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Suicidal thoughts

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 31 July 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,
Two years ago, when I was pregnant (unplanned) with my third child, I found a note in the pocket of my husband's suit, which transpired to be from his secretary, who had, I then realised, been his lover for the last five years. My whole world disintegrated.

When I told him that I knew about his affair, he was not in the slightest apologetic, and seemed relieved that it was now out in the open. He said he loved her and that he had stayed with me for the sake of the children. It was obvious that he intended to keep seeing her.

I felt trapped, as I did not want him anywhere near me, but I was pregnant with his child, and had nowhere else to go. I sank into a deep depression and found it almost impossible to continue with a normal life. He forbade me from speaking about his affair with anyone, and so my friends, and especially my children, had no idea why I had become so withdrawn and desperately unhappy. My doctor prescribed strong anti-depressants, but these made me feel totally detached and still troubled.

My husband began to stay away for longer periods, and started to treat me with contempt. And I just became a shell of my former self. I gave birth to my son, but found it very difficult to bond with him, as he was so demanding. Since then, I have been trying to cope but as I am so down all the time most of my friends have gradually drifted away and I am left with no support and feeling suicidal.

It has taken me a few attempts to write this email as I don't really know how to put this into words or what I expect you to be able to do to help me. But I remember one of my friends some months ago telling me about you and that you had really helped her with her problem, so I thought I would try.
I do appreciate you taking the time to read this.
Thank you

Patricia Marie says...

Women with children stay in trapped marriages because leaving is so complicated - but nothing can be worse than living as you are. You have allowed yourself to be treated appallingly, with neither love nor respect. I urge you to set yourself free from this intolerable situation. Your husband wants to be with this other woman, yet is too cowardly to make a complete break. My advice to you is to take control, pack his bags and tell him it's over. There is no other choice. By standing up to him you should hopefully regain your self respect and no longer feel open to his abuse. Ask a family member or someone you can trust to be in the house to support you when you confront him.

Having to deal with so much emotional trauma has resulted in you suffering from depression. You could be associating your son with the exposure of your husband's infidelity, causing you to struggle with bonding. With the right help, you can get through these difficulties. Make a call to your GP right now and explain how you are feeling. Clearly the antidepressants he prescribed are not working, but you can work together to find the correct medication, which will make all the difference to how you feel.

Women's Aid are there for victims of domestic abuse, so phone them without delay. They can offer you legal advice, as well as individual and group therapy to improve your self worth and help you move on from this destructive relationship. They can also refer you to Home Start, a charity run organisation, which could assign you a dedicated helper to assist you at home with all your family concerns. In addition, if at any time you are experiencing feelings of suicide, please, pick up the phone and call the Samaritans. They offer excellent support at times of distress and loneliness.

In time you should begin to feel stronger and believe that life is very much worth living again. Focus your mind on a new door opening on to the rest of your life, free from the past heartache and misery - then bravely walk through to the new chapter that awaits you.

Women's Aid: 0808 2000 247
Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90


Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Could it be that children are notoriously fussy eaters due to an evolutionary instinct warning them to avoid unfamiliar foods in case they are dangerous?

Depending on which expert you listen to, it is not your fault you don't like Brussels sprouts, boiled cabbage or chocolate.

Before you reached adulthood, it's likely that you had at least one food which made you squirm. You may have even felt queasy at the sight of it.

However, Dr Lucy Cooke of University College London will tell you a whopping 78% of children inherit a fear of eating unknown foods from their parents.

It's called neophobia.

I read this and had a momentary sense of relief I was not responsible for my distaste of mini round smelly green veg. Laying blame on my parents is so much easier and far less stressful.

One must then conclude that I am merely a descendent of Brussels sprouts hating generations since the dawning of time. Again, I was SO relieved.

That is, until I realised my parents and three of my four siblings hang out for winter and Brussels sprouts season.

Back to google and the learned Yale psychologist, Linda Bartoshuk, who has discovered that some humans are "supertasters".

Aha. We "supertasters" have more taste buds than other mere mortals meaning we taste flavours more intensely. I have won the genetic lottery of an elite race of beings whose claim to fame is in our mouths.

If only my genetic composition gave me the power to cure cancer, solve world peace and work out how to feed fussy eating children.

Like a good recipe, it sometimes takes many ingredients to raise a child well. Patience, experimentation, perseverance, common sense and healthy dose of humour. Nothing too exotic but everything straightforward and loving.

And when Brussels sprouts don't rock your child's boat, try something else green (or red, purple or any other colour for that matter) from mother nature's basket of goodies.
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Parental supervision…

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Monday, 27 July 2015
I remember my first holiday without my parents as if it was yesterday. Aged 16¾ , I ventured around Israel with a rebellious youth group. The memories, friendships and a few of those piercings from that momentous adventure still remain. But it is the feeling of that thrilling freedom that reminds me most of the trip.

Thirty odd years later, more accurately since Smalls entered our lives, and I now have no issue with the odd parental supervised holiday. Not only do I enjoy their (sometimes quirky) company, I am endless indebted to anyone who can lend me a child-rearing hand whilst feeding me with home cooked (as well as restaurant) treats, washing all of our clothes and allowing me limitless sleep.

So, at the start of each summer I put 'real life' on hold and three generations escape to an undiscovered (by us) part of the UK. For one week, I properly reset my on/off button. Catching up with their news, aches/pains and political thoughts, I also really relish observing the Smalls enjoying their company too. The whole trip feels properly precious.

