And so it begins again

On Friday 12th January, I bit the bullet and went back to my Doctors surgery for an appointment to discuss my fertility. At 27 years old, I hate that this is even a worry of mine, but unfortunately this is my hand in life. And I choose to make the most of what I have, instead of bluffing my way through.

The first time I attempted to discuss this with my GP (at the time), I was practically laughed at for being 23 (2013) and concerned. The doctor didn’t seem to consider trying to conceive for 3 years as a problem due to my age. I left the initial appointment in tears, feeling humiliated, misunderstood and with a referral for a blood test. The blood test is to monitor whether I ovulate as I should. I was also advised that my husband needed to be referred for a sperm analysis.

I made the appointment and they took my blood. I was told that the results would be with my doctor within two weeks. After 2 weeks, I phoned the surgery and my results weren’t there. Finally, four weeks later, my results are in when I call. I try to make an appointment to discuss the results with a doctor and to discuss moving forward, however the receptionist tells me this isn’t necessary and read me the results over the phone. One again, I am left in tears. I am confused, frustrated and embarrassed at having to discuss my fertility with a receptionist who has no medical training. I am told by the receptionist that the results are normal, meaning that I ovulate each month as I should. The receptionist couldn’t advise the next step in the process or how to move forward, yet she would’t book me an appointment.

My husband then attended an appointment at the same surgery, but he saw a different doctor, and was referred for a sperm analysis. This consists of depositing his sperm in a tube and handing it into the hospital at an agreed appointment. So, basically, he has refrain from any sexual activity for a minimum of three days before, do the deed at home within an hour before the appointment and keep the sperm at body temperature. Whilst at the doctors appointment, the doctor was lovely and spoke to us both about the next steps and gave me some swabs that needed to be handed back in.

For reasons that evade me, it took my husband 14 months to complete his sperm analysis. My understanding is that he was worried and kept putting it off. It caused many arguments, I was constantly going on and pushing him to book the appointment.

In February 2016, we were told (over the phone, again no appointment) that my husband has 52% active sperm and that he needed to repeat the test in three months after improving his lifestyle. He wasn’t ridiculously unhealthy, but needed to quit smoking and lose a small amount of weight. As you know, from my previous posts, the second test wasn’t completed due to issues within my marriage – which has a direct link to these test results.

Back to 2018… We moved doctors surgery’s last year (2017) as we lost all faith in the surgery that we had initially been registered at. A few times, I tried to make an appointment for both of us to be seen at the same time, however this was proving difficult, and we were advised to start with separate appointments and then when we have the results, they can link it to a single appointment for both of us.

I visited the doctor and she was AMAZING!! Such a positive experience and a world away from the first time I attempted this. I went into the appointment extremely anxious. Upon explaining to the doctor that we’d been trying to conceive for seven years she immediately starting asking the right questions;- how much sex do we have a week, whether we had previous children, whether I’d been pregnant before etc. After listening to my previous experience with fertility testing, the doctor explained that she would redo the blood test, I needed to redo the swabs and she would book me for an ultrasound (external and internal). She also explained why these were being done. The blood test is for ovulation, the swabs are for STI’s/BV/etc and the ultrasounds are the ensure that there aren’t any blocked Fallopian tubes, cysts, abnormalities with the womb, ovaries or tubes/etc. She went on to explain that my husband would need to make an appointment and be referred for the sperm analysis again and that once we had all the results, and depending on what they reveal, we could be referred to a fertility consultant and go through our options.

This was the first time the entire process had been explained to me by a medical professional. I had researched it myself and thought that this was the process but it was reassuring to hear it from the doctor. She also said that the ultrasound etc should have been done by the first doctor that I saw.

The ultrasound is booked for 24th January… wish me luck!

 

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Timeline of Events 2017

Following on from Timeline of Events 2016, I thought this year things would look up. I had a job that I loved, with a company that was perfect for me, my husband and I were heading back on track and I was looking forward for the first time in a couple of years.

The beginning of the year went without a hitch, really. I started to see clear skies for a while. My problems hadn’t gone away, they’d just cleared some space in my brain for some happiness.

