Dear -Fill in the blank,
One of your journalists approached me a few months back when I was on a 2 day break with my kids and cousins,via email with the subject of “Will you talk to me”. Now, I’m sure I can be forgiven for thinking that this was junk mail and to be honest, I should have deleted it and sent it to the trash where it quite rightly belonged but I didn’t. Instead, I engaged in a lengthly conversation about my experience with Post natal depression – and against my better judgement (as I had a feeling and a “niggle”) telling me not continue or share ,but oh boy, I sure did. See,that’s what some journalists feed on .. a person’s vulnerability and/or the need to want to help people and break down stigma , that they are willing to let you in to their thoughts and feelings, to tell the story of how they nearly god damn died because of what was going on.
I have been blogging and talking about my journey for many years and until recently, I didn’t have it in me for fear of judgement, to talk about and admit to the termination that I had. Due to shame and regret? Possibly and most probably but I was told that it would help other women. You got me hook,line and sinker. Silly ,me I guess. Now, it is true that I had told this story to an amazing woman in a previous publication(so as your title suggested, it wasn’t an exclusive) a few weeks prior to but the Sun is much closer to home and I know that the chance of people I know reading it was more likely than the other.
When I received an email to tell me that it had been published, I was away at a residential bootcamp and had no coverage apart from wifi at certain times of the day. Imagine my shock when I opened this.
My stomach sank and I was nearly sick. I have never ever been made to feel the way I felt on day of publication. I couldn’t read the whole thing due to tears streaming down my face and the bile rising in my throat from my stomach. Over dramatic enough for you? Well unfortunately its all true which is more than I can say for your headline which I was told wasn’t written by the journalist who spoke to me- despite only her name being on the article.
I want to ask one thing… The headline talks about how I “aborted my healthy baby”. How do you know that this baby was healthy or not? How do you think that impacts a mother on the brink of suicide, making such a difficult decision , who thinks that she’s murdering her baby? Because i’ll tell you this, I was at that stage in my life and I fought so fucking hard to get through it all and I did. It was my husband, my daughter, my cousin,uncle and close friends who helped. Your paper hides behind the guise of wanting to help and share these stories but it is YOUR paper that adds to the stigma when you print headlines like that and take advantage of people like me. You did real good though.. I like to think that I’m intelligent,worldly and educated pretty well….Maybe not.
When I tried contacting the journalist, she wasn’t in the office but her boss was. he didn’t reply until I sent two other emails and her dismissive attitude was a further kick in the stomach. I responded to her mail but I haven’t had a reply back so I am reponding to a few points via this open letter Number 1. Apparently, “Sometimes seeing your story in print can be painful”- ahh , yes especially when it’s sensationalised. which leaves me to point 2. questioning ethics…”Headlines are meant to grab attention” at the risk of someones mental health? Really, you want to go there? 3.The Scottish Sun has tackled many sensitive subjects without complaint – lies. Ask blogger @TheRealSupermum and the doozy which was done on her.
I vowed after this “story” was published( which some of it appears to have been taken from a certain other publication, tut tut)that I would never share anything again but I looked back at some of the old emails,texts and comments on my blog of support, and thought about why I started writing and share my story in the first palce. The conclusion that I came to was my need to let women (and men) who make difficult decisions every day or go through PND,Prenatal depression or depression as a whole, that they aren’t alone,there is support and no one needs to feel shame. You won’t destroy that because I won’t let you. Your “rag” of a newspaper is thought less of than I am. The only one who should feel shame, is you.
Angeline Brunel Dickson
Here it is, the second in our series of posts about our family project that B&Q have helped us out with, and if this is your first time visiting the site you can read all about it here and it will explain what I am jabbering on about!
The weather has been rubbish and with the way that the back garden is just now, I have lacked in motivation big time. However, tonight was time to throw caution to the wind and get something done! Actually, I had to slide my shift at work because I have lost my voice and the husband came home early so we had enough day light hours to do a bit more. When I say “we”, I do mean the husband… When you have two young kids and you want to do things as a family , it means chipping in and adding distraction to the mix. Whilst he built (I did do some), I bathed the youngest got dinner ready and the other child played outside on the trampoline. Now, this isn’t the family time together that I wrote about initial post but stay with me on this one. Less stress means more productivity, we were all outside for at least an hour and a half together, we played & spoke to one another which meant no electronics or TV’s, etc but actual proper family time.
We achieved more on this today and got our enthusiasm back which is a great feeling and when the roof is added, I will let the kids help me paint with no rules, its their house and no one is going to be told off for getting messy. Its all about them and how they want it to look and I get to do some of the interior as well. I’m so excited for the kids and I hope that this brings nights spent in the back garden around the fire, camp outs in the fort, movie nights in it and star gazing. Its time for us and also for them and their friends, to build great and happy memories.
