Monophobia

There are a huge range of mental illnesses and conditions, so much so that a considerable amount of people will suffer from one or another at some point in their lives.
You may have heard of one or more of the following:
Depression, manic depression, post natal depression, post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, bi-polar disease and a huge array of phobias …
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“Monophobia is an acute fear of being alone and having to cope without a specific person, or perhaps any person, in close proximity. This ‘closeness’ might mean in the same house or flat or even in the same room”

Last week my husband went on a business trip to Belgium for 5 days … This is the longest we have been apart since before we got married …
Now, I am not saying that I suffer from monophobia – frankly I haven’t a clue… but I have a pretty big issue with being on my own …

My brother moved out when he was 17. At that age I was 9 1/2 and my mother worked split shifts in a restaurant so I was very often on my own at home … at night, on weekends, on holidays …
I have benefited from this in many ways – I was a pretty good cook from a young age, I could pretty much run a household consisting of me and my mother by the time I was 12. I am very organised, resourceful, independent
and I can speak up for myself.

I moved out when I was 19 – but although I was often alone I never actually lived by myself because I moved straight in with Craig – who not that much later became my husband.

In February 2008 Craig went away to China as part of a business project for 7 months and we were apart for 4 of those months – in that time I gained 2 stone in weight …

It is difficult to explain … and this is the reason I gave this article the title “monophobia” …
I have absolutely no problem coping by myself as such…
Last week the kids were in bed at the usual time every night, if not earlier. They were fed and bathed, the laundry and dishes were done and nothing in their routine had generally changed…
But what if I told you that for 4 nights I hardly slept, that I felt sick in the day and hardly managed to eat anything…
You might think me rather silly. After all – a week with two young children passes in the blink of an eye …

Let me tell you then that as a matter of fact I did think myself rather silly… Every rational fibre in my body was trying to tell me how stupid I was being…
And still I felt panicked … as though something awful might happen … and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when, come friday evening, Craig walked through the door safe and sound…
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Sometimes mental health issues get dismissed as make believe and the people who suffer from them are perceived as weak …
Maybe the person suffering is not being weak but desperately trying to be stronger than they can manage to be, for too long…

I am a perfectionist and I probably often set the bar far too high for myself …

We were out in the supermarked with a 22 hour old Sameth last year when a woman who had asked me how old my baby was told me off and said I should be at home in bed … She was probably right …

I am a worrier … I worry about anything and everything … all the time …

But my biggest Fear is being alone …

I dont mind having a fairly boring life …
I don’t mind having a very stressfull life …
I love my trinkets and bits and bobs and could spend a lot of money very quickly given half a chance…
I could live a life on a farm in the middle of nowhere without any personal possessions at all and be quite happy and content…
I would say that I could adapt to almost any circumstance I might find myself in … no matter how difficult or strange it might be …

As long as I dont have to be on my own …

Until next time …
ta da

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5 Years

I have been trying to write a blogpost this week but it’s been one of those incredibly slow, daily grind kind of weeks that has left me somewhat uninspired …

So I thought I’d share something a little different with you my lovelies …

On the 2nd of May this Year me and my husband celebrated our 5th Wedding anniversary.
5 Years … wow … how time flies … It still seems like yesterday when I walked down the aisle…

For our anniversary I made a little slideshow for my husband and I’d like to share it with you…

I played this song in the background:

Here it is:

2nd of May 2014

5 years ago you got to make a speech about how much you love me, how beautiful I was and what I meant to you…

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Now it’s my turn 🙂 …

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We have been a couple for about 8 years and 3 months and we have been through a lot …

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They say distance makes the heart grow fonder …

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I say distance makes the bond grow stronger …

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We have overcome separation, cultural barriers, financial difficulties,

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we are so different from each other and yet so similar …

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On the 13.10.2007 You asked me to marry you and saying yes felt so natural and easy …

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Having our first child was a challenge but you were right there with me all the way and with you by my side I felt safe and supported – you are my rock !!!

