Medication has made me a better mother. I’m no longer ashamed to say that. Getting help made me stronger and not feeling like I wanted to jump off a cliff.
Please don’t read any further if you’re overly sensitive or judgemental, because you won’t like what I have to say.
The hardest thing about writing a blog is being so honest, but the more honest I am the better I feel. That’s put a lot of people off, sure, but it’s also brought some true friends back into my life. I am probably going to be the most honest I’ve ever been in my life. (So easy to write things on a phone and not say it face to face) I actually have butterflies and sweaty palms writing this.
When Luca was born, Dom played footy, every time he left I would cry, I couldn’t handle this kid on my own. The next year he decided to play indoor footy to make it easier on me, and whatever other reasons he had. I had gone to a mother baby unit, which is located in a psychiatric ward of a hospital so he was pretty keen for me not to repeat that behaviour or be admitted again.
Indoor footy was every Tuesday. I fucking hated Tuesday’s. Luca has never been an easy baby, although he is a wonderful kid, and yeah I loved him so much. I also hated him. He would have to be rocked to sleep and after 8 months of doing it, my eye muscles started to spasm and twitch. (Yeah you can visualise that in a funny way, it didn’t literally happen, or maybe it did) He would cry when I put him down and his crying made my heart race (it actually still does, any baby crying makes my heart race). I would feel so angry and helpless and I wanted to punch the wall. I would rock him for hours waiting for him to close his eyes and I’d imagine Dom coming home and both of us dead and blood all over the floor because I’d killed both of us. I’d finally get him down, sit down on the couch and relax, and he’d cry again. I would scream so loud and wish that I could just drop dead. Then I would hate myself for feeling this way and I would cry. By the time Dom got home, Luca would be awake and he would get him down, and I would go into the toilet and cry and tell myself how worthless I was.
The best part about Tuesday’s was that I would see my psychiatrist on Wednesdays. She didn’t always say what I liked to hear but she made me understand a lot of things. I was eager to get better because I wanted to be a perfect mum. Can I tell you, the more perfect I wanted to be, the more I hated myself when I couldn’t be, the more angry I got and the more disappointed I was. It was a vicious cycle. Take that mixed with still longing for the freedom of my old life and you get one big bag of depression.
I begrudgingly told my psychiatrist what I imagined, blood all over the floor, with tears in my eyes. I said to her, “I don’t want to kill him, I’d kill myself first before I ever felt like that, I love him”. She laughed… And said “I know you don’t want to kill him, I know you love your son. I see you with him and you’re a good mother”. I looked at her confused. Is this woman seriously laughing? Why isn’t she calling CPS? “Shouldn’t I be locked up?” She laughed again. $280 dollars and this lady is laughing at my admittance of wanting to commit murder.
She said these words and it changed my life and my outlook, she said, “you don’t want to kill anyone, what you want is a cry for help. You’re crying out for help, loud and clear. You think by punishing Dom by killing both of you, or imagining it, that he will realise that your needs aren’t being met.”
Huh?!. I just stared at her…
“You’re needs aren’t being met. Your need of wanting a break, of not wanting Dom to go to football, of you wanting that time alone, of you wanting to put him down without rocking him and you want to punish other people by doing something shocking so that he understands, because you don’t know how to ask for help”.
She was right. My needs weren’t being met. Dom was wonderful. Dom is wonderful, he’s helpful and he’s a great dad. But when you’re wallowing in depression, you need more. You need to ask for help. I went home and told Dom, and he said, “when he doesn’t want to go to sleep, don’t worry, just get him up, watch TV, play with him, whatever you want, and I’ll put him to bed when I come home, don’t even worry about the time.” So simple right? But I was obsessed with being a perfect parent and getting him to bed at 7. Why? It clearly affected my mental health, and what’s more important?
In that appointment, we discussed medication. She put me on a dose of 20mg of fluoxetine; Prozac. I actually love telling people I’m on Prozac, makes me feel so Hollywood… Lol
When I got pregnant with Sofia, I went off it. I then only two months ago went back on it after she was born. I wanted to be okay without it. But I’m not, and that’s okay. I’m a happier person on it. I’m more positive, and when Luca cries to go to bed (still a year later – yes we have been to sleep school, twice), I actually feel sympathetic with him, and I can only attribute that to the medication. As well as knowing when I’ve reached my limit and I need help, and taking the pressure off myself.
I don’t have to be the perfect mum. I don’t have to break my back rocking my son to sleep so that the invisible audience that’s judging me will know I’m doing a good job. What will make me a good mum is remembering to love me, and meet my own needs, and make self care a priority, so I can be the best version of myself for myself and my children.
Even if that means ignoring my baby to write a blog.
(she’s back on the boob again now though. God love her.)
Thanks for reading,
Love you all x