Thursday, 19 May 2016

Mental Health Awareness Week: Top Relationships for Stephanie Stevenson-Ward


Note: my VLOG from day three of MHAW is here: https://youtu.be/mkMzkEMthgI

By Stephanie Stevenson Ward, Mum & Uni Student, Twitter: @stephiebean27 


#1
Name: Christopher Ward
Why have you chosen this person? 
Because it’s the one relationship I’m pretty much stuck to for the rest of my life
Your relationship e.g. Mum, Cousin, friend, partner etc. : 
Estranged, soon to be ex-husband 
How long have you known one another? 
Six years
How did you first meet? 
Online dating – he was persistent and I just backed down eventually and let him take me for dinner.
What was your first thought/opinion on this person? 
He seemed like a nice guy – ticked all the boxes
Has this changed? 
Drastically, yes. Everything he told me, literally everything, was a lie or an exaggeration.
List three highlights from your relationship so far. 
Our wedding day, the birth of our son, and our first holiday together. Crete was a last minute holiday and it was absolutely brilliant. Our wedding, albeit expensive, was wonderful because we were there as a family. Jack was only 8 weeks old and I felt so privileged to have my beautiful boy there for my special day.
Has there been any low or difficult moments in your relationship? If yes, how have these been overcome? 
We have had many low and difficult moments and the only solution was to separate. So, we did. Best thing we ever did for each other.
Do you have any differences of opinion, views or beliefs? If yes, what are they? 
Countless. Mainly regarding parenting. I find him negligent and nonchalant. He probably thinks I’m overbearing.
List three things you have in common. 
Jack, Jack, Jack. He is the father of my child, but that is where the similarities end.
Is there anything you're looking forward to with this person? 
Receiving the Decree Absolute!
Describe this person with one word. 
Necessary.
Write one sentence of something you would like to say to this person. 
When I ask you do to something regarding Jack, it is because I hold his best interests at heart, not because I want to chastise you.

#2
Name: John ‘Jack’ Ellison
Why have you chosen this person? 
Because he is one of the integral parts of my support network
Your relationship e.g. Mum, Cousin, friend, partner etc. : 
Grandad 
How long have you known one another? 
Since I was born, 25 years
How did you first meet?
I was luck enough to be born related to this wonderful man
What was your first thought/opinion on this person? 
Apparently I would only go to him as a baby, so I’m guessing I thought he was fairly awesome.
Has this changed? 
As I’ve gotten older I’ve realised just how amazing he really is. My grandma was the rock in my family and only recently have I realised my grandad’s true strength since we lost her.
List three highlights from your relationship so far. 
When he gave me away at my wedding – he shared the duty with my stepdad and I know he was just so proud. He also was incredibly proud when I named my little man after him. But the highlight of the relationship for me was after we lost grandma and I heard him bragging to a family member about how proud he was of me for caring for grandma at the hospital. I didn’t even think it was anything special but he did.
Has there been any low or difficult moments in your relationship? If yes, how have these been overcome? 
Grandad has a firey temper but I learned from grandma – ignore him and agree if necessary.
Do you have any differences of opinion, views or beliefs? If yes, what are they? 
Yes. He doesn’t really understand my son’s special needs and thinks I’m lazy when it comes to potty training, getting him talking etc.
List three things you have in common. 
We are family, we both suck at the letters game on Countdown, and we are both ambitious.
Is there anything you're looking forward to with this person? 
Jack’s 4th birthday party in grandad’s garden
Describe this person with one word. 
Supportive
Write one sentence of something you would like to say to this person. 
I am sorry I didn’t visit more when Grandma was alive, but I will make it up to you now in any way I can.