This week we pressed flowers, walked in the rain, read books and ate a certain number of roast chickens. Story telling always features high at Yablon mealtimes. Tales of my youth, our ancestors and some amusing recounting (from all age groups) of 'what happened when' regularly reduce us all into full flow giggles.

Last year Camber Sands, this year Lake Windermere. Who knows where next year – let's just hope we're all still together and laughing.

A tipple aux toilettes

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Monday, 27 July 2015
It's usually time for the evening to end when you're considering a tipple aux toilettes. Ladies and Gentlemen in Kentish Town, however, has made an art out of lavatory libations. Once a disused underground Victorian loo, the bar was launched in January 2015 and has been attracting a steady stream of curious locals since. Descending the steep steps one Wednesday evening, I am greeted by a crowd of twenty-something hipsters, couples old and young, and what looks like one slightly confused hen party. They gather around marble tables or perch on bar stools, surrounded – inexplicably – by piles of paperback books.

Despite the potential for gimmicks, Ladies and Gentleman is surprisingly free of vestiges of its lavatorial past. The underground space resembles a speakeasy, with low lighting and soft jazz. Some china cisterns and conspicuous piping provide a few nods to the original Ladies and Gents, but the setting is understated and cosy.

The real reason for using the facilities, however, is the bar's innovative cocktail list. The selection is small – no more than ten cocktails – but each is carefully crafted from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and craft spirits. The enthusiasm of the friendly bar staff testifies to the quality of the drinks; when asked for a recommendation, our waiter replies, "Everything".


Despite this tempting suggestion, we opt for one cocktail each – the fittingly named Royal Blooded Lady and an Affogato Martini. The drinks are served in beautiful glassware, with the margarita arriving in a cut glass beaker frosted with salt. The Affogato, in its deep martini glass, is garnished with coffee beans, and is more like a meal than a drink. An indulgent twist on the classic espresso martini, it is creamy with vanilla ice cream and rich with bitter coffee. The Lady margarita, meanwhile, is tart and fruity, the sweet hibiscus offsetting the tequila kick. With drinks priced between £8.50 and £10, you'll be spending more than a penny, but the relaxed atmosphere means that you can linger over your cocktail.

With three underground bars all within spitting distance of Kentish Town tube station, you might be forgiven for thinking that Camden Council had recently laid down some 1920s Prohibition law. However, Ladies and Gentleman looks set to withstand the competition. Emerging from the once dilapidated women's entrance, I was struck by the bar's transformation of a dead and derelict space. With its fun concept, intimate atmosphere and cutting edge cocktails, this quirky venue provides a very memorable visit to the Ladies.
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I have just found out I was adopted

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 23 July 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,
I am 44 years old, married with two children, and have just found out that I was adopted as a baby.

This has shaken me to the core. I received a letter two weeks ago purporting to be from my birth mother, desperately pleading to arrange a meeting between us. I immediately drove round to my parents' house to confront them, and was told that Yes I had been adopted. I cannot believe they would hide such a devastating piece of information from me.

I met with the woman, as I wanted to establish how she could possibly have given her child up, and how she had located me after such a long time. The meeting was very awkward and I found myself feeling nothing for her at all, other than extreme anger when she explained that she had become pregnant as a 15 year old. Her parents had insisted she have an abortion, but apparently she had not agreed and so had run away from home, only returning when her pregnancy was too far advanced to be halted. When I was born though, despite her protestations I was put up for adoption at my grandparents' wish, with the express instruction that my whereabouts should never be disclosed to my mother.

I feel such mixed emotions, but mostly anger. Anger towards my adoptive parents, my actual mother, my actual grandparents, even anger towards my husband as he is so dismissive of the enormous impact this knowledge has had on me. I feel I no longer know who I am. How ever will I recover from this?

Patrica Marie says...

You have recently received the most shocking news, and are clearly struggling with such a revelation. Finding out in adult life you were adopted can throw up a range of turbulent emotions. It is perfectly understandable you are angry with everyone, and wanting answers from those who you feel have betrayed you. I notice that when you referred to your meeting with your birth mother, you significantly called her ' The Woman' for clarity.

Rushing into confrontations without allowing yourself time to come to terms with this disclosure may result in you saying things you don't mean, and could cause you even more upset. It's common to want to know more about one's origins, and even if you have a close and loving relationship with your adoptive parents, it's perfectly natural to want to know about your birth parents in order to forge some sense of identity.

It seems as well as being angry, you are feeling hurt, rejected, confused, and lost. Expressing how you feel to your adoptive parents may help to resolve such painful emotions. Remember, you can still love them as well as be angry with them for not telling you. They may have been trying to protect you by withholding the truth. Perhaps they were bound by your grandmother's instruction to remain silent. Be gentle with their feelings, as, after all, they have been there for you from the very beginning, and I feel sure because you're hurting they must be too.

I doubt your husband is being deliberately dismissive, rather it is possibly a case of him not knowing what to say or how to support you, which is why I urge you to seek professional help, and I promise you then won't feel so alone.

Do call Adoption UK for professional help, support and guidance from their specialist team. They can put you in touch with local support groups where you could meet with others who have been adopted. Hearing their experiences, I believe, will benefit you greatly to feel understood and will help to reinstate your sense of belonging.

Adoption Uk: (0844 848 7900)

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