Sometimes you think, “Wow I have been making a lot of progress.” Then something small happens and it triggers a flash and you think. “Oh, so its not completely gone.”
This is what I have been thinking about this past week. I read http://debiehive.blogspot.com/. Fairly regularly. I mean if not her daily post then at least every other day. She related her story about Post Postpartum Depression.
It had only been a few days before that I had been watching Princess P. She moved, and I had a flash of her falling over the edge and down to the first floor. I had these with my daughter. I channeled it into very OCD behavior. Cleaning and controlling as much as I possibly could. When it happened with Princess P I thought wow I thought I had come so far. It really caught me by surprise.
I had therapy for four years where we addressed some of this. I was and am on medication that helps me control the anxiety and the depression because for me they go hand in hand. They have their fingers twined and they don’t separate for anything. They always visit together sometimes though the depression is quiet and the anxiety is talking. We must watch her with an eagle eye. Control everything she does. Hover without hovering. Sometimes the depression does the talking. How could you even envision that happening? What kind of sick and twisted mother are you? What kind of person thinks of these things about their own child? you can’t let anyone know you feel like this, they’ll definitely take your child away! Then the rational part of my brain would tell me its nothing you would ever act on. My therapist and I would talk about this at length.
Mattie and I discussed this on one of our feast days. It is so hard to deal with these things and feel even somewhat normal. There must be something seriously wrong with us. I am at the point that I can say no…we are just normal crazy.
These flashes were/are anything; from the baby falling down a flight of stairs to dropping her over the railing. Mattie has said that it has carried on to the point that she can’t stand for her children to get too close to railings in high areas. or windows above the second floor of a building. Mine got to the point that I would be driving home and would wonder what it would be like to just floor it over the bridge and take a hard left. I told my therapist that first the thing that stopped me was I was afraid I would survive. We worked on that, and ended up increasing my medications. My daughter was 18 months old when I started therapy. My therapist felt that my post postpartum depression had been fueled into OCD and we had to work on both at the same time. On top of that my original diagnosis since I was five was attention deficit disorder, which is probably why the distraction of obsessing on what I could control helped so much. I know from reading other stories that my depression was very mild. That some women have it much worse. It caught me by surprise that there are a lot of women that it is not caught/discovered until their baby is a year or older. Whenever I thought of PPD I thought of the baby being close to a newborn.
Not every woman is so lucky. Not every woman is able to realize it is irrational and get help. Kelly at DeBie Hive has it right…no matter how hard it is to write about it. How hard it is to share about it. The true power comes when we are honest and openly admit this to others. Perhaps at first it is just a few people. Perhaps that is the only thing that happens. It is enough. We are not alone.
Mattie and I both worked on this post. You see we have known each other since middle school. Something happened then that our minds melded. We constantly think what the other is saying and visa versa. We have even sent each other the almost exact same text at almost the exact same time. There may have been years that we didn’t talk. There was no gap when we met up again.