WHO AM I?
I am a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, devoted employee. I have experienced many good things in life, but have endured many obstacles along the way. I have a lot of self-doubt, yet I am a very strong personality who tells it like it is. The strong persona has become my defense shield…I depend too heavily on what people think of me, and I know if anyone else were to hurt me, I’d unravel.
I believe the experience of giving birth has been completely underplayed by the masses…meaning? Well, essentially your body endures trauma. Whilst giving labor is a “natural” event, it still pushes your body to the limits. Fortunately, our daughter was a very healthy baby and I know we are very blessed with not having any complications, except for one incident, weeks later, where she had a moment of choking on amniotic fluid (we were able to help her and she was fine). Soon after having my beautiful baby girl, the good and the bad came colliding together leaving no discernible separation of the two.
WHERE IT BEGAN
My husband was/is a wonderful caretaker; he made sure that I ate (he always went grocery shopping and made the food), helped me to the restroom, helped me with feeding schedules, helped as much as he could during the stressful times of breast-feeding, changed all the diapers, cleaned up any messes, took us to doctor’s appointments. I mean, you name it, he did it. Even though I was eternally grateful that I had such an amazing husband, I was filled with guilt. I felt like I wasn’t “doing my part”. I felt like I was a burden. I started hiding feelings…both physically and emotionally.
The 3rd degree tears from giving birth had become infected (I thought the pain was just part of the “normal” healing process), the emotional fears of being a new parent, the fact that my husband and I did not reach out for nor accept help (we had the mentality that we made the decision to have a child, and that we should be the ones responsible), and the choking incident all threw me into a world of extreme pain, feelings of uncertainty and darkness topped-off with an inability to sleep. I was spiraling further down the rabbit-hole and too afraid to ask for help.
One night, dark thoughts of killing my daughter came rushing in, like water rampaging from a broken dam. I sat there, for hours, next to my husband and daughter in the dark room, fighting with myself. Fighting the horrible visions and thoughts I was having. I kept thinking, “I just have to hold on until sunlight, then my husband would wake up and be able to help”. Why didn’t I wake him, you are probably asking? Well, remember that guilt mentioned above…yeah, I didn’t want to disturb their sleep. I thought I could handle this madness on my own, why bother someone else because of something that was going on in my head? My head wasn’t their problem, right?
Sunlight came, and I sat there anxiously waiting for them to wake up. By this time I was so exhausted from the battle I had been through all night…the visions and thoughts were winning.
I escaped to another room. Thinking if I just get a change of scenery, the visions and thoughts would dissipate. Several minutes later, I was fighting the haunting desire to seize the shotgun from the closet 2-feet away, to kill my daughter and myself. I finally realized I did not have the strength to fight this war alone; I had lost.
I immediately ran from the room, as though I were running from a live physical being. I woke up my husband and said “something is wrong, take me to the hospital”.