You may have read in the last section about the plans that Robin and Annabelle are making together for their future. Is a happy ending on the horizon for Annabelle?
These are the previous parts in Annabelle’s story:
As soon as they were back at the hotel in Interlaken, Robin disappeared into an office so that he could type up an official letter of notice. He also rang Claudia’s father Renard to explain his situation and the letter that would be making its way to him. Renard was affable as ever. The hotelier didn’t seemed remotely put out by the departure of the manager of his hotels. In fact he went as far to say Robin could leave whenever he needed to.
Robin decided to e-mail his father with an outline of the plan he had discussed with Annabelle. He told his father that he would be returning to England with Annabelle in the middle of February after paying off all of his debt. He added that he and Annabelle hoped to marry within the next few months and would be in contact more about their plans. He sent the message, thinking it best for his parents to think over the news overnight before they spoke again on the telephone.
When he returned to the hotel bar where he had left Annabelle, she was nowhere to be seen. Immediately one of the bar staff approached him to pass on a message from Annabelle that she had returned to their room to rest. Robin thanked the barman for the message and then collected a bottle of wine from behind the bar and a couple of glasses.
As he was in the elevator he tried to think about everything Annabelle had admitted to him that day. It must have been tiring for her, to talk about a subject she clearly felt so uncomfortable with. Perhaps they should have a restful evening and order dinner to be brought up to the room.
The day had been tiring to Robin too, but what Annabelle had told him had finally answered so many of the questions he had grappled with. Her being honest about her emotional state was helping to make sense of what had happened back in London before and after they lost their daughter.
Everything she admitted only seemed to confirm that she did seem to have the same characteristics he had read about in the descriptions of Borderline Personality Disorder. He planned to talk to his mother at some stage about it, if Annabelle agreed. His mother had read a lot about psychology and mental health.
Robin also had no doubt of how fond his mother was of Annabelle. She had found her completely charming and captivating from the start. Annabelle had been very nervous around Fiona Grainger. Perhaps it was because of how her own mother made her feel, But there was no need to be nervous around Fiona. She adored Annabelle. She had deep concern for her health and wellbeing after the accident, as well as during and after her pregnancy. Fiona had given Robin constant advice on looking after Annabelle and their little daughter Lucy. Perhaps overtime Annabelle would perceive how delighted his parents were to have her as their daughter-in-law.
But as usual Annabelle was going to need a lot of reassurance. Robin had not understood before how childlike her emotions were. He would have considered it patronising perhaps in the past. But now he saw, he needed to give her encouragement and praise. As Dean’s song reminded him over and over, “the woman is still a child, who needs to be held and told she’s a good girl”. That was something he had no idea of during their year together in New York. To Robin, it had been about sex and the social life that Annabelle’s job with Sony. It had been fun, more fun than he had ever had before.
Even when she came to England and lay in hospital in intensive care carrying his child, it had not really dawned on Robin that it would not just be physically and financially that he would need to care for Annabelle and Lucy. There were so many other ways she needed assistance. He had muddled through. But he cringed thinking of the mistakes he had made, the opportunities he had missed. Muddling through wasn’t going to be enough any more. He had been forced to learn what real love involved. He needed to think about Annabelle’s emotional health. Reassurance, love, patience, and being careful not to make her feel rejected or like a failure. Those words from Dean’s song repeated themselves over an over in his mind, “needs to be held and told she’s a good girl”.
When Robin let himself into Annabelle’s room, he forgot about good girl Annabelle. His eyes were fixed on her while he put down the wine bottle and glasses on the counter top. He removed his shoes, followed by his clothing. Annabelle’s seductive gaze had already stirred him. She smiled on realizing that without a word she had already excited him.
Robin walked to the side of the bed and took Annabelle’s face into his hands to kiss her. There were no more words. The two lovers made amends for the hurtful exchange of words since the last time they had made love just hours before. It was purely satisfying each other’s needs, ensuring that they could still ignite fever in each other. A couple who knew every inch of the other’s body and how to render pleasure.
