This is the face of postpartum rage.
I didn’t feel sad or depressed.
I didn’t have anxiety.
But I did cuss my husband out, slam doors, and break stuff.
One day I stormed out of the house with my toddler and baby in my arms.
I strapped them in the double stroller and demanded my husband stay home while I went for a walk.
“Get away from me!” I shouted.
I remember feeling so incredibly angry.
I had so much emotion, so much energy, and all of this stuff inside of me was too much. It all came out in a fit of rage.
I had to get out of the house. And I didn’t want my husband anywhere near me.
“Why won’t you talk to me? What’s going on with you?” he asked when I came home from my power walk.
I couldn’t answer. I felt so ashamed of the way I treated him. And I honestly didn’t have an answer because I didn’t know what was wrong with me.
I wasn’t depressed and I wasn’t anxious. I passed the six-week depression screening with flying colors.
But no one screened me for rage.
Now I know I was experiencing postpartum rage.
Intense uncontrollable anger.
Unexplained outbursts over the small stuff.
Like the time I got so frustrated with my flour canister because I couldn’t get the lid back on. After a few failed attempts, I raised my arm and slammed my hand down on the lid.
The ceramic top shattered from the force of my rage-filled fist.
No one screened me for rage.
Postpartum rage. It’s like an out-of-body experience.
I never curse at my husband, break stuff, or slam doors and storm off. But I did have all of these outbursts during the first six months after giving birth to my second baby.
I hid it from my friends.
I hid it from my kids.
I hid it from my family.
But I couldn’t hide it from my husband.
My husband took the brunt of all my rage.
I look back on that time in my life and feel ashamed of the way I treated my husband.
I wonder what my life would have been like if I told my doctor. I wonder how I would have felt if I took a pill or went to therapy.
But I was knee-deep in diapers and dismissed my outbursts.
I brushed it off because I wasn’t sad all the time or fighting depression.
My rage-filled outbursts came out of nowhere. I felt pretty good in the calm before the storm. I actually felt happy until the anger boiled up and I had to power walk my way through a rage wave.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I just feel so angry,” I finally admitted to my husband.
He did his to best support me. But I regret not getting more help.
I regret not making a doctor’s appointment. I thought about it many times and always came up with an excuse.
I wish I could get those rage-filled months back. But I can’t.
I wish I could go back in time and make things right with my husband. But I can’t.
All I can do is share my story.
Because no one screened me for rage.
If you feel anger, rage, or overwhelming feelings you can’t explain, reach out for help.
You don’t have to deal with postpartum rage on your own.
You are not alone.
This post originally appeared on Motherhood Empowered with Audra Powers