to just hold you one more time.

Some people don’t understand that by the time I have managed to dress myself in the morning, I have already been awake crying for several hours, if I’ve been to sleep at all. Some people don’t understand that some days fast movement, lots of noise or colour gives me a sensory overload. Trying to explain to someone why I’m so hypersensitive is virtually impossible, let alone trying to explain how the flashbacks cripple me. You see people don’t understand PTSD, people think I should stop thinking about it. How can I? Could they? I don’t think so, not if they had witnessed losing you. I can’t stop thinking about it, I don’t have a choice. PTSD isn’t simply a memory recollection, something you can summon and then change to think about something completely different. When my brain decides, I will re-live the moment that I found you again. Frozen in bed, not being able to move, paralysed by fear, in my mind, you are next door, in your cot, passed away. Somehow the light, the sounds, the smells are the same. It is that morning again. I can’t remember how many hours I sat cross-legged on your floor, hands tightly gripping the bars of your cot, head pressed against the bars so hard there were two lines on my forehead, staring, my eyes pleading with the spot where you took your last breath, pleading for you to not be there, not like that, not again. I think it took 6 hours for my brain to realise that you weren’t there. For those 6 hours in my mind I had been staring at your broken little body. But of course you weren’t there. Try telling my mind that. It is like being trapped in a nightmare, not able to wake up because of course you are already awake. Being suffocated by the nightmare as you have no idea that it isn’t real or that it isn’t really happening again.

PTSD is so debilitating. I don’t get a choice, I can’t just not think about ‘it’. The trauma of losing you so vivid, mummy is forced to re-live losing you all over again, I can’t help it. It’s not just a memory, it’s not something that I can distract myself from. It is not something that I can explain to people unless of course they have experienced it. They do not understand that one minute you are seemingly ok and confident to the next minute being scared to exist in what is a co-dependent bubble. And when it strikes it is like having a wound re-opened, and left constantly open. Social situations are a no go area, draining, emotionally exhausting, overwhelming, frozen and incapable of functioning. In a nutshell PTSD is not being able to differentiate in your mind the past, the present and the future.

I wish people would be patient, I wish people would not judge. I wish I didn’t have to keep justifying how and why I feel like I’m in a sinking abyss. No one will ever understand the pain of losing you, a life sentence, one that will not be over until I take my last breath and we are together again.

You will never know sweetheart how much mummy needs you. You changed my life, mummy is so blessed that you picked me. I sit here looking at your photo’s, your captivating smile, your sparkling eyes coming alive from every photo. You probably see mummy touch your photos, hoping that she can feel you chubby soft skin once more; but I never will. I remember the last time I ever held you. I traced every inch of your little body with my finger, my eyes closed, assigning every little fold and crease to memory. Even then, twenty days after you had passed away you were still perfect. God, mummy misses you so much. People just don’t get it. It just does not get easier.

So, my message to the lovely people who I encounter every day in my life, please don’t judge, don’t criticise, be patient, be calm, be respectful and most of all, give me time. I estimate it will take a lifetime.

21 thoughts on “PTSD and me

  1. I’ve not commented on here before, purely because I have no idea of the pain you suffer every day, and would not presume to. I just wanted to say never let anyone tell you that you should be getting over it by now. There is no timeline on grief, no schedule that you must abide by. As William’s mother you have the right to grieve for as long as you need to, even if that is the rest of your life, and you have the right to tell people who think you should get over it to do one. I have watched you in interviews and have read all your entries on here and you are unbelievably amazing. Not only in your campaign to get justice for William and to strive for changes in procedure so that this tragedy won’t happen again, but in how honest you are about the times you are not coping. I’m not going to say time will make things better, because I have no idea whether it will, and benign platitudes will not help. I only want to say that your grief is yours, and nobody has the right to tell you how to deal with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So Beautifully expressed, and so universally true for bereaved mothers. I am one of those. Like you I am newly bereaved; however, I will always be newly bereaved as time does not distance us from this reality, just as it does not ever distance us from the love of our child. We have to endure a life without the life of the child that mattered more to us than our own life ever did. I am living a life described exactly as you have. Our stories may all be different but we are united in the same grief and the immeasurable pain of life without the child that we love to eternity. I feel your pain and I sit beside you.
    With Love,
    Rachel xo

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    • I am so sorry that you share this path. It’s so unfair and unjust isn’t it… I simply don’t know how to comprehend something that is incomprehensible. I have given up trying. Choices taken away from us. But their little lives taken so needlessly and painfully. Some times I struggle to believe it’s even real xx


  3. Just the fact that after just 550 days, you are getting out of bed and dressing is an achievement in itself. Your grief is so raw. Don’t put yourself down, and don’t think people are judging you. Nobody but you knows how you feel, and everyone is different.

