Thursday, July 11, 2013

Have I become "that" Mom?

It's been a whirlwind couple of days.  I've been incredibly angry at, well, everything and everyone. 

Back up about 4 years ago.

The birth of my daughter brought about my first experience with post-partum depression or PPD.  It was mild, as if you can call any depression mild. But it wasn't something that I could definitely say was PPD until a year and a half later when I had my son.  Full on PPD.  And not the, I can't eat anything and don't want to get out of bed kind.  No, this was anger.  Lots and lots of anger.  Perhaps it's my Italian-Irish roots but when I get angry, heaven help whatever inanimate object is around me.  So, I was diagnosed, went to therapy, went on medication and, ultimately, came out of my funk.  I survived.  I pushed away the guilt of having not bonded as well as I could with my son.  I moved on.

But this was a bad week.  I haven't had this bad of a week in a very long time.  And it makes me wonder if I need help again.  Should I have not gotten off the anti-depressant? Am I really depressed or am I just angry?  Maybe I'm just an angry person and that's part of my personality.  I'm not sure. 

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

I often think I'm going through the stages of grieving and I got stuck in the anger phase.  Grieving what exactly?  My loss of life after I had children.  Sounds incredibly selfish when you write it out, doesn't it?  But I was a successful working woman who was able to spend her time the way I wanted and could take vacations when I wanted or sleep in when I wanted.  And I, I, I, I...  Now, it's never about me.  It's about  my children.  But you made that choice.  Yes, I did.  I guess I just didn't realize how hard it would be to give up the career and any and all time for myself.  Shouldn't you have thought of that before you had children? I'm sure I did.  And I had this Polyanna existence mapped out in my head which never came to be.  I'm not living the euphoric life as a Mom I thought I should be and I gave up what I was happy with so where does that leave me?

Angry.  Very, very angry.

So much so that I received an email from a "friend" calling me on my raw emotions and how I'm interacting with my children.  I know I haven't been the best Mom and she called me on it--telling me that I should get help.  I appreciate it, I do.  It was a good wake up call.  But I guess I just got annoyed that after she told me all this, she said she's going to back off for a bit because that's her way to deal.  Really?  So you tell someone that you can see they're hurting, that they need help and then say I'll see you later?  Just disappointing.  I've been so open with my PPD in the hopes that if someone saw me going down that path again, they'd call me on it. Which she did.  But I guess I just assumed that with that, there'd be some sort of life raft to go with it.  Not just, well, I see you're having a hard time and I'm going to tell you about it but now I expect you to keep doing what you're doing with no additional help just extra shame and embarrassment.  I guess I shouldn't expect more.  This is how she can deal with my problem.  I shouldn't blame her for it.  I guess I'm just disappointed that I don't have as good a friend in her as I thought. 

So, where does that leave me?  Getting through the next couple of days without yelling, spanking, or breaking anything. 

Yesterday was abysmal.
Today was successful.
Tomorrow is hopeful.