Fuck the Facade

Postpartum depression.

I hate those words. I hate them because as a mother, I am bombarded with awareness for PPD and blogs and articles written about how to survive it, where to reach out for help, how you should have a support network and all the signs you shouldn’t ignore. But how does one differentiate “motherhood” and the crap that comes with it, and actual postpartum depression? Kids can be a lot of work, whether you’re a SAHM or a working mom, or whatever. And we lose our minds, we lose our shit and we become short and irritable and frustrated, but where’s the line of when too much is too much?

Over the past 5 years, I have worked my ass off trying to learn my triggers and emotions and signs to know when I’m depressed or entering a manic phase. I saw no signs of Postpartum Psychosis when I experienced it in 2012, it just happened. And though my stability has been rocky since 2012, I’ve managed to be somewhat aware of myself, though I’ve had setbacks.

I know I am depressed right now; I am smoking and drinking more than is normal. I am wanting to sleep more than anything else. My body isn’t my own at the moment, I am always at the beck and call of a baby who’s been cluster feeding and all the pats-on-the-back, telling me this is just a phase, she’ll grow out of it, aren’t helping. I lost my cool with my mom today when I was emotionally bankrupt and I tried to talk to her about my depression, but she has this narcissistic attitude that if it isn’t about her, she doesn’t want to hear about it. Plus my grandmother was here and she doesn’t believe in mental illness at all. And all 5 of my kids were like flies around us, so I couldn’t have the kind of conversation that I’d like to have had.

But I was sitting on the couch in the living room, sweating, itching, utterly uncomfortable, with a baby attached to my breast again, after only a 30 minute break and I was irritable and frustrated and my mother says “They’re not always little forever, enjoy her wanting to cuddle you so much.” and I lost it. I said “Don’t do that.” and she looked confused and asked what, and I said “Don’t guilt me. Telling me to enjoy every moment. I’m nursing around the clock, my blood pressure is ridiculously high. I’m hot, I’m sweating, I’m uncomfortable and though I love my daughter and her cuddling, I do not have to appreciate or like this.”

I am tired of the mixed messages I get as a mother:

  • Have a support net…but expect judgmental and people telling you what you should do.
  • Talk to your partner…so he can belittle your feelings and emotions and trivialize your depression.
  • Get out of the house….as long as you have a second vehicle, disposal income and a nanny.
  • Sleep when baby sleeps…unless you have 4 other kids bugging you for snacks, the tv, snacks, their tablets, snacks, if they can color, snacks, if they can fight over a board game, snacks, or go outside and play when it’s 110 degrees, oh, and of course, snacks.
  • Eat healthy and stay hydrated…unless it’s nearly 125 degrees inside your house because your AC is broke and turning the oven on is like welcoming the Devil himself to dinner. And water? The city’s water is disgusting, so you rely on bottle water, but you can’t ask your husband to refill the 5 gallon bottles, again, because it’s nagging. And I have to eat healthy and stay hydrated, because I am a person’s source of nutrition and hydration…
  • Have a mom tribe…but mind you, the women who have more than one child are easily 10+ years older than you and they assume you were a pregnant teenager who married the guy who knocked her up, they all have amazing two-story houses and travel the world with their kids and everything looks like it belongs in a magazine, especially the taught-tummied mommy who looks like her baby was birth via surrogate. OR, there’s the young moms like me; late 20’s/early 30’s and they have maybe one or two kids, but they are crunchy, free-range, pot-smoking, oils-will-cure-everything, spiritual mamas, whom I have nothing in common with.
  • Get help…from your doctors: unless it’s an inconvenience to your family. After all, their needs come before your sanity. Get help…from your family: unless they’re all busy with their own lives and jobs. Get help…from your friends: except you ain’t got any. Get help…from a babysitter or a nanny…unless you’re fucking broke and that’s why YOU’RE home, to take care of your kids.
  • Get out of the house…unless every argument is about sharing one vehicle, and how you’re hurting for bill money, let alone gas money.
  • Have hobbies…especially if you enjoy falling asleep mid-paragraph because you’re so fucking exhausted from having to be ON all the time, you lack inspiration to write or paint or craft because your brain is literally dead because you’re so drained and tired.
  • Exercise…after you struggle with ALL the guilt of the above, and separation anxiety and then lets move on from baby, how about the anxiety you feel yourself? You’re stuck in a house full of children all day and you go to a gym with other adults and I swear I’m on the verge of a full blown panic attack. Not to mention feeling insecure and judged, which I KNOW they’re judging my fat ass, because why not, my own mother does. Did I mention how much it fucking sucks being the fattest person in the house? Seriously. Not one of my family members has to worry about salt, dairy, fat, sugar, etc. etc. etc. God-forbid I want a dairy-free, sugar-free meal and all hell breaks loose, because only I need to worry about my diet, not them right?

I break down Sunday night, after having a few arguments with my husband earlier in the day and I sit at the dining room table with him and our teenage daughter and I say, “When I see my psychiatrist on the 21st, I think I’ll have her admit me to ETS.” (which is a mental hospital) because I am depressed and dealing with both self-harm thoughts and suicidal thoughts. And after arguing for nearly an hour, my husband sums it up to me being depressed because my house isn’t clean. I’m fucking suicidal because I can’t keep the house clean. I can’t get the kids to do their chores. As if he didn’t hear ONE of my pleas. I. Am. Fucking. Stuck. I have no friends. No outlet. Can’t afford school. If I had a job, I’d be making minimum wage and it’d all go to Ivy’s care provider.

Sometimes I swear I had these kids myself and he only wants to be around for the easy or fun parts. He ignores their screaming and fighting, unless I sigh loud enough out of annoyance. He doesn’t plan doctors appointments, except he wants a cookie because he finally set one Monday morning for Olivia. He doesn’t plan family outings or trips or activities, I do all that and then he gets annoyed when he has to do stuff with his family on the weekends…but his friend messages him about designing some background sets for his upcoming play, oh he’s all over that. And dates? What dates? We had a rushed lunch with Ivy a few weeks ago, hard to be romantic with a baby there. And besides, all we fucking do are restaurants. That’s it. I’m fucking over eating more food, unless some fucking activity follows it.

I’ve been sleeping on the couch since Sunday. Not really sleeping, but my blood pressure is a helluva lot lower since not having to share a bed with him.

I missed my psychiatrist appointment this morning, I’d settled on not going since my depression is clearly about an unkempt house–so why waste her time. But then Derrick has the audacity to act like he cares and demands to know why I didn’t go and if I’d called my therapist. I’m not speaking to him because I lost all trust in him. He was supposed to be my one person; since I have no trusting family and no friends…but I’m realizing I’m so isolated because of him. He even wanted me to tell my mom she can’t come over anymore. And since he belittled my racing thoughts, my anxiety, my self-harm and suicidal thoughts, how in the hell am I ever supposed to trust him again? Maybe his goal is for me to commit suicide. Maybe he has some agenda I don’t know about. All I know is his attitude about my mental health is wildly different than it was when I experienced PPP in 2012. I had support then. I have nothing now. Just hoping today isn’t the day I snap.

