I found a peer connection with PND Recovery this week, who resides in Australia. PND Recovery is also writing about her PND experience and accompanies her posts with original illustrations. I asked if she would illustrate for this post, and we agreed to show the darkness and also the hope from this piece of writing. Many thanks to PND Recovery.
I am a good mother.
I have to deliberately stop to remember myself.
My name is TwoHandsStrong. I am 31 years old. I have a baby, whom I love. I have had a psychotic episode.
Master X. was three months before anyone realised what was happening. I had already been staying at my mother’s house in a small regional farming New South Wales town in Australia for a week. I do not recall minute details, specific, nor even broad details. Time seemed to have rolled into one state of being; my existence was continuous.
It is likely because I have had no sleep.
But it is normal, is not it. To feed eight times a night (has it been eight? I really don’t know if it has been one night, or three…). Oh well, let us just sleep together because it is six in the morning, and the family will be awake soon.
My husband Mr. A. was not staying with us. I cannot remember if my residence with my mother was a joint decision, my decision, my mother’s decision, or my doctor’s decision.
There were discussions of a special hospital in Sydney.
Thank you for calling. I feel like I am going crazy. He will just not sleep. I am finding it difficult to think. I am thinking in dark places. I am seeing things that are terrifying me…
Sorry, but I am not ready to visit the darkest places yet. I am still skirting around to the safer places in my memory. The more recent memories like returning home from mum’s, Christmas, New Year. We are not ready to talk about the Emergency Department, the pleading with the doctors that something else what happening, which was not depression.
I have had depression. Cloudy, sludgy, stagnate, isolating, fearful depression.
These thoughts, nightmares and…
Mr. A., did you just come into the bedroom? I just felt someone open and move through the door. And then I saw them, quickly, out my eye. Brrrr.
I can’t sleep in there alone. It feels contaminated. Like someone is watching me. I can see them watching us in a blur. Sometimes. Most times. I will not leave Master X. in there alone.
I should check that he is still okay. Still breathing.
Did it come in with Master X (after he was born)?
Master X. must have caused it.
It has only been a week since beginning Risperidone. It seems to help the thoughts, but not the sleep. The sleep is still evasive. There are too many memories, coming back. There are too many realities opening up, creaking, crawling through the release of the chemicals from the medicine.
All the medicines.
I tried talking therapy throughout my experience. But the thoughts were too jumbled to say the truth.
Because they will come to take my baby away.
Because I am an unfit mother.
But perhaps I am a good mother.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide please contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14