As most of you know I gave birth to my youngest son a little over three months ago. And as joyous as this experience has been for others it has been a bit of a struggle for me ! I couldn’t really put my finger on what was going on with me emotionally. Of course moms always think that we will bounce back and go right back to our bodies before baby, that we will still feel sexy and that because we are already moms that we have got it all under control.
That is what I thought and I was 100% WRONG ! This pregnancy with my son was very difficult. I was in some of the worst pain in my life, and also my son was diagnosed with having only one kidney. So this along with all of the hormonal stuff , I started to noticed that I wasn’t as engaged as a new mother should be. Of course I did the feeding and diaper changes but my urge to not want to be around my baby or any of my babies for that matter became stronger. I started losing my interest in wanting to be affectionate with them . It just became this overwhelming feeling of ” LEAVE ME ALONE .”
I didn’t want to come out of my room , make dinner , or help them with anything . I honestly just wanted to hide from them. Of course me being the woman that I am as much as I had these feelings I was also feeling terrible about this. Like what sort of mother wouldn’t want to be around their children or hold their new baby. But it was just my reality. So I told my partner that I was not feeling like myself and of course I think he was just assuming I meant because I was being a mom to older children and staying up all hours of the night breastfeeding a new born.
But the feeling was deeper and naturally trying to convince myself nothing was wrong I kept bottling the feeling up and I started to become more irritable and snapping at everyone. On top of the fact that I was crying for EVERY little thing. I forgot my phone upstairs I’d start balling, or my baby would cry, and I was for sure crying louder and harder then he was.
All of this lead me to see my therapist and that’s when I realized what I have been feeling is Postpartum Depression . It was a very REAL thing. The saddest part was I sat and told myself ” this is not a BLACK woman thing” But in reality mental health issues don’t skip you because of your race. The fact of the matter is so many more women of color suffer from this and don’t get the right help or treatments. They live and suffer with this DAILY and yet they have no one. They don’t have the home support or family support. They cant afford the medications , or therapy sessions but most of the time they don’t want to have the shame behind saying that something is wrong with them and they need help.
Truth is we all need help and its OK to ask . I am not big on asking others for help and day to day is a struggle with trying to understand what is currently going on with me . I struggle to voice how I feel and allowing myself to be vulnerable in situations that I otherwise wouldn’t be. I had to accept the fact that If I didn’t take the steps forward to handle this situation that I wouldn’t be OK , my babies would suffer and ultimately this ” THING” would consume me.
My son is only three months old and i’m not sure how long this will take to get better. I am unsure how it started but I do know that I am willing to work through this and also let others know that getting help is important. To understand the symptoms.
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Crying spells
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Changes in sleep Pattern
- Altered eating patterns
- Socially withdrawn
- Loss of Libido
If you are feeling any of these things or just feeling Depressed in any way. PLEASE talk to someone and get the help that you need. We all go through things and it is OK for us to seek help and do whats best for ourselves even when we feel afraid to do so. Take the necessary steps for your mental health. You cant take care of anyone else unless you take care of YOU FIRST !
Its been an on going pet peeve of mine when someone voices their deepest feelings or their truth to someone and the only response they get is disregard and called crazy! I think its the most disrespectful thing next to being called a bitch ! I’m not saying that it can’t be said in good fun. I know we all have that crazy friend who says the most hilarious things in the worst situations. This is a little bit different than that.
These are the moments when you go to your spouse and tell him/her that you may be having some sort of feelings or just need a bit of reassurance because we all do sometimes. Then the only response they have for you is , ” your tripping or your crazy.” Even family members that feel you have been such a nice person for so long that they can pick and poke with you until you finally snap on them. And what do you know, you’ve become the ” crazy or bipolar” person in the family.
Then trying to sit and explain that maybe they should use better choice words when speaking to you becomes a joke. As if you aren’t entitled to set boundaries on the things that your being called or how you chose to be spoken to. I feel that it’s so saddening that you may not know what people are going through deep down. Maybe being called crazy is hurtful because someone feels that they are never heard or taken seriously when it comes to their feelings. Maybe they have gone through something traumatic and their perception of things and people are tainted and being called crazy triggers unresolved feelings.
We live in a generation that claims to be about self care and filled with those who want to take strides on mental health. The first step is understanding peoples thoughts and feelings even if they aren’t your same feelings or you don’t agree with them. It’s all about being mindful and respectful to someones feelings. Listen when someone speaks, try to understand and if you can’t handle the responsibility of being understanding don’t fix your mouth to call ANYONE crazy!
This letter was the hardest to write, and written over a few months time. I had a very difficult year 2017 and I felt like all the things that I assumed I had over come started to pop up out of no where. My hurt from a relationship, feeling unworthy of someones love, and feeling over all out of place in this world. I talked to God over and over about helping me figure out what I needed to do to see ME! To love ME. And he told me simply I needed to stop being afraid of my own greatness. The love I was looking for I already had within myself. The feelings of unworthiness came from carrying around the baggage of past lovers and friends who were not worthy of ME! He told me to forgive myself.