This is what we did today , and tomorrow I will go to B&Q to pick up some exterior wood.. possibly going for a blue and some white for the decking area.. Not sure until I see what they have. What do you think so far?
Not long woken and have to say, our child free night was a success. We had grand plans of huge clear outs, organising and ticking off boxes on the “to do” list. We did one or two things and the rest of the night was spent relaxing, eating lovely food, and enjoying each others company. So next time you come to the house, yes it’s going to be clean but show home it is not. For we are two parents of small children, a puppy and now deceased hamster.. Our home is filled with chaos , toys , failed Pinterest projects and LOVE. You’ll get us and our shambolic, messy and shouty house each time you come, that is one “routine” which will never change.
We do things like painting chalkboards on to walls,posting signs of luck to our kids before an event which will impact and shape them, creating book nooks for the kids and letting them strip off the cushions to make forts in the house. We also try to grow things in the back garden, plant flowers too but it very rarely works out. We celebrate our differences and actually TRY to wear odd socks, sometimes the daughters uniform has stains on it (but it’s clean), or she goes to school without brushing her hair(call the police!)I’m certainly no earth mother and live on my nerves but I really try so hard to create fun for us because life is so very short and precious. We have overcome obstacles such as PND, death and a future unknown for a family business but we are still here. No one can predict what happens next for us and I’d rather now just live life as it comes with its constant twists and turns.. Life for us can change from day to day and this is certainly reflected in twitter and facebook updats (much to some peoples annoyance) , but it is what it is and we are are who we are.
My husband hates that I’m impulsive and I can’t stand that he’s so laid back but it “works”. We argue, and in public too but I don’t see that as a bad thing and we always seem to make up again. I think we are really just winging this whole “parenting/marriage thing and so far so good despite blips every so often but that’s what happens in real life. Like I said, we aren’t perfect. I think “perfect” would be far more exhausting and I’m certainly tired enough as it is. So here it is and here we are.. My family. Us.
I’m just a mother, we are just a family but we are just good enough.
I’ve always wanted to be creative despite thinking that I have no skills , wanting a wee corner somewhere to come up with ideas and to write and read in but never really having the time or the money to do so. Until now. I was reading through an incredibly inspiring blog by the talented Mamma Syder and I have so much inspiration that I could burst!She has given life to some new ideas with some of the projects that she has already completed and I have decided that I will work on three and give myself a whole year to complete or start them.
The post which has given me most inspiration is this one here about her back garden book nook and my idea of an oasis where you could sit for hours no matter what the weather and feel as though you are a million miles away from things but its located in your back garden. We certainly have enough space to complete something similar and we already have most of the materials to do it with, it will just take a bit of planning on my part, some tutorials via you tube and some help from my friends. We still have plans to complete the b&q project and I will be starting that tonight (blog post to follow this week), which will be purely for the kids and their friends and I hope that can become a craft room/sleep over area. Also, we had been thinking about moving as our flat is really pretty small however, although we could move it would mean increasing our monthly mortgage and with being from Canada , I would have to sacrifice my trips home which I really am not willing to do. So expand we will! The house isn’t that bad and the kids are still young enough that we are able to have them in the same room.
We have also decided to purchase a “summer house” for the back garden which we can use for dinner parties, guitar playing , an area for guests who may come to stay for the night and a general hub for activity. I have wanted one of these for absolute ages and after seeing my friends who writes here @And1makes4 which was purchased last year, I can’t stop thinking about the possibilities! She has been using hers for working from as she is self employed and I think uses it for entertaining too. Its a perfect place for friends to pop round to and I think I will start hosting my Christmas BBQ’s in there as well.
My second project which is over due now that we have changed rooms with the children, is to redecorate our small bedroom. I am liking the “shabby chic” look and have some paint left over from when I worked with Dulux on a previous post, and its the perfect color to use which means I’m not having to spend any money on the paint. I’m thinking of “upcycling” and I have been reading and doing research on how to do it but will be starting small before I let myself loose in the bedroom.
The third project is upcycling a door which we no longer use but I want to make a table out of it for the Summer House. I have been looking on Pinterest for some ideas and there certainly are many! I originally wanted to make a picture frame to mount on the wall but since moving into the other room, the wall isn’t big enough and I think it would look far too silly in such a small space. I also have some old bedside tables in the loft that I could use to try upcycling and if it doesn’t work out well, I haven’t spent any money on it.
So these are my projects for the year ahead, I look forward to trying them out and I hope to be successful! It may mean that my blogging falls a bit behind but I want to involve the kids and the husband as a family project in the making. Stepping away from it isn’t that bad because we all need a break now and again!