About Me

Kent, United Kingdom
I have the perfect family but still struggle to find the light in the darkness of post-natal depression.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Late night thoughts...

I was directed to this earlier and I would recommend that everyone reading this reads it:


For some of you, it will be an interesting read, a moment of thought. For others, perhaps an echo of uncomfortable memories.

For me, it's a painful reminder that I may never be free of this.

I should preface the rest of this post with the fact that it is 1am, I'm listening to late-night radio and I see my therapist tomorrow so there are many thoughts competing in my head. I may not be at my most rational.

However. I didn't have to travel too far to be transported to that moment the author describes. I'm living it. I don't want to talk about it. But I don't want to be alone. I don't want to have to explain. But I want someone to know the feelings that threaten to crush me every minute of every day.

It's not just the emptiness, the awful hollowness that sees me sitting here in the early hours, knowing that I will have to deal with baby d in a few short hours, knowing that day begins for Miss T a few hours after that, but not having the energy to go upstairs and try to sleep.

It's not just the fear, the all-consuming fear that my inability to beat this will have long-term consequences for my children, and for my family. And for myself.

There's also the rage. The red, hot rage that can come from nowhere and can turn me into someone I don't recognise. Someone I have no control over. It's terrifying for me. I can only imagine how it looks to my children.

And that leads to the general unfairness of it all. Why can't I just be happy? Why can't I just enjoy what I have? I'm not living in a warzone, I have a loving family and a nice home, I have a career I love that I can return to. What is wrong with me that I let this enveloping blackness spoil everything?

Why can't I let go of my ridiculous need to be perfect?

And why does every encounter with a happy mother feel like a burning blade to my soul? They are everywhere; in the supermarket smiling sweetly as their offspring help with the weekly shop, at the school gates sharing anecdotes of their toddlers, at the only baby group I have been brave enough to attend, telling of the joy their children bring.

Don't get me wrong. I know there is light at the end of this tunnel. I know it because I've found it before. That is why this time is different to last. I know which hands to grab to pull me out of this. But I'm scared that even when I stumble out into that light I'll find it easily extinguished by moments like the one described by my fellow blogger.

No matter how quickly I overcome the blackness this time, and I believe I am heading in the right direction now, I know it will always be with me, its dark creeping fingers around my throat. I will never get back Miss T's baby days. I will never get a chance to redo these days where I've not dealt with her in the way she deserves. I can't undo the damage I've done, the moments that lead her to reject an opportunity to spend time alone with me - something that was supposed to be a treat for her and me.

I'm terrified that every day I spend finding joy in baby d's developing personality pushes me further away from her. I'm petrified that a gulf is opening between us that may soon be too wide to cross. And that if I don't find a way to beat this once and for all, that gulf will soon separate me from everyone else too.


Sal said...

I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog. Your words remind this mum that she is not alone. Thank you for sharing your struggles.

Sarah Jane said...

I can't open the link.

me-again said...

Mmmm.... (chipping in) it does appear to have gone walkabout (it was working at the weekend). However this looks like the source

Liz said...

That is indeed the source - I've just pasted the URL now so if all else fails try copying and pasting that into the browser...
Welcome Sal!

Sarah Jane said...

I do wonder if this is common to every parent. Everyone regrets times they were harsh with their kids, times they couldn't give them the help they needed, times they weren't there. I know my mam thinks maybe she shouldn't have shouted at us so much! But it's important to remember that for every moment that wasn't great, there have been, and will be, so many more that are amazing, and every single moment of your experience as a parent is unique. So a lot of mums find the first few months of parenting a breeze. Great. But they don't have Tasha and Daniel. You and Mark are the only people who will ever experience the wonder of being mum and dad to those two ... that's something that no-one else can better.