After his birth, I had nightmares. I dreaded going to sleep. I would wake up crying, or screaming. I would relive the pain. I felt the burning. Felt the cutting. I was jumpy. The phone would ring, and I would literally jump, and burst into tears. I hated seeing people. Crowds would seem overwhelming. Even the supermarket seemed too much.
“PTSD makes you disconnected, you know that? From everything. You have to be. If you connect all day, with everything, it will fry your brain and leave you a sobbing heap.”*
I was suffering from PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but worse, I didn’t know it.
I thought there was something wrong with me. Other people had babies, and coped, why couldn’t I?
I tried talking to my midwife. She told me that it was normal to feel ‘odd’ after having a baby. She made me feel like I was overreacting. She discharged me after the usual time, and congratulated me on being such a good mother. She left that day, and I cried. I balled.
When Master D has his 12 week immunisations done, I tried talking to the nurse there. She told me it took time to settle into life after a baby. She made me feel like I was overreacting. She told me I was clearly doing something right, as Master D was such a happy baby. I drove home that day in tears.
I tried talking to my then-husband. He listened quietly. Offered no help, no solutions, no thoughts. I felt like I was overreacting.
Everywhere I turned I felt like I was hitting a stone wall. I started doubting myself. I guess I was overreacting. I guess waking up screaming at night is normal. I guess being unable to get out of the car at the supermarket, as the idea of seeing people is just too much, is normal. I guess not eating all day, because even the thought of eating makes you feel sick, is normal. I guess loving your baby so much that you tried so hard to look normal to the outside world, is normal.
Problem was, it wasn’t. I needed help and I didn’t get it.
* Lori from Random Ramblings of a SAHM