Popular Posts...

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I'm Not Gonna Make it

A Return to Home and Paradise Hell


It's Thursday, June 2nd around 5pm. I've already gotten a bunch of errands done and we are preparing for the return trip home to Maine. My anxiety is high, very high. I'm excited and anxious awaiting the trip. There's the practical side of the 19 hour long drive with an infant that I'm not looking forward to, and then there's not seeing family in just over a year. That's more of what has my mind racing...


I'm hoping to get to see everyone but only being there a few days, that may not be the case. This trip has purpose and I need to get a few things done. While I am there I want to see visit with grandkids, and my brother and sister. Their kids and families. I had a niece and cousin born since I've been away I want to meet and I've been thinking a lot about that.
Natachia barlow ramsey, maternal mental health, baby, pink scooter, depression, postpartum psychosis, myrtle beach, beach days, memorial day, postpartum support

I've thought a lot about my brother and sister. Wanting to spend time with them, quality time. Genuine time. I want to explain how life is different here for me. People wave to me on my pink moped, just because. I enjoy life here in a way I cannot in Maine. That doesn't mean I don't ever want to go back or visit. It just means for now my existence cannot remain there full time. That I wasn't even certain how much of a difference it would make being away until I actually got away. It's phenomenal. I can breathe.
When I'm stopped for a traffic violation here, I'm given the benefit of the doubt and ultimately the fine is dismissed. VS being made to sit on the side of the road in Maine winter, while I wait for two people to drive up so one person can drive my vehicle back from 45 minutes away. Because I am never given the benefit of the doubt in Maine. 

I have a lot of hopes for visiting Maine. I want to repair some relationships that weren't in the best shape when I left. People that mean a lot to me. I want to see some little ones that mean the world to me. That I miss terribly.
There's a little boy coming to visit that is just so happy and smiling all the time that I want to meet my Dad. I feel like I let my dad down a really long time ago and I've struggled with that for seventeen years. He has the opportunity to know the wonderful little boy that's so full of life and makes the best little faces, he gives the best kisses. He's amazing and he calls me Mémé. He scrunches his nose and I adore him. He will bring so much joy just by being himself to so many around him. Just by being. 

All of the above was written June 2nd, 2016

Things did not go the way I wanted. I got to visit with my granddaughter but not my sister or brother. The time was hurried and sad. I had a very difficult time leaving and as I sit typing this, I am doing so with one hand. The other is in a cast and has a metal plate and several screws in it with much of the skin missing from my left elbow down.

The return trip was long. I found a room in a home to rent and quickly got a job at a temp labor agency. The 2,500 miles journey in six days to Maine and back had exhausted me along with the emotional toll of leaving Shey and the baby behind. I cried most of the 19 hours back.
I also started the process to sell plasma twice a week to make more money.

natachia barlow ramsey, suicucde, broken arm, accident, pink moped, cast, depression, maternal mental healthAt the end of my first week back, my second day on the job, June 19th, I was driving my beloved pink moped home when my front tire blew out. I was going about 30-35mph when I hit the pavement. I remember hitting once and thought I had stopped, but the moped kept going and took me with it further down the road. (I had run out of gas earlier on my way
home from work and pushed it several blocks and wondered if that had been a sign.) I remember lying there in the street and I knew my arm was broken. Within a few minutes I could hear an ambulance. The police arrived first to assure me they were on their way.

I remember crying, a lot. I cried some because I was in pain. But I remember crying mostly because I was alone. I knew I was there alone and I was going to have to go through all of it alone. I didn't know anyone in Myrtle Beach, not really. Being alone is hard and sometimes people don't understand just how alone, being alone can be. Especially in situations like this, where you know you are about to face a lot of pain and you just want someone to hold  you and tell you it's going to be alright. 

I had a couple casual friends I had made and one guy I had been seeing that picked me up. I don't think I could ever really explain to him how much that actually meant to me.

A week later, I had a metal plate placed in my left wrist. Extra long the Doctor told me. I don't know what I did, but it didn't just break the radius wrist bone straight across, it broke it across and slightly down.
I have road rash on both sides of my body. My right knee cap was almost to the bone. There's a big hole there. It scraped straight through my right shoe to the big toe nail and it's about to fall off.

