The Big Pink Elephant in the room. Post Partum Depression.
Children are innocent and pure.
They bring joy and perspective and unconditional love.
As a mother of a almost 3 year old baby girl and a almost 4 year old handsome young man. I want to address this issue for multiple reasons while we are focusing on mental health. Even as someone who experienced post partum first hand I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have because as a whole we ignore it as something “that will pass.”
Well its been almost 3 years since my baby girl and I still struggle with that part of my mind. Some days I still sit in the dark and dwell in it.
I was 22 years old when I found out I was pregnant. I was working as a receptionist and one of the other girls needed to take a test and wanted someone to take it with. My best friend made a joke about how I’ve been extra tired lately and maybe I should. It was on that day, on that shift I walked down the hallway of work that I told her it came out positive. So the following day I made an appointment for the local health department. My appointment was at 8am and I went in and she told me it was a positive. I remember taking the paper from her hand and the blurry words about the free prenatal vitamins, I sat down and balled my eyes out. It was a dream come true.
At the age of 17 I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian cyst syndrome.) I was told I would never get pregnant especially after my loss in 2010. At 20 I was told I should have a hysterectomy due to the health issues I had so far experienced. I refused because the only thing in life I ever truly wanted was to be a mother. I knew my entire life I was destined to have children. I knew my first child would be a girl, and 9 months later I held another piece of my heart in my arms and stared at her and still do to this very day.
However, even while being overwhelmed with love and joy that my Bella had arrived, I found a very dark and lonely place in my head. My significant other wasn’t helpful he slept 12 to 15 hours at a time, never cooked, never cleaned, never bathed the baby, and often called out of work and blamed it on my anxiety. My First 2 weeks home the circles under my eye had turned into dark oblivions and my skin pasty white from the exhaustion and emotions I had been circulating. I lost a significant amount of weight and quickly, I wasn’t eating right. Friends and Family came to see me and it was as if i was living in out of body experiences. I heard them, I saw them, but I couldn’t manage to speak, I had nothing to say mild smiles, maybe a crack in the face. They could tell something was wrong. I was left alone all day while he slept and all night while he worked sleeping maybe 3 hours a night. Never reaching REM sleep.
3 Months went by and my maternity leave was up. It was the night before I returned to work and a ex of mine had messaged me to check up on the baby. He was a little to friendly so in a short of words I informed him He could fuck off. My best friend even told me I was a little harsh. My Significant other at the time didn’t care. He had some extra curricular activities he liked to dabble in pretty regularly, so at 3am when he arrived home he was bitter angry and drunk on top of a few other things and raged out kicking me out of the house. He removed my glasses from my face and broke them trying to prevent me from taking the baby and eventually i ended up making it out the door after several more hours of screaming. I stayed at my mothers house for a few days and returned to his home.
Some time after Bella arrived we bought a house and moved into. House shopping was exhausting and dreadful. I was back to work waking up getting ready for a 10 hour work day getting Bella ready for the babysitter, cleaning the cat box and letting the dog out every morning, working 10 hours coming home, cleaning the living room, kitchen, cooking dinner, bathing the baby, cleaning up the nights mess, and doing it all over again. I took the trash out and mowed and weed eated the lawn. I did everything while he barely maintained a job. calling out, and laying on the sofa drinking and sleeping.
I couldn’t have friends over. He hated entertaining people before or after work or on his day off. I would invite my friends over and if they got there before he left I would have them hide in the park across the street so it wouldn’t start a argument. We were never intimate, he called me a fat ass and reminded me on multiple occasions it was his house. NOT OURS. He once told me he hated me, of course he did; look at me, who would ever be happy with me? I was nothing. Every paycheck I gave him 400.00 out of a 500-650 dollar check and use the rest for groceries leaving me with nothing to spare for 2 weeks, unless I asked his permission or for some money.
In December 2017, I was in a car accident. A gentleman not paying attention to the road t-boned me from the passenger side going 60 MPH. I had a broken nose and fractured spine, and incredible PTSD. I was out for a week and was supposed to be getting rest… My significant other slept the whole time not allowing me any rest. In fact i slept sitting up at a 90 degree angle and when the baby would wake up I would hold her as she slept on and as he snored next me. I wanted to die then. I wanted my life to end I was so alone, and tired, and I asked myself so many times why I didn’t just die. So many times after he yelled at me, so many times after I got out of bed with no rest I wondered why I was still here.
2018 started, in March I had my nose surgery and multiple conversations about how the constant rejection made me feel ugly, I would look in the mirror and cry until I was angry. I would get so angry at tiny things that I felt like I could snap at any moment. There were moments I would watch him sleep peacefully as if he was treating and loving me right and all was well in the world, and the thoughts of darkness and pain would set in and all I wanted was for him to feel as broken as I did. For 3 years I listened to everyone tell me, everyone has problems, every couple goes through stuff, but this isn’t normal. I was never loved. I was tormented by a man I thought wanted to spend his life with me. Someone I thought I was making a family with. I was shattered. I was so broken when he would yell I would pick Bella up take her up the stairs and cry and scream into pillows and hold her so tightly. He would threaten to take her from me, using my families history against me. I couldn’t bare the thought of it.
One day in November of 2018 I sat down and I explained to him what he was doing to me. That the names and the coldness, and the arguments were killing who I was inside and I wanted to die. I woke up everyday wanting to take my life. I thought maybe if i drive my car into this building. or maybe if i cut this deep enough I could be free. I let him know I was one foot out the door that if he called me one more name, I was gone.
November came, it was 530am the Bella woke me up and wanted cheerios and juice. He’s still hung over and whatever else from the night before; attempting to pull himself off the couch as I come down the stairs. I’ve seen this all to many times. I knew a argument would ensue. He Immediately thought I was being a bitch….Its 530am on a Sunday morning, with no coffee, I wasn’t being anything other than exhausted. In 10 minutes time I was a Psycho, Bitch, I made him want to kill himself, he hated his extremely good life where I did everything and where he had a healthy happy daughter, a roof over his head and a job that allowed him to do whatever he wanted. He left at 930am, I had all my bags packed and was out the door at 1230pm.
Back to my moms I went. Sharing a one bedroom with Bella, Luna the dog and myself, Working a new job. Restarting.
It took me awhile to stop asking my mother and dad and gran if I could do things. I was so Conditioned to how I had to be with him that the adjustment was new. It didn’t take me long to find my Main Man and love of my life. I worked with a close friend of his and he was really there for me. He was a light in the darkness, because even when I wasn’t looking and I was fully prepared and ready to be alone; there he was.
I still struggle with those dark moments. Sometimes my PCOS and conditioned ways resurface and I give them the power. But for the most part I’m growing in so many ways and finding what makes me happy, doing what makes me happy, finding what makes me tick, and how to become a healthier me mentally and physically.
Who I was with my ex isn’t who I wanted to be. Who I was after him isn’t who I want to be. Where I am going, I cant wait to see.
My growth is endless, and I’m lucky to have found someone who supports me in all that I do. Working out has really made a difference in how I feel. My work schedule doesn’t allow me to do it as much as I would like but Babes and me take a hour every Saturday morning to go to the gym and I really look forward too that.
This is the second half to MY Mental instability. We are going to cover more on how to get back on track, how getting your body moving helps pull yourself out of ruts, and what I do even on those days I just don’t wanna.
Till Next Time Cool Cats!