Tag Archives: pnd

Super sensitive

Since I’ve accepted myself as abnormal (or perhaps I am the normal one and they are all strange!) I have become a lot more sensitive to criticism. Overly sensitive perhaps?

I have always had an abundance of background paranoia caused by years of actually being the one they talked about, and this is spreading.  It’s infecting my guilt, making me question what I did to deserve such treatment.

In my world, there is no such thing as the bitchiness of others. If I am in receipt of a sour remark, this is because I have already earnt it. Bought and paid for, as you might say.

I volunteered my services recently, and perhaps the fault lies in the way they were reluctantly volunteered. Or by my precious fuck ups. Either way, I was told this person would pay someone else. As an aside, I said they could pay me, knowing that I would never charge this person. Especially not for what they wanted done, as it’s a small job and one I can teach them in minutes. I would have hoped they realised this.

They didn’t.

A response appeared with an emphasis on the negation of any charge, worded in a manner which, in the toneless world of the Internet, felt pointed and jagged.

Now I sit lost and chastising myself for even thinking anyone would want me to help. Thoughts are battering themselves against my skull and I’m doubting myself, the things I worked for and my family.

There are no such things as bitchy comments in my world.

All fault lies here.

Unclean!

I am not a tidy person. There, I said it. I’m not. I have things. Lots of things. Things I’m emotionally attached to, things I can’t live without.

Things I think I can make money with but will never leave the house.

This is my reality.

I live in a house which is covered in kids crap. I’m fine with that.  I really am.

Funnily enough, the toys are the only things which have homes. Every toy (until tomorrow!) can be put in a drawer or box or pile and peace can be restored.

It’s all the other crap.

The clothes, the towels, the bedding, the tatt. It is everywhere.

I was hoping to get a new wardrobe. A wardrobe of beauty. One which can hide most of my sins.

Then we got skint.

So now we have half our clothes in the loft, some in crates in our room, most in the laundry –

The tumble drier eeked out its death throes this morning, leaving the house smelling like burning rubber, my ears slightly sore and a large load of washing which I will struggle to dry.

I’m disgusted by the accumulation of shit. I’m grossed out by the Cheerios everywhere.

I know there are hairy spiders lurking under piles of crud.

There’s a three foot mountain of stuff by the cot.

I’m so desperately depressed about it.

It all feels a bit much.

Out

We went out today, Ru and I. We went out.

He was crying and crying, and I just needed some space, some air, so I put him in the pushchair and we went out.

No one messes with me when we go out.  No one. Because I look like a mental person. I mean, I am a mental person – or rather, I’m a person who has mental … mental things – but I look like one now.  Actually fucking look like it. My hair is lank, and falls round my face. Not framing it nicely. Oh no. Just kinda hangs there like the creature from that film The Grudge. It’s clean though my hair, I washed it for the second time this week, so it’s clean.

My eyes are sunken and engulfed by black bags and a stupid sadness which is leaking from I don’t know where.

My skin is awful, breaking out in scabs like I have some kind of infectious disease spreading across my chin, eating my face. Maybe I’ll turn into one big scab.

I don’t bother with nice clothes any more. I have a Muse T-shirt on. From a tour about seven years ago. It has baby sick on the sleeve but it covers my stick figure, hides the sins beneath, so it works.

The tracksuit bottoms I’m wearing, complete with al ittle stain of yellow poo, should go in the wash, or be burned. I would say they are the source of the smell which has been following me around for a few days.

Even the fucking crazies look at me like I’m crazy, whispering behind their hands.

No one messes with me.

The crazy is spreading.  Ru has it. I’m giving it to him in little doses. Maybe that shit travels in breastmilk. He’s wearing a grow that belonged to L. It still has banana stains down the front. Banana never fucking washes out, does it? You ask any parent. Banana stains and Weetabix – that’s what they need to start using to build houses. We’d survive everything if they did that.

The grow is red, and he is grumpy.

No one messes with us.

We went to the pond. Through the estate and down to the duck pond on the edge of the surrounding woodland.

Today there were ducks. Actual ducks floating on the putrid green water. I watched them for a bit with Ru.  He looked grumpy.

No upturned shopping trolley today.  No carrier bags drifting around, mouthes open ready to ingest an unsuspecting moorhen.  Just ducks.

We came back via one if the pathes  which cut through the closes, every second I checked behind us, wondering exactly how quickly I could run wearing flip-flops and pushing a pushchair.

Not very. I don’t think I would run very fast at all.

We got to the shops alive, and I spent a good ten minutes choosing a drink. Coke, Ribena, Lucozade, all twenty-three pence per 100ml. That’s a lot. Expensive.

Too expensive for me. Gotta count the pennies, pay for childcare.  Gotta save up.

Ah, water.

I choose water.

At the till, I’m served by the only looney, and even she eyed  me carefully like I’m some kind of rabid creature. I told her I needed electricity.

