Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Asking For Help

Posted by Anonymous.

Things have been building for a while.

My husband has been battling some deep depression issues, work hasn't been going really well for him, and a hundred stupid things at home. And we're leaving for a 2 week trip tomorrow, which no one has packed for.

When we moved into the new apartment, we signed up with the only option for cable (until August, that is) RCN. RCN assigned us a home number that apparently belonged to a credit deadbeat. We get multiple phone calls a day for "Maureen" from creditors. Having filed for bankruptcy when I was 20, I know what creditor phone calls sound like. And having spent the last 10 years rebuilding my credit and paying a steep penanance for my idiocy at 18, I really don't appreciate creditor calls. Especially when they're not for me. Especially when they refuse to take the number off their call list because the person they're looking for doesn't live here. ESPECIALLY when Rent a Center flat out called me a liar and accused me of being this Maureen person who was just trying to get them to stop calling. We have been trying to fix this for almost 2 months. We even went so far as to re-hook up our Vonage line for several weeks to see if that would help. Nope. RCN in their infinite wisdom decided to make our number unlisted....because that totally helps when the people who are calling are creditors who ALREADY HAVE THE FUCKING NUMBER. Yesterday I spent 3 hours straightening the matter out with supervisors and managers. I have my "new number"

Or so I thought.

Because guess who I got a call for this morning. When I called my cell to check the's still the old one.

So I was pretty cranky.

When the baby woke up, I was so excited because she drank six ounces of formula which was the most she'd ever eaten in a sitting. She had gotten up to 4 regularly and had drank 5 oz during her last 3 feedings yesterday. She burped and it all seemed okay. Except a half hour later she was sitting next to me, and picked up my cell phone. And a minute later made a face and before I even realized what had happened, she puked up a good 2 ounces...right onto my phone.

Of course my first reaction was to calm her, cuddle her, and get her out of her now soaked pj's.

Then I picked up my phone and wiped it off. When my friend called me about our plans this afternoon, I couldn't hear her...until I turned on the speaker phone. My ear speaker wasn't working...fuck. My husband took a look at my phone and then both speakers started giving off feedback. Dead. Not covered by warranty.

My phone is dead. Which is a $400 problem. I don't currently have $400.

I haven't been sleeping well, and what little sleep I have gotten hasn't been high quality.

The last week I've randomly been having dizzy spells where I feel like I'm going to pass out for no reason.

And I realize now that I just hadn't been taking my meds...any of them...allergy, antidepressants, vitamins at night in at least a week or two. Probably since the night that my husband kept me up until 4 am to sort out the flights for a vacation in August.

I don't know what it is or why, but the phone was the last straw.

My husband wouldn't listen to me when I tried to explain what was wrong with the phone and then told me it was fine. I ended up screaming at him until he understood what was wrong. I screamed at him so much that he just gave up and left for work.

Then the baby started crying.

It was like someone had taken a match to the straw.

Anger ripped through me. At her, at the world, at everything. I threw something into my bedside table drawer and slammed it. The alarm clock fell of my bedside table and I picked it up and began to bash my bedside table with it.

The baby cried louder.

I screamed at her to shut up.

For a second what I wanted to do wasn't to throw my alarm clock at the table, but to throw her.

It scared me shitless.

I picked her up, ran to the living room, put her in the pack n play, ran back to the bedroom and slammed the door. I picked up the phone and told my husband that I was a danger to the baby and to get home NOW. I then ran to the bathroom and shut that door. I curled up on the floor and sobbed. Not crying...gasping screaming keening sobbing.

I quickly catalogued all the ways I could hurt myself. To punish myself for almost hurting my 8 month old who had done nothing wrong.

I thought about leaving.

I thought about giving her up for adoption.

I thought about suicide.

I thought about hospitalizing myself.

I don't know how long it was until my husband came home. Probably only 5 or 10 minutes. He didn't see the baby in her pack n play so he found me and was clearly scared when he asked me where she was. He checked on her and reassured me that she was okay.