In February 2017, I went away with my friends (KD & HS) for one of their birthdays. We went for the night and had an incredible time parting in London.

In April 2017, I was promised that promotion at work. I had worked my arse off to deserve this. I was working 65+ hours a week as the norm to cover low staffing levels and to make sure that safe practise was being upheld. The Director, Tobie, told me on more than one occasion that the position was mine. He then gave the job to a new colleague with no care experience. Around the same time, I had been made aware of safeguarding concerns regarding Tobie and former resident, as well as residents that were still living there.

In May 2017, I attended a meeting with the director and deputy director of the company that I worked for. It was regarding the promised promotion, where that left me in the company and how I was unhappy with their treatment of myself. During this meeting, the director shouted at me, called me a liar, ignored me whilst texting away on his phone and eventually slammed his fists on the table and walked out of the room.

I, later that month, reported the safeguarding concerns to the other Director and made a formal complaint with his support. In the complaint, I also made the other Director aware that Tobie had been bullying me for a while (as I spoke out about the missed promotion and some other immoral practices – I followed the company’s policy’s and procedures). I was also aware that 5 other employees were making similar complaints due to bullying and safeguarding concerns. This was allegedly investigated by the company that Tobie had hired to deal with HR proceedings. After 2 months of nothing more than a 30 minute phone call, I am still unaware of what came of my complaint.

The bullying was relentless. It affected every aspect of my life. But I was determined to fight. I was not going to be forced to quit my job, I was not going to let this get to me… It got to me… and eventually I was signed off with Work Related Stress for 2 weeks initially and then extended this to a further month. However, after a further week the financial strain was affecting me worse than the work related stress so had to return to work.

In July 2017, out of nowhere my best friend (HS) sent me a message via What’s App. This message basically said that she didn’t want to be friends with me anymore as she’s fed up of me being a shitty friend, posting shitty memes and wallowing in my own self pity. That I was all to blame for everything and that I had put my husband before anything and anyone else.

It August 2017, I received a letter regarding a disciplinary proceeding. After a lengthy period, my resignation being refused and me making a very good case, they fired me anyway. I will go into further depth with this at a later point as I believe my conduct was within the professional boundaries and their intention of dismissing me from my position for any reason they could find is evident. The stress of my very much hidden depression and the stress from being bullied at work became too much for me and I was signed off, by the doctor, for a further two weeks. I was originally asked to attend the meeting whilst signed off as unwell to work. I had to recite my rights to have this meeting delayed. In fact, throughout this entire process I had to tell them and push them in the right directions regarding employment law, employee rights and their own policy’s and procedures.

I was made to attend the meeting at 9:30am on the day that I was to return to work, even though my shift wasn’t until the following day according to the rota. I attended the meeting; which was adjourned once. Then I was told that they would make a decision and that I was not to return to work but would be paid for the shifts I’d missed. I informed them of a holiday that I had planned, which they were aware of due to accepting the annual leave request I had put in in January. I was told that either a decision would be made before or after – I was due to go on holiday in 3 days. After leaving the meeting, I sent them my resignation as I had been offered another job.

They rejected my resignation and I received the decision of dismissal the evening before my flight, giving me 5 working days to send my appeal, I managed to get them to agree to 7 due to my holiday and the timing. I sent my appeal within 7 working days of the decision. They rejected it due to timing. They had their timeline wrong and then argued that they never specified working days and have refused to reply or speak over the phone with me since.

In September 2017 I went to Mallorca with my sister (DE). It was great and fun to get away. But during this time, I reflected on the year and found that my friends had distanced themselves and some had, obviously, completely given up on me.

Later that month, I started my new job. My husband already worked in the same place. On my first night shift, on the way to work, I was the victim of an attempted mugging. I didn’t attend my first shift due to this. I spent the night speaking to the police. This was never resolved. The perpetrator was never found.

In November, I lost my job. They failed my probation. At the time, I thought this was due to my complaints regarding the levels of staffing, levels of care and funding towards the actual residents. They told me I wasn’t the sort of person that they were looking for. I felt relived. I had spent every morning after my night shift in tears, due to exhaustion and feelings of failure due to the conditions of the home.

