I am not alone. Yet, somehow, I wish I were

It's been almost a year and a half since I admitted that I needed help. That my lapses in concentration, my worry over seemingly small things, my lack of motivation were not OK. I've seen a fair number of posts lately about post-partum (and post-post-partum) depression. And, sadly, so many of these women are feeling or have felt the same thing I did. Every one of us was staying quiet because of the way we judged ourselves as bad mothers, or just plain bad people because of the dark and ugly thoughts that some imbalance of chemicals pushed through our minds. Dawn took four years to get help. I felt a familiarity, as though she was in my head, when I read her list of everyone she couldn't talk to, and the reasons why. I did that same bargaining with myself- As soon as my cold goes away, I'll be fine. If I don't bounce back in X timeframe; no, make that Y timeframe; no, now's not a good time to get into this, and I'm just under some stress now... And don't even get me started at how hard I cried inside when I read Meghan's story. I remember walking Princess in her stroller in those first weeks of life. I tried to walk her every day, to get myself out of the house, to get her some fresh air, to attempt to lose the baby weight. We had a path near our house that looped through the neighborhood and around the local middle school. One section of the path sloped down toward the small shopping center with the grocery store, CVS, skating rink, etc. I can almost feel the tension in my knuckles now from the grip I held on that stroller handle, so convinced that I was about to let go and allow my infant to speed down the hill into the street. I didn't feel as isolated when Hoss was born, because I had the additional outlet of my online friends. The ladies on the message board were in the same boat I was, since all of our babies were born within a month or so of each other. I talked everyone else through their nursing troubles and colic and "failure to thrive". Hoss was healthy. He slept. So why the hell did I feel so empty about him? God knows I couldn't type how ambivelent I felt- I was blessed, and it was ignorant and selfish of me to talk about my health, happy baby with anything other than kind words. So, I kept it to myself. But Lil Joe set me over the edge. I nursed him, which I had not done with the first two. It wasn't easy. He didn't gain weight as he should have at first, which I saw as totally my fault, since I was obviously starving him. He was the baby I hadn't planned for, so every bump in the road made me angry and resentful. And the guilt I had at looking at that perfect little face, and feeling so evil ate at me. There were even times when I was alone in the house with him and I hid from his cries. His diaper was dry, he had just eaten, so I left him in his bassinet or his bouncy seat and I went to a room where I couldn't hear him and I cried. When I returned to work, I thought I'd be OK. I thought that getting back into my routine would help, that being useful (since I felt pretty useless as a parent) would perk me up, something. Instead, I dropped the ball at work to the point that my boss worried about me, in a way that had my addled mind convinced I was about to be fired. And I couldn't seem to shake my fog, but I kept making excuses. I continued to make excuses for a couple years, until I admitted that I needed help. What is sad and perhaps a bit scary is that so many of our stories, all of us who are clawing our way back to normal and those who have been in the darkness and found their way back out, are the same. So, if a few people, even just one person, can read these posts and realize that she needs help- and more importantly, if she actually gets help before she sinks deeper into the muck- then putting ourselves out there is worth the shame of admitting what we didn't want to admit.


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Who's Who

    Hubby- aka DH My husband since 1995. He is the head of the band department at a college prep school, and dabbles as a wanna-be pop star.

    The Princess- aka DD. Third grader at the local parochial school. Loves butterlies, sparkly things, the color purple and has recently developed a crush on one of the twins from "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody". Is ready for her teenage years, having already perfected her exasperated sigh and dramatic eye-roll.

    Hoss- aka DS1. Kindergartener and resident spirited child. His aunt likes to call him "the evil genius" because of his penchant for letting a lack of intellectual stimulation lead him into mischief. Likes trucks, sports, building things and burping. His current favorite word is "underwear."

    Lil Joe- aka DS2. Born in 2003. Doesn't say much we can understand, but has mastered the important stuff ("eat!", "Wash hands!", "Want chocolate ones!", "Hockey game!") Likes to push buttons, much to the consternation of whoever is trying to watch a DVD. Firmly refuses to use the potty, despite evidence that he is physically ready to be out of diapers, indicating a level of stubborn that eclipses even that of his parents and siblings.

    Me? I'm the Mama. That's all you need to know.

    Wanna contact me?
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