On Postpartum Depression

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 27, 2018

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Submitted: October 27, 2018

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The truth is that I feel completely awful almost all of the time. Sitting here in a fog. Recently I’ve developed a terrible painful burning, a literal burning, in the pit of my stomach. It’s the anxiety. It started as a mild feeling occasionally throughout the day. But it grows. It’s become something that starts in the morning and persists. Persistence. That’s how I would describe my own thoughts. Persistent, permeating, perfectly self-defeating. Wallowing in self-pity. A disgusting, ridiculous, pointless cycle.

Sometimes he never stops talking. His lack of empathy and his disregard is fuel for the fire in my stomach. The mere sound of his voice, even the look on his face before he starts speaking, can create this unbearable tension. I feel a growing and terrible urge to punch myself in the face as hard as possible. Instead I’m in the bathroom, kneeling, doubled over, punching and punching the meat of my upper thighs over and over and over. Bruises. The pain of the bruises reminds me to hate. The hatred protects me from further self-destruction.

How does a person forgive? Should they? One week after I gave birth he looked at my exhausted, shell-shocked face and asked if I could mow the lawn. While I was desperate inside, for sleep, for validation, for respect, for understanding. That was when I knew I was alone. And so I have remained. The old me, sensitive and sweet, claws from inside of my stomach but is contained there. Release would mean losing this battle.

I am absolutely trapped. This new body, visibly soft but hardened inside, has become a prisoner of love. From the womb of this body came a being so perfect and innocent that I would rather shred myself to pieces than leave him. While the father of a tiny 6 pound baby was consumed with worry over the length of the lawn, the baby and I were falling in love. And so we have remained. And that love, though fraught with worry, fear, and discomfort, and intertwined with self-doubt on my part, only continues to grow.

 


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