After some time of being at home alone a lot, I was at breaking point. I’d spent most of the month in tears or a state of depression. My anxiety was at a high and I wasn’t leaving the flat or doing anything unless I actually had to. So I contacted ThinkAction. I completed a self referral.

The same month, my husband is offered a better job and told he can start the following month so hands his notice in.

In December 2017, I had a telephone consultation and my therapist recommended low intensity CBT so I started attending weekly sessions.

I noticed, during this time, that my best friend had deleted me on Facebook. I messaged her asking if I had done something wrong. To which she replied basically, that she had no interest anymore as I post too much stuff that angers or upsets her. I tried to explain a bit and enquire about her being upset. It wasn’t anything I’d even contemplated. But I got no reply.

Later that month, my husband lost his job a week before he was due to start his new job. They also failed his probation. He was also relived and we enjoyed a lovely week together.

My husband started his new job and things are looking good; he enjoys it. Which is a change.

Christmas 2017! What a total let down. So expensive and stressful with very little reward. We attended Boxing Day as my sister (DE) held a get together. I was forced to spend time with my parents, who showed little interest in my life or how I’d been. And then they make insensitive remarks about how I wouldn’t understand unless I was a parent.

Christmas/New Year Limbo… I decided to be brave and I posted on Facebook about my depression, anxiety and losing friends. I basically asked if people wanted to start a friendship with me to let me know as I’m looking for new beginnings in the new year and that I’m deleting my page. I got a few supportive messages; was ignored by my family. But this one girl (BM) was wonderful; just so lovely! We’ve messaged a few times and made plans to meet up. It seems really positive. I’m anxious but it’s a good anxiousness.

New Years Eve! Nothing planned. Chilling with the hubby and fur babies. Exactly how I want it. See you all in 2018 ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not going to say that I’m pleased to see the back of 2017, but I am pleased to see the back of 2017. I never thought I’d start and end a year in such different places and I’d never thought I could change so much within 12 months. But, it just goes to show that I still have a lot to learn. I’m going to try to start the year looking forward and only looking back when I have something to learn from what has happened to me. I will never forget the strength and weakness that I have had this year and will always be thankful for the support and love of my husband through such harrowing times in our relationship. X

What happens when you reach out but nobody takes your hand?

So today, I faced one of my biggest fears – telling my world that Iโ€™m suffering.

After realising on Christmas Day that I had no one to text/call or even visit, I felt really alone. I spent the day with husband at home but outside of our little family bubble; I have become a lonely person.

I decided today to do something about it and try to reach out and make New friends the only way I know how – Facebook. I donโ€™t see or speak to anyone in real life so tried to connect over Facebook. I wrote a status explaining how Iโ€™d been suffering from depression and anxiety, leading to losing my friends etc. And basically holding out the hand of friendship to anyone willing to take it.

 

No one got back to me.

 

What do I do now??

Another pregnancy announcement ๐Ÿ™„

So here we are, 8 days before Christmas, I’m feeling okay(ish), having one of my better days and *BOOM* another one of my friends on Facebook is pregnant. Now, I was sat with my husband at the time I see the announcement, so I didn’t feel like I could be truthful even to myself about how it made me feel. He knows it affects me and chose to simply say ‘I love you’. Which was perfect. Had he asked, I wouldn’t have told. I can’t openly admit, out loud, that other people’s baby joy brings me misery. That every status, picture and thought makes me jealous. It makes me feel like I’m missing something from my life. It makes me feel sad; as if I’ll never have that. It makes me feel worthless, 7 years trying with no success. And it makes me feel selfish, that I can’t be genuinely happy for my friends.

So… I’m here, pathetically crying over someone else’s happiness, whilst my husband pops out to run an errand.

Timeline of Events 2016

Following on from Timeline of Events 2015, I made the decision with the New Year that I wouldn’t bother with my parents unless they made the effort with me (which they didn’t since my fall out with Phillip).

