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A bad night

Preface: I have a 2 year old boy and a 5 week old girl. When my "ppd" surfaces, it is usually in the form of anger.

I had a good day, generally. Went to ECFE and struggled to keep my son from running away from me in the library. Came home and let the baby suck on my finger with one hand while reading books to my son with the other to put him to bed. He refused, I prevailed. Managed to get the baby down for a nap, which is very difficult to do, and had an hour or so to myself, during which time I vaccuumed, did dishes, laundry, got spots out of the carpet, and swept the kitchen floor. I even managed to watch some TV and eat. In all, a good day.

My husband comes home to find me walking the baby around in a sling (after she'd been up for some time and was tired again) and my son repeating various requests for me to play. I was fine. I got the girl to sleep, and went to lay her down. My husband was going to take our son to the hardware store and give me a break. Everything was looking great! Then, the baby woke up screaming. I went in and tried to rock her back to sleep. No dice. I tried the swing, I tried bouncing her, walking her, rocking her, anything and everything. Each time, if she did fall asleep, she woke up crying within 5 mns of being laid down.

Throughout this ordeal, my patience got thinner and thinner. The rage built up inside me... I call it rage, but really it's just pure emotion. It could come out in tears, in screams, in violence. But I can't let it out--if I cry, I'll feel even more tired. If I scream, I'll frighten my children. If I act out in violence (throwing something, etc), I set a bad example, scare the kids, break something, make my husband think I'm crazy... and run the risk of giving in to violent impulses while there is something very precious in my arms. It's a horrible idea to feel the urge to throw something, and realize the baby in your arms is item #1. I've always been able to control this rage, but tonight--with fairly little provocation, I really don't understand it--it totally took over. I felt so powerless. I can't play with my kid even if he asks nicely. I can't get my baby to sleep. Lately, she will only sleep if I nurse her and let her fall asleep on my breast in just the right position. Anything less and she screams. She won't take a pacifier, and while I don't like them I wish she'd rely on anything but me at this point! I can't have the luxury of rocking/nursing her to sleep in a dark quiet room when there's a toddler needing me too. I've even looked online for advice on how to juggle the two, and found nothing.

At one point I was so upset (this was after my husband and son left) that I just stood next to her bassinet (when she awoke from being put down) and just watched her scream. I had to turn myself completely off in order to not give in to any of the three rages. I finally picked her up and went to try nursing her again (she spits up frequently and violently, so I can't just nurse her every time she wants to go down; I have to try everything else for an hour until she can nurse again). I got her to sleep! Finally!

And the fucking dog started fucking barking.

I held perfectly still, trying not to tremble with anger. I fantasized about running out here and grabbing the dog, kicking him, screaming at him (none of these things are things I've ever done) ANYTHING to make him stop. I laid the baby down and she's stayed down since. I hope my hub and toddler never come home.

I don't believe in medication. I tried going to a Psych for ppd the first time, and didn't feel like they helped or understood at all. And now, tonight, I really scared myself. It was such a small thing--the baby not going to sleep--and I handled it so poorly! I'm sitting here having a glass of wine, glad I have a husband who understands who will help me and bottle feed her tonight, and debating whether or not to make an appointment and get on some kind of happy pill. I'm sure many many many of you are on such a pill and will sing its praises to me--please don't! I know they work, but I also think they sometimes keep you from dealing with the real issues in your life. I think of them as a last resort, and think they're given out much too easily. And, I've spoken out against happy pills for so long that I feel like if I give in and get some, I'll be a hypocrite. But, this may be the last resort moment, you know?

I think about those women who have done horrible horrible things and used PPD as a defense, and it makes me physically sick. It makes me even sicker that I can relate to what they likely felt. It's this vicious cycle of feeling what I call rage, having to emotionally detach in order to control it, and then ending up with total detachment plus a hormonal urge to do something violent. It's fucking scary, and yet it's the only way I could even deal.