I have no sense of self anymore.

But he expects me to just be over his words. He’s been trying to talk to me, about frivolous shit. I’m not having it. If I survive this shitty situation, it won’t be for him. It’ll be for me and for the kids. He’s lost my trust. And if this is how he has to find out. So be it. I am tired of living this facade that my mom made me believe I need to feel super lucky for achieving. That I have this amazing, hardworking husband and well he is hardworking, he makes me feel lonely, a lot. And he threw it in my face that maybe I outta stop talking him up on social media and it donned on me; I should fucking stop. He doesn’t brag about me. I don’t get birthday and anniversary and Mother’s Day posts, hell he doesn’t even take photos of me with the kids. The pics I have of me with the kids are selfies I’ve taken myself. He doesn’t try. But I am supposed to be eternally grateful because he has a job and pays the bills? As if his sole role within the family negates an actual role, in the family. He was a husband before he became a father, but he forgets that. Happy wife, happy life is such bullshit. He doesn’t buy me flowers unless I mention them. I don’t want a fucking marriage built on guilt. I want a husband who wants me just as much now, than when I was a 16 year old slut who fucked him in the back of his car.

But at least I have a husband, right? He provides for his kids, right? Thusly proving that materialistic bullshit matters far more than how a person feels. So I ought to STFU and deal with it and tuck my mental illness away, sweep it under the carpet because it’s such an inconvenience. Whatever.

But today isn’t that day, I won’t cave today. Even though I’m hurt, I’m frustrated, I’m pissed off…I rescheduled my psyche appointment and I called my therapist. Fuck him and me being an inconvenience to him. I need to survive for me.

Alcohol Was Invented by the Gods…for Parents

Today it’s finally clicked for me, why there’s so many memes and posts dedicated to Moms and their love of wine, or alcohol in general.

I am tired. I am chronically bitchy and irritable and stuck within 4 walls with 5 kids. Their personalities are as wildly varied as their ages; from newborn to teenager and I don’t know how to parent each of them individually. You’d think, after being a mother for nearly 14 years, I’d be a veteran, I’d have this shit pat down.

Sure, being a SAHM is one of the toughest jobs a parent can have, and true, it can be rewarding, but at the same time it can be psychologically damaging. The constant arguing, bribing, negotiating, demanding…and that’s all AFTER the civil conversations. My issues vary amongst the kiddos too; one refuses to do her chores correctly or just doesn’t do them, another half-asses them and I have to go ’round and clean up what they supposedly cleaned and the other 2 just refuse to do their ACTUAL chores in favor of doing the easy things that’ll earn them points on their chore chart. My oldest is lazy, which, I wish if I were as lazy as her, I wish I could be as thin as her. My son, though he is INCREDIBLY helpful and always asking me if I need anything; has a habit of forgetting to do things, things that are specifically spelled out in his chore folder. Then the little girls; they throw each other under the bus for playing rather than cleaning and they get distracted by EVERYTHING.

I didn’t grow up as spoiled as my kids are. I didn’t have Wifi and Social media. I didn’t have smartphones, tablets, a DS, a PS4/PS3/PS2/Wii and Rockband equipment. I didn’t have huge flatscreens with cartoons and DVR’ed episodes of the shows I loved. It took nearly a decade and a half before I had my own room; I almost always bunked with my little sister who’s about 7 years my junior and we clashed all the time. I didn’t have a bike, or rollerblades, or all the fun outdoor toys. And I sure as hell didn’t have a huge 50×30 sized playroom FULL of hundreds of thousands of dollars of the coolest, most requested toys. I had books and paper to write on and had to ask permission to walk to the local library, where I’d spend hours of my free time.

And all I ask these kids to do is help out and keep their rooms clean. And even with their help; I STILL have a a lot to do daily myself. Laundry, especially the laundry, with 7 people, it’s never ending. The bulk of my days are spent loading laundry to wash, starting the dryer, nursing a baby, folding laundry, putting it away, starting another load, drying another and nursing a baby again. And sprinkled in between those hours are dusting, making beds, straightening up, fixing the couch, picking random shit up off the floor, going through the always-present mountain of mail and school paperwork and bills. I wash the dishes and then wash the baby’s accessories and by then someone needs to be nursed again. And I’m expected to not only find time to READ a book, but write 2 myself, as well as maintain a blog AND do my school studies? No wonder my blood is at least 50% caffeine.

Maybe having my mother move in would be a good idea, but after a long and thorough conversation with her and Derrick and the kids. Because sometimes her harping on my kids is far more of a hindrance to me than helpful. And I don’t want my kids resenting me the way I did my mom for the longest time. But maybe her being here would allow me to focus on school like I should, and she could help me with a few of my chores when I’m busy with the baby–but I wouldn’t blur the line between grandma and housekeeper. I hate being treated like a housekeeper, so I wouldn’t do that to my mom. And who knows, maybe it’ll be easier this time because my sister and her kids aren’t here. It was a bitch trying to maintain this house with the three of them here, because she was lazier than Evelyn, didn’t pay rent and ate up all my food and towards the end, I easily dropped a hundred or two on packs of cigarettes for her. WTF she was so stressed about beats me, if anything I could’ve used the $200 worth of cigarettes for my anxiety and stress, let alone poor Derrick who was keep all of us afloat.

But then another part of me worries about having my mom here. I become of two minds when she’s around. She’s the last parent I have left; after my dad choosing to not be a part of my life and Stephanie dying, so I try to maintain a relationship with my mom, because she’s technically all I have left. But when she’s here and she’s either yelling at my kids or berating them to me; she doesn’t recognize the repetitive exhaustion on my face from being tired of hearing the same “you’re not a good enough mother and if these were my kids…” speeches. And at the same time, I’m so used to her yelling and berating from my childhood that I either ignore it or I tend to harp along with her to my kids. And I’m both a stressed out 32 year old mother of 5 who can’t get her kids to listen, and she’s grateful for the help…and then I’m also that 11 year old again, who’s trying her hardest to be an Honor Roll student and keep a clean house just to “please” my mother.

Why the fuck do I do that?

And then she has the habit of making it worse by talking on and on about her workouts at Curves and how she’s using this new weightloss pill and that weightloss pill and how these WorkIt Wraps are a Godsend and blah, blah, blah. And I’m like TRYING to get my mental and emotional shit in order so I can work on my physical appearance, but to literally have EVERY conversation stream from my kids’ inabilities to clean properly to how I need to lose weight since she has, is really fucking damaging to my psyche.

And after I’m stressed out from trying to man my house, do chores, be a dairy-cow for a baby on demand, and try to parent my other 4 kids whom are capable of cleaning and following directions, to being a cook who’s responsible for at least 2 meals a day, to dealing with guilt trips from my mom and her not respecting my mental boundaries with my grandfather and her constant pressuring to FORGIVE him so he can see my kids, to her bitching about my kids to me making me feel like a shit mother, to her going on and on about diets and pills and wraps and Curves and then her transition to shit about Keyre and then somehow she’s bitching about Robert and the shit he took from her, to me needing to nurse again and swap the laundry again, then arguing with the kids about why their rooms aren’t clean and it’s 20 minutes till bedtime and showers need to be taken and there’s more laundry and I’m counting down the minutes until Derrick gets home, so I can clock out…but then guilt hits and rather than “clock out” I make a drink and I UNLOAD all my stress of the day onto him.

