Now that I can look back on the worst of my depression from the other side of the tunnel, I am shocked that I didn’t realize it sooner. I carefully kept everything under lock and key, safe from view. But I have been challenged by my friend Melissa to tell you the truth. Please take my tale as a warning, learn from my fail, whatever you will. Keep in mind as you read that I love my children with all my heart, and that never went away.
So. How bad was it? The short answer is really bad. The long answer is…well, longer.
I’ve already gone over the basics of how I felt. Digging deeper? The only thing keeping me around was my kids. It kind of shocks me to even put it into words, but yes, I was suicidal. I felt that everyone would just be better off, because I sucked at being a mom, I sucked at being Mister’s missus, I just plain sucked. I knew, however, that should I actually do that to myself, Mister would have no one to watch the kids. My kids would have no mom. My selfish desire to watch my children grow up is what kept me around.
I didn’t like being a mom, and I didn’t like my kids. Everything annoyed me. I grew hateful and resentful towards the Mister. I chewed the insides of my cheek until they bled to keep from lashing out at his mother. His mother, who he is still not talking to, for reasons that I will not go into. But I WILL talk about how day in and day out, while coping with my own problems, I listened to this woman bitch and moan about everything going wrong in her life while I chewed away at my cheeks. I listened to her complain that no one knew what she was going through, no one came to visit her when she had to temporarily move an hour away, no one helped her, no one cared. What gave her the right to piss and moan when I had to keep it all shoved inside? That and I knew for a fact she was exaggerating. She had people help her move. Some of her friends came to visit her.
I had my own demons. I wasn’t about to drop everything and drive for an hour each way to visit her when I barely felt like lifting my butt out of bed to wipe my kid’s arse.
Those commercials that say depression hurts? Yeah, it really does. I went through some really bad depression in high school brought on by some unresolved issues from my childhood. That depression led to two separate suicide attempts, one of which came frighteningly close to succeeding.
This post-partum depression hurt so very much worse than that. Everything ached. I forced myself to get some sort of routine down. Wake up, take SchoolGirl to school, tend to BabyBoy and ToddlerGirl, do a morning tidy up, attempt to catch one nap, and then do a frantic tidy up before Mister got home so the house would at least pass his lowest standards. I ate more, then I ate less.
I washed up each night, or each morning, but I went days without a shower. I was still passable because I washed up each day, but it was the bare minimum. On bad days, I would do anything and everything I could to pretend that this was not me. I pretended that I was a director, directing myself in a movie. “Make breakfast, Merry…do the dishes, Merry…go take a crap, Merry…hug your baby, Merry.”
Anyone coming through my door would suddenly find themselves holding my son while I fled to the bathroom, or the kitchen, or my bedroom. My bedroom, which I still have not spent but one complete night in since the morning of October 8th, 2011.
But most of all, I would go to sleep and not want to wake up. I begged to a God that I’m still unsure of to just take the pain away, to make it stop. I hated myself, I hated Mister, I hated Mister’s mother…and I still did not like my children.
After I was put on medication, the waiting game began. And one day, while I was sitting on my living room floor, playing with BabyBoy, I had an epiphany. This was the moment I had held my breath for. I had not had to force myself to play with him. I wanted to play with him. And as I babbled with him, practicing his sounds, a wonderful thing happened. He giggled, and it made me laugh. A genuine, honest laugh. Not forced. I was enjoying my son again. Ilikedmy kids again.
Seriously, if you’re a mom and you’re experiencing even one iota of what I’ve described, please please please get help. Had I known I would go through what I went through…I would have left the hospital with Lexapro.