Though I often cry at the silliest things - Mastercard advertisements (UK people - the Christmas advert - hello??), melodramatic Lifetime movies with Meredith Baxter Not-Birney, and the like. I can't even think of old people and their pets without getting teary.
However, there are occasions where I am so affected by something I've heard or read, that I can't stop thinking about it. In this case, I'm even having trouble talking about it. A couple of weeks ago, a woman's body was found on one of the motorways not far from where I live. She had walked onto the motorway in the path of many oncoming cars, where she was struck numerous times. It was soon discovered that the woman had recently given birth to twins, and was suffering from severe post-natal depression.
I saw an interview with the husband on TV a few days ago. He was holding one of the babies and (understandably) struggled to finish the interview. In the article I have linked to above he states that he realised how depressed she was, and promised to get her to the doctor the very next day. She was so close to getting help, but unfortunately it didn't happen soon enough for her.
This situation is so difficult for me to think about because of the problems I had after P was born. Post-natal depression is not a foreign concept to me, and I have also seen other bloggers suffer through it. Any one of us could have so easily reached a point when we didn't want to live anymore, and I would be lying if I said the thought had never crossed my mind after P's birth.
One time, when P was about 2 months old, she screamed for two days with not much rest. She was hoarse because of it, and the resulting noise was a horrid, nails-on-chalkboard, unholy screech. I had difficulty coping at first, and it soon spiralled into me being unable to even hold her. I was yelling at The Dude to take her, because I was afraid of what I would do. I shut myself in our bedroom, screamed into pillows, scratched myself, and wondered how I could stop my pain. I acknowledged my complete irrationality, but at the same time came to the conclusion that I might have been going insane. I could see no way out, as I was saddled with this baby that never shut up, and I was still struggling to love her. How can you love something you don't want to have anything to do with?
The truth is not always out there. No one really tells you how horrible your life might be for awhile. No one said anything to me, and I'm still unbelievably pissed off that I was lead down this path blindfolded. I only wrote about some of my feelings, but looking back on my blog at that time it's only the cusp of what I was really going through. I was not diagnosed with post-natal depression despite being told a few times that I *might* have it, but still nothing was done. I was left, alone, to dislike my child and hate myself for that lack of love I was feeling.
Writing here was an act of catharsis for me, and in retrospect, to help other women. I know some come here after googling things which are secret...combinations of words which should never be said. I want these women to read my posts and realise that what they're feeling is not wrong, and that there is a way to get through it.
My heart breaks for the husband and two infants who have lost their wife and mother, a woman who was in so much pain that she viewed her actions as the only way out. It saddens me that help is so close, but so far away when you're in that place. No one should ever, ever feel that way.
In the off chance that you have come to this blog looking for reassurance, a month, a year, or three years after I've babbled incoherently and not been nearly as eloquent as I would have hoped, you can get through this. It may not seem that way now, but you will know good times with your baby, trust me. The most important thing is to talk about it, acknowledge your feelings. Talk to your partner, friends, GP, just make sure you don't go through this silent and alone. I am not someone who can help a woman through post-natal depression, as lord knows I have enough problems of my own. However, please email me if you just want validation that what you're feeling is normal. I can at least do that.