I don’t expect him to fix everything; but I married a smart man and damn; all this shit every day makes me hella indecisive and I’m left between a rock and a hard place.

I am struggling at this parenting thing.

I am struggling at this being an adult woman thing.

I am struggling at this being a wife thing.

Now that it’s summer, I’m hoping like hell it’ll get a bit easier. Done, for now, are the 5am alarms. So no morning madness rushing while sleep-deprived. I can nurse at 4am and go back to bed if Ivy allows me to. Hopefully I can finally tend to the personal goal list I made myself. I want to go to the gym and at least run on the treadmill for 30 minutes a day; listening to music, not newborn screams or little girls fighting over their Troll hairbrush. I’d like some help with the laundry; I don’t mind washing and drying, but can someone else at least fold? And I don’t mind doing the dishes; if someone else puts them away.

These kids have so many expectations this summer; from trips to the Great Wolf Lodge, Seaworld, the beach and hella activities…and my expectations? A clean house in case company comes over, where I’m not rushing to clean an hour before their expected to arrive and I’m a fucking bloody sweaty mess when they get here and I can’t relax. I want time to READ an actual book. And yes, I expect a fucking getaway with my husband this summer, without the kids, because I am with them ALL THE TIME and he works so fucking hard to provide for us that he deserves to PLAY with some of his money, not just WORK all the damn time. 6 to sometimes 7 days a week, sometimes pulling 36 hour shifts, as a driver is fucking deadly for him. I am truly paranoid about it–but he does it to pay for the internet, the food, the electronics, a fresh supply of art and craft shit and so many other things the kids don’t fathom.

Today is one of those days; where as soon as Derrick left for work, the baby became inconsolable and nothing I did calmed her down, until 3 hours later, I think she passed out due to exhaustion and screaming. The AC is still broke and it’s over a 100 degrees here. I am pouring buckets while sitting here typing this AND I’m sippin’ on an icy drink. The girls (ALL of them) haven’t cleaned their rooms and I made the mistake of gifting Evelyn back her iPhone yesterday, in agreement that she’d keep her room clean–that worked out gleefully (sarcasm). Maverick is the only one who did his chores without asking AND he asked me if I needed anything else. There’s still laundry, even though I’ve already done 6 loads today. But the garage is like a sauna and I’m trying to avoid it at all costs; but I tore our bed apart, to wash the sheets and blankets in Dreft…so I have to tend to the laundry whether or not I actually want to.

So I get it, moms who enjoy their wine. Except I need something with a higher proof.

But I can’t get drunk or even buzzed, because I REFUSE to dip into my freezer stash of breast milk. That is SOLELY for when Derrick and I go away to Costa Rica later this summer and I am NOT fucking up my supply!

So I’m sippin’ on my weak ass Mai Tai that’s far more juice than rums and I say CHEERS to all the SAHP that are dealing with similar shit, just a different day. We’ll figure this out eventually. And hopefully they’ll clean up their fire hazard of a bedroom before they actually become fire hazards. Cheers!

 

 

Is Love a Priority?

Priorities.

How do we get these right? Do we ever get them correct? And how do we prioritize; as a woman? As a wife? As a mom? A human being? Which is the correct one and if we must do them all, which of the priorities is the priority?

I’d like to say I wake up every morning, grab my coffee and prioritize the day in my head or on paper. But I don’t I usually have a laundry list, a to do list, an events calendar and a running calendar, as well as an agenda constantly looping through my mind.

Before I met Derrick; I was always a Type A personality. I believed in order, organization and had a plan, well, many plans.

I wanted to finish school, graduate, join the Air Force and go to college and somewhere after that I prioritized marriage and kids mixed in with a fantastic career that utilized both my smarts and my Type A personality.

Then I fell in love and priorities shifted. A lot. Everything I had planned was wiped off the table and a new, uncharted path was laid before me. I dropped out of school and didn’t even remember what the Air Force was. It was late night conversations about dreams and hopes and making out until my whole face was either raw or numb. A spontaneous engagement moved things along a lot quicker than I anticipated. I moved away from home and got a job working at a fast food restaurant. I didn’t even have my driver’s license. But I was in love.

My dream of a big wedding with all my friends and family was traded in for a ceremony with the Justice of the Peace and all 7 of Derrick’s college friends as our witnesses. I didn’t even have one person on my side there. I wore a simple $10 clearance dress from Old Navy and ate rice and beans for my wedding dinner feast. I didn’t have a first dance or even a wedding cake. I didn’t have a wedding night, nor a honeymoon. But I was in love.

Motherhood sprung on me as if I were a ripe little lamb and it was a ferocious lion. I wasn’t ready for it. My husband was throat deep in college and working and I stayed home, running from the bed to the toilet 50 times a day with horrible morning sickness. I was lonely and depressed, living a whole state away from the people I knew, trying to navigate a new marriage and now parenthood. And I was doing it alone–until my mom or grandparents mailed me a calling card in the mail and I’d finally be able to call and race everything across a 15 minute short phone call and prayed they’d give me solace before the operator cut in and told me my card amount was up. I got another job; working at a sandwich shoppe across from ASU and it pained my heart every time a happy college student busily strolled in for a working lunch and I watched that dream fizzle away too. But I was in love.

I reached my breaking point when my oldest was about 6 months old and I gave Derrick and ultimatum; move us back to California or we were over. I’m sure he still resents me for taking him away from his art school, his friends, his stay-up-until 3 am-playing-video-game friends and everything he built in Tempe. I knew I was depressed and I had tried to get help; but no one told me what Postpartum Depression was, they just said I needed antidepressants and I’d be fine. I wasn’t fine. But I was in love.

We somehow moved back to Arizona once again when I gave birth to our second child and life hadn’t changed much for me. Derrick had all his buddies from high school around and even some of the weasels tried to get me to sleep with them. One even tried to rape me once. I wish that would’ve been handled differently, and though I was upset, I stayed and I dealt with it; continuing to live and work in that tiny ass city where word spreads quickly and I became even more depressed. But I was in love.

When I found out I was pregnant with my third, I was so depressed I contemplated an abortion. I was in my very early 20’s, in a tiny apartment, with 2, soon to be 3 kids, no job, no schooling and living in a town where my in-laws hated me and I had no friends. I tried my damnedest to befriend my husband’s friend’s spouses, but they just weren’t my cup of tea. Signs of Bipolar Disorder were manifesting, but I still wasn’t even diagnosed with depression at this point. We moved to a bigger house on the river and I got a job working reception at the front desk of where we lived. But I was lonely and depressed. Derrick was working a lot; mostly nights at Denny’s and he had this bond with the women he worked with and I was always jealous. One even professed her undying love for Derrick and how she wanted him to be her daughters dad and all kinds of shit. I was dying inside; a mother of 3, struggling, and this woman was telling me that she was going to take my children’s father away from them, to build a family with him. I began to act out. I drank almost daily. I smoked. I skinny-dipped with one of Derrick’s co-workers and two strange men we just met. I began having affairs. I was acting immature and childish, to MAKE Derrick finally notice just how lonely and depressed I was. And rather than working on it like mature adults; he began making plans to visit his ex-girlfriend, the model. I wanted to leave. But I was in love.

