Wednesday, May 20, 2009

it's real.

One day, when Miss O was about seven months old, I left her with Uncle Benna for the day. I packed up all my clothes in laundry baskets, put gas in my car, and drove away. 

I wasn't going anywhere in particular, but I needed to go.

I was suffocating and stressed and a miserable wreck. And nobody knew. If they did know, they sure didn't say anything to me. I felt broken and alone, an unpleasant cocktail of postpartum depression and birth control.

And for sure I didn't say anything. On one hand, I like to be in control. It was more than I could handle to mention that I just couldn't handle any more of anything. On the other hand, I was crippled physically and emotionally. I couldn't describe how I was feeling, I had no words at all.

I drove around in my loaded-to-the-gills minivan all day. I considered visiting a friend in Cleveland, but the thought of driving there--a trip I had made hundreds of times--terrified me.

So I went to garage sales.

I realize that makes no sense.

I did go home later that day, and I remember clearly the look on The Mister's face when I pulled in the driveway, a mixture of relief and she's-gone-off-the-deep-end-don't-let-her-know-how-crazy-you-think-she-is.

I had a pretty firm grasp on how crazy I was.

I stopped the birth control pill, and that helped enormously. Eventually things seemed to even out.

I hit another rocky patch after Wee Man was born, fortunately we were on the look out for The Crazies to return. I had a back-up plan in place just in case things started to get out of hand. People were keeping an eye on me for signs that I was reaching my limit. So even though the postpartum zombie came back to bite me again, it wasn't as bad with the safety net.

Things weren't bad at all after HB was born, other than the not sleeping at night thing he had working. Fortunately, that cleared up after eleven long months.

And now Sweets is here. I could tell this was going to be tough. Back in December I started to lose it. And he wasn't even born yet.

So I went on the Keep It Together Pills, and they've been simply lovely. Meaning, I have been lovely. I check with The Mister to make sure I'm really and truly as lovely as I think I am, because my Pamela Barometer doesn't always match up with other people's Pamela Barometer. And despite having to live with me, he does tell the truth.

Also, for the record, I was totally kidding about being mad at him for shattering my life the French Press. I felt like you all might have been concerned for him, and I want to assure you that his life is not in jeopardy. I actually had him read that post before I posted it to make sure it was all right with him. And it was. He even laughed.

Back to the story about Whack Job Me. Because it's my blog, and I can make it all about me if'n I wanna. That's why.

Where was I? Right. The Keep It Together Pills.

They're not as effective now as they were in December. And this is stressing us all out. My fuse is shorter, my house is messier, our diet includes a whole lot more empty calories than usual, I'm a little less nice... and each of those statements is in the running for Understatement Of The Year.

Why am I bringing this up? Aside from the obvious It's My Blog And I Can Make It All About Me If'n I Wanna? I know I'm not the only one. But I only know that because I've been through this tunnel before. And the first two times I was in this here tunnel, I didn't know that I wasn't alone.

It's just that the tunnel can be so dark that you can't see the other mamas who are standing right next to you. We're all holding our breath in here. That's why it's so quiet. And our hearts are all beating so loudly in our ears that we can't hear the shuffling feet and the dripping tears of the other mamas in the tunnel.

We are all there, together. Don't forget.


  1. oy--i. have. been. there. i lived under the darkest cloud for the first 6 months of amelie's life and had no idea what was wrong with me--until, the cloud lifted. it was such a lonely/awful time--i'm glad that you have help and know what you need. praying for you and your family and hope that it passes quickly. God bless you!

  2. what to say...I'm prayin for you...& this to (one day) shall pass.

  3. I'm here, actually not that far away, for you sister...

    Maybe the dose needs adjustment? Just a have a different body now - hormones etc.

    Be well...we have to get together soon...perhaps after this baby decides to stop sitting on one single nerve in my right hip???


  4. I didn't even realize what it was until my first was 1 year old. The keep-it-together pills saved our entire family. I even had to take them when I was pregnant with # 2. SO. NOT. ALONE.

  5. some of us mamas are out of the tunnel... we're praying for you, and holding our hands out, you'll make it!

  6. I give you a high five...even though I am not a Momma! But Klonopin is my friend!! And I totally understand...sometimes I am not quite sure where all my happy chemicals ran off to...but they do come back! THANKFULLY!

  7. currently not in the tunnel. but not far out of there ... funny thing though ... there is a chainlink of hand-holdin' goin' on. because at any one time ... we all have friends that ARE in there.
    you'll make it. we all will.

  8. Thanks hun! I am feeling a little "crazy" these days patience, lack of motivation, and just being plan on huge doesn't help! I am praying things even out after the baby is born (they have in the past) because the happy pills seem to help! I am here in the tunnel with you right now so lets let out an echoing scream together and see how long the tunnel actually is!!!

  9. Was that you that bumped into me in the dark yesterday?

    (and here I was thinking it was just Matt Damon.. again.)

    I haven't done the whole ppd thing, aside from very mildly. But I am NO stranger to depression and The Pit of Despair. We're like practically BFFs.

    I love you.

    and if by some miracle we all actually make it to Cornerstone? we can totally hold hands and sing Kum-ba-ya - with or without KeepItTogetherPills.

  10. CPM- y'all are going. i'll bring two sitters if i have to.

  11. I'm sorry you're having a crap time of it. I've been there, even though I didn't know I was there until after I wasn't there anymore, and no one seemed to realize I was fucked up enough to need help. I just wish that I had had my blog back then. I think it would have helped tremendously, because at the time I felt very isolated. Now I know there are so many women out there that go through the same things I do and are there to commiserate.

    If you ever need to talk or write angry letters or whatever, I am here. I will totally give you my real phone number and everything. Also, if you saw my house right now I think you would feel better. And I don't even have an infant.


  12. (rawhonestrealyoumademecrydammit)

    You do what you need to do to keep it together. My dear, I understand; not from the Momma side of things, but I understand. Those tunnels can be awful dark, I know.

    I have a room reserved for you in my heart. It has some candles, and its safe and warm. Thinkinandprayingforyou(handsonheart)

  13. And we're here for you darlin. Take care. __hugs__

  14. Thank you for the follow!!


  15. I cane here to thank you for your support on violence unsilenced, but will send you healing energy, which I am capable of doing,

  16. Load up the minivan, shove as many kids in it as you can, and come on down.

    We'll feed you, let you sleep, play with your kids, and, by comparison, you'll feel like your shit is so together compared to the chaos that is my life, it'll be like expensive therapy. But not.

    Serious about the offer, though.

  17. I don't remember which baby I was currently breastfeeding at my book club - and I don't remember what book we were reading. Nor do I remember the name of the main character. I only remember that one night she had kids throwing up and a husband who was gone...and she left. She up and got in her car (after calling somebody to come over and sit with the vomitting kids) and drove away for several days. Nobody knew where she had gone or when / if she was coming back. And I just remember sitting there with the black circles under my eyes and my milk-stained shirt saying, "What is wrong with that? What is wrong with leaving?" in a small and stifling room full of other women who were obviously not entertaining thoughts of fleeing from their children. I have fled several times, sometimes just to drive around aimlessly, other times with some crazy destination in mind....this is real life. Ain't it grand? Mostly?

  18. Just being aware of it and how it affects things probably is half the battle, I would imagine.

    All hormones aside, I can see why postpartum is so difficult and overwhelming, just by the practicalities of it all.

    I hope you feel better soon!


talk to me, people. because you know i get all giddy when you do.