In February 2016, my husband completed his sperm analysis. We were advised that only 52% of the sample were active and that we would need to redo the test in 3 months, after improving diet, fitness, etc. We didn’t take the news very well and never discussed it. I wanted to push forward; he went into himself and stopped talking to me about it.

In March 2016, my husband tried to pursue the career that he wanted. He started travelling the country working at different gaming conventions – sometimes going for a couple of nights, sometimes going for a week.

In April 2016, I started a new job in a new sector – as a support worker.

In August 2016, two things happened. I started a new job, in the same company with my sister (DE) and I received a Facebook message one morning from a girl that lives in Scotland. My husband had slept with her a few nights previous and she had just found out he was married. We spoke a bit about it, he was apologetic, he said he was drunk and doesn’t remember much about it and reassured me that it wouldn’t happen again. I cried but didn’t have any time to digest as… Later that afternoon he left for another convention. His last convention.

After telling my friends what happened. They distanced themselves as they disagreed with my decision. They stopped coming round, stopped texting as often and stopped being interested in what was happening in my home life.

Later that month my husband started a new job as a restaurant supervisor. We became distant.

In September 2016, I started to become suspicious of his relationship with another supervisor at his work. He was never paid correctly for the hours he said he worked, he would receive calls at all times from this supervisor allegedly about work, became secretive over his phone, stopped referring to me on social media, etc. I spoke to him on numerous occasions about this. He made out that I was crazy and that I needed professional help. I had breakdowns in front of him, because of him, at him and each time I was told that he couldn’t help me. We just stopped communicating with each other. I tried and tried but was faced with a wall each time. And each time it got harder and harder to pretend as though it wasn’t happening and that it didn’t affect me.

In October 2016, it all came to a head. It was a meaningless argument over nothing. I asked my husband not to come home as I didn’t want the argument and confrontation. He refused and was adamant that he was packing his stuff and going. He kicked the door down and I had him arrested. He actually scared me that evening. The first and only time he has scared me but I was terrified. Whilst he was being detained at the police station, I had a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right so I hacked his Facebook account. Here I came across the affair with the supervisor (as I had suspected), illicit messages to other girls and history of Facebook videoing with other girls (based on the messages that went with, this was of a sexual nature). I was gutted. But fuming. I outed him on Facebook and blocked him. I didn’t speak to him for 12 days.

In November 2016, my husband managed to get me to speak to him. At first I didn’t have anything to say, I just felt cold and was cold towards him. He seemed completely honest and answered any question I had. He continued to pursue me anyway and eventually I let him back in. I hid this from my family and friends for weeks as I felt like they wouldn’t approve and that I would be judged. I didn’t feel strong enough to fight for every aspect of my life – fight to make my marriage work and fight for my friends to understand and accept my decisions.

I wont go into detail (just yet) about how we worked things out, what happened, what we decided and all the other intimate details, but it (surprisingly) didn’t take long for us to understand each other again.

In December 2016, I told my friends that my husband and I had decided to work on things and that we were staying together for the future. They weren’t happy but they seemed to accept it. I also informed my family (my aunt got married and most of the family went. I went alone with my sister and her boyfriend) who were supportive, in the sense that I should do what makes me happy. My sisters boyfriend, however, made me cry – this was due to his limitless kindness regarding my situation. He listened to me, was empathetic and encouraged me that if I wanted to, I could do anything.

I was also up for a promotion at work in the New Year.

For the majority of 2016, I had no relationship with my parents, other than the forced one at family events.

Timeline of events 2015

This is where I find it particularly difficult to put things into words. Explaining the intricacies of individual issues that all link into one, turns this into a massive blur of emotions, feelings and tears but I’m going to try.

In January 2015 my best friend (BH) had a baby. I supported her and her boyfriend through this (was even their birthing partner) and in the months to follow the birth.

In March 2015, my husbands sister (CM) announced that she was pregnant. She had been in an abusive relationship that had resulted in her and her husband leaving to live in Spain. CM had come back as her husband had given her an ultimatum about having an abortion. CM refused the abortion and fled. I supported her from day 1. Due to the abuse she had lost all of her friends and those close to her. I spent most of my spare time with her and helping her prepare to be a single Mum.