An hour later, Robin was holding Annabelle close to his chest, with his arms wrapped around her, whispering that he was so proud she was going to be his wife. Annabelle was silent, how eagerly she wanted to swallow those words down and cling to them. But as soon as they were uttered, she felt doubt casting suspicion on those expressions.
Later on they did decide to order room service and open the bottle of wine that Robin had brought up from the bar.
“Can I show you something Belle? Please please don’t think I am being unkind. I honestly think it will be helpful to you.”
Annabelle’s forehead anxiously wrinkled. “What kind of helpful?”
“What you said this afternoon made me think a lot of what I have read about new mothers.”
Annabelle looked slightly dismayed, “It’s not easy Robin. I kind of feel as if I have had more than enough for one day.”
“I just want you to understand that what you have experienced is something many other women will relate to. Don’t be anxious, I am not trying to upset you. I just think it might help to know that the way you felt, or didn’t feel about Lucy, it’s actually something many others have experienced. Look at this, I have it bookmarked. It’s something published by the NHS,” Robin presented his phone to Annabelle, who took it and reluctantly scanned her eyes down the screen.
She could see the web page had a lot of content, so she just focused on the top part, the list of symptoms that can affect some mother after they give birth.
Postnatal depression can start any time in the first year after giving birth.
Signs that you or someone you know might be depressed include:
- a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
- lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world
- lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
- trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day
- difficulty bonding with your baby
- withdrawing from contact with other people
- problems concentrating and making decisions
- frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby
Many women do not realise they have postnatal depression, because it can develop gradually.
Annabelle’s wide eyes displayed her alarm as she continued reading, “I never wanted to hurt her Robin.”
“I never thought you did. But you did have difficulty bonding with her.”
Annabelle nodded, her face indicating how broken hearted she felt. “And I was tired all the time.”
“I know you were. But what you went through is not unusual. You are not, what did you say the other day? A psycho? You are not a psycho, you are not a freak. You had a medically recognised condition or whatever you want to call it, for which there are all sorts of professional supportive services and treatments and even more importantly, many many other women who have been honest and shared their experiences.”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I just couldn’t,” gasped Annabelle, feeling she couldn’t take in any more.
“You have nothing to be sorry about. You were a wonderful mother, with a challenge. But it didn’t stop you from making sure she had everything she needed. I am deeply proud of you. I wish you understood how we all felt about you, my parents and I. We were all worried about you. I wish you’d had better professional support. We loved you Belle.”
Annabelle was shaking, “I am so glad you love me. But back then it was too much. I just felt guilty, I didn’t want everyone to be nice. It made it worse somehow.”
“Ok, ok, it’s ok Belle,” Robin embraced Annabelle holding her tightly and rubbing her back, “You must talk about how you feel though, how you really feel. It helps you and it helps me. And there is so much help. There were so many ways we could have made sure you had more help back then.”
“I was afraid.” sobbed Annabelle.
“I know you were. And I think you are now. You seem afraid about what this Doctor you saw a couple of months ago said to you, but there is so much help Belle. I think it would be really good for you to read more about this diagnosis she wanted you to agree with and understand why she thought it applied to you.”
“I can’t. It’s too much. They made me sound like I was a complete nutcase.”
“That’s not what she was trying to say. I have read about it and it helped me to understand. I am sure you will find it helpful too.”
Annabelle pulled away from Robin, “Why are you doing this? I feel as if you are pushing me to think about everything awful.”
“Because I love you. You have had so many challenges. You don’t need to do this on your own. You are going to be my wife, and I don’t want to see you suffer when there is so much help available.”
You can read the next part of Annabelle’s story here:
Kim, the creator of Writer Side of Life has given us some great writing prompts. Several of them appealed to me, but I have only chosen one to work on for now, because I am still playing catch up with blogging, after my trip to Australia:
I chose a prompt under the ROMANCE section: 3. Who is she waiting for?