The Sun Newspaper,An Open Letter

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

Getting Out

I was thinking of the blog recently and about the reasons for starting it, where I began and where I have ended up and I thought that in honour of the true reason why I started this blog that I should really aim to look at writing a post a week or a month, relating to post natal depression.

The blog has become so much more than I had ever imagined and it’s really been an amazing journey with meeting new people and the many different opportunities that have also presented themselves to me. All thanks to an idea, a few friends encouraging me and a love for writing whether or not people think it’s a good read, it has taken me to exciting events, places and formed a lot of new friendships.

So today I start off with a tip for those who may be experiencing post natal/prenatal/post natal anxiety etc. My tip is GET OUT. Whether it be to the park, a 5min walk, out to the shops or visiting with a friend, it really does help in recovery. I felt that sitting in was more detrimental to my recovery and it made me more anxious , left me alone with my thoughts and really just made me feel very down.

When I started going out and walking with the baby in the pram, even if it was me walking and crying, the fresh air started to slowly have an effect on my moods and for the first time in the darkness , I congratulated myself for doing something and seeing something other than the four walls.  The daylight also gave me a boost whether it be raining or sunny , its always important to get that vitamin D.

When I was getting out, I was able to build up the time that I spent away from the house and the fear of getting bottles ready, having enough food, clothing etc, those anxieties started to leave my thoughts and lessened my anxiety. I was able to go to the library or have lunch with friends and I started to see that although my worries were valid, I could challenge them and work through them easier. All of what I was doing, had a knock on effect to how i was feeling as well as my behaviour.

It takes effort and confidence but I promise it does get better:) I’ve had PND twice and both times I am here to tell the tale, it just takes time but you can do it because you are strong and brave not to mention fantastic parents.



Be Myself?

Ive gone and done something that I never thought I would do… I joined the Parent Council. I know, absolutely off my head and nuts.. Me? I am not parent council material!!! I don’t do authority , happy clappy ,blah blah blah stuff, it just isn’t me! So why did I join, I hear you ask? Well I have to say that having kids has mellowed me somewhat in my old age. I participated in the family fun night a few weeks ago and I got to know more parents and it was just really nice to see people show up with their kids and well, HAVE FUN.

However, I have a problem… I pinned a board on Pinterest for fundraising ideas and it has a link to this blog. My child goes to a catholic school and my language has as those of you who read this, been a bit sweary at times and my blog is about bearing my soul to the world. Do I take the link off or do I stop worrying and just stop thinking that people will judge me and my views? I know that if the shoe was on the other foot and someone said to me that they were in this predicament, I would say “shut up , don’t be ashamed”…. Am I feeling shame? Why?

I guess its being in a new situation with people that I will come face to face with on a daily basis and I kind of feel that I am the one “back in school”… However, I am proud of what I have achieved and I guess if people do want to talk, let them. Says more about them than it does me. I have had a lot of encouragement over the years in writing this blog, I have helped people and I love writing . Guess its really a “no brainer”…

My main reason for joining the parent council is to boost school spirit and plan events for the children, whilst creating a sense of community which I feel is lacking in this area. IS that a bad thing? Wouldn’t have thought so at all. I guess with any new situation inn life, where you are putting yourself out there, that we all feel a bit vulnerable at times… I guess I have found my answer..

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