During this time, my husbands best friend and partner announced that they were pregnant. Amazingly due a few days later than his sister. I was also pretty close the with this expectant mother too. Again, I supported and helped where I could. Was really involved in both pregnancies (as I had been invited to be).

In April 2015, I had my niece (CS) over for a sleepover. She was 7/8 at the time. CS is the step daughter (although she does not know this) of my half brother, Phillip. Phillip is 8 years older than me and we share the same Mum. Phillip (at the time) had 2 other children with CS’s mother (AS). CS repeats some things that her parents had said in front of her to me – these weren’t of a nice nature and were untrue (that I’d forgotten about my nieces and nephews since my friends baby had arrived etc). When dropping my niece off the next day, I was unable to say anything due to them having company around.

I approached this situation by discussing it with my parents, who said they had witnessed this being said, and agreed the best way to handle it is to just speak with my brother about what was said. I messaged my brother (probably not the best form of communication but still) and asked about what was said, explaining that this wasn’t the case and in future, they could approach me with these issues rather than discussing them in front of the children. Well, this led to an argument where my brother was disgustingly rude about me and my husband. This was left with him saying that I was jealous due to them having kids and us struggling to conceive (at this point 4 years of trying to conceive). I said I didn’t want to have a relationship with someone that could say something so ridiculous and hurtful. I was immediately told by my parents that they would not choose between us.

I never asked them to. And I reassured them of this.

In May 2015, CM left for Spain to try again with her husband. Before she left we had a major falling out. I was feeling low when she asked me for her passport back (she had previously asked me to guard it and not give it back to her as she was adamant that she was not returning to Spain) and I refused to give it back and told her that I did not support her decision. After a call from her Mum, my mother-in-law (KM), I was told to give back the passport otherwise she would have the police come and remove it. KM turned up to collect the passport with CM in the car. When speaking with KM, I vented my feelings about the situation and was brutally honest. CM heard everything and refused to speak to me for the entirety of the rest of her pregnancy. She gave birth to a boy in October that year.

In November 2015, my husbands best friend and his partner had a little girl.

The same month, Phillip and his wife had my nephew (IS) christened. My sister, Dannii, and I were uninvited. We did not attend due to being threatened with the police being called and us being removed.

In December 2015, I had a major falling out with my husbands friends girlfriend (are you keeping up with me?). It was over something really petty – her trying to unnecessarily re-home his family pet. This argument became nasty and vicious. She went on to say that I would never understand her point of view as I didn’t have a baby and wasn’t likely to have one. I cut contact immediately and have had nothing to do with her since, even after her 17 unanswered messages.

I saw my parents on Boxing Day 2015, we discussed mundane life and the usual. My aunt and her partner had just got engaged and we were all talking about babies and the next moves in life.

On New Years Eve 2015, I received a call from Dannii saying that she’d just seen my Mum and that Phillip and his wife had just had another baby, born on Christmas Day. Mum was showing off her new grandchild to my sister and asked her not to tell me about this. Mum also told Dannii that she had only found out AS was expecting once the baby arrived.

I immediately called my Mum, who was defensive and hurtful – telling me she knew I was behave like this, it was why I wasn’t told. Not once could she understand my frustration was due to being lied to and having this child kept a secret from me. Mum hung up on me and refused to speak with me. So I called my Dad.

Dad didn’t have a clue what was going on and said they’d only found out about the child a week before she had the baby – meaning Mum lied. This escalated the situation and it was left with my Dad ‘disowning’ me.

Starting this…

Hi to anyone reading this (if there is anyone that reads this),

Im not too sure exactly where to start this, I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a few years now. I guess I start there, with why I wanted to write a blog.

I wanted to start a blog to use as a type of diary, to put my thoughts and feelings out there and to make sense of the nonsense in my head. I started to want to do this when my life started spiralling out of my control but didn’t (and tbh still dont) know how to.

I have since started therapy (low intensity CBT) and it was suggested that I look into it, so here I am.