1. the state or quality of being dark
2. absence or deficiency of light
3. wickedness or evil
4. obscurity; concealment
5. lack of knowledge or enlightenment
It makes me sad that this is the first word that comes to my mind when I am asked what becoming a mother was like for me.
Dark, just dark. The kind of dark that makes you want to crawl in the corner, never see the light of day. The cry of your newborn baby boy like nails on a chalk board. The thought of having to take care of him, let alone nurse him, feels like you are being tortured by interrogators for being a terrorist.
Oh, I have to actually get up and feed him? Why can’t someone else do it? Why do I have to carry him in my body, have him cut out of me and then take care of him? Why? I have to let him suckle on my breast? He screams bloody murder when he is next to me… Why do I have to torture him too? He obviously can sense my uneasiness when I hold him close, put him to my skin and dig, dig, dig for that feeling of love to come bursting out of my chest.
I’m afraid. Afraid to say I don’t love him, I don’t want him, I want to go back, I want to erase the last year. I want to get in my car and drive as far away as I can ( as soon as this huge cut in my belly heals). I want to go, never to return and never have to be face to face with the small being that I created and nourished and birthed (kinda). I never want to admit the existence of the demons I had to fight off inside of me to do what was right, instead of giving up and letting him have a good life with a father that loved him from the very moment we knew of his existence.
I blame him. I blame him for changing my life. For making me lose the job I loved, leaving the sunshine of AZ, to come to the cold and dreariness of IL. For making me fat, tired, lonely, different. I don’t want to blame him but I do. I think that the clothes, car seat, stroller, crib, room, etc. will change that. I will love him after this, or that, or when this happens. When I feel him kick I will love him. I have to, what mother couldn’t?
Nope. Still not there. Im searching and digging very deep to just feel a sliver of love. I do, on occasion, but never for very long. I really just feel the huge weight on my shoulders. The weight of : now I am responsible for what goes into his mouth, what comes out of his bum, what clothes him, what temperate his body is, what he sleeps in, what he watches, plays with, what school he goes to, how much he learns, who his friends are, what image I give off to him, what he mimics and what he says, I am responsible for every ounce of his being. WTF??? What did I do? How can I turn back time? I can’t? What the hell am I going to do now? Please don’t leave me alone, ever. Please, I’m begging!
This was the first 4 months of motherhood for me. I dug deep. I stuck my heels in the ground and fought against the demons that were trying to take away one of the best things in my life: My chance at being a MOTHER. Those demons took at least 4 months from me. 4 critical months. 4 months of time that should have been filled with tenderness, love, sweet snuggles, over abundance of joy, frustrations ( not life altering). The months where you get to know the little person you grew in your belly, felt kick, roll and hiccup. For me there was very little to no joy. There was a a feeling of forced responsibility. There were times at night that I would let the darkness creep into my mind and make me feel like he needed to disappear. He didn’t deserve a mother like this, I did not deserve for someone to love me and trust me and idolize me for being their mama. Why couldn’t I just die? Why did I have a serious infection, 104 degree temp and another full surgery to save my life. Why couldn’t I just die and never face the thoughts and feelings I felt?
Why? Because it doesn’t f@#$ing work that way. That was the cheap and easy way out. That was the “I’m a s#$@!ty person, but I don’t deserve to suffer” way out. Instead someone knew there was something more for me. Someone knew I would roll over in my grave if there was another woman acting in my place. Someone had more faith in me than I did myself and never let me give up. Never let me lay down and succumb to that darkness. NEVER let me escape to a world where I did not belong.
I begged to be put in a mental ward. Even though deep down I knew it was the furthest from what I really needed. The medication roller coaster was enough to bury me, but someone knew it wouldn’t. I did not want to be alone. I did not want to fall asleep first. I did not want to be stuck in the house all day. I begged my husband not to go to work, I made my mom sleep in my bed with me when he was gone all night. I made my family very scared that they had lost me forever. In a way they did. That old me did not exist anymore.
I always go back to that place in my mind, almost like I am watching through a window. Replaying everything over and over. Discovering something new every time I go back. Why would I go back you ask? Well I think it is important for the recovery process. It is not healthy for me to close that door in my mind and pretend it never happened. Pretend I never wanted to die, to run away from my baby, to give my baby away, to run away from a life I had desperately wanted for decades.
I need to see it over and over to learn from it, to know what to look for next time (should that happen). I need to look it in the face and say F#$K YOU PPD/PPA. You will never beat me no matter how hard you try. I will always win and I will forever kick your A$$.
I will gladly answer any questions about my journey… But know if you are at a fragile stage of PPD/A and don’t have your bearings firmly rooted, asking specific questions to compare your experience to someone else’s is chalk full of TRIGGERS. Tread lightly when going on the internet to look for resources, stories of recovery, and stories of other peoples darkness. They can make your mind think things that don’t even pertain to you. Make you think you are someone you are not or that you will turn into someone you are not. So please, I beg you to be gentle with yourselves, love where you are and try to find good in every minute you can. Not even a day, take each day in 5 minute increments if that will help you, I did. It was the small victories that kept me going.
You are not ALONE!