I don’t know how we survived him being injured and nearly dying and me being so depressed I was suicidal and self-harming, but we did. When he lost his job and mine wasn’t enough to keep the bills afloat, we moved back to California, this time moving in with my grandparents. That was…not awesome. Seven of us in a broke down, run down, shanty shack of a house with the five of us cramped in one bedroom. Derrick eventually found another job and we moved out as soon as we could and within a year, I was pregnant again. It wasn’t until that year that I finally spoke with specialists that told me I had a rare allergy that allowed me to become pregnant more easily when I’m taking birth control and that really screwed with my mind. I was 28, with 4 kids. In a tiny 2 bedroom apartment. But I was in love.

When Stephanie died, a piece of me went with her and I don’t know how I’ve been able to survive since. She was my ONLY person. She talked me down from so much. I don’t know how it’s been two years without her and I haven’t self-harmed once, not to say I haven’t wanted too. Not to say I haven’t tried. I try to talk to Derrick the way I talked to her. I tried to talk to my therapist and psychiatrist the way I talked to her. Nothing. I could relax around her and NEVER feel judgment. I’m afraid of hurting Derrick, so I filter myself when we talk. And with my doctors, well, I’m afraid they’ll have me committed and take my kids away if I’m honest with them, so I censor myself or I make sure I word things in a way that make me appear “more stable” than I actually am. I keep my appointments. I tend to my children. I clean my house. I see my doctors. I’m (am now) taking my medication. I wanna leave. I don’t. We fight and I want to leave him and kids. But I’m in love.

I read and read and read and listen to so many different sides and view points on priorities these days; on the news, in magazines, in books, on blogs, podcasts, vlogs, and I’m always left confused. When did my priorities shift? When did I no longer make my own list? I’m not even on my list. I have one version in my ear and in my head telling me that I MUST keep a clean house and it must be pristine because I am a SAHM and that’s my job: clean house. Healthy kids. That’s it. Then there’s others telling me; don’t worry so much about the house; spend time with your kids making memories; take them to events, craft with them, take them on expensive vacations so they have things to share. Then there’s another voice telling me that my husband should be my priority because he works the hardest. He makes the income. He’s gone all day. He provides; so keep his castle clean, make sure his laundry for work is fresh, keep his magazines in the bathroom, don’t complain about his gaming because that’s his outlet. Stock the fridge with beer because he deserves it. And I do that. Because I’m in love.

And then there’s the feminist-ic viewpoint. Make myself the priority. Break glass ceilings. Venture out. Demand a tribe. Join the resistance. And I can’t because I feel like I am denying my husband of a wife and my children of a mother. And yet, I sit here, thoroughly unhappy, listening to a wailing baby in her mamaRoo, who wants to nurse again, even though I’ve already nursed her twice while trying to write this. My older kids are disappointed I said no to dessert. They think I’m being mean. Truth is; no one is doing their chores and honestly, I haven’t been grocery shopping and I really don’t want to go. There was barely enough chicken to feed the kids dinner, so I came in here to write while they eat. And I’m saving yesterday’s leftovers for my husband because he’s worked all day and still has to work again tonight, so he deserves a meal more than me. Because I’m in love.

I can’t look in a mirror without being disappointed. Both physically and mentally. I am a hard person to love, even for myself. I can honestly say I do not love myself. I love my husband and my children and I’d do anything to make them happy. But for the love of all things, I cannot bring myself to love myself. I argue with myself a lot too. I talk myself out of a lot of things too. I miss running; but I know the baby will need nursing, so I can’t be too far away–and I can’t take her along because a month later, my stroller is still broken in the garage. I was supposed to go on a bike ride today with Maverick, but Derrick had to work, so I had to cancel those plans. I wanna relax and read a book but either the baby cries or I’m just so dead tired, reading ANYTHING puts me to sleep. And even though I am tired, I force myself to stay awake when Derrick comes home because he’s been gone all day and I want to show him my appreciation for him working so hard. I feel bad that I zone out sometimes when he talks about his day; but I am just so tired from the lists that keep repeating in my head. Beating me for all the things I didn’t get to. So I sit, awake, listening to him, watching the shows he likes in bed, because I’m in love.

And this is my worry. When the kids all grow up and move out and have lives and priorities of their own, and it’s just me and Derrick left behind, will he still be my priority? Am I actually in love or am I prioritizing love because that’s what a wife is supposed to do and honestly, because I’m terrified of ending up like my mom. Do I love him out of guilt; he’s a great dad, a great provider, a decent tech guy and from what I witness, a good friend to his friends, and I am constantly reminded how I’m the lucky one to get such a good one? Is he not lucky to have me? Am I a priority for him? Or is he just working his ass off to provide for his kids, so he’s nothing like his father? Are we actually in a happy marriage, or are we terrified of doing anything else because we see how the outcome was for our predecessors? If we didn’t have all these kids, can we actually say we’re still together because we’re in love?

We hear and read the stories all the time, about the parents that are super hopeful about their kids growing up and moving out, and how they’re excited to be “empty nesters” and they can go out and travel and rediscover each other. Is that a myth? Or are those future plans just a hopeful priority? It really isn’t fair to say I have to wait and see. I don’t want to “rediscover” my husband later. I might not like him and I know he won’t like me. I am no where near the girl I was when I was 16 and hopeful. I am tired and worn and constantly telling myself that “Lots of women get their shit together by 40” and that I’ll lose the weight, and my tits will perk back up and all these kegels are actually doing something. And then the kids move out. And the house is quiet. And empty. And it’s just me, him, and his Playstation55 or some shit. Will the resentment and loneliness I’ve experienced for all these decades going to eat us alive? I won’t be bombarded with a constant list of remembering to wash work uniforms and PE clothes, and who has what papers signed for school, and tracing ABC’s and 123’s before dinner, or scheduling doctors appointments and planning events and activities and trips between Girl Scouts and play dates. Then what? Go back to school? Why? I missed my opportunity to enjoy getting an education with a youthful and sponge-worthy mind. Too old for the Air Force and even if I wasn’t, I’m nowhere near in shape. And sex isn’t even a priority anymore. So that’s rarely talked about either. I’ve been a mom for a decade and a half. I have nothing interesting to say. And even if I did have something interesting to talk about, and I’ve tagged Derrick in it to have him read it so we can talk about it later, he ignores it and I ignore him ignoring it and he sips a beer and I mind my coffee and cigarette and we do this until bed time because we’re in love.

 

 

My Dad Walked Away, Why Can’t I?

