I was in my mid to early 20’s when I was diagnosed with bipolar. I asked my psychiatrist…why has this happened, have I always had it and what has caused it. He told me that it could have been triggered by a traumatic event.
When I was 18 I started going out with this guy. As bad as it sounds I knew him as he used to go out with my best friend at the time. She treated him really badly and dumped him, and to be fair it was about 6months later we started talking and arranged to meet up. He was studying engineering, he was really polite, came from a good family, had his own car which was always a bonus- he was the sort of guy you would be really happy to present to your parents. We will call him X.
When I met him, things at home were not good, my brother was really badly hurt in car accident and my Papa had died, then my mum and dad split up, and my dad moved out. My mum stopped talking to me because I still spoke to my dad, she even asked me to move in with him. She thought hurting me, would hurt him, it was just a really horrible time. Having this new relationship was a great escape and it was good. X started playing football with my Dad, and my mum was inviting him for tea, just as I thought, the sort of guy that your parents would like.
I used to play football and I was early one night for training so I thought I would do some of my uni work in the cafe at the sports centre. I was just flicking through stuff and checked the dates for my next piece of coursework. It was at that moment that I started to panic because i realised I was late. It was the 13th of February, I remember it because it was the day before Valentine’s Day.
The next day I bought a test from the chemist across the road from uni and I remember downing 2 drinks from the student Union before I did the test. My friend from uni who I had told, waited outside, and instantly knew from my face that it was positive when I emerged from the toilet. I was 18 and pregnant.
X had planned a romantic meal out for our first Valentine’s Day, and I met him that night. I don’t think it was my intention to tell him that night, I think I just wanted time to get my head around the idea first. However, he sensed something was wrong and he thought I was dumping him. I felt bad for him thinking like that so i told him. I am not sure what sort of reaction I thought I would get but it certainly wasn’t the reaction I hoped I would. His first words were you are not keeping it and he walked out.
I had to get the bus home myself that night and i had to pretend to my mum that I had had a lovely night.
He messaged me the next day to apologise for walking out, but stood by his words that i couldn’t keep it and had to make the arrangements soon.
The text messages continued for the next 2 weeks just like that, and there was no let up. I told one of my football coaches and she told me I shouldn’t play until I had decided but I thought my mum and did would get suspicious if I didn’t play so I continued. A few more weeks passed and I just felt under so much pressure, X was so insistent that I couldn’t keep this baby and that it would ruin our lives.
The morning sickness had kicked in and it all started to feel really real. I remember being on the bus to uni and this lady got on and the smell of her perfume made me feel sick, I could only survive a couple of stops with her.
A month had gone by since I had found out and I was standing on a football pitch in Glasgow. I remember this girl coming flying towards me and instead of stopping her I moved out of the way and she scored. My team were screaming at me, but I knew my coach knew why I had done it. I wanted to keep my baby.
I phoned X that night and we met and I told him. He was furious. He then hit me where he knew it would hurt. He said, your parents will never get back together if you have this baby, and that will be on me. That the last thing my papa had told me was that education was the most important thing, and if you have this baby you will need to drop out of uni, you wouldn’t make him proud. I hated X for doing this.
I made the arrangements the next day. I had to tell a counsellor I didn’t want this baby. I then had to go and get a scan to see how many weeks I was. To this day I always have regretted not looking at the screen to see my baby. The procedure was then booked in for the next week.
It was a Wednesday and I made my own way to the hospital. I sat in a deserted area in the hospital and I cried. I phoned my coach, but it just went to voicemail. I then called my mum, and if she had picked up i would have told her, but she didn’t and that day was the worst of my life.
My friend picked me up and took me home. It was mince and tatties for tea that night and nobody in my house knew a thing. X phoned, he said to make sure I was okay, but I think to make sure I had gone through with it. The next morning I wasn’t sick, and when that lady got on the bus, the smell wasn’t there and it hurt so much.
The next week my parents got back together, my dad moved home, and X said…that wouldn’t have happened if you had told them. 2 weeks later my mum, dad and X are sat in the stands watching me play in the league cup final for my football team which we won. There was a huge celebration planned for after and I went with X. I drank and I drank and I drank to apparently I could barely stand. I have no knowledge of getting home, speaking to my parents or handing them a pizza when I got in. I just woke up the next morning, feeling very ill. There was a text from X waiting for me. It said, you probably won’t remember as you were so out of it but thanks for last night, I wasn’t sure how long to wait since you know…..but glad to have got the first time after under my belt. I couldn’t quite take it in, i felt so violated and I knew I wasn’t ready and he knew that.
The next few months were a blur, I stayed with him and it was horrible. My parents worshiped the ground he walked on and I started to hate him. We went on holiday in the September and it was the longest 2 weeks of my life. I wouldn’t let him touch me which I knew that frustrated him and I just couldn’t wait to get home. On the last night of the holiday he turned round and said to me that if I had wanted to keep the baby he would have supported us. I just couldn’t deal with that and as soon as we got home I dumped him. My parents were furious but I couldn’t stay with him.
I couldn’t cope with any of it and i felt so much anger and resentment towards X and my parents. My best friend became vodka and most nights I would drink myself in to oblivion. I shut off emotionally and i stopped caring about things. The self harm started soon after and I think I spent the next 3 years hiding my alcohol dependency and self harm.
I then started talking to a women who i would later date. My Mum and Dad couldn’t get their heads round this when I told them and one night I blurted it out about X and the baby. What X had done didn’t seem to matter, my dad turned round and said I deprived him of a grandchild and he wished that I had never told him. I just wanted to scream that I had done it for them so they would get back together that it wasn’t what I really wanted.
That weekend I tried to end my life, and I ended up in hospital. My mum saw the scars a few weeks later and said you can’t do that every time you don’t get what you want.
I was a complete mess and just felt like everyone around me had hurt me. That they put their own feelings far far ahead of my own and if they don’t care about mine then why should I.
A blood test would show that my liver was damaged, Mr vodka had done that so I was referred to counselling for substance and alcohol abuse. They wanted me to keep a diary of what I drank in a week. I remember them commenting on how badly written it was and I said well I was pissed when I wrote it and then I left, i didn’t want their help.
I carried on seeing my new partner the woman. Maybe it started off as a 2 fingers up to my parents but I did love her. She made me feel safe and less alone. I put her through hell and back yet she always stayed.
My behaviour had become really erratic and there was a feeling of not caring but there was a feeling of being scared because I was out of control. I took a pile of pills and got in my car and drove at as fast as I could. My partner threatened me with the Police if I didn’t get help so I did.
A few months later I was diagnosed with Bipolar and that particular journey started.
I often wonder if this had never happened would I be like this today…..maybe it is some sort of karma for doing the worst thing I have ever done in my life. I know I will be judged by so many for what I did, but believe me when I say this, I hate myself more than anyone else could.