Breaking point

tower tarot card
The Tower signifies darkness and destruction on a physical scale, as opposed to a spiritual scale. The Tower itself represents ambitions built on false premises.

TRIGGER WARNING This blog post links to, and contains information about domestic violence, alcoholism, and death which may be triggering to some!

This blog post has taken me a long time to build up the courage to write, after all, how do you pick a single starting point to talk about when the last few decades have been largely dysfunctional.  Over the last three years, I came away from social media largely because of mine and my children’s safety (I was forced to relocate due to domestic violence) and because I needed to rebuild my life from the ground up.

Now I am back online, people are surprised to hear what I have been through over the last three years, (let alone the last twelve) because they never saw my life through that lens.

In a world where social media allows us to project our lives through a lens of our choosing, it was easy to create a life that looked full of love and happiness. Creating the perfect “online” life allowed me to escape from my truth, it allowed me to be something I was I wasn’t (but wanted) and allowed me to show people a life that wasn’t mine.

Life through the lens

When you have made mistakes and stuck with bad choices it is easier to hide behind the lens (and the lie) than having to tell everyone you have fucked up.  This is because not only does it impact your own life, but it affects those around you, especially when you have children.

Being married to a narcissist is exhausting because they have everyone around you fooled. Those who wise up to the fact of their true nature get quickly discarded. When no one else questions your abuser, you start to question yourself “is it me?” “am I asking for it?”  “how can I change?” Then you let that person mold you into a person that is unrecognizable in the hope that you will then be worthy of love – honestly, it’s soul destroying (I will go deeper into this next time.)

This brings me to the topic of this post “breaking point”.  This was the springboard which changed my life from being stuck in a destructive negative stagnated cycle to being propelled by grief and fear to rebuild my life over from scratch.

Those of you who have followed me on social media over the years know that 3 years ago this month (14 June) I lost my mum (she was only 51) but what most of you wouldn’t know is that my beautiful mum was on a slow suicide mission.  She was an alcoholic for 15 years and suffered from debilitating mental health issues.  She couldn’t cope with all the pain and suffering going on in the world, and as an empath, she bore the weight of it all on her shoulders.  This was to the point that the last few years of her life she became a recluse, barely leaving the house because of her agoraphobia.  She just couldn’t cope with people’s “energies being around her”. It’s bittersweet that she craved companionship but felt so detached from the world. Over the years she made it known to us that she so badly wanted to go back to the source, and reunite with her dad, who she lost when only 16 years old (he died at 51 too!)

peach rose
My mum had a stunning orange and peach rose bush growing up the side of her house.

I will never forget the day I got that phone call. I was on my way to the airport and had to turn the car around and race back home. My mum’s voice was unrecognizable and I knew it in my gut that I needed to get her medical attention. When I got to the house, I raced up the stairs and found her collapsed on the bed. She had yellow skin all over, even the whites of her eyes were yellow. She could barely talk because her brain was intoxicated (which I found out later was caused by her liver failing), and this still haunts me to this day.

My mum feared doctors and hospitals and had not stepped inside one since being sectioned 15 years prior. I knew I had to remain very calm whilst I rang an ambulance. We went straight to A&E with the blue flashing lights. I noticed in the ambulance that mum had lost so much weight in her face and upper body but her stomach was huge like she could have been heavily pregnant with triplets. (later found out that this is caused by ascites). Mum was put straight on a detox drip to help with the alcohol withdrawal which took a couple of days.

Over the next 4 weeks, I went to the hospital every day from 8am until 8pm driving 40 mins each way. Once in the confinement of my car, I would park up, breakdown and sob my heart out. I couldn’t let mum see me this way, I couldn’t let my kids see me this way. So, I did it on my own.

Mum had scans and blood tests, and the doctors told me that she had advanced stage cirrhosis (her liver was only working at 5%).  They had found blood clots in her main artery and that she was also in renal failure. We were told that there is no cure for cirrhosis and, at first, the doctors said that if she stayed off the alcohol she could live to see 2 years but I knew they weren’t being straight with me.  In the end, I pulled the doctor into a side room, I broke down and told her to be honest with me as I needed to know what we were facing when they discharged her. Finally, the doctor leveled with me and advised that we get in touch with MacMillan palliative care (who were AMAZING) as her life expectancy would only be 6 months at best.

Having to relay that back to my mum was one of the hardest conversations that I have ever had to have. But she knew, she had already accepted it. Her exact words were “I am ready” but my heart was screaming back “I am not”.

We both talked at length about what she wanted to do next, we decided that she wouldn’t spend her last few months in a hospice surrounded by people she didn’t know, instead she came to live with me and would be surrounded by people who loved her and be in her own bed until the very end.

pink and yellow dahila
Dahlias remind me of a Mandala which symbolizes a persons search for completeness and self-unity. When I look at these beautiful flowers they bring me hope that my mum has finally found peace.

Over the course of the next 5 months, my mum never touched another drop of alcohol.  I tell people those 5 months were the worst and the best of my life, and they really were. I got my mummy back, the mummy of my childhood. We talked, we laughed, we did a lot of crying (me more than her).  We laid in bed and watched films snuggled up, at night I would lay next to her just watching her breathe for what seemed like hours, as always too scared to fall asleep in case it was the last time I heard them.