‘We were just wondering how old your little girl is.’ She said, looking at me with one eye, the other pointing off to the left.

‘Boy actually.’ I corrected her. It’s rude, isn’t it, to correct someone like that, but I’m crazy. Crazies can do what we like.

She looked embarrased and I pretended I didn’t notice her flushed cheeks.

‘He’s eighteen weeks.’ I removed my card from the machine without paying and it beeps angrily at me.

The girl next to me looked at me with sorrow and pity.

‘My youngest, she’s seven months and she’s half his size.’ She said, like it’s some kind of thing to have a little baby.

Like he’s some kind of transvestite giant baby and I’m to be pitied because I’m there in my mismatched clothes. I suppose she thought I hadn’t done it before.  I didn’t know what to expect, obviously, being stood there with just one child.

Just one child who looks fucking grumpy.

‘Yeah thanks.’ I smiled at her anyway.

She doesn’t know.

I left the shop and gulped back water like there’s no tomorrow.

Time to take my crazy home.

(Disclaimer: This is a brain-dump, semi-fictional account of what happened.)

My rollercoaster week

After the panic attack last week, I’ve been on a bit of a slippery slope.

Stress induced nausea is not fun.

Monday saw me trying to get an appointment at the Doctors, failing and feeling really shitty and as if no one wanted to help me.

Tuesday I went to a playgroup, knew no one, heard some women talking crap about breastfeeding and almost had a go at them.  I also found the staff member who came over to introduce herself quite condescending.  Oh and L wanted a drink, they told me snack time was over and then I caught one of the Cousins with a juice and a snack! So yeah, really not fun.  But I did get to have a heart to heart with OHs sister which I really enjoyed.

Ballet in the afternoon made me feel even worse when one of the other mums that I sort of know in passing turned up with her toddler and a 13 week old (I didn’t know she had two).  Her hair was done, she was wearing makeup and her kids behaved beautifully.   I hadn’t bothered to brush my hair, I was sweaty from a morning of chasing the toddler around and the Toddler decided to climb on the stage and refuse to go back in the car.  Oh and O needed to be fed all the way through.  So yeah, that left me feeling pretty crappy.  Especially when this woman started saying about how hard it was having 2! I know, I don’t know what her story is, and I don’t know that she didn’t just make herself up and things so that she didn’t feel shitty.  I’m probably being a bit unfair, but I was struggling.

Wednesday morning, shitting myself, I went to another playgroup with OHs sister….

And loved it.

The group has a very women friendly community feel.   The kids are in an entirely safe environment.  Everyone pitches in.  They have an arts and crafts half hour, which L loved.  They even got out the bouncy chair for O so I didn’t have to carry him around.  The other mothers were lovely and the ladies who run it were absolutely magnificent.  Loved it loved it.  Hearts.

Wednesday afternoon I went to view a preschool for L while we are still having issues.  Ended up enrolling her.  There was another woman there whose little girl and L kept fighting.  When I say fighting I mean they kept trying to sit on the same chair.  L is VERY strong-willed (why we clash – she’s as pig-headed as her mother!) and if someone is doing something unfairly, she will correct them.  (I caught her telling older children off for going up the slidey bit of the slide on Tuesday!)  Seeing as The Toddler seemed pretty at home there, we went for it.  Plus they gave us free food (always a bonus!)

Thursday I spent the morning with OHs sister again.  More bonding and chatting.  I wish there was something I could do to help her just get some time to herself at the moment so she can finish the things she needs to do, but short of taking her kids in place of my own, right now I’m helpless.  All I can do is go round there and make sure cousin 3 and cousin 4 and L and O don’t kill each other.  Maybe that’s enough for now.

Then today.  Today was L’s first day at the preschool.  We dropped her off (late) and then came home and did some housework.  We now have a nice clean bedroom (you couldn’t see the floor for laundry before) and O and I had some lovely cuddles and spent some time together just laughing at each other.  When she came home, she napped and then seemed a lot calmer than she has been.  She was well-behaved there too.  I think this is going to be good for her.  I’ve booked her in for Mondays and Fridays for the next couple of weeks.  I still have no idea what I’m going to do once our Childminder comes back, but I’ll worry about that when we get to it.  For the moment, I have two days a week which aren’t costing us any extra where I can actually get the house cleaned up and not looking like a crap hole.

I made a wanker sign at some impatient idiot who then pulled up beside me at the traffic lights.  What a dick (me!)  I seriously thought he was going to get out and twat me one.  It’s horrible having to avoid eye contact with the driver in the car next to you knowing that you just called him a name and he’s probably seething and thinking “There’s enough time for me to get out here…” Luckily he didn’t and the whole incident was a bit of a misunderstanding anyway.  I could have talked my way out of it.  Probably.

This evening I had to go out and feed mums cat, who is really very lonely already and it’s only night 1.  I did give her some fussing and made sure everything was clean ready for my bro in the morning, so she should be ok. I’ll go and give her some more love tomorrow.