I couldn't look at him. I couldn't do anything but sob.

He asked me flat out if I needed to go to the Emergency Room. I said I didn't know.

He arranged for our daughter to spend a day with her grandparents.

I think the worst part of today is that I don't want to admit it to anyone I know. I have a therapist and a psychiatrist. I'm scared to tell them about this. I'm scared that it might involve DSS. That she might be taken away from me. That I might be hospitalized. I don't want my child to grow up with the mom in the mental institution. I don't want my husband to have to go through that either. I don't want to the relative that everyone talks about in hushed tones, like the former wife of one of my great uncles who committed suicide or the first wife of one of my husband's uncles who is a shameful family secret.

I don't want to raise my daughter to fear me because I'm unpredictable. I don't want her to cringe from me because she's scared I might hurt her. After all, I went through that with my own mother, who has serious depression but who has never sought help. When I complained, I was told just to deal with it and that 'it's just how she is."

Sometimes I wonder if I had any right to reproduce. To pass on my flawed genetic code.

I'm relieved that she's okay. But I haven't forgiven myself---I don't know that I ever can.

I have an appointment with my therapist and I will either force myself to tell her or re-evaluate our relationship. If I can't tell her things like this, then it's not the right therapist/patient mix. I took my meds today and will build back to the higher dosage.

It's frightening because now I can understand how women spiral out of control. How bad things happen to children at the hands of their mothers. How PPD or even just plain old depression can magnify and twist life's little problems into insurmountable anger filled hazes. How that anger can consume anyone who's unfortunate to be in your path.

I have recognized it. I can name it. Now I have to admit to it and ask for help.


Vic said...

I recognise so much of this in myself. I've been at that point where I couldn't go near my baby for fear of what I might do to him, knowing that if I did, it wouldn't be safe for either of us.
Eventually I got up the courage to speak with my doctor, and she was more hopeful than I could ever have imagined. And, while I may not have admitted it to my family (five years on my husband still doesn't know), there were a wealth of professionals out there who were equipped to deal with exactly what I was going through.
Don't be afraid to reach out to those who can help you, and although it sounds like a no-brainer, don't forget to keep taking the meds, especially if they're working.
I'll be thinking of you - please let us know how you're getting on.

Jill said...

What you did... stopping yourself, recognizing your emotions were dangerously out of control, asking for help and accepting it.... those are all positive signs. You didn't hurt your baby. You didn't throw the alarm clock. You may have been close, but you didn't cross the line that's what matters. I hope you can be honest with your therapist. I can't imagine DCS being involved in a case like this. If so, almost every mother I know would be under close watch and that's just simply not the case. Everyone has reached their breaking point. I think you should give yourself credit for pulling yourself back from the brink. You did the right thing.

Jaden Paige said...

I totally agree with Jill... You took all the right steps when you realized your emotions were out of control, and you deserve credit for that.

Everyone reaches a breaking point like this at some time- nobody is going to commit you for reaching it, too. *hugs* to you. Don't think for a minute that having one incident like this means you aren't a good mom or that you didn't have the "right" to reproduce. You obviously care deeply about your baby- enough to take steps to protect her even from yourself when you worried that it might get dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Everyone, EVERY mother has moments when they think the unthinkable. What makes you a good mom, a good person, is that in that moment, you chose the right thing, you did EVERYTHING exactly right! You listed lots of people you don't want to be. But you DO want to be the person your family talks about with pride. "She got her life together. She turned things around." You want to be an example to your baby. "You think college is hard? Your mom wouldn't have blinked at that. Look at what she did to keep her life in the right direction." You have such possibilities and everything you said makes me think you are walking down the right path. It might not seem like it now, but keeping walking, keep reaching for the courage, and I KNOW all the way to my toes you'll get there. Baby steps, sweetie. You're doing great.

Anonymous said...

15 years ago, I could have written this very same post. You're not alone. You aren't a bad person. And I will echo the others who have said you did the right things.