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Winry

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Our second child was planned – but how quickly everything was happening took us a little by surprise …

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As did my 50 minute labour … But you were calm and strong and by my side as always – and then there were 4 …

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Sameth

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Craig, I love you so very much. You never have a bad word to say about me, You never try to change me, Your unconditional love, Your unfaltering support…

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Your unbelievably sexy behind 🙂 …

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You know a way to smile at me that pulls the ground from under my feet. I am so unbelievably grateful that we have found each other …

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To have and to hold … I love you
Happy anniversary 🙂

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He really loved it …

most of the pictures are by the lovely Jessica

http://jessica-roberts.com/

until next time…

ta da

Home is where the heart is …

Its funny sometimes … how life weaves its threads …

I worked as a care assistant in a residential home for a year. Sometimes one of the residents would notice my accent and they’d ask where I was from – they did not like the response …
For a couple of generations ago a German and Brit being married would have been unthinkable, and yet here I am …

When people ask how me and my husband met I struggle to give a short answer…

At the beginning of the 11th grade I was sat next to a girl ho had been on a student exchange to America for the previous year and we became Friends.
She was very active online in chat rooms and forums to keep in contact with her american friends and that’s where she met her boyfriend who lived in England.
He came to visit her in Germany and we became friends also. I joined the forum to keep in touch. His best friend at the time was Craig, we soon started talking to each other online…

Craig (my husband) suggested they come and visit and as a joke I proposed they came for my 18th birthday and they agreed. I didn’t really believe they would actually make it … but they did just that!
Over time I had fallen in love with the way he wrote and on new years eve I had called him to wish him a happy new year…
Can you fall in love with a voice?

Absolutely!
It was as though I had been struck by lightning… and so the next month of anticipation made me more nervous by the day…
Friday the 3rd of February 2006, 11 pm – I was standing at the airport in Leipzig when Craig walked towards me… tall, broad, blonde and with that smile that is like pure sunshine 🙂
We became a couple that night 😉 and the rest is history…

We visited each other as often as we could but each time the visit drew to an end it was heartbreak…
We were trying to figure out what to do when I got a phone call from Craig, this was in July 2006, to say his housemate had just informed him he would be moving out and craig needed to look for a flat …
Would I like to move in with him … ???YES !

On my next visit we looked for a flat together and Craig moved in by himself in October 2006.
It took me several more months to sort out university issues and such like – it felt like a lifetime…
On the 07/03/2007 I moved to England. My uncle drove me and my belongings in his car. We set off at 3am and arrived in England at 9pm.
I was 19 years of age…

Of course my Family were a little concerned that I was moving to a different Country – but the heart wants what the heart wants …
I settled in ok … Germany and England are very different in so many things, but they are also similar enough for me not to suffer too much from culture shock…
I’m very good at adapting to new situations and nothing really mattered to me anyway – as long as we could be together …

Nevertheless, I miss Germany … I miss my Family very much!

I miss watching my nieces and nephews grow up… they grow up so very fast!

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I miss my Brothers so very much – the roaring laughter that comes out of me when I am with them sometimes takes Craig by suprise …
Me and my brothers have a very similar sense of humour – we were cut from the same wood after all …
Sven, my oldest brother has not yet had the opportunity to meet my son and I have not yet met Steves little Baby girl either…

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We try to go to Germany once a year and my family tries to visit as often as they can but sometimes it can feel quite lonely with your family so far away…
Craig sometimes tell me he feels guilty but the fact is I never ever regret moving here.
I believe that everything happens for a reason and although I do feel homesick sometimes – it’s a small price to pay when I look at what it has given me as a reward for taking a chance…

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When we went to Germany with Winry for the first time – she was only 7 months old – That’s when my family met her for the first time and I can remember feeling in awe at the soft tones in which my two loud brash brothers spoke to my little baby…
How they looked at her and held her gently. Sven would smell her head and smile – almost like a father would, at the memory of the smell of a baby’s hair…
How truly grateful I am to have two amazing brothers like this!

