I remember it like it was yesterday the knife cutting my arm at the top so even a t shirt would cover it, wow it felt so good the blood trickling down my arm. I kept cutting the same place over and over when thing got too much for me, I was 13
Now I am 45 separated 5 years divorce imminent with two children, unemployed and homeless. Where did it all go wrong? Well my mum died 6 years ago suddenly of aggressive cancer and I realised shortly afterwards that I had lost the only person in the world I trusted as well as the fact life is a very fine balance and can be tipped very quickly.
I am an only child so no siblings to confide in I have always been jealous of those that have, people always say “I bet you were spoiled rotten” and I probably was. I always had the best of thing and the newest gadgets but what use is a game on your own. Both my parents worked away before I got up and not home until around 7 oclock at night I looked after myself cooked, homework, cleaned a bit, went to my room and played computer or watched TV on my portable TV, lonely existence really.
I will skip a few years but self-harmed, starved myself, was 9 stone at one point, the harming was always different and tools changed as well sandpaper, cigarettes, lighters glass and hammers. Tools were great cause it was always a DIY accident then my mum knew, but would always believe the stories no matter how far-fetched they were.
Then along came marriage, I knew on the day I could not commit to one person but kept putting it down to nerves, then after a few years My son was born and he filled my life and my time. I would get up with him at night and loved the peace a quiet with him sleeping on my knee. We then had 5 miscarriages in a row; we never talked about them at all.
Then after 5 years my daughter came along and I lost my job same time I bonded with her instantly more so than with my son, which is wrong probably but she was with me all the time my princess.
So I got another job and my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome which explained his quietness and behaviour. My wife just watched TV all the time and mum died and that was when I did the hardest thing in my life, I left.
First few months I kept spoiling the kids when I saw them but always felt I was missing out on them. I wasn’t there when they fell down, were sick wanted to show me their latest drawing, the tooth fairy I wasn’t part of that 2.4 children anymore it was difficult as I was moving from one person’s house to another every few days I was so low.
I met an old girlfriend and we went out a few times, divorced 3 kids, I eventually moved in, it was nice to have a place to go but it was not home. I had to keep asking where things were kept and no belongings of mine in sight except for clothes and laptop. First time she realised anything was wrong, we were at an outdoor concert and got separated. I started cutting my shoulder with a piece of glass I found on grass. I tried to explain that I was in a bush where I had a pee and I got scratched.
Then when I went out for a drink anytime I would scour the ground for glass and slash my arms and wrists as hard as I could. I realised that I wanted to die. The truth was coming out I bought self-harm books for her but she still didn’t get it.
My GP upped my medication and I got referred to the Cognitive behaviour therapy people as well as a psychiatrist. Both went well but I still had the same feelings. After 6 months I then got referred to a psychologist on reflecting my life it seemed my parents were the core of my misery the neglect and the distance from them.
I was diagnosed as having psychotic borderline personality disorder, with social anxiety problems, at last a name for it not a pleasant one if you told anyone they would think mass miller or something.
All this time life with my kids was ticking along, every Tuesday and every Thursday I would call up and stay to bedtime, every Saturday we would do something like go to the cinema or swimming, every other weekend I kept them overnight, this was at my rented house when I had it or to my dad’s house.
My ex took control of the kids where they went to school appointments, I had to ask about school reports and what my sons psychologist was saying, she scared me, she was always very aggressive and I since have discovered I am passive aggressive and would say nothing but then go harm myself.
Living with somebody else’s children feels wrong you spend more time with them than you do your own, the guilt was overbearing and I hated it, at one point I had thought of bumping my ex off but in the real world i would be first and last suspect.
The time spent with my kids was so valuable, it felt like a holiday being with them and then returning to the real world. I would see families on TV or walking past and think that’s what I should be doing and your heart would sink that little bit further it round my ankles now I think as I have lost emotion.
My ex stripped me of self-confidence when together and continues to do so since split. My psychologist made me realise I had no friends. I had a marriage which should never have happened but missing your kids was a normal feeling.