I’ve been surviving on fumes the last few days and it’s getting frustrating and I’m building a resentment. I’m worried about my mental health and it seems like no one cares, so I’m wondering why I should. I haven’t taken any of my medications for the last week and if anyone’s noticed, no one is saying anything. And this is where the resentment is building. My husband just worked the last 16 out of 24 hours and he is now in bed, sleeping, at 1pm, after arriving home at around 10am.

And lucky me, I just got a 90 minute break while writing because Ivy decided to scream from her MamaRoo and I had to stop and feed her again, even though she just nursed 45 minutes before. And of course Derrick gets up and I’m torn between guilt because I want him to sleep and resentment because of course he wants to sweep in and be the hero, suddenly, when I’ve been tired for days–but Ivy wants me, or she wanted my breasts at least.

But at least when I was done nursing her I could put her down and go eat. But even eating is pissing me off lately. I’ve gained 12 pounds in the last month and I don’t know what to do about it. I work the hardest in this house to have the best and healthiest diet; vegetables, fruit, lean meats, nuts, seeds, non-dairy products, whatever I can eat to help with my supply AND be healthy for not just Ivy, but me too. And yet, I’m gaining weight. And fucking Derrick doesn’t even have to try and he still looks like he’s barely 20 and never had a kid. I look like I’m a tired obese, 45 year old woman, who’s definitely birthed a half dozen or more kids. And I’m fucking tired, but it doesn’t matter.

I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation with someone who wasn’t being generic; including my husband. It’s funny; when people (my family) come over to visit and they strike up a conversation with Derrick, they always ask him how he is, how he’s feeling, how work is treating him and they stir up this bravada in him to be more confident, work harder, ask for more pay, more hours, whatever. They ask about his artwork and what he’s drawing lately and his new games, even though they don’t understand them. Wanna know the conversation I get? Weight. The kids. And how my house is a mess because I don’t know how to get on my kids to do a better job. I’m constantly reminded that I am a fat, lazy mom. Which makes my anxieties worse; because rather than relaxing, I’m more motivated to clean, straighten up, talk about the newest health trend and how even though I’m exhausted all the time, I’m trying to lose the weight. My husband can just grab a beer, or whatever and not think twice. I have to think about the calories, the carbs and the sugar. I usually get so upset about it, I self sabotage.

I haven’t been sleeping well, nor taking my medications correctly, but no one asks me. The kids constant ask Derrick, “Dad, does your back hurt?” “Daddy, are you tired?” “Daddy do you have to work today?” “Dad does your shoulder hurt?”

Where’s my concern? I hurt. I’m in pain. I’m exhausted.

I’ve been seeing things–literally–a tall, white man in my shower, spiders and snakes and a vicious wolf in the kids’ room. I told all of this to Derrick. The conversation didn’t even last 5 minutes. He asked to watch Jeopardy, but while I lay there, half pissed off at an ignored conversation, half pissed off that he was paying more attention to his phone than the show he just asked me to watch with him. I roll over and go to bed.

I’ve been dealing with thoughts of self-harm and suicide and even running away. I don’t feel wanted or needed. I don’t feel pursued or active affection. Derrick hadn’t realized it’d been probably close to a year since he bought me flowers, until I made a snide remark and rather than him wanting to surprise his wife, he buys flowers the next morning out of guilt and I display them (happily) on Instagram–even though there was no geneuity. But I have to display this facade of a happy marriage because if I don’t I’m reminded that all the negativity associated with it is my fault; I’m choosing to be negative, unhappy, displeased, I’m making something out of it. A bill comes up, we’re short to pay it this week, because I was adamant to have oysters. We’re short on gas money, I shouldn’t have went and spent that $30 at NYX. We need more diapers, toilet paper and dish soap, but I was hoping to make new mom-friends and wasted $50 and the only new thing I ended up with was a virus. (Thanks lady who was sick and yet HAD to come ride in our carpool AND sit right next to me at the table, coughing on me all night, whining about her “cold”, ya should’ve stayed home and NOT put me at risk to bring home this illness to my newborn).

I can’t do anything about anything for the next few weeks, as we’re fucking broke as hell. I can’t “escape”. I can’t go get Starbucks, or walk through Target. I can’t go to play dates. I can’t even go to a DBSA meeting. The NAMI meeting was this morning, but Derrick got home late and we really don’t have the gas money for me to drive across town anyway. I have no one to talk to—because the conversation is either ignored, dismissed or changed. That and I think my own family is full of stigmatic bullshit. They claim they understand my mental illness and how dangerous it could be…bullshit. If they cared about my mental well-being and me working my ass of to avoid PPP, they’d have an open dialogue with me about everything. We would talk about my stressors, insecurities and anxieties and not fall asleep or become distracted or just drop the subject. I’M NOT SLEEPING AND I’M FUCKING SEEING THINGS AND MY HUSBAND CARES MORE ABOUT HIS SHOULDER HURTING AND HIS SLEEP.

The last time I had a Mixed State of both Depression and Mania—I tucked the baby into bed, made sure everyone else was asleep and I got blackout drunk and mutilated my body. You’d think my husband would care about that NOT happening again; but the conversation always comes back around to making ME feel guilty because he has to work–which yeah, he does have to work to provide for the family he helped create–but his responsibilities don’t stop there.

Why isn’t my sleep a priority? And the guilt of watching him try to stay awake while holding the baby and nodding off or mid snore while his eyes are open, don’t help me to relax. And trying to nap with him when he got home from work because I haven’t slept either, but the baby woke up, so I had to get up. I had to demand my sleep at 4am Friday morning because I’d spent the previous 36 hours up and awake, feeding a baby nearly EVERY 30 minutes and so when Derrick shoved my shoulder to wake up and nurse her, I snapped and he walked his ass to the fridge to warm her some expressed breastmilk.

I’m the one with the diagnosed, medication-needed-for-stability, mental illness, but me being “okay” isn’t a priority. The kids and my family all worry about Derrick all the time; how’s he sleeping with a new baby, is he drowsy while driving, does his back and shoulder hurt, how’d his x-rays come out, when does he see the PM doctor, blah blah blah—of course I build a resentment. My mom thinks the band-aid of her watching the baby while I take ONE one hour nap is supposed to “cure” me. I live with Schizoaffective Disorder–my number one medication IS sleep. I’m pushing the envelope and walking the line daily. Fantasizing about both sleep and death. Derrick gets all the sympathy, let him truly run the entire household and then I won’t be here to even complain about the sympathy.

I’m so tired of looking in the mirror and hating what I see–a tired, worn out, grouchy bitch. Honestly, I am a bitch–Derrick’s bosses say so, but rather than do anything about it, he kisses their ass because their opinions are actually worth something. I think about leaving all the time, and I KNOW if I spoke up about that to either Derrick or my mom, I’d have it thrown in my face that I’m being spoiled. And it’s not even about having things my way, it is about FEELING like I am an important part of this family and actually want to be treated like a priority and not a fucking afterthought. I am, as a mother, expected to be a juggler of many balls; it’s an expectation of me. Derrick is solely expected to be the breadwinner and head of household. That’s it. Do you know how many different hats I wear and the only “rewards” I am rewarded with is adult conversations with my mom–conversations about losing weight, gaining weight, a new waist cincher, new diet pills, OR I am constantly reminded how my kids don’t clean right, don’t straighten right, don’t do this right and I don’t get on them enough. I just wanna leave.