#3
Name: Alexis Watson
Why have you chosen this person? 
Because right now she has become one of the main spokes in my wheel of support.
Your relationship e.g. Mum, Cousin, friend, partner etc. : 
Friend 
How long have you known one another? 
About a year
How did you first meet? 
In the Blyth and Tyne. Alexis approached me with a tray of shots and fed me one.
What was your first thought/opinion on this person? 
"This girl brings shots. I like her!”
Has this changed? 
I’ve since found out what a kind, selfless, wonderful person she is. She literally does everything she can for others, in spite of her own needs.
List three highlights from your relationship so far. 
Rebecca’s birthday party in the garden – we planned it and it was just a beautiful event spoiling someone who couldn’t enjoy a night out with the rest of us. Another highlight was during my grandma’s death. Alexis knew I wouldn’t sleep, so she said I should have a little nap on her sofa. I woke the next day. She had taken Jack to bed and tucked me in on the couch. I don’t know if this next one counts as a highlight, but I love that we have our ‘hangover days’ in fat pants eating pizza. They are simple but amazing.
Has there been any low or difficult moments in your relationship? If yes, how have these been overcome? 
No, not really.
Do you have any differences of opinion, views or beliefs? If yes, what are they? 
We parent COMPLETELY differently. I’m quite overbearing and freak over Jack’s health because he has been quite poorly since birth. Alexis thinks I’m a hypochondriac!
List three things you have in common. 
We both have amazing three year olds, we are both obsessed with making our homes nice, despite the fact the kids destroy at a faster rate, and we both have a problem with wine (2 hands and only one mouth).
Is there anything you're looking forward to with this person? 
Summer with the kids
Describe this person with one word. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Write one sentence of something you would like to say to this person.
I will replace the Strongbow I nicked on Tuesday when I got to yours before you!

#4
Name: Jack Ward
Why have you chosen this person? 
Because I created this human using my body.
Your relationship e.g. Mum, Cousin, friend, partner etc. :  
Son
How long have you known one another? 
Three years, nine months, three weeks, and one day at the time of writing this sentence.
How did you first meet? 
A surgeon cut him from my tummy, passed him to a midwife who wrapped him up, and popped him on my chest.
What was your first thought/opinion on this person? 
He was beautiful, he smelled good, and he was a boy. It was love at first sight.
Has this changed? 
He is still beautiful and male, but sometimes he smells very very bad. But I still love him. 
List three highlights from your relationship so far. 
The day he was born will stick with me forever. As will the first time he laughed hysterically at 17 weeks old. And the way he tells me he loves me all the time.
Has there been any low or difficult moments in your relationship? If yes, how have these been overcome? 
Yes. Jack has complex additional needs. Speech delay, various other delays – hes basically two years behind. And sometimes, just for fun, he stops breathing. This has been incredibly frustrating and at times even harrowing for me. He has had me cry as many tears of sorrow as he has of joy. But I feel we have just worked hard at these things (me more than him) and we get through.
Do you have any differences of opinion, views or beliefs? If yes, what are they? 
Yes! On what we should eat, mainly. He thinks crisps are OK for breakfast. Oh and we forever disagree on suitable bedtimes, and whether the iPad should be allowed in bed
List three things you have in common. 
We have the same love for Disney movies, we both love each other, and we are both total chatterboxes. 
Is there anything you're looking forward to with this person? 
Seeing him grow up into the young man I know he will become – the talented, ambitious man he already is deep inside.
Describe this person with one word. 
Beautiful
Write one sentence of something you would like to say to this person. 
I love you now, I always will, and if you ever kill someone, I’ll be the one to help you hide the body!

#5
Name: Helen Belshaw
Why have you chosen this person? 
Because I know that she has my back on everything, even if she disagrees with me.
Your relationship e.g. Mum, Cousin, friend, partner etc. : 
Childminder turned friend 
How long have you known one another? 
Just over two years
How did you first meet? 
We were having a few drinks with a mutual friend and she was there. She mentioned she was a childminder. And months later my circumstances changed and I needed a new one. And….she had a space!
What was your first thought/opinion on this person? 
She seemed like the kind of person I would like to be friends with.
Has this changed? 
No, I still love her just as much, if not more!
List three highlights from your relationship so far. All the ‘firsts’ we have witnessed together, the times she has come through and helped me out when nobody else has, and although its not just a highlight – the comfort I get from knowing she loves my son and parents him my way.
Has there been any low or difficult moments in your relationship? If yes, how have these been overcome? 
It was neither of our faults, but a jobsworth health visitor made allegations against me, and lied saying Helen had raised the concerns. I knew it wasn’t true but it really upset us both. But we were able to talk and sort it.
Do you have any differences of opinion, views or beliefs? If yes, what are they? 
Nah, she has my back!
List three things you have in common. 
We are both mothers, we both love Jack, and we parent in similar ways 
Is there anything you're looking forward to with this person? 
Coffee next week!
Describe this person with one word. UniqueWrite one sentence of something you would like to say to this person . 
Thank you for being a second mother to my precious boy.