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The relationship I have with my mother is awkward to explain – but I even miss her … in my own ways …
She might not always have been a brilliant mother but she is a great Omi (Nan) and I know for a fact that my children miss out on spending time with her…

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And then there is Anja … I’m never quite sure how to intruduce her – She is my very best and longest Friend but I’d much rather introduce her as my sister…
We are complete opposites in every way imaginable apart from our shared love for baking. We are like black and white – in character, interests, the way we were raised and the way we live our lives…
But we share a connection and have a forgiveness for each other that can only be found in Family – She could do anything and I would still love her – always – and I am sure she feels the same way about me.
There are two people I would tell anything in this world – Craig and Anja …

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There are many more reasons why I miss Germany… It is my home… It is where I was born and raised … It is where I have my anchor…

I love England – the climate, the history, the countryside, the language, the music, the people…
I believe I fit in very well – most of the time… sometimes people have a hard time recognising me as a foreigner at all…

There are many reasons why I love England… It is my home… It is where my path has taken me … It is where I spread my wings …

I guess home is not really a place at all … not for me anyway…
If you asked me I would tell you that home is where you heart grows roots …

Imagine a tree that is dug out of the ground to be planted somewhere else. It leaves behind some of its roots,
those that are too deep and strong to be seperated from the earth that nurtured them.

My home is in all the people that I love and cherish and miss…
My home is where my heart grew roots…

Home is where the heart is 😉

until next time…

ta da

Big Momma

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I am a size 24/26, my BMI classifies me as morbidly obese – that means I am so overweight that my weight poses a significant risk to my health.
Size matters – everywhere… anywhere… in our society, size is far too ofen more significant than skills or character. That is a fact.

I have been overweight my entire life.
My mother keeps telling me the story of how the doctor who delivered me came in to see her the next day.
He exclaimed that he just HAD to see the mother of the newborn that looked like a 3 month old…

I was a chubby kid – not fat as such.
But with puberty I started to pile on the weight … slowly … more and more …

Weight has been an issue for me my whole life – and yes it has made me unhappy, but not because I didn’t like the way I looked or because I had no friends…
On the contrary – I have always had very good friends and rarely got bullied or teased, I actually considdered myself alright looking… I was no prom queen but I was no ugly duckling either …

The reason I have always been unhappy about my weight was because I was told that I had to be …
“You need to see if you can lose some weight or you’ll get bullied”
“You really ought to eat less sugar or you’ll never have a boyfriend”
“You might want to think about exercising – you can’t be happy the size you are”

you know what:

I have some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for!
I met the most incredible man when I was 18 and married him at the age of 21
In fact I believe I was the first of my year to get married – go figure … and I have been very happily married for 5 years now …

But despite the fact that my husband loves me unconditionally – including all my wobbly bits – I have very low self esteem …

I have always wanted to be a mother, I have always known that I would want children, and this is where the weight really affected me for the first time…

A few months before we got married we stopped contraception and were keen as biscuits to start a family 😉
Our wedding came and went, the months passed and nothing happened…
I started researching and discovered I had all the symptoms of a condition called PCOS – polycystic ovary syndrome

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycystic_ovary_syndrome
That basically meant it was not impossible but a lot more difficult to conceive a child without medical assistance.
I mentioned this to my doctor who advised that he could not perform any tests until we had been trying for at least a year and that in any case I would probably be better off trying to just lose some weight …
I tried not to take it too hard and just carried on until we had been trying for a year without any success…
When I went back, the doctor was not very forthcoming to say the least , but I’m kind of persistent when I want something so he gave in and ordered some tests…
And well wha’d you know … I had PCOS …

I was not eligible for any fertility treatment on the NHS since my BMI was too high so the only thing I could do was try to lose some weight
(which is considderably harder with PCOS since it affects how your body processes sugar – talk about vicious cycle…) and take a medication called Metformin.
This is actually a medication used to treat diabetes but it has been known to be of help to patients with PCOS trying to conceive.

Fast forward one year. February 5th 2011. Craig and me were walking by what was known then as Pals – right across the street from a fish and chip shop… I caught one whiff and felt thoroughly sick…
As we carried on shopping I had this nagging feeling that maybe this was a pregnancy symptom and as soon as we returned home I started googling… yes my boobs had been a little sore actually…
and I had been feeling unusually tired also … did I dare hope that I was actually pregnant …