Well I was missing them more than normal, then that made me not normal, more pressure, it was a spiral. My drugs were upped the psychologist was making me feel more abnormal (although having someone to talk to was a plus) after a while the time spent with the kids became a routine, never a chore. I sometimes would stay up all night and watch them sleep like parents would do with a premature baby.
Slowly but surely I lost interest in what I was passionate about, first sport then football my jogging stopped and then I stopped watching TV. I hate to say but even the children, I put the smiley jokey daddy face like a mask, I played board games with the same mask they were still my priority though. With food, heat, comfort, cleanliness, security, enjoyment and sleep etc. I wasn’t there though I was miles away somewhere else.
I had even severely self-harmed when they were asleep. I started wearing a long sleeve T-shirt in bed so the hammer or two golf balls in a sock weren’t noticed I was black and blue all over but it was the cutting was the only thing that worked.
Then one morning in December I dreamt I had growled at my girlfriends little girl who has Down syndrome. I asked when I got up had she come into the room she said yes but you were making noises. My dreams and reality had become one, this totally freaked me out I tried to speak to all the professionals who deal with me but nothing came from these calls.
I went out for a drive; I couldn’t wait to get my self-harm kit which was hidden in the boot. I lifted the cigarette lighter and pushed it into my arm till it stopped smoking I did this over and over I don’t know how many times I felt better, I then covered it in old KFC napkins in case it bled, I needed to be normal again.
The next day was a Thursday, a kid’s day, it was the best I had in ages, great fun, no homework it was near Christmas was a brilliant. A few days later was Christmas Eve, I have always stayed for Xmas Eve to see the kids’ faces it was lovely but short as they were going to their grandparents house for Xmas dinner.
On the way to girlfriend’s house I stopped the car and repeatedly burnt my arm again. All I could think off all day are they missing me, do they ever miss me and do they think I just don’t want to spend Christmas with them?
My head was spinning I was where I didn’t want to be and couldn’t be where I wanted to be. I just took Diazapan to numb these feelings. I just withdrew into myself. After a few days my arm became infected, people noticed the smell so I had to go to the GP. It was 2nd degree burns and I would need to go to hospital; he knew I wouldn’t so the nurse dressed it and he give me antibiotics which I didn’t take, why would I want the infection to go away?
The kids asked me what happened I said it was a burn from the oven they believed me. I hated the world, I had now become desensitised to everything. I had no joy, no pleasure; no pain nothing to look forward to, no job, no house, and no money no anything. What is the point of life the only good thing I could think of was the kids, would they miss me?
Is it better if I die while they are young, they would get over it quickly, not suicide but die. I stopped eating, began double dosing on over the counter meds but the kids are the only thing that fills my head every day. Why do they get to stay with that lazy bully and I am the one with all the guilt.
If I criticise her the standard reply is if you care that much about them you wouldn’t have left which then leads to guilt and harming.
She goes on holiday twice a year but complains about money, if I have spare she gets it, if not I can’t give her anything. These breaks are brilliant, I get to live in my old house with the kids it feels like home and normal. The kids say you are more fun to have around than mummy. I have hardly taken any meds except the essentials. Its magical, we all feel relaxed but it will run out soon and I will be back to the norm of nothingness.
I can’t afford food; she lives in a big house and makes me feel like the size of an ant. My life does suck except for those magical two weeks out of 52 when they feel like my children again my Christmas.
As they get older the boy is now always on Xbox and the girl is out playing, I feel like I missed most of their childhood. I have started keeping little mementos of them as I have few photographs and someday if I come out the other side of this and survive then I can sit and fill in the gaps that I have missed through depression or through not being there, I have to wait and see which it is.
I have huge respect for the fathers who have to fight to see their kids through the system. I have access and I feel I have missed so much of their life but then again maybe I am not normal.
This inspirational post was written anonymously by a dad who wanted to share his story, I have full permission to share his story. If you can relate to this post and would like to share your own anonymous post please contact me.
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