Mental Wellbeing, Parenting

A Mum without a Mum

Just the two of us
Let me take you way back to 1993 (very long time ago, dodgy fashion but great music!)
I was just 4 years old,it was just myself and Mum that lived together.
My Auntie always tells me we were inseparable,two peas in a pod,which I always love to hear.
My grandparents whom my Mum and I were both close too lived a few doors up. In my little 4 year old world life was simple and perfect. 
My little world all changed on a September day after I had finished school. I was just a few week’s in to my first year in primary school.
Mum and I were walking home, a young guy and his friend had stolen a car and was driving very fast on the road.
He was approaching the bend in the road where my Mum and I were walking along.
Due to the sheer speed he was doing he was losing control of the vehicle.
Mummy heard the car screeching and speeding towards us,she shoved me,hard and screamed at me to “RUN”.
Mummy was hit at full force by the car,thrown into air,and into metal railing’s.
The driver and his friend then ran away leaving her fighting for her life,and a 4 year old girl screaming at the side of the road for her Mummy.A little girl who had seen the whole thing happen.
My mum has been left severely brain damaged in what is called a permanent vegetative state all this time which is now 23 years. 
She was only 29 when it happened,her whole life to live ahead of her. 

My only memory of that day is being held by a police woman at the side of the road,she was hugging me,telling me everything is “Going to be OK.”
I can remember her face she had sadness and worry on it,there seemed to be a lot of commotion happening.. people shouting. 
I was looking up at the sky while in her arm’s,it was so blue. It was a really bright September day.
No one could pretend to me or sugar coat what had happened to help ease the pain.
At 4 years old I had witnessed the whole thing.

Even now writing what happened it feels like I’m writing about a stranger.
I can’t quite believe this terrible thing happened us. It’s amazing how the brain can block out traumatic experiences.

It’s all too much
This may be hard for people to understand but I don’t visit my Mum. 
Mum lives with family, these member’s of my family raised me they looked after me after my Mum’s accident. Unfortunately the relationship between us has broken down.
They care for her and have done for 16 year’s. I am so thankful that she is cared for in a home environment.
The early year’s after my Mum’s accident she was in a care home, then the same family member’s took over her care and she lived with us at home. 
I do have happy memories of us all living together. 
These things happen in family’s.. but that actually isn’t the main reason I don’t visit her.   
I simply could not take seeing my Mum in that way anymore,stuck in limbo between life and death.
I was grieving not having a mother, yet she is still here still “alive.” I can only describe it as torture pure torture .
My mum is not in pain but to me she is trapped in a shell, she is so young she should be living life to the full .
As I got older and more aware and thought more about how terrible the whole situation is. The harder it became for me to see her. 
I have no siblings, she is no one else’s mum just my Mum. So no one can understand it from my point of view which does make it even harder to deal with.
It all got too much for me.
I had suffered since I was 4 and every time I saw her I felt so sad for her missing out on the world.
I felt guilty she had saved my life and is now left this way, I still do feel guilty.  
Am I living life the way I should ? 
Why am I moaning about silly things when she is left this way ?
Would she be proud of me ? 
I felt hurt an intense hurt that she can’t hug me, or kiss me. How I would love a hug from her so much.
I remember resting my head against her chest and crying. 
To not feel any reaction,the pain is unbearable but yet I could hear her heart beat and feel her breathing it is very sad and confusing.
Basically I came away every time overwhelmed and it really effected me and started to make me mentally unwell.

Getting Help
The time when my Mum’s accident really started to affect me was when I had just separated from Adam’s Dad. It was the first family breakup I had experienced since my Mum’s accident.
Adam was 3,nearly the age I was when the accident happened.
These two things were triggers in bringing all the unresolved emotion’s that were pushed down from childhood up to the surface.
All the overwhelming emotion’s were bubbling and brewing ready to explode all at once,and they did I suffered a bit of breakdown around this time. 
I went to my GP and was put on anti depressants and started counselling and CBT to help to with anxiety and depression.
I remember my first time sitting in the councillors office.
Waiting outside so nervous.
I had never done anything like this before. My heart racing and my palms clammy starting to question myself. 
Am I doing the right thing?
Will she care?
Am I over reacting?
Or am I just sensitive to thing’s?
I got called in, it took a while to feel comfortable and open up but when I did I instantly felt the a little bit of the heaviness lift.
I started talking about what had happened in my life, watching her facial reaction of pure disbelief. 
I’m numb to the story I can regurgitate what happened to my Mum all the time, and talk as if it’s someone else. However when I actually think about it, it breaks me.
The counsellor said something to me that was never said before when I explained how I was feeling every time I see my mum she simply said “You don’t have to see her .” No one had ever said that before.
Since I was a child when it happened. No one asked me if I wanted to see her, she is my Mum and I had to visit. A 5 year old me thought if I didn’t see her it would be mean.
When I turned 10, no one asked me if I comfortable with living with her. I just had to do it.
I know it wasn’t done on purpose but being a child when it happened no one really thought about the pain it puts me through seeing her that way.

I think about Mum everyday

I know she is my Mum, but I don’t know her. I was forcing myself to have a bond ,a bond I craved so much.
I still crave the mother daughter bond. It’s so complicated and heart breaking.
I was never asked as a child or even now as an adult how I feel seeing Mum that way. If I was comfortable with it. It was always  just assumed that I was OK.
I didn’t want to complain, in this whole terrible situation my Mum was the one worse off not me.
So I didn’t express it, I felt guilty thinking that way.
But as an adult I can make those choices for myself. The choice not to visit my mum has resulted in the family that look after her to not have a relationship with me.
They simply don’t understand it from my point of view, and that’s fine, not everyone will.
I understand that.
I may come across selfish and that I don’t care, but I have to do it for my mental wellbeing. 
The counsellor described me as a little girl in a glass jar shouting and screaming but no one could here me. That’s exactly how I have felt my whole life, finally someone understood.
I think about my Mum everyday.
In everything I do, every choice I make, she is never out of my thoughts. 
I day dream of having dinner with her, going out for coffee, shopping, having arguments,sitting chatting like what I see other people do with their Mum’s. 
I like to think I would be making her proud ,and I know as a parent myself she would not like to see me upset and hurt every time I visited her. She would want me to be out there living my life.
Life is too short and I’m trying to live my life to the fullest, making memories with my own little family, and one day hopefully, I will be able to see her again without breaking down.
I love you Mummy x

1 thought on “A Mum without a Mum

  1. I love you Kathryn proud of you for being open and honest this is very heartfelt and sad. Your mum is proud of you I know it because im her sister and I know and knew how much she loved you and how good a mother she was.
    Fast forward to 2017 who would have thought your mum would have survived all these years because when those joyriders mowed her down was only 5% alive when she got to hospital.
    I love her and love you and your wee family,I always will no matter the outcome. Unless your involved in a tragedy like our family went through its hard to understand the way it effects each person. Your a lovely girl and a great mum id be proud if you were my daughter. X0

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