When reflecting back to the time my postpartum depression (PPD) was at its peak – sadness, confusion and regret sweep over me. Why did I not see the signs? Why couldn’t I save myself? Why did I put my son and husband through so much grief and distress? I could not see the signs, I could not save myself, I could not understand why I put my family through this horrible situation. My state of mind lost all sense of reasoning, rationality and it was replaced with delusional ideas and extreme perplexity.
Dimitri, our son, was almost two years of age. Earlier that year we had suffered the loss of our unborn child. We were still living in our one bedroom apartment. My husband and I were both working full time and Dimitri was in full time care. My PPD was on the rise due to our situation and events – it almost tore our relationship apart. Our marriage was numb, stagnant and gone astray. We forgot to talk to each other when the going went tough, and chose to power through the bad. Along the way we simply forgot about caring for each other’s feelings. I hated my husband for that and wanted to leave him. Dimitri often found me crying at home and I would be sobbing when I collected him from daycare.
My PPD soon enough took hold of me, like a rope wrapped around my neck. Slowly it would tighten and I could not breathe. I found it difficult to function; to think clearly, to talk properly, to act accordingly. I just wanted to run away from it all. I wanted to run so far from my husband. And heartbreakingly I wanted to run away from Dimitri. I felt like I was incapable of performing my motherly role for this little boy. He deserved so much more than this. He needed a mother, who had her head screwed on, who could smile all the time, who could be in one piece rather than shattered pieces on the floor.
18 months on and I am still figuring out why I thought of my beautiful family in this way. In the midst of PPD, the hardest thing I had to admit to myself was, there is a big problem. PPD just knows how to take over at the most vulnerable, darkest and melancholic moments and feelings. Instead of seeking help I lashed out at my family when the truth of the matter is, I didn’t want to run away from them, I wanted to run away from myself. I wanted to run away to the ends of the earth where no one could find me. I hated myself more than I hated anyone.
I still feel ashamed of my actions because having a baby should be the happiest experience, it is supposed to be a time of humility and gratitude. My husband and I created the greatest miracle of our life – Our Dimitri. Yet, motherhood is so challenging; winding though challenging obstacles during pregnancy, during labor and during the first two years. There are so many changes. To find that perfect equilibrium of craziness and calm amongst the unexpected and the expected has been a long journey for me.