Being a mother to a three-year-old can have its challenges, but with challenges come rewards. In the three years that the Bean has been with us, I have felt incredibly grateful for her and at times incredibly sad. She gives me purpose, she shows me immense love, and she shows me how amazing human beings are. Becoming a parent is a time of joy and happiness, which is all true (until the three-day blues hit you) but no-one really talks about the impact of postnatal depression and how survivors of abuse/trauma are highly susceptible to this. I knew I had a chance of getting PND but was not prepared for it, it literally hit me so hard I was left numb. It’s a feeling of incredible numbness and terror. It left me no choice but to get the help I needed. There is no shame in getting help, especially if you’re a new mother, it really is something new every day when you have a child.
The purpose of this blog will be to vent, help, explain, enlighten, discuss, and discover everything and anything about what I deal with in my life. Whether it be life as a parent, suffering depression/PND, anxiety, being a young parent, exercise, sex/love, interpersonal relationships, moving countries, learning a new language, discovering new cultures, preserving my own culture, and more. I’m just giving a heads up for future topics you will see here.
For my first blog, I want to quickly introduce myself and set the scene for Y'all. I was born and raised in Redfern, New South Wales in Australia. I am 1 of 9 children, I have five brothers and three sisters plus my parents. My mother spent most of my life raising us as a single parent as my father spent a lot of time in and out of prison. My mother and father are both of Aboriginal descent, I am a proud Kuku-Yalanji/Woppaburra/Wiradjuri woman. Majority of my childhood was tough, of course having that many children did make finances tight. We were poor but although we didn’t have a lot of money, we always managed to get by. The abuse occurred regularly there was drug/alcohol abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. I am a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of my father, as were other members of my family. Fortunately, he is now in prison serving a 24-year sentence! We moved around a lot as a result of my father’s crime sprees over the states of NSW and QLD, overall I ended up attending 13 different schools during my entire schooling life. It was very difficult not having stability and security but I always took an interest in school, the only place that was predictable and safe.
I confided in my mother about my abuse when I was 14 but unfortunately, she was unable to get me the help I needed so I ended up in the welfare system. I spent a couple of years in waiting, from living with extended family to living in a young women’s refuge and couch surfing until I finally met my foster mothers. They have been a shining light in my life since I first went to them, both have and continue to show me unwavering support and love. They had encouraged me to get into some counseling and start addressing the trauma I experienced, during the healing process I graduated high school, was able to have intimate relationships, got back into sport/exercise, made a great network of friends and even started working on my relationship with my mother. I attended university after a gap year off and four months into my studies, I met a Norwegian guy who became a beacon of love and everything I ever wanted in my life. After two years of being together, we had welcomed The Bean, who has been nothing but pure love and sweetness. I got postnatal depression as I mentioned and our relationship had fallen apart. We were separated for six months, during the six months we attended relationship counseling and in the beginning, it was about how we could be great parents while co-parenting and then it slowly started to become about us. I am so grateful that we did that!
That’s the past and now we are living in Norway! :)
My intentions for this blog is, to be honest about it all, I feel too often there is not enough content around the realities of being a parent, being a woman of colour and life so I decided to share my story. I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime already, even though I am only 24 years old. Of course, there is more to learn and I hope you will join me in discovering, developing, encouraging and helping one another out on this journey of parenthood and life.
P.s For those curious, my name Najawakoo was given to me when The Bean was born. It means ‘Mother of Little Oyster’ from the Woppaburra people of North Keppel Island, Australia.
DISCLAIMER: This blog is just my personal views and thoughts on life. They should in no way be used as a substitute for professional help with anything. If you or someone you know suffers from mental illness please get professional help. For help with mental illness in Australia you can contact Beyond Blue at 1300 22 4636 or through their website here [https://www.beyondblue.org.au/]. For help with mental illness in Norway you can contact Hjelpetelefonen at 116 123 or contact you local mental health centre. If you’re anywhere else in the world please search for mental health professionals in your area.