16th February 2012
I started suffering with depression in my teens although at that time I didn't realize it. In fact I couldn't admit to suffering with depression until 2005 aged 43 years old. It's a long time to be in denial of suffering with something I could have asked for help with.
When I was younger I remember being told I was too sensitive and needed to toughen up. I couldn't understand why being sensitive should be seen as a weakness. On the other hand I did take it to heart the hurtful remarks directed at me. It lowered my self esteem and confidence so I would put on a mask and pretended I didn't care.
When I was pregnant what little self esteem I had was shattered completely. I eventually believed all the nasty comments that I would be a useless mother, I was selfish, I didn't deserve to raise my son, he deserved better than me and I was worthless. Little wonder that for years after I was scared to have another child.
It was much easier to put on a front of being self assured and I wanted to remain single. I even earned the title of The Ice Maiden by some friends. It was just a joke that we all found funny but even these friends didn't know my deepest dark secret that I had surrendered my son. They just thought I was happy being single and keeping men at arms length. I didn't dare talk about my son to friends or boyfriends as I was scared they would hate me for allowing him to be adopted. It didn't matter that I had been coerced I didn't think they would believe I had wanted to raise him. I felt ashamed.
I did marry when I was 32 years old and had already told my husband I didn't want children. He didn't know at the time that I was frightened of being coerced again if I had another child. Montha later he found out about my son and I told him the basics as it was too painful to tell him everything.
It took reunion in 2004 to open up completely. The emotions completely overwhelmed me to the point of almost being suffocating. I hadn't known how raw the pain could be. The times I cried because I didn't know how to express myself. The feelings of pain, guilt, shame and sadness were intense. It was almost a relief to know that what I was suffering with had a name. Depression.