I feel defeated. I've been having a lot of suicidal thoughts lately. I'm so lonely. The guy that was so wonderful and sweet, just stopped communicating once again (it's the second time). I have no transportation anymore. I can't work because I can barely even type.
I'm in a lot of pain. I'm not sleeping well. My insurance isn't covering most of my prescriptions or doctor visits.
natachia barlow ramsey, suicide, broken arm, accident, pink moped, cast, depression, maternal mental health
No Skin, Road Rash

I keep trying and trying and thinking things will get better. But then something like my tire blows out and I don't know what to do. 

I get tired. I want to not hurt physically, mentally, emotionally. Sometimes a hug at the end of these long days would make everything better and you can't even find that. 
So I struggle with many thoughts of inadequacy, failure, hopelessness right now. I have tried reaching out to a couple people but they don't seem to understand. 
Sometimes you just can't do it alone. Sometimes you do need someone else, even to lean on for a little while. I wish I had that someone. Because right now I feel like I'm not gonna make it.
I'm exhausted and I don't feel like I have anything left to give.



Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser




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
















Wednesday, June 1, 2016

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~




Originally Published October 29th, 2014 3:49pm EST

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Days Like This

Every Regret I Have Will Go Set Free...



This is Kim Taylor's Days Like This - It's been one of those days where I just gotta let go after giving it what I had and be okay with what is. I always listen to a lot of music on days like this. So  I will share one anyway:




"And all I wanna do is live my life honestly."
"I just wanna wake up and see your face next to me."

"Every regret I have will go set free."
"It will be good for me."
"It will be good for me."


Progress is slow and I take incredible baby steps. But at least I am taking baby steps now instead of no steps. For me, that's progress and I can and will share that with all of you.

Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser



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

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Painful Truth

Seventeen Years and Counting


It was seventeen years this March 11th that my son was born and one month later on April 11th that he died. It was at my hand that he died. I almost used the word fault, but I feel and believe had I known about Postpartum Psychosis and been treated for it, my son would be alive and celebrating his seventeenth birthday this year. So, while I feel responsible, it's hard not to, I refuse to use the word fault.




There's a very painful secret truth that anyone who is responsible for the taking of the life of another person, (and I cannot be certain if this just stems from solely being responsible for the life of the person you were also supposed to be the champion for as well that makes this as painful) but I suspect there would be some deeply rooted secret pain there regardless.

What I am trying to say is this:
When you know that the life you are responsible for was your very own child. Your flesh and bone. It becomes such an unbearable and intolerable pain, that moving through life at times becomes too much. For those of us who struggle with or who have struggled with suicide ideation in the past, you grasp at anything to hang onto.
Those moments when life becomes so raw and the world is so vicious. When there seems to be nothing but darkness and you are all alone inside your head. When you want to just have someone beside telling you everything is going to be alright. There are times when a hug would seem to set the world right again but you are sitting alone, looking at an empty room.
These are the most difficult moments. I know this. I live these moments too.

The struggle is real. It's been seventeen years and the grief, remorse, guilt changes over time but it doesn't go away. 
When you know you have taken a life, no matter the circumstances, it is such a difficult, daily thing to live with. It eats away at your soul and it never goes away. You just learn to deal with that gnawing feeling being ever present. There's a weight you feel upon your soul that even on your most carefree days, it's there. You don't normally tell anyone that at the drop of a hat, if someone said just the right thing in any given moment, it may make you burst into tears. Or no matter how happy you appear, there are any number of variables that will spring forth a memory.


It helps me to help others. At least try to help others. When I hear about moms suffering with Postpartum Psychosis and losing a child, their life, or both; it brings me back in time. I know where they are. It's such a scary feeling not understanding what's happening to you and even once you do, trying to climb out of that dark hole to find your way back onto even ground again. Start to understand what just happened to you and then deal with the grief and loss. Your family dynamics shift. People don't understand and many of them likely never will. You are scarred for life and most of those scars are not visible.

So many don't want to hear or know this painful truth. They just want you to get on with your life. They don't understand that this is your life now. This will always be your life and it would be wonderful if they could be a part of your painful truth. 


Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser





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




Monday, February 29, 2016

Whatever it Takes

Life in no Uncertain Terms

I've known for quite some time to hope for the best, expect the worst and know it will fall somewhere in between. 

At the beginning of this month, my son-in-law, stole my daughter's SSI check for which he was the payee, and took a bus back to Maine. He also took the rent money and didn't even leave a dollar for his 6 month old son. We have been fortunate enough to have made a couple friends here in our short time here. Those friends, who owe us nothing and have no obligation to me or my daughter, took us in. I am now at the point where I am selling my pink moped and have listed it on Craigslist. Because sometimes you really do have to do whatever it takes.