Don't let fear keep you from reaching out for help. And you're right... if you can't tell your therapist, you need a new therapist.

One day at a time. You will be ok.

Thrift Store Mama said...

If you "don't want to raise my daughter to fear me because I'm unpredictable" then you need to tell your therapist about this. Once you CHOOSE to have a child, it's not about you anymore.

Anonymous said...

I could have written this. I have tears streaming down my face. It has been such a bad day. I don't know what to do to help myself.

But hearing that someone else is there, has been there... that helps. Thank you.

Kelly said...

You've already taken the first few steps, believe it or not.
1 - you separated yourself from your child, ensuring that you would NOT harm her.
2 - you called your husband and told him what was going on.
3 - you wrote this out, dissected it in your own mind, and shared it publicly.
4 - You know there's an issue, and you're not willing to let it continue.
So, while I know you'll continue to beat yourself up over it, cut yourself some slack too... because you did a damn good job of handling it. Now, you just need to be honest with your therapist, so that you can find a way to deal with this, allowing both you and your child to come out the other end safely. Like someone else said, I think what you'll find is that people are willing to HELP, and support you in this - not turn you over to DCS. You've done nothing wrong, you stopped yourself. And that's a sign that you ARE a good mother, just having a hard time coping.
Wishing you the best, but I really think it will all work out.

Anonymous said...

You are not the only Mommy to almost lose it entirely --but you are a good Mommy for keeping your baby safe. You are a good Mommy for getting help, going back on your meds, and finding a way to move forward. Try to let go of the guilt -- your little one doesn't need you to be perfect --she would much prefer that you get help and are there when she hits her teens, twentie and thirties.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are just being human.

Begin - writing, yoga, and more said...

Bad moments in life have a way of feeling terrifingly overwhelming, like you'll be stuck in that pain and anger forever. But you won't.

Life will ALWAYS move you forward, and things usually get better, bit by bit, they get bearable again.

You did everything just right. Every single mother has had those breaking point moments. After a few, you'll learn to see them coming and meet them more calmly, maybe even with some humor.

I promise you.

Talk to your professionals and keep talking until you get the help you need.

Lots of love and support to you!

mamabird said...

The fact that you accidentally went cold turkey off your drugs could have been a major motivator in this episode. I know of someone who did the same thing and took a baseball bat to his basement. My friend who is a pharmacist says that the cold turkey is what did it because of how the brain functions and stuff. I once stopped taking antidepressants without weaning and it scared the shit out of me.

You took care of your child perfectly in this situation. You put her in a safe place and made sure someone was on the way to care for her. This is something many people are incapable of and I applaud you.

Good luck. You will be ok. You may not be right now, but you will be.

Anonymous said...

I have been there and completely understand. You CAN do this. You can heal. You can keep your baby. Your baby will forget about this as long as it's not habitual.
Missing your antidepressants and your vitamins combined with hormones can be LETHAL, either to the Mom or baby or both.
For God's sake, please, please get medicated, stay medicated. The famous blogger Dooce has written volumes on this.

Just take a deep breath, listen to your healthcare providers, listen to yourself, love yourself.

Katherine said...

I've been there, too. You are not alone.
It was the reason I dragged myself to the GP, got myself medicated again, and started sorting my life out. You sound as if you're on the right track to getting things sorted. The first step is always the hardest.
My other half has also read your post, and although it probably sounds weird coming from total strangers, *hugs* from both of us. You WILL get there. Good luck.

Jane said...

I've given myself many a time out. The fact that you stopped yourself says so much about you as a mother. You never acted on the impulse and the fact that you are seeking help should absolve you of guilt. Sending hugs.

Anonymous said...

You did ALL THE RIGHT THINGS. I have felt what you did, and I was ON my medication at the time. I've screamed in my daughters face at the top of my lungs and then cried about it for hours. Please, please know that you are under an unbelievable amount of stress. You MUST to talk to your therapist and doc. You are doing the right things. Go easy on yourself. You ARE doing the right things.