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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Psychosis Song

maternal mental health, postpartum psychosis, maternal mental health symbol, natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum depression, suicide


My  Psychosis  Song


Psychosis seized my mind, grabbed my very soul, shook my
very essence and violently took hold.
Overcome with thoughts that twisted in my head,
left me torn apart, and wishing I were dead.
Searching for the answers while my thinking was deranged,
left us all with scars and everlasting change.
Thrust into a place where everything surreal. I was completely
turned around, yet it all seemed so-oh real.

Pregnant now I wasn't, but the joy just wasn't there;
 replaced by emptiness and permanent despair.
Akin to automation, every, single, day. You lose touch 
with your sanity, you slowly slip away.
Reality is yours, it’s right in front of you. What’s black
is black to you, there is nothing they can do.
Truth is how you see it, through your own distorted eyes;
you know the only way, is to finally say goodbye.
Urgency abounds, now that the answers clear, love still
fills your heart, there is nothing left to fear.
Motherhood is sacred, it’s only you that understands. The rest
can go to hell, the rest can all be damned.
Psychosis seized my mind, grabbed my very soul, shook my
very essence and violently took hold.
Still I thought I knew, what black was really black. Slowly
began the process, of finding my way back.
Yearning for the void, to be filled within my soul. Yet knowing
that I’d live and never ‘gain be whole.
Crying every night, for years and years on end, asking for
forgiveness, just looking for a friend.
Harshest on yourself, yet there’s always some close by, to judge
you for your shame, while you close your eyes and cry.
Overcome with thoughts, that had twisted in my head. Had
left me torn apart and wishing I were dead.
Slowly opened eyes again as everything got lighter. The thoughts
were all less foggy, the colors all were brighter.
I started seeing things, the way I used to see. What once looked
like the color black, was now bright white to me.

Searching for the answers, while my thinking was deranged,
left us all with scars and everlasting change.




Maternal Mental Health Symbol, Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Suicide, Depression, Maternal Mental Health, Psychosis



~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~



*More Sadness today as one of our own lost a hard fought battle RIP NK*


Friday, August 7, 2015

I Cried for Home

When you cry for home when you're alone


I had an entire thought process going on when I started this page. I had been reading all of my posts sitting in drafts, some may sit there unpublished forever.  As I was reading through, it started to remind me of all the times after my mother died, that I would cry in secret and beg God to go home. Home back then was for my mother to be alive and be with everything I knew and what was comfortable. Countless times I cried for home when I was alone.



I feel sad for the little girl that I was back then. At fourteen years old, I was left floundering to figure out my mother's funeral, as I was the oldest. A task I was not ready to handle, yet felt it was my duty. My Grandfather telling me I was the oldest child so it was up to me. I now believe he was just not
Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Maternal Mental Health, Suicide
ready to plan and bury his child. He shot himself in the heart the following year; when the fog was so heavy on the Maine coast, that you couldn't see across the small road separating the two houses as he lay in the doorway to the shed. 

I have been asked often if I am angry at my mother. No. I feel sadness that I know how she was feeling. I can understand feeling so hopeless, alone and such utter despair that you want so badly for the pain to stop. You are in physical pain. It takes over your every thought. Make it stop, make it stop.

I cannot be angry when I can empathize with how my hurt they were in.
I have put myself on what I have called a Life for Death Punishment. Have I had suicidal thoughts since then? Yes. Last Fall was a particularly bad time. I had an undiagnosed Thyroid condition and had such severe Flashbacks I went to the hospital for 10 days. They were able to reconfigure my medication and the thyroid condition was caught. 

Being ill with Postpartum Psychosis was a culmination of undiagnosed mental health issues, being in an unhealthy marriage and never having therapy after my mother and grandfather died. Those were not the only contributors. I developed pneumonia while in the hospital giving birth to my son. I had been depressed during my pregnancy and a dozen other things. It is never just one thing

Do I cry for home now? No, because I don't know where home is anymore. The last few years have been terribly difficult, helping my daughter as she herself becomes a mother. We are in the Carolinas again. She just recently gave birth to her third child. It has been a difficult journey that I know is not over. 

