You can follow my journey through miscarriage from the start here.
Many of you who know me in the real world, know of my history with domestic abuse. It was a long time ago now. But I still (sometimes) feel like I’m in recovery. Since leaving that abusive situation (Leaving? Escaping? Fleeing?) I’ve had to overcome lots of hurdles to reaffirm who I really am. It’s been a bumpy ride. At times, I’ve been a right arsehole. Or a crying mess. Or out of control. Some memories since that time really make me cringe. I’ve made bad choices or said cruel things. I’ve apologised where I can and forgiven myself – recovering from a long term abusive relationship takes time and is hard work.
Gaslighting: manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity.
There are certain lies I was told over and over that I have found very difficult to address and reprogram. It’s called gaslighting. If you think someone is doing this to you, please find someone you trust to talk to. I was told I was a hypochondriac; an attention seeker; swinging the lead; I was fine – there was nothing wrong with me; I needed to suck it up; headaches didn’t exist; pain was my choice; I was lazy; I was boring … basically I was not allowed to be ill. Or tired. Or feeling anything that was not compliant. These lies were told again and again. Mixed in with messages of love. And anger. The result is to unsettle me and throw me off kilter. Eventually you don’t know who to believe and start to find it hard to trust yourself and others. Am I actually ill or am I just making this up again? Like last time? Was I making it up last time? Did the doctor really say that or am I making it up? Am I exaggerating?
That relationship ended when I was hit in front of my friends. I finally had undeniable proof that gave me the confidence to leave. Sadly that final blow landed on a new life that was growing inside of me. I didn’t know I was pregnant. I was confused when I started to miscarry. I stayed in denial. When I did eventually go to the doctors there was no physical proof I had been pregnant. However, having now been pregnant and had miscarriages I know I was pregnant. And doctors at the time said that although there was no medical proof, the dates and my recollection indicated I had been pregnant. I called that baby Susie.
Fast forward to this miscarriage. The doctors have no proof I was pregnant. This has been bringing memories back. Taking me a vulnerable place when I already feel stripped bare.
When I saw the doctors, the test was negative as I’d already started to have a very early miscarriage. 4 days later they did a beta hcg test and it was at 1 already. No evidence of pregnancy. I have positive tests at home so I do know I was pregnant … but I keep questioning whether these are in fact lies. It’s tiring having to keep checking just to reassure myself of the facts. It makes me nervous seeing doctors because I am so scared they will question whether I was in fact pregnant and I will have to go through the mental jumps and loops again.
So I am going to write it here. It is a fact.
I was pregnant.
Boo said this baby was a girl. When I felt she had passed, I felt calm and peaceful. It reminded me of walking through a meadow on a warm day with a summer’s breeze. I called this baby Meadow.
Now to my other issue. This miscarriage has been horrendously painful. I’ve been throwing up from the pain. I can’t eat. I’m either in a drug induced sleep or writhing around in pain. I don’t understand it; it hurts so much more than last time when I was further along. I’ve been to hospital twice because the pain is centred on my left side. Thankfully they don’t think it’s ectopic as my hcg is too low but that doesn’t help me. Am I making up this pain? Am I a wuss? Maybe I just need a poo and its that kind of pain (seriously, I have given this thought some time. Don’t know any time in my life needed a poo has required morphine just to take the edge off). Do the doctors think I am making up this pregnancy just for attention? Do they think I’m a drug addict making up illnesses just to get morphine. Sigh. Like I said, it’s exhausting.
I am off to hospital now to see if there is a cause for the pain – possibly a ruptured cyst or twisted ovary. But, if there isn’t, I am determined to tell myself that the pain is real. I am not making it up. And miscarriage can just be really very painful. I am going to be kind to myself. I am going to accept help. This is hard enough without letting demons from my past make it even harder.
Wish me luck.
Next: Being your own advocate