But I know everyone will side with Derrick, even and especially my family–because I am “beyond lucky” to have a man like Derrick in my life and I should feel grateful and not have any complaints. The dude takes the time to learn all the special moves of his characters in all his video games; does he even know the name NOT THE BOOK, but the name of the author of my favorite book, nope.

And I keep making the mistake, like a hyper puppy, of TRYING to have a relationship with him; I tag him in articles or blogs I’ve read and found relatable and would like to discuss with him and I’m literally seen him swipe away the notification and ignore the tag and continue his game playing. I buy him books and they collect dust. Grant my books collect dust too, because I can’t really juggle a book with pages that need turning and use my hands to keep my huge breasts off of Ivy’s tiny nostrils while nursing her. And I’m so fucking exhausted, that one paragraph makes my eyes blink. But Derrick can spend 4 hours playing a video game.

The priorities in this house and so out of whack and I hate that I’m wavering at the edge of cliff; hanging on just for June 21 because that’s my psychiatrist appointment. I can’t rely on DBSA meetings because Derrick’s fucked up schedule, or I’m just too exhausted, or there’s no gas money. And I’ve been waiting and waiting for the CARES Program to call me back about finding me a new therapist, but nothing yet. SO I sit here, trying to hold on, talking myself down because no one else will, reminding myself that the 21st isn’t too far away–but even when the 21st is here, what difference will that make? I don’t see any changes within this household on the horizon at all. And that’s really heartbreaking.

Momming; it’s not for the faint of heart

Parenting while living with Borderline Personality Disorder is probably the hardest thing I’ve done in my life; more so than labour & delivery, seriously. No one warns you and tells you just how heartbreaking and paranoia-inducing BPD is while you’re a parent. Most people think of bratty teenagers who scream threats of suicide and self harm are the faces of BPD. They are, but they’re one of MANY faces of it. My face is another; a lonely, desperate-for-attention, desperate-for-a-friend, mother of 5, who’s been married to her best friend for 14 years.

And it’s so much more than the anxieties of being judged by other parents, because that’s the normal anxiety a first-time and maybe even a second-time mother experiences at the park or even the preschool, where the better-than-you0in-every-possible-way mommies, stand there are judge you and don’t offer an opening to the conversation for your opinion. What I’m talking about is being a 5th time mom; who had only 5 immediate family members and no friends show up to her baby shower, so the paranoia kicks in. I’m talking about being the mom who has more than 3 kids in the same school and not one person knows who you are, despite having paid for PTA fees, volunteering and bringing in the goods (cupcakes) for the kids to share since it’s your little one’s birthday. I’m talking about scrolling through social media; being jealous of these amazing (on screen) mothers, who seem to have it all together and #humblebrag about their awesome #momtribe and we’re sitting over here like; “I’ll take ONE friend who gets me–I don’t NEED a tribe.” It’s the moms like me with such a loving openness of acceptance because we’ve been so lonely for the longest time, that we “stand up for the little guys” in hopes that someone will witness our advocacy and WANT to befriend us. But that hope fizzles out way too quick.

It’s hard being a medicated mom. Because you’re not really mending your heartache or loneliness, you’re kind of putting a band-aid on a wound that needs stitches. I take medications that “numb” me from the constant feeling of strong emotions. And I take them day and night. But there are afternoons like today–when the mood stabilizers wear off a bit too soon and I’m left with the sad, pathetic realization that my life will never be what I hoped it would be and suicidal ideation comes into play. You brain starts thinking you’ll never be good enough. If they didn’t like you at 19, why would they at 32? They didn’t get you when you have 1 kid, so why does you having 5 kids supposedly make you somehow appealing, it doesn’t.

I keep thinking there’s more to this life of mine than waking around the clock to breastfeed, change diapers, make the bed, wash and fold the laundry, plan meals, shop for meals, cook the meals, clean up, shower and go to bed, just to do it all over again.

But I’m wrong. Or at least my brain has me thinking I’m wrong.

And it’s hard to reach out to people about this sort of thing because there are only a few standard replies, you’ve got the “Oh, you have friends, don’t be so negative.” or “You’re being so over-dramatic, quit being a crybaby.” or the “You just have to get out and make yourself have friends.”

None of these replies are helpful when you have mental illness. You can’t just turn the paranoia off. You can’t just blink away anxieties and concerns and worries.

I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation that didn’t pertain to the kids or some crude, sexual remark from my always-horny husband.

I just wanna meet like minded friends, who either have kids or don’t, but don’t’ judge me for being 32 and a mother of 5. I wanna sit up and talk about the planet and the government and women’s rights and so many other things, over a beer or three and just be chill and still like and respect each other afterwards, even if our opinions don’t mesh.

And having to explain triggers SUCKS when trying to make new friends.

It seems like everyone is pro-weed, pro-smoking pot these days and I just can’t. It’s too triggering for me; and rather than people respecting me enough to understand or learn WHY marijuana is a trigger to me, they cut ties and I’m once again screwed in the friends-department.

I feel like when I meet someone new, I have to immediately apologize for who I am. I hate that. Even right now, I am struggling with whether or not I should delete this post, because it’s embarrassing. But I wanna keep going to show how a BPD mind works.

And every time I feel rejected, I have to FIGHT with my entire being, against self-harm. Some people don’t even realize the type of pain they’re inflicting when they either say the wrong thing or don’t say anything at all.

For example; a few weeks ago, this mommy group I am trying to become comfortable with, is hosting a MNO (Mom’s Night Out) without the kids, to a stand-up comic series at the Irvine Spectrum. There was talk about carpooling, which would have been fantastic because Derrick works and needs the SUV and I wouldn’t be back in time to pick him up, so carpooling would’ve worked perfectly. Except when the lady hosting the carpooling updated that we all needed to meet at her house at 4 to leave together….which negated the who carpooling thing. I replied that this wouldn’t work for me and that reply went ignored for DAYS, WEEKS and when I finally replied to my own reply about getting a rental car and driving myself, SUDDENLY they replied about how someone could’ve picked me up and brought me. But rather than being short and rude with my reply, I just said “No worries, it’ll give this stressed out mama of 5 an excuse to blare her music without hesitation.” While on the inside I was sobbing and wondering if I could hide a cut on my inner thigh since Derrick and I haven’t been having sex that often, maybe it’d go unnoticed.

And I can’t blame them. For not liking me. When the ONLY examples of Borderline Personality Disorder are two insane movies “Thirteen” and “Fatal Attraction”, which neither help my case when it comes to inviting people to be my friend.

So I sit here, depressed, lonely, crying and crying more because Ivy is crying while I asked Evelyn to hold her just so I could write this, while drinking my second beer because clearly I suck at handling emotions. And really, all I want to do is go to bed before my brain makes this worse for me.