I am tired. I am searching for home. I go to the beach almost every day. I swim and I recently got a moped to scoot around on. Those small things make me happy. I feel like I could sleep for a year. I want the waves at the beach to wash over me and take away all my sadness. The lonely and emptiness I feel while I look for home. 
Good conversation, hugs, cool nights and the ocean breeze. 
I no longer cry for home. I cry because I am looking for home. Unconditional love and understanding. 







~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~





Saturday, August 1, 2015

Why Do I Write?

I Write for Maternal Mental Health and Postpartum Survivors


I write to ease the burden on my soul. I write to allow my words to carry some of the weight I feel so pronounced on my shoulders. I write hoping to find the exact phrase that might express exactly how this mixed bag of emotional turmoil I feel inside myself might glide from my fingertips and onto the keyboard someday. But, mostly; well mostly I write because -


I write because I remember how lonely I was. I remember that for over 13 years I would sit and try to connect with others about my experience and no one was talking publicly. The closest I came to speaking to someone was when I left a comment on Carol Blocker's page for her daughter and was contacted by Theresa Twomey about the book she was writing. I considered that for quite
Postpartum psychosis, Teresa Twomey, Understanding Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Maternal Mental Health
some time. But it still didn't have me talking with other women who had lost their children to Postpartum Psychosis

There was never one particular reason, there were several that got me started blogging. But after waiting for 13 years for someone else to start speaking publicly about losing a child to Postpartum Psychosis, I decided that perhaps I wasn't the only one waiting. Maybe they were all waiting too and someone always has to go first right? I thought, I needed to take my voice back. I needed to take charge of what people read about me and I needed to take the first steps in letting other women know they were not alone. We may be in the minority, but we are here and we are hurting but we are not alone.
You are not alone.

Yes, that was me. I took the life of my son. I did not do it because he was unloved. I did not do it out of anger. I thought in those moments I was being a loving mother and I have no way to rationalize my thinking that day. My thinking made sense to me That day. My mind failed me. I believed no one wanted my son but me. His father did not believe that Hunter (our son) was his son. I had been depressed during my pregnancy and had pneumonia when my son was born.  I cried for my mother who had been dead for over 10 years my first day home from the hospital. Something I hadn't done for years. 
I can look back now and see all kinds of different signs but when you are in the midst of it you just can't see it. 
Other women who have been sick with a Postpartum Mood Disorder and have lost a child or have harmed a child need to know they're not alone. I get numerous emails from women thanking me for talking. I feel grateful for that. This isn't exactly something people want to talk about. But it's something that has to be talked about.
No one wants to end up like me or any of the other mothers who have no one to talk to and don't know or understand what is happening to them.

Don't let silence or misunderstanding be the cause of this happening to one more woman and family. Every time you reach just one person with a kind word you are paying it forward whether you know it or not. #PostpartumUnity

*This was originally written in October 2014 and left unpublished. It is the first of many to come that have been sitting as drafts*





~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~


Saturday, March 28, 2015

I say Boo. You say Moo

It's Dark in Here


I am sitting in bed with just the light from my computer typing and the soft whir from the fan. I want to say things, lots of things. So many things in fact that I often look at a blank page and don't type anything. Or, I start typing and digress in so many directions this sits with the other dozens of drafts I have collected. And so it begins...

I think we are a world full of cattle. Even the cattle don't know they are cattle. Sometimes they throw on some hipster jeans or play the bongos. Maybe they
Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Maternal Mental Health
even wear one of those silly beard hats or only buy second hand clothes form the '70's. Perhaps they have a "strong" opinion on something, or a few something. But they still easily fit onto the bell shaped curve of society and you would likely never see them at a protest or sit-in. Being the sole person to swing left while a thousand others swung right. Cattle^^^^

People consumed with being right or only having friends that think the same way they do. No debating an opinion anymore or bothering to agree to disagree while remaining friends. Not in an age of "un-friending" someone with the click of a button. I find that entire concept absurd. Cattle^^^^

I have met in my life and still respect to this day less than a dozen people. Some of them I am not even that fond of. There's at least one I don't even like. But they were honest and had integrity. I like a person with character and who has a backbone. Someone who isn't afraid to form their own opinions or even stand alone. Fight for what they believe in. I value that in a person and find it commendable. 

