A serious one from me today, a little reflection of the hardest times that having a baby took me to…
There was a woman who lived in the south of England. She was wife of a Keifer Sutherland lookalike, and slave to the role of parenting-but today, she was reflecting on being slave to the role of parenting-there was a time when she never thought she’d get that far…
She remembered a time where she was handed a baby she had just given birth to, and instead of the rush of love she was promised, she felt numb. Empty, cold, nothing…
She remembered feeling like she’d made the biggest mistake of her life, but also the headfuck fear that came with that, that NOBODY MUST EVER KNOW SHE FELT THAT WAY OR THAT THOUGHT EVER ENTERED HER HEAD.
She remembered the feelings of detachment from everyday life that she started to feel, and ignoring them.
She remembered staying awake all night feeling like her heart would beat out of her chest, with the fear that she was going mad. Fear that she couldn’t look after her children. Fear that she’d failed in the one job she had had ever been sure she’d be fucking fabulous at.
She remembered the auditory hallucinations, closely followed by the visual ones.
She didn’t know how she’d work through her feelings about her body and her permanently changed status-how she’d never feel the same about herself again.
She remembered the negative intrusive thought, and how that made her feel she was a danger to everyone around her.
She remembered gagging on any food that came near her mouth.
She remembered the exhaustion-the bone aching, collapse-on-the-floor at any given second exhaustion, but also the nervous energy that made her pace for hours around the streets where she lived-terrified of being trapped inside her house, and inside her own head.
She remembered thinking that she must tell someone, but was worried that telling someone meant that she would be called crazy, have her children taken away, spend the rest of her life locked away. She started by telling the Keifer Sutherland lookalike. He smiled, and told her she’d be ok, and went with her to the Drs.
The Dr smiled at her and told her she’d be ok, and gave her some pills. He told her ‘right, there’s no need to go looking back to 1994 and digging into your past or whatever, to try and ‘find yourself’ or whatever is popular nowadays-this is normal for new parents.’ She still wasn’t ok.
She desperately phoned the out of hours Dr in the night-she couldn’t imagine how she could live a life like this, if it meant feeling like this for ever. The out of hours Dr was cross. ‘You’ve already seen a Dr about this, why are you phoning again??’ She apologised for being a nuisance-she expected a kindly response of ‘it’s ok, it’s what we are here for,’ but was met with a stony silence-the Dr was still cross evidently. The Dr threw some diazepam her way and told her she was incredibly busy. She’s never forgotten that Dr and her total lack of compassion.
She remembered when the shit totally hit the fan, and her mum came to take her children away for a few days. The relief mixed with an indescribable guilt.
She remembered a therapist-one of the nicest people she had ever met. She doesn’t remember a lot of what they talked about, but she remembered that she knew she could tell him anything, and that he eventually made her start to see light at the end of the tunnel. She feels touched by his kindness every day, and knows she will never forget him.
She remembered her heart rate slowing, keeping down her first meal, and the help of people who understood, and even those who didn’t really, but tried.
She promised herself that if she ever came through it, she’d #cherisheverymoment, but in reality, children can still be total shits, if you’re in recovery from postnatal anxiety or not-so she still struggles to #fuckingcherishallofit but she’s grateful that she got better enough to try.
She likes to write funny stories about being a parent, but the reality is, sometimes she just wants to watch Greys Anatomy in bed in her pyjamas, and cry because Denny dies (which is really shit,) and she doesn’t want to see anyone, or do anything, and she feels really quite crap. She doesn’t always feel that stuff is funny. But some of the time it is.
She wants others to know that if they feel the same way, or any way that makes them feel they want help-to keep bloody asking. Screw the shitty out of hours Dr-if they don’t get it, ask someone else. If they don’t get it, keep going. Do not stop until someone goes ‘yep-totally fucking get it-I’m sticking with you till this shit is done.’ Keep. Asking. For. The. Help. You haven’t failed, and you aren’t shit-motherhood is a head wreck and an army to help you through will always help.
Much love. xx