My daughter and I both at least two separate times have reached out to the in-laws to explain what happened and let them know their son left his baby here with nothing. Now this is not the first time nor should I expect it would be the last time he would pull something like this. Without going into details, I have had to excuse myself more than once for the excessive name calling he subjected me to. Not only did I take him to medical appointments, buy his medication, clothes, food and countless other things for a year prior to us leaving for South Carolina, I transported him to court and other miscellaneous things. More than once I missed a vehicle payment. In return for that, when I was behind six weeks on my car payments, he called the title holder in Maine and took a $250 payment for telling them where I was. My vehicle was repossessed. He then proceeded to complain we didn't have a vehicle to get places. 
Shortly thereafter he left just me, without rent money and took my 39 week pregnant daughter to
postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow ramsey, mypinkmyrtlemoped, pink moped, myrtle beach
Bringing back a stroller I picked up for them
Florida.

When they wanted to come back a couple months later, I gladly took them in and spent all my funds buying the baby what he needed along with toys, baby gear and two months worth of rent. 
I knew something along these lines would happen. Am I sorry he's gone? No. He was more than unpleasant to be around and was spiteful, angry, antagonistic and arrogant. I am greatly saddened though that my grandson will not have his father around. As much disdain I had for that man, I could never deny a child the opportunity to spend time with their parent. 

My daughter was heartbroken and devastated that he would just up and leave within a 20 minute window And take all of the money with him. Not leaving his son anything. What a legacy. 

So, did my daughter's in-laws even respond when either of us reached out to say 'hey this baby needs diapers, food and more'? No. Not even an acknowledgement of getting the emails (although facebook does provide that nifty little time stamp when someone reads it). Hey, facebook is good for something after all besides endless food photos. 
The only person who helped at all, was my own father. He is not working and has had numerous surgeries on his shoulder making it impossible for him to work and the process he has been going through to get disability while he is healing has been unending. He has a beater for a vehicle, lives on next to nothing and I do mean nothing. He is probably the least financially stable and has no money. I mean literally No money. Less than paycheck to paycheck because he doesn't get a paycheck. So the poorest financially has the most to give. He would rather go without than see his grandson without what he needs. 

I will tell you what my daughter's in-laws said the last times they asked for help (which was just a short while before my son-in-law left), they said they couldn't because their accountant died. What!!?  Even as I sit here and type this, I am in awe of the disconnect between some affluent people and what it really means to be without. Apparently their idea is going without an accountant. 

So, here we are. Several weeks away from standing back on our feet independently and I am left with selling My Pink Myrtle Moped. This has been the first thing I have owned outright since selling my things for North Carolina and then losing everything in the fire. I know most of you know how freeing and happy I was to have it. I even made an instagram account #MyPinkMyrtleMoped and shared some photos. I've driven that thing everywhere; hot cold and raining. 

But sometimes you have to do whatever it takes to make sure those around you are cared for and have what they need. I have nothing else to sell right now that's worth anything. I am trying and it seems as though I am spinning in circles. I need money to get the things I need and I can't get money without those things. But, sometimes you just have to do whatever it takes to survive. In this case, unfortunately, it means selling my beloved Pink Moped. 


Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser





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





Friday, February 19, 2016

Silence Really is Deadly

Suicide's Best Friend


Suicide has a friend and it's called silence. When you remain silent, when you don't speak up, share your stories; suicide is winning. The only way to erase stigma is by talking. Talk to each other. Help each other. You are responsible for making those around you aware of how suicide has impacted your life and those you care most about.



In my life I have know  more people lost to suicide than I care to think about. I can tell you from personal experience that not talking about what happens just bolsters the courage of the next person to follow through with taking their own life.
My mother hung herself in our bathroom when I was 14 years old. We
postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow ramsey, suicide, depression, mental health awareness
didn't talk about it. We rarely spoke of her. The little that was talked about was in anger. It left everyone in the family asking questions. But, no one was asking those questions out loud. There was so much shame surrounding my mother taking her life (and I can tell you with certain family members there still is) that not a word was spoken. We didn't go to therapy. We certainly weren't raising any awareness around suicide, the loss of a parent and loved one. My mother was not just my mother. She was a sister, an aunt, a daughter, a friend and so much more. She has been reduced to the woman who hung herself in our bathroom.
The year following my mother's death, her father (my grandfather) sat a chair in the doorway of the shed that was attached to our old Maine house. He called my grandmother on the phone (she was across the street at her brother's house) and asked her to come over. (They were separated at the time) She started out the door and walked partway down the drive before turning around and heading back into house.
The fog was so thick that August morning, you couldn't see from one house to the other. They were maybe 100 yards apart.
She heard a gunshot. My grandfather had shot himself in the heart. I was thankful when I got up that morning I couldn't see into that doorway. I've always felt him shooting himself in the heart was significant. His daughter, (my mother) had hung herself the year before. But, no one spoke of this. What questions did he have that were unanswered. The same as the rest of us. But no one spoke. 