Other times it'll be the smallest little thing that sets me off. Maybe the remote won't work. Most often it's when something either doesn't work or gets stuck. I give in to frustration and let my blood pressure spike, and yet don't act on anything. I think scream therapy might prove very, very helpful. (It's a Chinese? Japanese? form of therapy where you go in a soundproof room and scream until you feel better).

Gah. I can talk to my husband about this but I don't want to scare him or make him think I'm not able to handle something as simple as raising 2 children. I hate the weakness involved in this. I hate that he can't really, truly understand what I'm feeling. And I hate that I don't really understand it either. I hate that this needing to emotionally detach has led to my not being able to bond with my daughter--that and not having the luxury of time to do it!

How I wish I could have a cigarette--it was for years the greatest stress reliever for me. But I've quit twice now, and my husband has made it very clear that if I even had one, he would be incredibly angry (the last time I had one (after having quit) he caught me and screamed obscenities at me in the middle of the night out in front of our house, for all the neighbors to hear. He was drunk, but I digress...)

I don't really need advice. Just a place to bitch and be allowed to say all the horrible things women aren't allowed to think, let alone say, in our society. I'm glad that this community is here, and I don't think there are enough places for women to share these kinds of feelings.



Oct. 9th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy I found PPDSupport. And, although I'm not "happy" to have read your post, per se, it does make me feel okay knowing that this is something that other women are dealing with along with myself.

I have twin almost-two-year olds. I have been dealing with PPD since their birth. A friend of mine has two babies one year apart (almost to the day!), so we call each other at least twice a week and whisper the awful things we can't believe we do. Maybe not awful, but kind of embarrassed at our lack of self control . I do have to say that having someone to vent with every so often and telling our little secrets to each other about how we cannot believe how tough this is helps so, so , so much.

I too am not happy with the idea of meds. But my husband and I were talking and he just totally unloaded. How I haven't initiated sex with him since my pregnancy, how I am scary sometimes to be around, how he hates that I have taken to yelling at my kids a lot lately, how I fight with him so harshly that at that moment he feels dislike for me, that he hasn't seen me dance/sing/belly laugh since their birth. In a nutshell, I am too miserable to be around.

So, I saw my ob/gyn and told her all about it. The first thing she asked me when I explained to her all my symptoms was if I ever think of hurting myself or my kids. No. I don't. But I remember screaming at them at 4:00 a.m. when they were infants "Take your f***ing binkie" because I was so exhausted (plus one of my girls had colic) and so overwhelmed. More recenlty, there are times I point my finger in their faces and say through clenched teeth, "Put your head down" when I am so tired and overwhelmed and they just won't stay in their cribs and it's an hour past their naptime and I KNOW they are tired and goddammit if they don't nap they will be nightmares. There are more scenarios that have occurred, but I think you get my point.

So, no, I don't consider physically hurting them, but this acting out is in lieu of physically hurting them or anything else. And I don't physically hurt myself, but I won't shower for 3 or 4 days; I won't leave the house sometimes either. My dog hides from me when she's sees me getting like this. HIDES. This is where I am now because I am worn out from holding it in, from "detaching" as you described (perfect description, by the way).

And after going over this with my ob/gyn she brought up the meds. I left feeling like a failure. But I walked the mile back home and thought the whole way. I have to suck it up. I have to do it for them. Am I masking my real emotions? I think I am. But I am doing it for my girls. I was raised by a mother who didn't have the option of these meds and she was hellish. Our relationship is non-existant and it's all because of her overwhelming emotion.

Please know this is for me. For me, I know that I cannot handle two toddlers without something making my neurons connect and quick. For me, I know that group therapy and other non-medicinal therapies WILL help, but I need something that will cool the flames NOW. I KNOW and I have accepted that my state of mind is just flat out overwhelmed. I am giving in.

And please know that I appreciate and respect your not wanting to take them. I wanted that so badly too. I guess I just need to explain why I gave in. I just wish I had found this place when they were younger where I could've noticed all the signs and started on something non-medicinal then. I feel that there's hope for you to not have to take them (if you so choose). I am so far gone, it seems.


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