Denial as a defence

I know I haven’t written anything on here for a while now.  Maybe because I haven’t really felt the need to.  Maybe I’ve been too busy.  Or maybe (and if I’m honest far more likely) because I’ve retreated back to that wonderful world of denial, where pain doesn’t exist because I don’t think past the next hour; where the wonder of numbness collides with the terrible loneliness of alienating myself from those around me.

We recently celebrated my little girl’s first birthday.  I had dreaded the day for months; put it out of my head, brushed over it whenever the topic came up amongst friends.  It wasn’t the passing of time that concerned me, or the fact that (as one lovely friend suggested) I must feel so old seeing my baby celebrating her birthday (after all, I’ll always be twenty-one in my head!)  It was just too hard to imagine celebrating my baby girl’s birthday without her father’s hand in mine; too nerve-wracking to think about how I was going to manage the friction caused by our two families being in the same room for the first time in almost a year; unthinkable to think that at the end of the day the love of my life would be going home to someone else instead of curling up in bed with me and our daughter taking stupid but memorable first-birthday selfies.  In short – nothing about the day was going to be the way I had always imagined it and I just couldn’t bear it.  So I ignored it.  Party plans were made a couple of days beforehand, the cake was only chosen days before, and I spoke about it with no-one, save a few texts sent out to close family and friends to invite them to “the small gathering”.  It was just one more thing for me to ‘get through’ rather than savour and enjoy.  I wonder – how many more of these are there going to be?  When will I reach a point where I enjoy these parts of motherhood; where I look forward to Christmas’ and birthdays and holidays without the inevitable feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach?  And of course that all-consuming feeling of disgust at myself – what kind of a mother does this, ignores her child’s upcoming birthday, doesn’t excitedly gush about what she’s buying the child, what she’s going to wear, how the cake will look.  Once again I felt I’d failed at yet another important milestone in my baby’s life.

Despite my fears the day itself was a relative success.  A wonderful cake, lots of toys and laughter from the children, no arguments or cattiness between the adults (that I heard anyway!): just our closest friends and family and a one year old who relished the attention that being the birthday girl brings.  She wore her beautiful party dress and a smile that lit up the room.  I smiled for photos and mingled with all of the guests…and breathed a sigh of relief when the two of us were home alone again.  I thought back to that moment 365 days ago when she was born, to how different my life was, how different I was.  And of course the tears came.  For myself, for my little girl, for our ‘family’, for our future.

Reflection is not my friend at the moment; it still has the power to strip me of my defences, bring me out of denial, weaken me.  I know it won’t always be this way.  Denial for me is a little like being in the eye of the storm, where – for just a moment – it’s quiet and still.  I think I have conquered my demons, I think the storm is behind me.  And then I realise: it’s not behind me.  It’s still raging all around me.  I may have found a moment of peace and stillness but it’s not over.  Not yet.  If I want to get home, if I want to get to the other side where the sun is shining and my life is ablaze with colour instead of the monochrome of the past year, I still have to walk through the raging hurricane.  Sometimes I feel like I’m getting somewhere with the battle, and then I retreat back to the eye again, to the shelter of numbness and denial.  I’m safe here, I don’t have to face my feelings of inadequacy or worthlessness.  I don’t question whether I am a good mum, or a good friend or a good daughter.  I don’t worry that I’m letting everyone down, that I’ll never have true, all-consuming love in my life again.  I just plan what my baby and I are going to do for the next hour.  And then the next.  And the next.  And then…we sleep.

I know this post has been a little wishy-washy; more a jumble of mixed up feelings and analogies than any real descriptive piece.  But it’s what I need today, just a place to get the jumble out of my head.  I know it’s doing some sort of good; every entry hurts to write, brings me to tears that will burn long after I log off, but ultimately is healing me piece by piece.  And you – my invisible audience – you are still easier for me to talk to than my friends and family.  There’s no pity or irritation in your eyes.  My ramblings and tears are not an inconvenience to you, won’t be held against me for years to come.

You are the tiny patch of blue sky that helps me navigate through this storm.

Sweet dreams all





6 thoughts on “Denial as a defence

  1. Hi,
    If you raise your daughter with love and a sense of self-worth, you will raise her “right”. I have three daughters. You liked a comment I made on TrulyUnplugged’s blog. I came over to thank you and introduce myself. Maybe you can check out my site if you need a blogging tip or two. That’s what I write about blogging and productivity.


    1. Hi Janice, thank you for your comment. Am definitely doing my best with the love and sense of self-worth…time will tell 🙂 I will definitely check out your site, I don’t have any big dreams for this blog but it’s always worth reading tips just in case!
      Thanks again x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi. Hope you don’t mind me commenting. Im not the best writer. And i dont know if what I say helps or anything. First off. Age is just a number. If you feel 21. Your 21. And how your feeling is no reflection on how you are as a mother. Your clearly heart broken. This is a very difficult time for you. In no way at all do you sound like a failure. As someone who has been through a situation one like your in. Im sure the father thinks the world of you. And your ability to raise his child. I.dont know your whole situation but sounds like one similar to my own. You do sound like my ex. In a never ending battle you feel your not winning. But as every day goes by and your little girl smiles. Your winning. And I’m sure your not alone. From what I have read. You and your little girl are going to have a very tight relationship. Because your doing everything right.


    1. Hi, of course I don’t mind the comments! Thank you for the nice words, I’m sorry to hear you have been through something similar. Heartbreak is possibly the worst feeling in the world, I hate to think how many people experience it! Unfortunately the dad has made it quite clear he doesn’t want anything to do with me anymore, I’m sure he appreciates what I do with our child but that’s it now. I look forward to the day that I don’t feel I’m failing anymore, hopefully I will be there soon.
      Ps. I think there might be a little bit of a writer in there 🙂


      1. No writer here. Trust me. Don’t right the father of as wanting nothing to do with you. Sometimes our emotions just get the better of us. And its hard to get away from a situation we create with our astranged partners. Been waiting for a new post. Hope your coping well.


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