The hardest part of all of this postpartum crap that I'm experiencing isn't the sadness and anxiety and hopeless feelings. It's the anger that is always sitting there, waiting to escape. The complete lack of patience, the short fuse. Constantly having to control the urge to yell and throw things and just hit something because CHRIST WHY DO I HAVE TO SAY THE SAME THINGS OVER AND OVER AGAIN???
I remember my mom when I was younger and living with her. Her rage that was always simmering just below the surface. How the slightest little thing would set her off. Constantly walking on eggshells because I didn't want to make her mad. How I always just knew her anger was my fault (because that's what she told me) and because I didn't do a better job of keeping my brothers quiet or keeping the house picked up or WHATEVER it was that infuriated her that particular day.
I'm so scared that I'm turning into her. I'm wondering now if she was struggling like I am now and just unable to keep it all in.
I received encouragement today from a new friend. She writes at Farewell, Stranger and is @FarewellStrangr on The Twitter. She is so much better at expressing how it feels than I am and she kindly agreed to allow me to share her words with you. These are excerpts from her post entitled: Postpartum Rage: My Story, Part 1
"Imagine a time you totally lost your temper. When you were so consumed by anger you felt it as a physical thing, adrenaline racing through your body and blocking out all rational thought. When your first instinct, as though it were primal, was to throw something so it would shatter into a thousand pieces and break whatever spell had overtaken you."
Imagine a time? I have those feelings almost EVERY day. I'm exhausted trying to keep them in so that the kids aren't petrified of me. Sometimes when I get mad and start slamming stuff around, they flinch when I move too quickly. I will never forgive myself for that.
"I was desperately sleep deprived. I had no patience. Anger was my constant companion."
Harper is in the middle of what we think is a growth spurt. She's up at least 4-5 times a night the last few nights. Brad and I are both completely exhausted.
"It raised its ugly head when I had spent hours trying to get him to sleep only to have him immediately wake up screaming."
I haven't been to work in two days. I'm so very very tired and feeling like I just can't cope much longer. So of course I'm worried about losing my job, which keeps me awake too.
"It brought me to tears when he woke up every half hour at night and I was so tired I wanted to die and had no idea how I was ever going to get through the night, never mind the next day."
It takes every bit of strength that I have not to just shriek at the kids for being loud, for squabbling, for having to be told to do the same things OVER and OVER again.
"For months the inside of my head was screaming because I was so angry and I didn’t know what to do about it."
Every day that I don't freak out I try to consider a success. Everyone who supports me tells me that I need to take baby steps, to celebrate the little things, and to forgive myself.
"It simmered beneath the surface all the time, a bubbling pot of anger that threatened, every day, to spill over."
I just worry that one of these days the lid is going to pop off of the pressure cooker and KABOOM! ...one big explosion of anger will come pouring out. I worry that I'll say things that I can't take back. I worry that I will do permanent harm to the relationships I have with my children or my husband. I worry I will say hurtful things that I don't mean.
Whenever the kids require discipline, I have to make myself not berate and belittle them and say things like "How many times do I have to tell you..." or "Jesus Christ I'm better off doing it myself!!". I have to make myself not scream at them over small and STUPID CRAP that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
I love my family. Right now I do not love myself.
No one really understands how much energy it takes for me to maintain a semblance of normalcy and I'm not sure I can 'fake it until I make it' much longer.
I have weekly appointments scheduled with my therapist for the next month and she suggested seeing their psychiatrist to discuss alternative medication options. I cannot wait because frankly? I'm sick of being a raging bitch all of the time, even if so far it's only been in my head. I just want it to stop before it comes pouring out and hurts the ones I love.