Being broken scares me. WOW..... that's the first time I've said that out loud.
Being broken scares me. As if somehow I'm a fraud. That my life is out of control and these feelings have a strong hold on me. Fear, anger, sadness. They all live deep down but not so deep down because they always come back up to the surface and take over. It's like wearing a mask. A mask that hides the pain but always needs to be renewed. A mask that always slips off and isn't permanent.
I remember the night that I reached out. I was crying silently in my bed. My husband was downstairs and I didn't want him to hear me. The midwives asked me after every appointment if I was ok. If I was feeling good. If I thought I was depressed. I told them no. I had this. Iliza was my 3rd baby. I knew what I was doing and so did my body. Postpartum can't happen to me. Little by little it wore me down. Slowly taking over the smiles and joy in every day. BUT I was great at hiding it. No one needed to know how I was feeling until I was crying in my bed and I couldn't stop. It was uncontrollable. I felt alone. Felt like a failure. Like the darkness was back again and it wasn't going to let me go.
I didn't know who to go to. I am the kind of person that wants to take care of people. That is my job on this planet and I didn't want to feel like I was failing at the 1 good thing that I am extremely good at. So I suffered alone. Crying anywhere that I could so that no one could see. In the bathroom with the doors locked and the shower running. In my kids rooms as they slept at night. Until I knew that I could no longer hide it. I needed a way out.
I grabbed my phone and through my red, blurry, tear-soaked eyes, I sent a Facebook message to my doctor's office. It was around 1 am in the morning and it was the ONLY thing I knew to do. I wasn't expecting anyone to respond but instantly, I got a message back telling me that they would call me in the morning with an appointment to see someone right away. It wasn't really a relief that I felt but a sense of calm, knowing that I wasn't alone anymore and that someone was going to be in my corner and understand what I was going through.
I arrived at the office, not really knowing what to expect. Iliza was in her car seat sleeping and I was nervous. My leg constantly moving. I felt like I stuck out. Like everyone sitting in the waiting room knew why I was there and that they were judging me. Thinking that I wasn't fit to be a mom to 1 and even less so to be a mom to 3. When the dr came out calling my name, it felt as if all eyes were on me as I walked into his office.
He was young. Would he even be able to relate to how I was feeling? And then I broke down. Holding all of these emotions in for so long, it was bound to happen. I ugly cried in front of this man less than 5 minutes in. Through the tears and snot and my chest heaving like I couldn't catch my breath, he said words to me that have changed my life.
"Your kids need to see you breakdown. Your family needs to know that you are not Superwoman and that you have feelings. It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel like this."
Those words took me by surprise. I didn't think my kids needed to see me be human. That just didn't seem right at the time until HE said it. I am human. I am broken but not completely. I am still fighting for myself and fighting to give my children the best mom that they can have and that is what I am supposed to be doing.
Now I'm not saying that my PPD went away because it is a daily struggle. A struggle to keep the tears at bay, to keep the anger at bay, to know that what I am doing is good enough. I find myself doubting what I do and who I am on a daily basis. To remind myself that I am human and humans have feelings. There are moments that getting out of bed is a struggle. There are moments that I blow up at my kids just because I am angry and don't know why. There are moments that I toss and turn in bed because I can't sleep.
Anger is the most surprising attribute for me and my struggle with PPD. I yell more than I should or even more than I need to. I am slowly working on ways to control this. I see an amazing psychologist who allows me just to talk. I am working on taking deep breaths and focus on the positive things in my life. It's not easy but I am doing it because being a mom is 1 of the most important things in my life. My kids deserve the best of me and this is the only way I know how to give them that.
I didn't have PPD with my first 2 children so I didn't expect to get it with my 3rd. No matter how many times you have become a mom, no matter what your history is, no matter how you are feeling 3 days, 10 days, or even 3 months down the road; postpartum is still an issue that can arise. Please do NOT hesitate to contact someone to talk to. There is help out there. There is no shame in saying that you are struggling because YOU are also human.