On the way back, without the kids in the car and driving around in the dusk, I realised that when I start the massage part of my business, this is the time I would be going to work.  And it felt GOOD.  Now I can’t wait for the journey to begin.

Something to keep me going

I have been let down in a time of need by the health service.

It took me an hour to get through to them and when I eventually did they informed me there were no available appointments…I hung up and cried. No one wanted to help me.  I was making the first move and no one wanted to hear my SOS.

The day went on and I was either pinned to the sofa by a baby or sticking stickers on my forehead with the toddler and unable to get to the phone.

I need to contact my health visitor.

She is awesome.  She gets it.  She also has this theory that a small level of PND is normal.  That not feeling an instant bond is normal and not anything to be ashamed of.

That the sinking feeling of panic when you suddenly have sole responsibility is normal and it makes you rise to the challenge.  Because, as mothers we do.  Its part of our job.  No matter how shit we feel, how much we don’t want to get out of bed, how much we want to hang ourselves to make it all go away, we still make sure our offspring are clean, fed and watered.

I don’t want to be dumped in the PND pile by a Dr who quite frankly, as an asian male, has never experienced motherhood so has no idea (that is a slight on his sex, not his race) and will just refer to the community nurses and health visiting team anyway

What I need is a quick fix. A pill to stop the sick.  Just until December. Then I’ll have a whole host of new problems to face.

I already have some travel bands just in case.

Prozac makes me vomit.

Why things aren’t so bad

I feel like a bit of a fraud to be honest.  I spend a lot of my time thinking about how I personally, in my soon-to-be business and day-to-day life as a mother can help other women in the midst of PND.

I wanted to be strong, and living proof that you can come through it and be happy and a good mum and…I’m just not.

I really dislike posting melodramatic negative stuff because my future is actually full of really positive things, which I believe will help me to deal with the not so great stuff.  So it pains me to be constantly whining and melancholy here.

Because in all honesty, my life isn’t that bad at all.  I have two kids who are both bright and healthy and mostly happyish.  I have a loving, sex-starved partner.  Both sets of parents are super supportive and I have aunties and uncles and a brother who would do anything they could to help.  I have Mummies on tap 247 who can offer advice or virtual hugs and support and a lodger who loves my children.

I have a job.  Even though I hate said job, I have a job to go back to while I retrain.  I have a house.  It’s a nice house, a big, comfy house. I love my house.

I have a car and I have the ability to drive it anywhere…

So why am I still feeling tired and sick and anxious and stressed? I don’t feel like I have PND. It’s not dark here.  It’s slightly hopeless, and I’m scared, but I don’t hate myself or want to cut or feel tortured.  I’m not in a hole.  I don’t want to constantly run far far away.

But how can I help to heal others when I haven’t even manage to heal myself?  How can I help while I too am ailing?

 

The big PND

I always figured I would end up doing more than one post about post-natal depression.

In fact, I had always intended on it getting a page with links here on the blog.

Instead, the most brave thing I have done is hint at it in my posts and talk about feeling like a failure as a parent.

However, I think the failure thing is quite common and not linked to PND.

So, here we go.

I didn’t have PND with my second baby.  Or at least if I did, I didn’t suffer as badly. I’m sure I would have known.

After The Toddler was born, I was scared.  I was scared of losing her.  I was scared of letting her and my family down, I was in pain, I was scared of failing at breastfeeding.

I was going stir crazy and I was lonely.

I walked out.

I shouted.

I self harmed.

I didn’t eat.

I didn’t love my baby.

I wanted to protect her and I looked after her because I had no choice. If I didn’t, she wouldn’t survive.  I didn’t bond with her.  I was happy for other people pick her up and look after her and take her away.  I wanted them to! I didn’t want to cuddle her.  I was horrified at myself for not feeling madly in love with her.  I was disgusted that I was so ungrateful when there are people out there who can’t have children trying so hard to get pregnant and failing. I was ashamed that I had been one of those people and it had broken my heart that every month we failed and failed, then finally, when she was here, I wanted to take it all back.

I hated my partner. I hated that he got to go to work away from it. (I still don’t like this but he gets it now!)

I had quite a public telling off from someone on Facebook for moaning about not wanting to spend time with my daughter in the early days and ceased to function for two days.

I went to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and met some other lovely mums who felt at war with their children all the time.  They told tales of multiple miscarriages, or friends dying, or stillborns and I had none of that.  I felt like I was wasting every body elses time just being there.

After O was born, my Health visitor (who also ran the CBT group) asked me about how I felt when I had PND and I was shocked when the memories nearly bought me to tears.

They were dark days.

I’m sad I don’t remember much about The Toddlers’ first few weeks with us.

I feel a little pang of self loathing when I think that I missed out on all those cuddles with her.

I still have bad days now.