Trigger Warning: Suicide * Miscarriage *Mental Health* Sexual assault* rape trauma * abuse * Drugs *
Someone I hardly know has dumped some very emotionally toxic stuff on me. She knows, and I also know that she cares deeply, that I lost a baby at Christmas, just ten days before a family member on my husband’s side committed suicide. Firstly she asked me whether I’d got in contact with them yet about compensation from the DWP. Since they were jointly responsible for his death along with the DWP, do they really deserve any compensation? Given the way they spoke of him in life you would think they would consider his death a great compensation, sadly. However, this is the second time I have had to tell her that I CANNOT have contact with these people for legal reasons as we have been forced to go “No Contact” with them. Their stopping us from getting any grieving time was the tip of a toxic iceberg, and putting ourselves back into any kind of contact with abusive family whom we had left for a very good reason is no way to mental well-being. It took a long time to go no contact and we would not paradise that a third time for any reason under heaven. If you need to understand more on why this is so, google ‘gaslighting’ and ‘hoovering’ and ‘narciccists.’ But I shouldn’t have to defend this position to anyone.
Next she decided to tell me that she tried to commit suicide last week. This is a virtual stranger. This person who has now ruined what had looked like being our first normal Christmas for 10 years – or as normal as it can be when you lost a baby on Christmas Day after abuses by medical staff showed both you and your husband just how disablist the NHS is. Although I admittedly gave her my email so that she could contact me if things got bad and I understand that she prefers to wait until things get bad before bothering people she waited until AFTER she had tried to kill herself without seeking help from friends or family, and for me and my husband this is bound to trigger memories.
Christmas is not a good time to talk to me about a topic which brings back terrible memories and which is painful not just because someone needlessly lost their life to the DWP, something I’d dedicated years of my life to preventing both in the individual case of the young man concerned, personally and as an disabled anti Atos activist protester/ blogger. The trauma for us however is that not only did someone die who we had spent years of our lives trying to help and putting ourself in harms way for because his true enemy was neither the family tendency to turn to drink or drugs in a crisis, nor his bipolar (a diagnosis we only heard about after his death) nor his sexual abuser who like so many of the high profile cases ruined a young life too early, but the ‘grooming’ for a life of abuse and trauma by his own family, whose devastating impact I needed no suicide to confirm, having considered ending it all on numerous occasions after contact with his mother drove me to despair.
You see? All this trauma that I can delineate in depth? Practised description of a sad saga? No one was ever going to truly acknowledge our loss, we had no grave, no memorial service and no support from family and have not had any counselling because no counsellor could or would understand just how discriminatory attitudes to miscarriage and children are for disabled people. time when people don’t understand that it isn’t my job to mourn the person who committed suicide because I did all that mourning and communal grief when I needed to be mourning my own lost child/children. All this was stopping us from getting any grieving time and putting us back into very toxic contact with abusive family whom we had left for a very good reason.
I should never have had to mourn him at all of course. Of course he should have survived. Atos and trauma don’t mix, we know that. And we care about every Atos victim. . BUT and here is the hard-hearted bit: I commemorate them solely because they are a DWP victim. If it came to a choice of him or my daughter, who do you think I would choose? I’d be happy never to hear anyone telling me they are ‘sorry we lost him’ again. The only reason I am forced to remember a group of people who chose their own toxic path in life and destroyed ours is because I cannot explain the tragedy of being unable to grieve MY child without explaining why the death of someone barely known to me prevented us from healing and caused our marriage to founder. This young man was only marginally less toxic for me than his family. NOT because he was cruel or unkind, in fact he was barely visible at family gatherings, but in trying to help him and by agreeing to move my own family to the area, I was confronted daily with the path my own sexual abusers had taken. Drugs and abuse. Abuse and drugs. The very same drugs too and after his sister had proved how susceptible the family is to narcotics abuse.
He chose drugs to medicate his pain and from peer pressure and he got unlucky. And for someone with my particular PTSD triggers the juxtaposition couldn’t be more vile. Sex and drugs, abuse and drugs. In the run up to Christmas or whichever holiday you celebrate if you are turning to someone in a crisis would you choose someone you haven’t spoken to for over 2 years or longer to dump your troubles on even if you knew that what you were going to tell them would be BOUND to bring back terrible memories? Would you dump stuff on them even though they are trying really hard not to think about things and to have a normal Christmas? Personally, I’d go to people I would usually turn to in a crisis, before I attempted to vent to someone who had to pick up similar pieces before and who really would happily never have had to do so again. I’d ask you if it is OK to vent on a particular topic. I’d maybe even realise that this person’s own equilibrium might be too fragile to hear about stressful and possibly triggering stuff. I wish I had told the two people most responsible for bringing back things best buried to shut up before they ever said anything.
I am not mourning an abuser or an abused person…. . I am mourning my daughter and if I can’t have a Happy Christmas, I can at least have that. I don’t think I shall ever discuss suicide without someone else mentioning it first again. I do not want to be like that person and ruin a happy time….