When did we become so afraid of what someone else would think and turn into cattle? I believe social media has a lot to do with it. Instant everything all the time. Everyone is so worried about people they don't even know liking them.
People should be worried about raising independent thinkers instead of teaching them how to say Moo.



Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Maternal Mental Health


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Forgive You

An Open Letter to My Ex-Husband


After I was sick, and Hunter died; it took me a very long time to forgive you. Years and years in therapy and praying. Even as I type this it brings tears to my eyes. You see, for ever and a day ago I had forgiven you. But that forgiveness was for myself. I couldn't continue to hold onto so much anger. Now I am forgiving you for you...


Dear Chris,

   I forgive you for not being there. I know this was something I struggled greatly with myself. For the couple of months after I became sick with Postpartum Psychosis and I sat in AMHI I came in and out of lucidity, especially at first.
Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Postpartum Psychosis, Christopher Ramsey, Natachia and Chris Married

The clearer and clearer my mind became, the more and more I asked how my brain could fail me in such a way. 
I remember being told certain things I could not remember and some things to this day I am not sure if they are my own memories, or if I am remembering them because I have been told about them. 
Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Postpartum Psychosis,Hunter,  Christopher Ramsey, Natachia and Chris MarriedI am not sure where it is anymore but around 2006 or so I finally felt strong enough to listen to the answering machine tape that you handed over to the police. It took me several attempts to get through it. I felt brought back in time. I was hysterical on the tape. Begging you to help me. I remembered you kept hanging up the phone and I would call back and that's why there were so many calls on the machine of me like that, over and over. Crying, asking you to pick up the phone. Telling you something was wrong. I didn't know what was wrong but begging you to help me, over and over. I didn't know it then but I guess you had a date with another woman that day. (Maybe there was someone there right then and you just never told me.) All I know is this; you were my husband and I was desperate for help and I needed you. I couldn't even make complete thoughts in my head and I didn't know what was happening to me. 
That right there, the begging, crying and outright telling you repeatedly that I needed you to help me because something wasn't right. That was really a hard one to forgive. It still is sometimes. Especially when I hear you saying things about what was happening back then that aren't true. 
But, I have been thinking that maybe you need to know that I have forgiven you so you can forgive yourself. 
I am giving you the benefit of the doubt and saying that if we could do that all over again you would do it differently. If you knew better back then that you would have helped. 
So, I forgive you. I forgive you for not being there when I needed you. I not only forgive you for me, I forgive you for you

I won't get into the specific things you said because I believe saying them again gives them power and I will not repeat what you said in anger about Hunter. But we both know the ugliness that came from your mouth about him because you did not believe him to be your son. I forgive you for those hateful words. I forgive for forsaking our son and for those words crossing your lips. I forgive you for you.

We were married for 12 years and had two children. There are many, many more things that could be said and many more things that could be listed here. These seem like they need to be said out loud the most... 

So I forgive you for me and I forgive you for you. Now, forgive yourself.



Maternal Mental Health Symbol, Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Suicide, Depression, Maternal Mental Health, Psychosis


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Just this side of Right

I practice everyday staying on the "right" side. I don't want to confuse that with being right. I am wrong lots of times. 


But you know when you go to the Emergency Room these days for something and they now have the mandatory questions asking you if you are safe at home, do you feel like hurting yourself or anyone else... and well, there's always that person that's been bugging you that pops into your head briefly that you'd like to sock in the nose. But you don't pop them in the nose because you are staying on this side of right.

I've been practicing that for the better part of 16 years. It doesn't mean I don't want to pop any number of people in the nose, especially the knowingly ignorant. When I say Ignorant, it's not meant to be taken as an insult. I am using that in its truest sense -

Ignorant

ˈiɡnərənt/
adjective

  • lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
  • lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular.

  • informal
         discourteous or rude.

    synonyms:   without knowledge of, unaware of, unconscious of, oblivious to, incognizant of, unfamiliar with, unacquainted with, uninformed about, ill-informed about, unenlightened about, unconversant with, inexperienced in/with, naive about, green about

    I say knowingly because the correct information is there. They choose to remain ignorant because it would mean destroying this bubble they have built around themselves with incorrect information. Their entire existence and this fairy tale they have woven would come crashing down around them.

