Well. Wasn’t 2014 a big bitch?
I have to say, I am very glad to be getting rid of this year. It has had its highlights, but for the most part it has been the worst year of my life. I’m going to go through the bad parts first, so I can end on a positive note.
One of the defining things for me this year was finally getting a resolution to the sexual assault case that I was involved in. Court was horrendous. They weren’t particularly harsh on me, but they did take some incredibly low blows. Court itself was just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the time before court actually happened, I learnt a lot about the justice system. I learnt that victims of crimes are treated absolutely appallingly by the justice system. Probably because there are a small minority of liars out there, so they have to treat everyone with the same contempt. To go through everything from the reporting stage to eventually getting to court was incredibly difficult and upsetting. It changed me permenantly as a person and certainly changed the way I look at a system that is essentially there to protect the innocent. I learnt that it is also there to protect the guilty and that it’s all exssentially a game to those involved.
I realised that sometimes you do have to hold up your hands and say “this is too much, I need help.” The resulting support from doctors and from my counsellor with what I learnt was PTSD was completely invaluable and something that I will never be able to thank them enough for. They did their best to make a crappy situation something that I could live through.
Work and Mental Health
I learnt this year that some employers don’t give a crap. They just could not actually care less if they tried about people at the lowest level of their staff. I spent three years in the job at an ambulance service. I was an emergency call taker and dispatcher. Because the job was very stressful and full on, I found it very difficult to deal with whilst also dealing with all of the issues raised by the court process. I asked for help. Many times I asked for help. I applied for part time as recommended my a high up manager. I then had to fight tooth and nail for that part time, despite the fact that I would be losing two hundred pounds a month.
I discovered how much a negative envirmonment could affect a person mentally and how much of a toll that could take on home life. I have never been so tired in my life as I was at that job – not just physically, but mentally. I also never dreamed that an employer woudl essentially threaten a person with loss of their job when they were having a miscarriage. That is the lowest of the low, in my opinion.
This year was a bad year for loss. First, the loss of Squishy in June was devestating. We’ve never known loss like that, as a couple. It was horrific and I really don’t know how women go through it multiple times. Dates are hard. I know February 7th, which should have been Squishy’s due date, will be no end of dificult. But we will get through it. The loss of Squishy taught Amy and I that we are very strong as a couple. It essentially brought us closer together even though the situation was horrific. I’m sad that it essentially took away the magic of pregnancy. The next time we get a positive pregnancy test will be different, but I know Squishy will be back with us one day and we will be ready when they get here.
We also lost our darling pooch, Gizmo. I had never lost a pet before that was actually my pet. We adopted Gizmo when he was a teeny, tiny boy and he had been a massive part of our lives for eight years. The loss of him had a big effect on our household. I never imagined greif like that, or the guilt and wondering if you had done the right thing. After the day we lost him, Amy and I did an awful lot of crying, an awful lot of sleeping and an awful lot of talking. So did many members of the family. He may have been “just a dog”, but he was our dog and he left a wound on my heart that will always be there. It may heal, but there will always be a scar.
Thankfully, there were also a lot of positive things this year! Here’s some of those.
As much as we did lose Squishy in the end, the four weeks of knowing about the pregnancy were the best ever. Yes, I felt like crap. Yes, I was worried and yes, I was scared. But man, that was a good few weeks. Planning for the future, knowing that we had a little person growing. I’ve never felt closer to Amy as I did during that time. It honestly felt like we had won the lottery. Although we did lose Squishy, getting pregnant brought with it the knowledge that I actually can get pregnant. I was worried that I couldn’t, and regardless of outcome the short pregnancy really reassured me that it can happen and likely will happen again. Whilst we wait, we can treasure those few short weeks as a great time in our lives.
Awards and Recognition
I started the year getting my Emergency M<edical Dispatcher 2 qualification. This was great for me, as I had delayed the assesment ue to the effects of the PTSD and had managed to convince myself that I couldn’t pass the assesment. I passed it first time, of course. Really there was nothing to worry about. But the relief was immense! It just shows at a lot of the time the key is self belief and mind over matter. I did that job every day for three years, there was no reason to not pass the assessment. The fact that the trainer was very complimentary of my work helped a lot, too.
It’s been a great year for Amy and awards. First, she won Transport for London’s Employee of the Year award, followed shortly by notice that she had been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honors list and awarded a British Empire Medal, which she received last month. It’s lovely to see Amy recognised for what she did, which she constantly dismisses as “just her job.” Fact is, she went the extra 100 miles on this one and the list of awards proves this! I have no awards, but I’ve been to some lovely award ceremonies and I’m very proud of Amy. I’m also very much looking forward to the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace nect year! Apparently the cakes have itty bitty crowns on them!
Friends, Family and Becoming Godparents
This year was a great year for friends and family. We met new friends, strengthened friendships with old ones and ended friendships that were dead in the water. I learnt which friends were willing to support us when things went wrong, and which ones were only around when things were ok.
The loss of Squishy ended in me coming out to family and friends on Facebook about our infertility journey, and the outpouring of love and support was really very wonderful to see. Support from friends, acquiantances and family members was very much appreciated and filled our hearts at what was a very difficult time.
I’ve made many new online friends this year, both through this blog and through forum visits. I have enjoyed following along with their stories and the support they have given has been totally wonderful. Sometimes it’s very nice to have people on your side and this year I have realised that there are quite a few people fighting my corner. Amazingly, though, I have never met many of them. I have friends all over the world who probably know me better than I know myself. Some live hundreds of miles away, but we found out that one actually only lives about a ten minute drive away, which is awesome as well.
We became godparents to our friends’ second little girl, Ellie. I debated for a long time what this would mean for me, as I am an athiest and didn’t want to enter into anything that would upset anyone in the end. It’s lovely to have that responsibility, though and I look forward to seeing Ellie (and her big sister) grow up.
Getting out of the ambulance service was the best thing I ever did. I’m much happier in myself now and, although I took a pay cut, I feel like I can live my life again now. Working 9 til 5 is just perfect for me. I’m hoping it will impact positively on my cycles and on the health of my next pregnancy, too. This is one change that I pushed very hard for in 2014 and finally achieved, so that makes me very happy indeed.
So, that’;s my 2014. As this year ends and a new one starts, i’m not going to make any resolutions. I’m not going to make any promises to myself for the year ahead. i’m just going to be the best Laura that I can be. I will do what I need to do for the happiness of Amy and I. I very much hope that this year is the year that we grow our rainbow baby, but if not I hope the year is filled with great things. Either way, it has to be better than this year!
Happy new year all xx