When Baby is Akin to Sin…We’re Not Educated in Responding to This

“Motherhood is quite beautiful, but the beautiful quiet in motherhood is where the pain tests you the most.”

I wrote this this morning, as a status on my blog’s Facebook page.

I’ve never had such a beautiful sentence makes such sense for me. I get surprised by my mind sometimes, when throughout all the chaos and racing thoughts, a profound thought just hits me, stops me and I thoroughly feel it throughout my whole body.

I’ve been thinking about my pregnancy, labour and delivery with Ivy a lot lately. She’s nearly 3 months old and I still haven’t done anything about my trauma I experienced. This pregnancy was far from easy. It was a shock and surprise pregnancy. It was a result of both failed birth control (once again) and a failed Plan B over-the-counter medication. I was 31, already a mother to 4 kids, struggling to find my footing, having my most recent baby nearly 4 years before. And yet, I fully accepted the double blue lines on the test when I look at the stick 3 minutes after pissing on it.

I found out early, as I am very attuned to my body; I have to be, as birth control failure was the result of all my other children. My oldest was the failure of the Low-Dose Pill I was put on for hormone regulation thanks to Endometriosis. My second child was the result of a failed Depo-shot therapy. My third child was with the NuVa Ring. My 4th child was with the Mirena IUD, not even 7 months after insertion. This is why I was, and am, still adamant to having (at least) a partial Hysterectomy. Besides the Endo, the PCOS and the Fibroids that make my months and periods a living hell. I’m the lucky one who bleeds through both a Super+ sized tampon AND an overnight sized pad in less than 2 hours, sometimes less than an hour. I’ve learned to NEVER have any light colored pants, let alone white panties.

I was not in a good place, both figuratively and literally, when I found out I was expecting number 5. My excitement of having a new baby quickly wore off when I realized just how shitty our situation was. We live in a 4 bedroom rental, with a shit-head as a “landlord”. It’s me, my husband, our 4 kids and at the time; my little sister, her two daughters, my mother and little brother all living with us–on Derrick’s paycheck. And even though, at the time, Derrick was bringing in around $1000-$1200 per week, we were struggling and now we were adding another little person to the party. I began to rapid cycle, and I’m not normally a rapid-cycler, but my hormones were so out of whack, I couldn’t keep up mentally.

I don’t know what’s worse; actually physically throwing up with morning sickness during the first trimester early on, OR always on the verge of throwing up and gagging at EVERYTHING. I know what was worse–the fact that smoking a cigarette was the only thing that stopped the nausea. Mind you, this nausea and smoking was BEFORE I took the test and I assumed I just ate something bad, so I continued smoking–until I took the test and then, I’ll be honest, that morning, after I took the test and it was positive, Derrick was at work and I didn’t tell anyone and I continued to smoke the rest of that day. Part of me registered there was a baby in there, but another part of me didn’t want to believe it and the smoking kept the vomit at bay, for at least a little while.

By September, I was such a psychotic, hormonal, raving bitch, that I chased EVERYONE away. My sister and her kids went back to her husband and son in Las Vegas, my brother found an apartment, and my mother and her boyfriend moved in with my grandparents. But then it was just me. Pregnant, sad, lonely AF, angry me, with 4 kids and a husband who worked 6, sometimes 7 days a week, just so we could stay afloat.

I was angry. I was lonely. I was sad. I was a wreck. I was suicidal.

I had no support.

At least I thought I had no support. I never reached out to my mom because our relationship had been turbulent the last month or so she was at my house. I was pissed off at my little sister, because she moved out and left us with a $660 electric bill and hasn’t sent back one red cent to pay us back for living here, rent free, eating, using our wifi and electricity, Netflix account, Hulu account and flat screens, hulling up on our couch for months. It even caused a huge rift between me and Derrick, exacerbating my depression, when he’d throw it in my face, that’d we would have already been in a much better place for this baby, had I NOT been the one to “take in all the strays” of the family and offer OUR roof over their heads. And now, now I get his frustration.

During the lowest part of my Antepartum Depression I wrote a suicide note…an email…to Derrick while he was at work.

Probably not the smartest thing to do when your husband is hundreds of miles away, navigating a huge truck on the hellish Los Angeles freeways.

I was at a breaking point. Seriously, no one can TRULY understand just how lonely depression can make you, unless you’ve lived it. I saw no point in living. I wasn’t getting along with my mom, my sister, my brothers didn’t understand so they kept their distance and that distance was FELT and it hurt, my kids were constantly fighting, arguing and not listening to me, my grandparents are from another generation so they didn’t comprehend boundaries and depression so they were no help. I had (have) no friends. And I completely stopped going to therapy, group and visiting my Psychiatrist. I gave up.

I found my (original) OB/GYN August 1 and had my first visit on August 10th. I chose him because my sister-in-law was pregnant too and he was her doctor and I went to her first appointment with her and I liked him (and the female doctor with him, and here I thought I’d be getting them as a team too. Boy was I wrong). My first appointment was just quick formalities and Derrick was there. Blood pressure reading, weight, height, blood work and numerous forms to fill out about me and my previous pregnancies, miscarriages, deliveries, etc. I was automatically deemed “high risk” and was sent to a second doctor because I was an “older” mother with numerous health issues; overweight, hypertension, fibroids, Endo, PCOS, progesterone allergy, asthma…and mental health “issues”. Not to mention Derrick’s heart condition and family history of cancer.

I saw this OB a total of 3 times. The first meeting mentioned above. A second appointment in September to go over everything from August. And one more time in early October, where I poured my heart out to him, expressing my concern and worry about my depression; how I’d become recluse and stopped therapy, group and seeing my psychiatrist BUT I was STILL continuing my Latuda, secretly praying this would help with my depression. But my OB demanded, to Derrick (he didn’t even acknowledge me laying on the examination bed, tears streaming) that I stop my psychiatric medications because I wasn’t “depressed” I was just “sad” and I didn’t need medications for that. He told Derrick that I was “choosing” to be sad and that if I chose to be happy, I’d be happy.

I was in utter disbelief and my depression hit tenfold what it was before.

I cancelled my 26th week appointment with him.

The nurses called numerous times and left voicemails demanding I call and reschedule immediately or he’d give my place to another mother.

I laid in bed, crying, listening to the voicemails, not ready to reschedule yet, deleting the voicemails, turning over and crying myself to sleep. Over and over again, for days.

My 28th week I received a certified letter in the mail, from my OB. He had dropped me as a patient.

I spent my 28th and 29th week in bed.

Around the end of my 29th week, I fell. I ended up in the hospital. I told the head nurse, who, luckily, was MY nurse, that I didn’t have an OB and she took time out of her busy schedule to hand-write a list of high-risk OB’s from here to Corona to Hemet to San Bernardino, who took my insurance and I cried happy tears when I hugged her and thanked her for looking out for me.

I spent the following Monday calling every name on that list. No takers. I called my insurance company and asked them for a list. I called everyone on their list. No takers. I Googled every OB and called EVERY single OB within 25 miles in each direction; in ALL counties within the Inland Empire. And still, not one taker.