I have a responsibility to raise awareness. The road has been long and it's not over. But, what good can come of keeping silent? Suicide wins. Through the years, since that time, I have lost friends. Many friends. We have also lost so many with the Postpartum Community. You are not alone. You are never alone and there is always someone willing to talk to you. I am always willing to talk to you. There are communities of women (and men) who are more than willing to stay up, take your call. Chat with you or just be there on the other end of the computer. I've stayed up many nights, I've gotten countless emails, I've stayed on the phone for hours talking. Just being. Sometimes, just sometimes that's all it takes. People do not want to be alone and you are not alone in this. Suicide cannot win. Don't let it.
If suicide has impacted your life, talk about it. Ask questions, reach out to those around you who have also been affected. They want to talk as well. Someone always has to go first. Anyone who's ever visited this site, knows that's one of mine I rely on.
Be the first. Go first. Someone always has to and it can be you. Suicide's best friend is silence and silence really is deadly. 





Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser




postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow ramsey, suicide, depression, mental health awareness


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






Friday, January 29, 2016

Into The Light - Kristina's Story

Not Just Another Friday



It was a Friday afternoon, but not any Friday afternoon…Memorial Day weekend. I was to spend the weekend with my 2 children, parents, and sister at the beach without my husband because he had to work. Divinely, I was glued to my chair on the front porch of our townhome.



Oddly, I had all sorts of thoughts racing through my head that kept me from getting behind the wheel and driving myself and my kids to the beach. My husband didn’t understand and I don’t think I quite did either. While sitting on the porch, I made a phone call to my best friend. I recall that I made sense when I spoke with her. Then I called my boss and
Postpartum psychosis, surviving, depression, maternal mental health, natachia barlow ramsey, psychosis, suicide
Kristina and Her Family
apparently quit my job (I do not have much recollection of that conversation).
My husband told me later that I sat down and quoted scripture that he didn’t think I had ever memorized. He stepped outside for a moment. In that moment, I thought Jesus was returning. I grabbed our kids and begged, “Please save us, our family, and our friends!” I kept repeating those words over and over. Suddenly my husband came back inside and found me looking pale and weak, holding our children. I passed out. He appropriately called 911. Medical personnel responded quickly. As I became conscience (my nursing knowledge jumped in), I promptly and inappropriately told them to pump on my chest and intubate me. I was mentally sick.
My husband was very frightened and didn’t know what was wrong with me. They took me to the ER where I stayed for 2 nights. Then I was transferred to the psychiatric unit. How does a 30 year old mom of two, with no previous history of mental illness get admitted to the psych ward? This is where my memory fails me. The diagnosis: Postpartum Psychosis.

On the psychiatric unit, I had a sitter with me 24/7 to be sure I didn’t harm myself or anyone else. I stayed on the unit for nearly 2 weeks2 weeks without my babies, 2 weeks I did not get exercise or go outside. I ate in my room with the sitter not far from me. I took a shower with the sitter right outside my door. There are some things I remember but other memories my family tells me. My sister informed me at one moment I thought I was Tina Turner and at another time I thought I was pregnant with Baby Jesus.
I do recall thinking I was on the set of Grey’s Anatomy with Bradley Cooper and Mandisa. Shouldn’t have been such a bad place than, right? Oh so wrong – it was a very, very scary place! My anxiety and paranoia was at an all-time high during my hospitalization.  My memory began to return within the last couple of days while in the psychiatric unit. Many people ask me if a switch just turned on one day. The answer is NO – my memory just got better every day. While in the hospital, I was treated with antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, and an occasional injection when my mood and paranoia levels began to increase. I do recall trying to escape and being held down by the staff and probably given an injection to calm me down. I wasn’t being me at all!
To this day, I can hardly wrap my brain around how my mind played such dirty tricks on me. But, postpartum hormones are no joke. After spending nearly 2 weeks in the hospital, I was discharged home. For two whole weeks I didn’t see my babies ( 5 ½ month old and 2 ½ year old). I was so excited to get home and see them! But, my journey with postpartum psychosis was far from over, folks.
When I returned home things weren’t back to “normal”.  I couldn’t be with my children alone. I couldn’t be by myself. I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t return to work. Talk about restrictions! I couldn’t be with my own children by myself? Nope. Doctor’s Orders!!
I felt like I was being tortured. There was even a day I couldn’t take it anymore, but the good news is I got through that day and I’m here to FINISH this story! As part of my rehabilitation I attended an intensive outpatient program for a couple weeks, which was 3 hours of group therapy daily. Want to know what that was like? Since I was still out of touch with reality – it was like being in group therapy with my entire family! I did not like it.
After graduating from the intensive outpatient program, I was then referred to a psychologist and a psychiatrist. I continue to see both doctors to this day.

