“I had no idea it was coming.
My ex-husband came home from work Saturday evening and said, ‘I’m done, I’ve fallen out of love with you.’ I was 6 months pregnant with our child.
Our family home was sold 2 months later out from under me.
I was having difficulties with my ever changing world, and was diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety.
One evening after a long 12 hour day at work I started having dark thoughts of not wanting to be here anymore. I never had thoughts like this before and was frightened. I packed a bag and raced to my aunt’s house. My midwives were concerned for me but also for my appearance with upcoming court and the unpredictability of my ex-husband. We did not want any negativity directed towards me while I was weak in a situation I wasn’t able to handle.
After meeting with my new OBGYN, there were discussions around whether antidepressants were the right course of action. As a nurse, I had my own stigma around taking SSRI’s while pregnant. After a lot of recommendations, research and soul searching- I knew this was the proper step to take to ensure the safety of myself and my unborn son.
I struggled daily for the last 3 months of my pregnancy.
Every day I felt alone, scared, unsure and broken.
Every day I had negativity and hurt being thrown at me by the man who once promised me everything.
When I finally opened up to my ex about my mental health- I was told ending a relationship was not a ‘good enough’ reason to be diagnosed with PTSD.
Ending a relationship alone is not what caused my PTSD.
It was my world being flipped upside down, my life long promise of love and support from a partner ending, having to raise my beautiful boy as a single mom, and going through added stressors all while 6 months pregnant.
The stigma and fear of being put on an antidepressant while pregnant terrified me, but I was not coping well. I made the tough decision to start my course of antidepressants to ensure I was safe. I knew in order to care for Teddy the best I could, I needed to care for myself first.
Finally came the day of my son’s arrival. I waited so long to meet him. It wasn’t an easy time in the hospital but he was here, and he was beyond perfect. I had not seen my ex husband for 3 months- I was in such a baby bliss that I invited him to the hospital immediately to meet his son.
The following months have not been easy. The hardest, yet most beautiful phase of my life began.
Nothing will ever compare to someone choosing not to love you anymore when you need their love and support the most. Someone chose not to love me and in return, it made me lose any self love I had.
If someone you love deems you worthless, does that mean you are unloveable?
This was my fear and in my thoughts daily.
Then this little boy, his blessing, has made me feel the love I am worthy of once again. The connection we have is undeniable and something I could have only dreamed.
I have shed the skin of pregnant and single.
I am now his mother.
It’s simple to say be kind to everyone because you don’t know what they are going through.
But it is true.
Never assume that you know.
Be there for them in anyway they ask and respect their healing process.
These past few months have been filled of high anxiety. I am never 100% confident in what is causing and creating the unnerving feelings, but I am doing everything I can to create healthy strategies to cope. Having the love and support of my close circle will always be the most important part of my healing, and these people will never know the gratitude I have for them. Happiness comes in waves- I know it will find me again.
I regularly have more good days than bad- but there are still days where my mental health is bigger than I am.
My ex and I still have a lot of life to figure out. But all I want is for my precious boy to know unconditional love.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Samantha Ribchester. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos
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