Now the past couple of years I had done so many pregnancy test that I bought them in packs of 10 from Amazon – since I had extremely irregular periods I would just do a test every 2 weeks to be sure not to miss anything…
I had actually given up hope not too long before and stopped testing in december… (you know how they sometimes say it’ll happen when you least expect it 😉 )
Anyway – I slept on it, but Sunday morning I could wait no longer and I went to pee on a stick …
I put it on the side to brush my teeth while I waited and then looked … two lines …
I’d had this whole thing planned of how I would tell Craig when it finally happened but that went totally out of the window – I just went to the bedroom in a sort of haze…
“There’s two lines”…
Now, craig takes a while to wake up and come to his senses – well not this time – he sat up straight as a pole with the hugest grin and said “Really ?”
The test I used was actually the last in my current stash so we went straight to the supermarket and bought some more – when they all turned out positive as well we were happier than words can describe!
We were actually going to be parents …
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One of the first things I worried about was not the morning sickness but wether or not I would have a cute baby bump … was I maybee too fat to have a beautiful pregnant belly ?
Everytime I saw a skinny woman looking like she’d swallowed a watermelon my heart would sink a little…
when I attended antenatal appointments I would be told I was at risk of everything a pregnant woman worries about …
I wanted to shop for maternity clothes but apparently overweight women dont get pregnant… or so it seems when you’re looking for plus size maternity wear …
Don’t even get me started on the difficulties I had trying to find a nursing bra or disposable hospital knickers in my size – it was near on impossible…
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Apart from that I tried to enjoy my pregnancy – I was actually really healthy, had no complications and felt generally really well.
All my tests were great – blood preassure, blood sugars, scans – everything was textbook.
I took antenatal vitamins, strictly stuck to the do and don’t eats – had no caffeine or alcohol or anything that could harm my baby.
I felt as though I had to be extra vigilent because my weight was already putting my baby at risk…

But despite all the worries and fears everything went smoothly.
Winry was born after 8 1/2 hours of labour. It was a natural delivery with only gas and air and I only needed two stitches afterwards.
Most importantly – Winry was the picture of health with perfect proportions and measurements and utterly utterly gorgeous!!!
I went to a post natal class when winry was about 8 weeks or so – there were 9 other woman, all smaller than me, every single one of them had a more complicated and traumatic pregnancy and birth than me…
Please don’t get me wrong I am really not being smug and I understand why BMIs and stats and generalisations are used as guidelines, but it does sadden me that an individual can be written off and shoved in a drawer by a mere look at a number on a piece of paper…

With everything having gone so well the first time round I had hoped for a homebirth when I was pregnant with our second baby but due to my size I was denied this opportunity… Sam was born after a 50 minute labour, again with gas and air – no stitches… I went into the hospital at 9 am and left at 10 pm with a healthy, beautiful baby boy …

 

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Being a plus size mum does often make me feel judged. The few times I breastfed Winry and Sam in Public I have felt very uncomfortable due to my size.
When I was 7 months pregnant with Sam one of my work colleagues came up to me and said ” aaaw congradulations – i just heard you are pregnant – when are you due?”
when I told her my due date was only 7 weeks away she looked very embarassed…

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I put on 12 kg when pregnant with Winry and 14kg with Sam – that’s in the normal range for a healthy woman. I was back to my pre pregnancy weight when Winry was 3 weeks old, with Sam it took me about 4 months…
My children eat healthy nutritious food. I cook from scratch nearly every day. I play with my kids on the floor, climb with them when out and about at soft play centers or adventure playgrounds,
I have no problem taking them swimming and I really don’t feel that my weight impairs me in any way from being an active, fun parent.
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But that niggle of self doubt remains and is ever present…

Will my child be embarassed of me at the schoolgates, will they count calories because they don’t want to end up looking like their mum?
I have tried on numerous occassions to lose weight and never succeeded… and I think I know why…
I don’t really want to change myself, I actually like myself the way I am…
My size has never prevented me from doing or achieving anything I wanted.
Everytime I tried to loose weight it was because I felt like I ought to… because thats what I had been taught to believe all my life …
Being the size I am will no doubt cut some time off my life. I am well aware of the facts that tell me in no uncertain terms about the impact my weight has on my joints and internal organs…
Everyone has a crutch – be that cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, make up … well mine is food … not junk food … delicious healthy food and home made baked treats … I just eat too much of it …

Does that affect my ability to be a good parent? Some might argue that it does …
I hope that I can teach my children that every person is beautiful in their own right, no matter their size, class, ethnicity or abilities…
I hope that when people look at me as a mother they don’t imagine a fat person in a tracksuit eating crisps out of a family sized packet watching daytime telly…
I hope they imagine more of an italian mamma stirring a pot of delicious pasta sauce with an apron round her belly, an apetite for life and a big fat smile on her face…
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until next time…
ta da