Friday, September 17, 2010

Feeling the anger of postpartum depression

Last night I was mad. Loading the dishwasher, I wanted to open the back door and crash every dish onto the cement back steps. I wanted to kick the dishwasher and throw pots and pans out into the back yard. I wanted to cry or scream or something. I didn't know. I was just angry.

At my husband.

Because I was loading the dishwasher and he was watching football.

I was so angry at him in that moment. Today, I see that all I had to do was ask for his help. I could have just asked him to load the dishwasher. He would have.

But instead I slammed bottles into the top rack, fuming at how inconsiderate he was.

Even though he had spent all evening with me looking for a new crib. Even though he went all the way to the store for me just because I felt like a soda. Even though he watched our daughter, fed her and changed her so I could make my favorite - tomato soup. Even though when I cry like mad or crumble to pieces or give up on a day, he always, always is kind.

I finished loading the dishes and went to bed. He brought me my medicine. I apologized for my anger. He climbed into bed with me and hugged me tight as a I cried.

I'm just ready to feel normal. I want to load the dishwasher without incident. I don't want to feel angry at my loving husband. Thankfully, I've never felt this rage toward M. It must be so terrifying for moms who feel anger at their children. I can't believe a mother would ever intend to hurt her child, so feeling so angry at a baby must be horrifying.

This morning I happen to come across - of all things - a blog about a postpartum anger. While this woman's anger was more trigger by her period than PPD, a lot of teh comments that followed were about PPD anger. Here are a few of them:
  • "I put my foot through a wicker chair because my husband wasn't home in time for the fish fry at a local legion. Like my foot went through it. I punched a hole in our pantry. I kicked my bathroom wall. And when the anger was so intense, I resorted to cutting my arms to release the pain. It's awful and I was very frightened that o wouldn't control it. But I guess that's how PPD makes you feel...out of control."
  • "Oh my gosh, the anger...I think that might have been one of the worst parts of PPD for me. It was insane, all-consuming, white-hot anger that was so frightening to behold. I've thrown a cell phone through a wall."
  • "I think that was my first clue that something was really going on with me. I have an 18 yr history of depression, but I have NEVER had the rage Ive felt with PPD. I get that feeling of fire in my chest and I thing Im literally going to explode."
I'm grateful now that I didn't actually pitch the dishes out the back door.

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