Mum explains how it felt to lose a bond with her own daughter while battling depression

Being a mum when you don’t want to live anymore tears you in two.

On one hand you have this perfect little life, who to them, you are their everything, their world.

But on the other hand you feel an overwhelming sadness that shakes you to your core. Early morning wake ups and lack of sleep add to your already stressed out mindset.

I would never mean the words “I hate you” to my daughter, but a 5 hour screaming session from a toddler can make you think and say horrible things – things that once in your head can make you feel oh so much worse.

I remember crying myself to sleep thinking I was a terrible mum, wishing she was never born, not wanting to be here anymore. I would get caught in a vicious circle.

I would want to end my life, but then I would feel bad because I knew that would mean my daughter growing up without a mum and that would make me feel so much worse – leading me to hating myself more and wanting to end it.

“I would want to end my life”

I thought about it a lot. Her tantrums got worse and I couldn’t cope. She screamed at me and I screamed back.

I just didn’t want her. I loved her so much but she was making me feel so bad. I was a failure, so many other friends had children and they coped so well… why couldn’t I? Why couldn’t I stop feeling like I was alone?

I never asked for help; I didn’t want people to know that inside I was crumbling apart. For the first few years I cried myself to sleep most nights. I couldn’t work out what I was doing wrong. I just really couldn’t hold my life together.

By the time a family member realised that I was not in a great way it was too late. I was depressed to the point where I had destroyed my relationship with my daughter. In my head I believed she hated me and that I was a terrible mum.

I gave up on myself and on her. I felt like her being with me was destroying her and that made me feel awful. I rang my dad and told him if he didn’t come get her I would call social services on myself and have her taken away. I had to get her away from me, because I felt like a poison.

“I gave up on myself and on her”

I didn’t want something so innocent being poisoned by my sadness.

She moved in with her grandparents and I stopped seeing her for a while to help my depression. But at the time I was drinking and doing drugs, so I was spiraling down and I didn’t know how to stop.

I started to see her again on a weekly basis but I couldn’t be bothered and I felt no bond so it felt like a chore. I couldn’t do it anymore. I had hit rock bottom, I thought I had fucked up everything. I couldn’t see a light. My sadness had consumed me to the point I felt so alone, so empty.

I thought about my daughter a lot- her smile, her laugh, the silly things she would do. Then I realised she was my light.

I had been so consumed with the feelings I had, the sadness, the hate for myself, the thoughts of failure, that I hadn’t stopped to notice that this tiny life, this little human I had made didn’t care that I wasn’t the perfect parent.

She didn’t care that I sometimes felt sad because to her I was her everything and to me she was the light, the smile that helped me smile.

It has taken me 5 years to rebuild the relationship I ruined, and it is still a working progress. Yes I get mad and think things I don’t mean, she angers me to the point I just wanna scream at her.

Some days I still feel I am a failure, and the feelings of ending it are still stronger on some days. But I am still here.

Thanks to my daughter.

As told to

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