Whilst this was all going on, my mum saw for the first time what my marriage and home life were really like.  We would stay up talking into the small hours of the morning and I allowed her for the first time to see how deeply unhappy I was.  She could see I was drowning and that he held all the floating devices up out of my reach.  I broke down to her even though I swore to myself that I never would and she begged me to leave him.  She asked me to leave him numerous times over those 5 months – but I didn’t. Instead, I threw myself into my lifestyle blog creating the life that I wanted everyone to see as that was much easier than facing the truth, that my marriage was toxic.

The day that my mum slipped into a coma, I went back to feeling utterly lost and alone. Mum was the only one who questioned my abuser, who had seen a glimpse of his true nature and knew the true reality of what went on in the tight inner circle that he built around us.

Mum was in active dying stage for two days and for those two days I never left her side, my aunt never left mine, and my family were never far away (but he wasn’t anywhere to be seen.)  5 mins before my mum took her last breath, she gained semi conciseness and told us all in turn that she loved us and that she was in no pain. I asked her “are you leaving now mum?” She answered “yes” and then drew her last breath…

That right there was my breaking point.

purple freesia
Beautiful freesia I recently planted in memory of my mum

Although writing this post brought up a lot of raw emotion for me, I hope that it may bring comfort to anyone in a similar position. Please know that you are not alone!.

If you or anyone you know is affected by domestic violence or addiction you can contact the following organizations and of course, feel free to drop me a DM.

Thank you for reading.

xx D

14 thoughts on “Breaking point

  1. You are a strong, powerful and resilient Goddess who has come through so much that you shouldn’t have had to cope with, and yet without it all you wouldn’t be as fully you as you are today. So proud of you for posting this, and sharing your authenticity 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It must feel fantastic to finally be able to release some of the hurt inside of you. Hopefully the next blog will flow more freely from you and as time goes on it will become natural!
    Well done Danielle, amazing piece of writing and I really hope it has helped you in some way, no matter how small! You are on the up!!
    Lots of love xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing this.i hope it has helped you with your are a strong person and someone to admire.your sensitive good and kind spirit shows through.keep writing to encourage and inspire have a gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It seems wrong almost to “like” this post, because I don’t like it, no one should have to go through what you have (and continue to) gone through.

    Alcohol is a horrible addiction and a lot of people really don’t see the effect it has. They also don’t see the slippery slope some people are on where they have gone from “just a pint or two” to 12-16 cans a night 4+ nights of the week.

    I am not saying “blah ban everything” but more that people need to be more aware of these types of illnesses. Mental health, addiction, it affects everyone. We also need to get away from stereotypes. The amount of times I have heard “I’m not a **** because I don’t do *this specific thing*”.

    You can be an alcoholic without being the kind of person who buys the cheapest ale as soon as the shop opens, without looking like the stereotypical “alkie”, drinking to excess regularly, not being able to just have 1 or 2, needing to drink most days/nights, needing to drink to relax/make it through the day/ whatever. These are all signs of alcoholism. Everyone is different, just because you are not what the stereotype is doesn’t mean it’s not you.

    If you have read my blog, you will know I struggle with my mental health, and mental health services, or rather lack thereof along with the standard “but you don’t look ill” type comments really need to change.

    People need to be more open and able to talk about things so we are not trapped in awful situations, so that we don’t feel ashamed because we are in that situation, or because we have a mental health problems or a disability. There will always be people who refuse to understand, who think they know better than you – I have learned to cut them out of my life, or at the very least limit their access to my life. Yes it’s hard, yes it took me most of my life to realise this was even an option, let alone to enforce it.

    We need to realise family is what we make it, be that biological or comprising of friends etc, it doesn’t matter.

    With regards to the guilt and the “it’s harder because of the kids”, yes I totally understand this, and yes it most definitely is harder because of the kids – but you have to remember (not you you, the general you), even if you try to hide things, even if it doesn’t happen in front of the kids, it will be effecting them, and at the end of the day you have to realise, and yes people will tell you but you have to realise it on your own, that yes kids are obviously going to be effected and upset by any breakdown in familial relationships but they will be happier and in a much better place, when you are.

    Narcissistic personality is a hard one as by the very nature they hide it, like all abusers do, it’s always in private, behind closed doors, and their public persona is always so *good* that people do not believe you, you must be mistaken, surely that perfect person wouldn’t do that? Yeah I have heard it all before. Unfortunately this kind of time is when you will realise who your true friends are, they will be the ones that will have your back no matter what, they will support you even if they don’t initially believe you totally, they will also be the first to call you out when you are being unreasonable. Unfortunately, in my experience anyway, these are hard to find, so when you do find one – cling on to them with all your might!

    Anyway enough rambling, just remember you are such a strong woman, and even during your worst moments you were able to be kind and supportive to others. And that even though we have never met met we love you and want only the best for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for writing your story down and not keeping it to yourself. It is so important that we start talking about how we are really feeling and what is really going on in our lives, because if we don’t we simply keep up our appearance and continue to suffer dearly. We are all in the same boat, and the more honest we get with ourselves and each other the more we will realise how much we can heal simply by opening up to each other and talking reality, instead of hiding behind a facade we think we have to keep up to fit into society.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Self Care Q&A

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