I honestly do not understand how people expect anyone to know that answer?
What made you depressed? Well if I could pick I would choose but I can’t and you can not know exactly what made you depressed.
What made you Gamble? Well that one is easier it was the depression, anxiety, ocd, loneliness, lack of friends, lack of support, feeling unwanted, feeling unloved, Stuck in the house shall I carry on? Again its hard to pin point but with gambling it would have been a mixture of everything.
Another questions I get asked “Why didn’t you speak to someone I am sure you had someone who would listen?” This question will be answered below!
So lets go back in time before I had kids, before I gambled and before I became depressed. I am one of 7 kids, It was great growing up at first. However like all families ours had issues. At around 8 years old we moved and between the age of 8 and 13 we actually moved a total of 11 times!
To start with we where the family who did not sit in someones house until told, No going out the garden, Must be able to be seen from the window at all times the usual. We respected our elders, Went to church everything. But trying to make a family perfect does not stop it flaws and does not make it perfect. My siblings started drinking, Drugs, having kids etc. Growing up I seen fights, woke to things been smashed people shouting. Doors banging, Police sirens everything.
Coming home after school to find people in the garden drinking, Drinking until all hours with music on loud. In several house fires, Watch as a car is drove through our neighbors fence and police chasing the family member through our house. Carrying out blankets and pillows from our mums house to our dads to stay the night. Living in a hostel and acting like we didn’t go round the corner to meet our dad because if the owners knew they would throw us out! It was a women’s only hostel. Been sat down and told to choose if I wanted to stay living with my mum or move and live with my dad. Learning a lot of things on your own because you was forgotten about. Watching as someone stamped on your pet hamsters and threw them against the wall laughing! Having to be escorted out your home by police riot vans because people wanted to burn it down with us in it!
Life certainly was not easy after the age of 5 or 6, The things I remember can have me in tears for hours if I allowed it to! I remember that day my parents split up perfectly. The night before as usual arguing, fighting shouting etc. The next day my sisters birthday my dad in our room cuddling us crying and apologizing. Explaining why we had to move to a hostel and saying he would make it up to my sister for ruining her birthday. Everyone in the family went off course, drugs, drink, skipping school, police, pregnancy. You name it I have seen most things.
I remember I had a cat, which unfortunately got pregnant after having kittens. I remember they where meant to take them and dump them somewhere to be found but no instead the cruel torture happened. Laughing as they attempted to drawn the kittens and because it did not work snapping their necks. Followed by one coming through the room and shaking the bag in front of me. I was about 15 what was I meant to do? I had not had any support for years. I had only one person I could truly talk to. Going through my periods I was alone again no one to turn to. School work started dropping, losing concentration unable to sleep at night.
So my escape the person I could speak to was my Nana, I would go on my news round to earn money for sanity towels, etc then spend time with my Nana, She lived in a complex for elderly people who had their own little flats with the cords for help. Morning check in’s etc. I was not allowed to sleep over but often the warden when she did catch me she did not say anything. She just gave my Nana the look of now what has happened and sympathy knowing what was happening. She got used to me sleeping there.
I built a strong bond with my Nana in that time, She was the person I was closet to. At 17 I met someone, Stupidly got engaged. Paid loads off a wedding dress everything! My nana met him and as always would laugh and call him names for not been Scottish. I honestly though I was in love! I mean how would I know? Yes I was loved by my parents and siblings but never shown love, never taught about love. So yes I made mistakes yes I got engaged at just 17! But then I meet someone else.
I am not proud of it but rather then breaking up with my partner I started seeing this other guy. There was something there it was different. With my partner it was more I wanted to feel loved and that I needed to feel like I was wanted.
With this new guy I actually felt loved, needed, and wanted. I realized at that moment I did not love him and had no idea what to do but knew I had to break up with him and cancelling the whole wedding.
It certainly was not easy at all and a few months later I found out I was pregnant. I was grateful I felt like I was losing control of my life like I was about to follow the rest of my siblings on the long road to failure and mistakes.
I remember the last time I seen my nana she was living with my aunty I was around 4 months pregnant and remember how weak she was. Sat with her alone it was like old times talking to her. She asked me if I was happy now and before I replied she said “You do not need to answer I can see you are” Even now it brings tears to my eyes the fact she knew while I was engaged in the previous relationship that I was not happy she supported me and just waited for me to go to her for support.
She kept rubbing my stomach telling me my prince would keep me going. Telling me to stay strong and everything would turn out right. At the time I didn’t get it her rubbing my stomach telling me my prince would keep me going. It was only a few days later when I truly realized what she meant! She was saying good bye, She was telling me my son would help me through her death.
Because on the 28th November 2005, I woke up to a call. I had stayed at my partner that night and when I woke that morning and heard them words my whole world crumbled! Getting myself up and making my way to my dads I could not stop myself from crying. At the bus station waiting for the second bus my ex seen me. It was the strangest but most comforting thing. He asked how my nana was when I told him at first he didn’t believe me but then realized I meant it. It was what I needed I had to tell someone because I didn’t want to hold it in and he knew just how close I was to my Nana.
That night I laid there and that is when I realized what my Nana had been telling me. She was saying good bye, I had not seen her in around 3 months because of how far away she moved. That was her last goodbye to me. Reminding me that I had my son to get me through it and it certainly helped!
I remember going to see her at the morgue to say a final good by and kiss her good night. It would feel weird never seeing her again, Never hearing her jokes about English folk. Never having her to turn to for help support or just someone who knew me so well.
So when people ask me this is why I felt like I had no one to talk to! This is why I did not show my feelings for so many years and how so much got out of control so quickly! This is part one of two the second part I will post tonight.
This here is my wonderful Nana my best friend and no one will ever make me feel how she did. Amazingly in 2014 on her birthday I gave birth to a baby girl!
In memory of Helen O’Donnell 15/03/1920-28/11/2005