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THIRTY FIVE LOCKS

B&Q didn't know what hit them when I marched up to a random man named Peter. Where can I find locks. Yep 35 locks to keep my sons safe please, “What” Peter let me explain, I need to put a lock on every door in my house front and back, so every time we are in a room the others can be locked, especially at night. "Huh"? Peter I'm not done… When we get broken into by gangs (obviously) with knives… yep knives of course. Each room will be locked from both sides so they will get trapped in a room saving me from being tied up and attacked in view of my sons. I could then save my sons and call the police.

I left Peter in B&Q looking rather concerned as I strutted off rather chuffed that I had finally found a way to keep my sons safe. Clever Mummy I thought as I counted 35 locks slowly going through the till. My drive home was spent going over and over how this would fix everything until my mind went FIRES!!! Oh for FUCK SAKE!!!! Fucking FIRES!!!!! So I did what every respectable babe would do… continued to drive home then called the police.Yep they can help with this problem. During this phone call I explained my concerns about the locks not working, Fire risk she confirmed. Ok I can handle this, Ladders? Ladders!! Yes, a ladder outside every window so if they broke in we could climb out of the windows down the ladders. Quickly I realised they could also break in this way. This was a hard day, I was disappointed in myself. I couldn't protect my sons so I spent another night on the hallway floor listening to them breathing and staying awake listening to the noises in my house. Those noises become burglars I was convinced, paralysed with fear, like being trapped in a burning building. This would become a Panic Attack. This was my night-time routine for a very long time.The  scariest thing? I wasn't diagnosed with OCD until many years later. Didn't know what a panic attack was until I was told I have Panic Disorder. Again many years later.

Intrusive thoughts are absolutely crippling. Before I was diagnosed with OCD i'd spend ages trying to figure out where these thoughts were coming from. I didn't understand how my mind could just hit me with them, why didn't anyone else think like me? I diagnosed myself with being a crazy babe, others confirmed this. My undiagnosed OCD effected my life in a huge way, I never took my sons swimming when they were younger, not even once. I'd make up any shit excuse to avoid this. I was convinced if I took them swimming they would drown. I still remember my eldest complaining to me that I never took him swimming and that his Daddy always did. I still feel guilt over this. I'm still jealous to this day when I hear of my friends taking their babies swimming for the first time and how utterly lovely and cute it was. The thing with these thoughts is they are so erratic, so over the top and utterly ridiculous but at the time they are incredibly real. The list of things I've done to keep my sons and myself safe is pretty crazy, and the thoughts I've had have taken sleep and happiness from me for many years. I've been left in tears having a panic attack all from thinking my son could walk into the knife I was preparing dinner with. Thoughts get very dark they go on and on until I've visualised him getting stabbed, blood everywhere. I'm screaming it was an accident. I get arrested for the murder of my own child.

Then there's the "quirky" things I do, always in threes, 1 2 3. From checking locks to boiling the kettle 3 times. I have a night-time routine just before bed and if anyone breaks this I get super pissed off and have to start all over again. I eat the same thing over and over again, last summer I ate pita bread, humous and vegetable crisp for the whole summer. In fairness I do love humous.

If you can relate to my story please go AND see a professional, I couldn't understand my thoughts and feelings for many years and this effected the quality of my life. Part of me sharing my journey with you is to educate and give you the confidence to go AND get help. You may notice some of my behaviour in family, friends, or lovers. Your voice has value and needs to be heard so take up more space and help yourself or another babe in need.
If you are suicidal or severely struggling with your mental health. Please see a doctor. Panic the mother is not a substitute for medical advice.
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