With the impending arrival of my daughters first birthday I’ve been feeling a whirlwind of emotions. Disheartment, disappointment, saddeness, but also joy, gratitude, amazement, and bewilderment. Some of the reasons for all these emotions you can probably guess, others, I keep buried within, ashamed.
I’m ashamed of myself… For how I’ve behaved, how I’ve let anger get to me (Before you try and call cps, my anger is never physical, only yelling. To which obviously bothers me.), how impatient I’ve been, how selfish I can be, of how little I interact with her some days. I’m ashamed of how long it took me to get help, and of the fact I’ve, in some ways, allowed myself to be the terrible person I feel I am.
I’m also proud. Not only of myself for surviving this long, for fighting to be a better me and momma, but for having such an amazing daughter. She’s resilient, brilliant, quick, funny, stubborn, wilful, her own person. She learns so fast! She’s growing and discovering and I get to watch it all in amazement. I don’t know how she does it. It truly is amazing watching her learn and grow.
My theripist says I shouldn’t beat myself up over the past. But how can I not when it’s also the present? What if I had gotten help sooner? Would I still be struggling? How could I have been so blind for so long? All I can remember for the first 6 to 8 months of my child’s life is how much I hated her. And it kills me inside. I became a different person, somebody I didn’t recognize. I wasn’t me, and I damn sure wasn’t the momma I should have been. Would our relationship be different? Stronger? Closer? Sure, she runs to me for a hug or comfort, but would there be more hugs? More snuggles, more laughs? I spent the first half of her life pushing her away emotionally, wishing she wasn’t my problem. An innocent child, one that I’d brought into this world and couldn’t wait to kiss and snuggle! And yet, I had this.
Eventually I realized I wasn’t okay. I got help, and got on Prozac. For a while it helped immensely. I wasn’t angry, irritable, anxious, as exhausted, and I didn’t feel psychotic. I was the momma I had set out to be. Patient, kind, and doting. I was a good teacher. The guilt set in pretty quickly and has only magnified. Especially as her first year of life ends and I haven’t enjoyed much of it. Especially as right now I’ve been sliding back down to the dark abiss I rose from.
Post partum depression has stolen thosands of moments I wish I had. And some of it is ny own damn fault. I want to enjoy my baby and all the moments. So I need to step up. I need to religiously take my meds, even thought I wish I didn’t have too, and continue to push forward. I don’t want to miss the next year if her life. I want to be the momma I set out to be… Patient, loving, understanding, supportive, trustworthy. I want my baby to grow to be the strong, determined woman I know she will be.
All of this starts with my attitude today. I can no longer wallow in self pity, guilt, and disappointment. Today forward I will be better for my girl and for me. The darkness will not overpower me.