No one wanted me as a patient, who was an “older” patient, at 30 weeks already AND high-risk. I was too much of a liability.

My depression kicked my ass even harder and this time, I had guilt added to it because I blamed myself for my original OB dropping me as a patient, because, maybe, maybe he was right. Maybe I was CHOOSING to be depressed. And now, here I was 33 weeks along with a baby and I had no idea what was happening with her. That was the only solace I had to hold on to–I found out around 30 weeks she was a she, because I had to pay out of pocket, to go to one of those 4D Ultrasound techs, because I HAD to make sure she was still alive. Mind you, I couldn’t careless if I died, but I wanted to make sure the baby was okay.

And when I had that ultrasound done, even though it wasn’t a medical one, I was ECSTATIC when I saw her up on that projector screen; all her fingers, all her toes, long limbs, fully developed lungs and a hummingbird heart that was fluttering about. I had something to hold on to. I wasn’t just getting fat and throwing up for the hell of it, there was a little person in there.

Early March I slipped and fell again, landing on the side of my belly and really hurting my wrist and knee. I went back to the hospital and that’s where I met my attending OB. She ordered ALL the tests I missed during my pregnancy and I had ultrasounds and everything and she sat there and listened to my cries and how I lost my original OB and she patted my hand and said those magical words: “You’re my patient now.”

I was (what I assumed to be) 36, nearly 37 weeks when I walked into her office for my first appointment. I didn’t even last 5 minutes. She told me that I needed to head to the hospital; my liver was failing to sustain me and the baby because my blood pressure was way too high and I looked like hell.

I didn’t think I’d be having a baby, I thought I was only going to the hospital to be monitored, medicated and sent home on bed rest until her (what I assumed to be) EDD of April 5th, 2017.

Nope. I was stuck to a bed. I WAS medicated. With 6 different kinds of medication; to lower my blood pressure, to hydrate me, to replenish her amnio fluid, to thin my cervix and kick start labour. I was having a baby, that day, at 37 weeks. I freaked. I was stuck in bed for 3 days. I had a catheter, of which I HATE, and that totally played into my PTSD too because I do not like inanimate objects forced into my neither region, NOR do I like that un-numbed PAIN included–it’s fucking traumatic and I’m hella sensitive down there, after having my area burned with a cigarette when I was 9.

SO I was forced into labor early and I laboured for 3 whole days before I started pushing and it was just before my epidural, that my doctor informed me that I was truly more around 34 weeks and 5 or 6 days along in my pregnancy–so I began to freak the fuck out again.

Once my epidural kicked in, it kicked in a little too well and my stats nearly flat-lined. I remember becoming super lethargic, sleepy and weak. My blood pressure was what Derrick’s was when he was dying of kidney failure with the Rhabdomyolisis. My brain was freaking out, but my body was barely moving. My eyes were open and I was able to see everything happening. It went from me in the bed, Derrick to my right, the Anesthesiologist at the foot of my bed, and the nurse to my left overlooking my vitals…to the room becoming over-crowded with at least 6, 7, or 8 nurses, the Anesthesiologist, his supervisor, the hospital’s head officials and a couple other people who introduced themselves, but I was so out of it. The last thing I remember saying to Derrick before I blacked out was “I don’t wanna die.”

I woke up 3 hours later. My epidural had completely worn off and holy-fucking-hell did I FEEL everything. My body wasn’t ready. My brain wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready. But they were making this baby come. I cervix was being checked, with the catheter still inside me, every 5 minutes and I was in PAIN. I was already freaking out with the trauma at this point, I couldn’t stop crying. And then my rapes (yes rapeS) came flooding back into my mind because THE sole male nurse just walked in and announced he was going to check my cervix for dilation and I FREAKED LOUDLY, but I couldn’t get it out, I couldn’t verbalize WHY I was freaking out, I felt 9 years old all over again. I couldn’t fight back. I just laid there, gripping painfully to the bed’s arm rests, sobbing and screaming “No, no no no no no no” over and over again, looking at Derrick to save me from this and I screamed when the man’s hands went inside me, but I couldn’t respond to Derrick when he asked me what was wrong.

How does one lay there, who’s body is TRYING it’s damnedest to birth a baby, while your brain is SCREAMING at you to make it stop, while visions of my rapists’ play through my mind over and over and over again; being pinned down, in pain, searing pain, while he forces his huge hands deep inside me and I can’t kick, I can’t fight, I have to literally lay there and take it because there’s a baby in the balance.

And it was so hard to bond with her once she came out, because this male nurse was still inside my delivery room and I’m sitting there, numb, but shaking and all I see and hear is Leon’s, Joey’s and Eli’s voices. All I FEEL is their hands on me. And I’m trying so hard to find the joy in the moment because my daughter was there, she was my reward for not giving up, when all I wanted to do was give up and I wasted my Golden Hour in the L&D room.

And my husband is gunna read this.

And he, even to this day, has no idea that this was the narrative that was playing in my head that day. The amount of panic attacks I was having wasn’t because I was birthing a child. It was because the whole time I was relating the pain and trauma to the trauma I experienced as a child and young teenager.

And it’s not like I look at Ivy and think about the trauma and rape every single time–but there are times, that my brain is a complete and utter asshole and says, Hey you know what, birthing Ivy was like being molested and raped, wasn’t it, and it fucks me over for the day and I have trouble holding onto her, feeding her, bonding with her and all I want to do is run away, drink or smoke an entire pack of cigarettes.

But how do I say this to my husband? “Here, take your daughter, she’s exacerbating my PTSD and if I don’t numb myself RIGHT NOW I’m gunna freak out and lord knows that outcome”?

We don’t talk about my triggers much, mostly because I feel they’re MY responsibility and that’s what I have a psychiatrist and therapist for. But there are times I wish I could articulate it in my brain, well enough, to articulate it to my husband, that when I need breaks of overwhelment from the baby, isn’t BECAUSE of the baby all the time, it’s because my brain is a motherfucker and I’m dying inside and I need a fucking minute.

I desperately NEED postpartum support, but I am SO scared of reaching out for it, because how do you open up to a group of strangers and equate your labour and delivery to molestation and rape?

So I sit here, nearly 13 weeks postpartum and I still haven’t found my footing. I don’t have a tribe. And I am medicated again, but probably not as medicated as I should be…but I am determined to breastfeed my daughter.

But at what cost to me?

“They’ll Put Hair on Your Chest!”

Every single person in this household woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Literally, everyone.

My first wake up call was at 4:30am, and I forgot to take my medications last night because I crashed EARLY. Didn’t bang one out and didn’t even attempt a blog post. I pretty much slept most of the day yesterday-I was exhausted. But today, my “alarm clock” woke me at 4:30 and she definitely let the whole house know she was starving. I woke up engorged, again, I don’t know why my supply has been freakishly abundant lately, other than the addition of Sunflower Lecithin to help with unclogging ducts…but I ain’t complaining about NOTHING…except the pain.

And even after I fed her, I still had to pump and knocked out 8 ounces total. *Freezer stash!*

And somewhere between 5:30am and 7:10am, I had this weird-ass dream…

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