    Not sure if you’ve read Millie’s mum’s blog, but she also suffered a similar thing to you, and it might bring you some comfort:

    I lost my mum to sepsis very quickly, and what you do to get awareness out there, whilst still going through a living hell yourself, is so admirable. You are a star….. Just keep telling yourself that xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I have come across Millie’s story before, I will give it another read though. And thank you it does feel that people put a time frame on grief but simply that’s not the case. They don’t do it on purpose I’m sure but it’s still as equally upsetting. I’m just doing what I can to be able to share William and I’m thankful that by doing so it’s raising awareness xx


  4. My heart and prayers are with you always Melissa, grief doesn’t have a time scale or a rule book, it is a personal journey that unfortunately can only be travelled by you in your own way. Grieving for any life is traumatic for anybody but to grieve for your innocent tiny William, who was taken away from you so needlessly, is a journey I cannot begin to comprehend. I pray that at some time in the future your brain decides that you have suffered enough and decides to stop flashing back to those darkest days but instead allows you to think back to the beautiful innocent mother and child experiences you shared with William. If counting the days that you have been separated is the way you are forced to face this ordeal then so be it, but nobody else has the right to count them for you. Perhaps one day you will be able to start counting the days, not as one day further from your last embrace but as one day nearer to your next, up on that beautiful fluffy cloud that he now inhabits. Keep Battling on with hope and faith and I am sure that each and every one of the people who have been touched by your openly expressed feelings will continue to pray for you. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

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  5. My heart goes out to you my son was just over 17 yrs old when he died in an accident it will be 21months on Monday 20 June I cry everyday and miss him so much I relieve the who weekend he left us accident Fri medically died Sat organ donation Sunday so to me he died 3 times once each day over that weekend like you said everyone has their own path of grieving but as his mum feel its different don’t understand why but hubbie misses him I know my other children miss him but have their future ahead if them and my granddaughter met him but was a week off a yr old when Tom passed he adored her its just so hard that he will not have i.e. children he would have been a brill dad the l I feel that he had semi planned big hugs to you from one mum to another your words are so true xxxx

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    • I’m so sorry that you tread this path… The unexpectedness of their deaths is somehow so much harder. So sudden and traumatic. I’m not surprised your way of thinking about losing him three times. It makes perfect sense to me.. People don’t really understand that it’s not just the loss of the life on that particular day it’s the losses we encounter during the rest of our lives. The loss of their children. The loss of William starting school. It’s just not fair 😦 xx


  6. I totally understand every word! My son passed with SIDS (thats what they put it down to as they found nothing wrong) he passed at 5 months old an i still couple years on have flash backs i dont see the good memorys only the bad, im sorry you to no the pain of losing a child x

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  7. It’s been 15 months, since you were taken and I feel like it was yesterday. I go to bed crying and wake up crying. You were just becoming a man, having so much to offer this world. I feel stuck and I know you’d want me to be happy, but losing you, I lost myself. People like to assume and accuse me for what happened, like I don’t already carry that guilt. I’d give anything to trade places with you that day. How I prayed to God, relentlessly, to take me, let you live a full life. I was so proud of the man you were becoming. The plans we made the night prior. Your baby brother misses you very much, he knows the sacrifices you made for him. He says, “I’m gonna make brother proud of me.” I hugged him, wiped his tears away and said, “he already is son.” I’ll never give up proving who did this and make him be accountable for taking you away from us. My heart is broken, something time will never heal, because when you died, so did a big part of me. You’ll always be my munchkin and your brothers and I will always keep your memory alive. Your big heart, personality, beautiful brown eyes, smile and generosity will never be forgotten. I know you watch over us, there are times I feel your presence, especially during my breakdowns. I wake up hoping it was all just a nightmare and you’ll walk through the door or call me, just to say, “I love you mommasita,” God how I miss hearing that! I miss every second of everyday. I promise I will get the Justice you deserve. Loving and missing you……Mom

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing. I have been searching and searching for someone who knows my pain. We lost our 5 year old beautiful princess Lexi on February 13th 2016. We had know her and her older brother since infancy, but we’re only able to adopt them in 2015. Cancer first began to steal her childhood when she was only 17 months old.

    I feel like people expect me to be ok now, because it’s been 5 1/2 months and because she was adopted. That princess felt like flesh of my flesh from the moment we brought her home forever. Not once did she feel like she wasn’t carried in my womb. I didn’t carry her in my womb, but I did and forever will carry her in my heart.

    If I didn’t have a husband and 3 other children I would not have a reason to fight. A reason to not sink into this deep deep pit of grief. I would do anything to not feel this pain.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Melissa,

    I followed your story when you first lost william and although many things in the media upset me there was something about your particular loss that stuck with me, so unfair and so heatbreaking!

    I hadnt thought about you in a while then i remembered you one evening last week, i quickly grabbed my phone and googled you to see if you’d had your baby, i am so happy for you that he is here and that you have another chance at motherhood , you see not only did i feel you’d lost a precious son but also the life that comes with that child , the people you meet, the places you go , the friends you make, all of these wonderful things that change your life forever when you become a mum.

    I lost my mum to sepsis in 2013, when we received her post mortam results the first thing i said to my sister was what the hell is that? Then my head began to spin at even the slightest posibility that she didnt have to have died.

    I have a son, 5 years old, my soulmate, so much more than just my son, my absolute reason for breathing, the love of my life, i know that without him there would be no me.
    My heart is totally broken for you, i cant imagine the torment you must feel.

    Well done with all you’ve achieved but what i really hope is that you can find some peace and happiness and that one day, god willing, you will see him again xxx


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your lovely kind words, and for taking the time to write to me. Indeed, little Arthur came along in September last year, he looks so much like William but they have very different personalities which is lovely. He is certainly the best tonic of all. He has certainly given me a reason to put one foot in front of the other.

      I’m sorry to hear your mum also died in what appear to be avoidable circumstances, all too often people remark that they did t know about it until PM, it’s simply too late then. We’re working hard to change that, in the hope that others aren’t in our position xx


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