The moment I forgave myself I had everything I needed. I accepted that yes, I was a flawed woman, nor was I perfect, definitely made mistakes and I am still all that I ever needed. I am the Prize no matter how some may see me or feel about me. I cant allow the perception of others dictate the way I handle my worth. This letter still sits in my dresser as a reminder of where I have been. And every so often the plan is to update it and eventually leave them behind for my daughters to read. In order for them to understand that their mother struggled also but its the way I got up from everything that knocked me down that made me V!
The Fifth letter, of my “Letters in Healing” Series is to the person who gave me life. I definitely feel uncomfortable calling him “dad” just based on the simple fact that he wasn’t ever really a dad to me. I have had a off and on journey with him up until recently when I finally decided to just let him know how I truly felt about him and maintaining a dead relationship. I let him know I felt as though there was nothing that he could do for me besides be a grandfather to my children. Which his actions were just the same as him attempting to be a father to me. I let him know that for so many years I was angry with him for the things he lied about, the promises he made and didn’t keep and his lack of concern for me as his first born child. I blamed him for so many things that had gone wrong in my life with the thought, ” if you would have been here none of this would have happened.” Until I finally realized he also was battling his own demons and sadly enough he wasn’t ready to be man enough to face them. Just as he was not man enough to be a father to me ! I think at times we walk around being so angry at people who we make obligated to do things for the sake of our well being and the fact is everyone is obligated to their demons and we are all on different journeys.
Ultimately I made peace with not having a father in my life. I made peace with the fact that I turned out OK because my grandmothers prayers kept me safe and my mother sacrificed her life in order for me to have one of my own. I made peace with my hurt, my sadness, and embraced the peace I felt when I finally decided to cut ties with a man I felt was only toxic to my life and my children. I feel sometimes, ” fatherless” children hold on to so much pain from a person who was just not meant to be in their world. They hold on to what could be instead of what is. Never really understanding that sometimes peoples purpose in this world is not to be parents ; we just get caught in the cross fire. Everyone heals at their own pace and I know it took me a long time to accept the fact that I have only my mother and i’m OK with that. I’m OK with knowing that the one person who made herself available whenever I needed, wiped my tears , and raised me to be such a resilient woman remains here today all because she CHOSE the most fulfilling job of all and that was being a parent FIRST !! I chose to leave my father behind and not look back for the sake of ME! The relationship is not needed and to me he will always be a stranger bonded by blood. A stranger who missed out on the most amazing parts of my life. A stranger who should have been my Dad!
To my “Father” ! you are forgiven and i wish you many blessings to come !
I chose this topic because it is something that I am currently going through at the moment and i’m sure many other mothers and fathers can relate to it. I have two older children a boy (14) and a daughter (13) as of this year. They are starting to ask questions regarding my dating life, my past relationship with their father and even questions regarding the nature of my current relationship. I am very open and honest when I tell them about the things that I experienced. My good and even my bad experiences. I make sure to let them know; by me telling the truth about my personal experience is not to scare them away from dating but for them to understand that they are at a very impressionable age. Small things are so major in teenagers lives because they don’t grasp the concept of what love really is and all that work that takes to maintain a healthy relationship. They always make the same comment, “you had a boyfriend when you were a teenager.” And I let them know that they are absolutely correct but I inform them my mother never said that I couldn’t and i’m choosing to make different choices than my mother in order to have a different outcome for my children. No, this is not to say my mother was wrong for allowing us to date but I see what I went through so young and how it affected me and I just want differently for my own.
Its a few main things I make sure to go over:
- Just because you are interested in someone now doesn’t mean you will be when you finally realize who you want to be and the life you want to live
- Peer pressure in relationships or feeling obligated to have sex that you may not be ready for
- early pregnancy
- Loss of focus on their goals and academics
- mental or physical abuse that cant be determined as such
- emotional damage from an early heart break that could damage them for years to come.
A lot of these reasons apply no matter what age, but my biggest is the teen pregnancy and the emotional damage and its because its something that I can speak about first hand. I had both of my children back to back at the age 17 and 18. I was in a relationship with their father and he wasn’t the best person. He was very emotionally damaging to the point I felt as if I would never find a person to love me the correct way. I allow my children to know that yes, we were both young and made mistakes between the both of us. But I harbored a lot of animosity toward men for a long time and i’m sure I pushed a lot of people away who had pure intentions. I didn’t trust anyone, I felt unworthy , and always waited for the ” bad things” to happen. I allow my children to know that being damaged so young can ruin good things in the future. My job is to protect them as best I can but also teach them the fundamentals of being in a healthy relationship, and what it looks like. For my son to understand that being a man of his word and always being honest is what he needs to learn the value of before feeling as though he is man enough to take on the responsibility of a relationship. I try to allow my daughter to understand that not all young men have pure intentions and even if they are good people at heart. Fitting in to what their friends feel is, ” cool” is more important than living up to the standards of a healthy relationship.
Putting themselves first, loving themselves and taking the time to explore the world in the right way is my hope for them. Of course I cant protect them from everything but if I teach them the value of self love they will save themselves a lot of trouble in the future.