A lot of things have happened in my life, a lot of unhappy things. There is often a stigma attached to some of these things and people don’t talk about them. But I think its time.
I grew up in a typical British-Pakistani household (think East is East). My parents never left each other despite their relationship being downright volatile at times. It is highly frowned upon in the asian culture to be a single parent. The older generation considers it better to live secretly in pain than to be divorced.
At 19, I entered an extremely difficult relationship with the father of my children. Some of the time I felt I could barely cope and at other times it became so bad that I didn’t want to cope, I just wanted it all to end. These were hard times and it felt somewhat wrong to feel this way whilst being a mother. Eventually I reached the point of no return, it was make or break. I knew something had to change or this would be the end of me. I needed help but who to ask? I was afraid.
It has been one hell of a journey, but I received the help I needed. I got out of the seemingly never-ending tumultuous cycle and I’m proud to say “I’m alive”. All the while, trying to be the best mother and role model I can be. I found my fire.
Who do I have to thank? My family. Like most, there are times I want to kill them but nonetheless they are blood, which as we all know is thicker than water.
I also received help from another source; a brilliant doctor.
A man so paramount, his name deserves its own line. Danny is a psychoanalytic doctor and the Principal psychotherapist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and I was referred to him as I was pregnant during this terribly difficult time in my life. This man was the father I wish I had all those years; he saved me from so many of my demons. He gave me a shield I didn’t know I had. He gave me the power to take my life back. It felt like I was at the bottom of a deep dark well and not only had Danny brought me to the surface, he provided me with a ladder to just keep climbing higher.
Like myself, Danny has helped many, through delivering perinatal psycho-therapeutic intervention to mothers in south-west London and continues to do so. In a world of quick help, we turn to pills and anti depressants to cure us of our ailments and anxieties. The NHS needs to nurture such talking therapies as this to get to the root of the issues at hand so the problem is solved. These women are not weak. They are women who need help to keep going during the tough times. We all need help at times and there is no shame in asking for it. Perinatal psychotherapy is fundamental in ensuring healthy mother baby bonds and strengthening these relationships where there is a risk of harm.
Danny has changed my life, but the ripples of his work extend far beyond my psyche. I see how my boys have benefited from the sessions I’ve had with Danny. I see them as two of the most heavenly little angels, even when they scream the house down or make those 20 excuses before each bedtime just to avoid going to sleep. I appreciate them every single day. I appreciate the good along with the bad. When you lose everything, you have nothing to lose and only pain can teach you that. Every day is a gift and I’m forever grateful for the life I have, even on the not so good days!
Having recently begun maternity photography, it is a great pleasure to capture those little moments of a mother waiting for her bundle(s) of joy to arrive. Parent-baby bonding is crucial and we mustn’t forget that the mothers of today are raising the leaders of tomorrow’s world. It is essential for that mother, that woman, to be her best and to some of us this may come naturally. For those who need help however, perinatal therapy is an invaluable tool. Take this away and those women will be left to suffer in silence.
I hope the NHS sees how many lives are saved by this service and how important perinatal psychotherapy is. Please do like and share to show your help and support towards perinatal care and to support the NHS continuing this form of care.
Thanks for reading
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