I consider myself extremely blessed as I never had ill thoughts towards my children during this whole episode. I have a new found God given passion to tell my story with other women in hopes to shed light on Perinatal Mood Disorders such as Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety, Postpartum OCD, and Postpartum Psychosis. My mission is to let women everywhere know that she is not alone. For too long I went around thinking others would think I would be a less together mom if I was on meds, but that’s not true!
Now I’m on meds and I’ll tell the whole world! It’s for my mental health and well-being!  Postpartum Depression is diagnosed in 1 in 7 women. Postpartum Psychosis is seen in 1 in 1000 so, it is a pretty rare occurrence. In fact, my doctor said he hadn’t seen it in over 6 years! I am still recovering very well and am now a Warrior Mom Ambassador with Postpartum Progress, a nonprofit organization to raise awareness, fight stigma, and provide peer support and programming to women with maternal mental illness. Information and resources about postpartum can be found on the organization’s website, www.postpartumprogress.org. I also am willing to share my story in person to appropriate group settings if contacted.


Visit Kristina's Facebook Page and stay updated on her story -
Into the Light: Thriving after Postpartum Psychosis, PPD, and PPA






Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser



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




Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Dark Silence of the Night

When the Loneliness gets to you


I'm used to being alone. Even when I have others physically near me, I am usually alone. I can't remember the last time I was able to let someone into all facets of my life and with each passing day, month and year I become less and less hopeful that will ever happen. I've become really good at keeping people at arm's length. It's one disappointment after another and that's when I am reminded of how lonely I really am.


Life is hard. Some days are harder than others and I keep trying to leave people better than I found them. It's not always possible, but I am trying. 
I sit here crying, alone and this is where I turn. Because I am expecting a virtual hug at best when I am finished. 
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~ postpartum psychosis,natachia barlow ramsey
I tell myself it's okay if someone else hurts my feelings, I will always reach out or attempt to make the extra effort. I don't ever want to regret how I left a relationship. I would rather make sure I did what I could. 

As I keep trying to date, I know I push people away. I am afraid they will leave, they will hurt me and I just don't have it. I couldn't take that kind of emotional blow in my life. 
I have gotten better at not allowing myself to be taken advantage of though and set better standards for how I allow people to treat me. There comes a place in the middle where with some men I can't tell if I am pushing them away too quickly or I am practicing better standards for how I am treated. At times I know it lies somewhere on the middle. I have little hope to find someone to walk this journey with me.  

I am puffy faced with a pile of tissues beside me. I cannot breathe out of my nose. My cheeks and eyes are swollen and it almost looks like I've been slapped around. An emotional beat down. 

Amazing Grace just came on my playlist. The tears started again. I know self forgiveness is the toughest of all. Because even as I type this words pop into my head all the time like penance, paying my dues, lifelong sentence, this is what I deserve.
Now I can tell anyone else besides myself that is not true and have compassion for them. But I don't feel that for myself. I have given myself a life sentence of guilt and grief that comes in waves. On nights like this, it feels overwhelming, as though the weight of a thousand grieving mothers sits upon my heart. 

You are good, you do deserve love, you do deserve people in your life who love and care for the whole you. All of you; your past, present and future. I am going to say this to myself and I encourage any of you who need to say this to yourself to say it as well. Because it is true and I promise it will feel like it eventually, even if it doesn't in this precise moment. In this dark silence of the night.







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