So I have found the perfect place for me to write this week- back at the hospital after my exercise class. The wounds are still there, but they are scarring. It is a good feeling to be able to flit in and out of the events leading up to and including the episode without feeling pain. Writing the experiences down is helping me gauge where I am going, where we have been. It is no longer the end of the world each time I write, but more of a cleansing experience. I no longer get upset for the now, but more sad for who I was during that time and how hard it must have been, especially for Mr. A.
It is strange also to write in the hospital, the scene of the beginning, as it conjures up clear experiences. Like today I am writing about the first time I was hand expressed by a midwife and how it was without my permission. This caused much anguish for me, both mental and physical. It pained my body and I ended up, I believe, having recurrent mastitis due to the damage from the expressing. It was also the first time that thoughts of being a bad mum surfaced into my head in a recurrent form. They truly began in the delivery suite as I sat on the toilet, weeping that I could not be with my son because I felt stuck. My mood had crashed dramatically after the birth and I was having a panic attack. I ended up having more of my anxiety medication because I could not control the cycling thoughts enough to rest even though the baby was sleeping.
So many hours, day and weeks were spent at this hospital. In this foyer, drinking this coffee and talking with Mr. A about the things that I am now writing about.
But unlike now, the silence back then was deafening. On what was happening. How we were going. How I was going.
Why am I doing this? Why am I writing about the psychotic episode? I am doing this to remember the bright in amongst the dark; to see patterns, indicators, signs. So that when I see a newborn and their mother that I do not crumble with a feeling that I cannot describe. So that I can be comfortable in my own skin and be able to see my thoughts.
So that I can move forward from it by getting it out, acknowledging it and then letting it go to form just a chink in my identity and my relationship with my son. Because the dark cloud of the episode still hangs in the air and the guilt follows me around. It is the fallout of trying to be a good mum.
And good mums are strong in their mind, spirit and body in whatever condition these aspects may be in.