    When I think about all the things going on in my life I stop and think... how bored/boring must these people be with their own lives to obsess about mine? But honestly that's about all I can muster for time or even thought on this. See! I am bored with this already. I can't even imagine obsessing over it for days/weeks/months on end... Talk about a Yawn Fest
  • Thursday, January 1, 2015

    Snot, Diarrhea, Chicken Bones...

    I spy with my little eye

    My sister can't eat chicken on a bone. I remember when I was younger that used to gross me out too. I always wanted boneless chicken, and especially wings. All those slimy little wings with the little bones and tendons. Yuck, made my stomach turn.

    Then, I was put in a Mental Hospital and saw feces smeared on the bathoom stall...

      
    
    postpartum psychosis stories, postpartum psychosis story, hunter ramsey, postpartum, amhi, natachia barlow ramsey
    AMHI Right After it was Closed Down 2005
    I remember during my stay in 1999 there were these old metal lockers where the patients kept their cigarettes and lighters. When there was a smoke break, the patients would line up and the worker would open up each locker and each patient could get their cigarettes. One patient didn't want to lose his place in line because if you missed the opening of the lockers and the exiting of being out in the "yard" (it was a large cage attached to one of the doors so no one could escape, although I watched many try and a few actually scale it) you would miss that smoke break. Well, he proceeded to blow his nose into his hands and wipe them onto the lockers. Which wouldn't all come off immediately, and just kind of smeared around. I in turn started to gag and made it to a small waste basket to vomit.
    When the nurse asked him why he didn't go to the bathroom he quietly replied "I didn't want to miss smoke break". I believed him and he was serious.
    When I was remanded in 2001 after being found NCR for Postpartum Psychosis, I happened to have a pair of these blue hospital socks. You know the kind they give you when you're inpatient with the little rubber soles so you don't slip and there's no actual heel. Well, they never made it to my feet. I took a black permanent marker and wrote "PHONE CONDOM" on each sock. This happened after one patient who was a very nice man was admitted but had rotting teeth to the point whenever he ate they would bleed. After dinner where the dessert had been cake, he was called to the telephone to take a call. I had to make a call when he was done and my normal MO was to clean the phone off with an alcohol swab. Well, as I looked at the mouthpiece I could see that

    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    My Psychosis Song

    maternal mental health, postpartum psychosis, maternal mental health symbol, natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum depression, suicide


    My  Psychosis  Song


    Psychosis seized my mind, grabbed my very soul, shook my
    very essence and violently took hold.
    Overcome with thoughts that twisted in my head,
    left me torn apart, and wishing I were dead.
    Searching for the answers while my thinking was deranged,
    left us all with scars and everlasting change.
    Thrust into a place where everything surreal. I was completely
    turned around, yet it all seemed so-oh real.

    Pregnant now I wasn't, but the joy just wasn't there;
     replaced by emptiness and permanent despair.
    Akin to automation, every, single, day. You lose touch 
    with your sanity, you slowly slip away.
    Reality is yours, it’s right in front of you. What’s black
    is black to you, there is nothing they can do.
    Truth is how you see it, through your own distorted eyes;
    you know the only way, is to finally say goodbye.
    Urgency abounds, now that the answers clear, love still
    fills your heart, there is nothing left to fear.
    Motherhood is sacred, it’s only you that understands. The rest
    can go to hell, the rest can all be damned.
    Psychosis seized my mind, grabbed my very soul, shook my
    very essence and violently took hold.
    Still I thought I knew, what black was really black. Slowly
    began the process, of finding my way back.
    Yearning for the void, to be filled within my soul. Yet knowing
    that I’d live and never ‘gain be whole.
    Crying every night, for years and years on end, asking for
    forgiveness, just looking for a friend.
    Harshest on yourself, yet there’s always some close by, to judge
    you for your shame, while you close your eyes and cry.
    Overcome with thoughts, that had twisted in my head. Had
    left me torn apart and wishing I were dead.
    Slowly opened eyes again as everything got lighter. The thoughts
    were all less foggy, the colors all were brighter.
    I started seeing things, the way I used to see. What once looked
    like the color black, was now bright white to me.

    Searching for the answers, while my thinking was deranged,
    left us all with scars and everlasting change.




    Maternal Mental Health Symbol, Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Suicide, Depression, Maternal Mental Health, Psychosis



    ~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~