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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I'm Your Huckleberry

I'll Be Your Huckleberry


I'm just the right woman for the job! I didn't necessarily want the job; and it's not exactly the job I would've imagined I would have had when I was a child, but I will do it nonetheless. Why am I the right woman for the job? Well, because no one else wants to do it.


Here's my observations on what happens in this - POST LIFE (Nikki Love is attempting to tell a version via her movie) I am writing about as it happens to me and feel the real time effects. 
Natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis, postlife movie, depression, suicide, death, nikki love

Let me explain (this is the part where I'm your huckleberry comes into play perfectly) - people ignore you as you stand before them as a real live person. Or at least in cyber time. It makes them uncomfortable. As long as you continue with the act of suicide and make sure you actually die; you will be lovingly remembered and it will be romanticized. Your family and friends will be invited to speak at public events to raise awareness. Your story will be shared whenever one of them posts something about you, and on any kind of anniversary, there will be a remembrance. 
You will become a stepping stone. Your back will become a platform for which others stand on to tell their own stories, and promote their own causes. 
That's not to say their causes are bad or not worthy of being promoted. On the contrary, most of them are fundamental in women's healthcare. I mean ALL Postpartum Mood Disorders are important and need to be discussed. 

But and this is such a big, enormous but, we also need to be talking to and having women like myself be the ones actually doing the talking. Share my posts, share my stories, get on board. I don't ever want to hear "I don't know what to say" again. Because if that is your response to me when I make myself readily available, then you have absolutely no business ever talking about Postpartum Psychosis and what those worst case outcomes are. 
Because it is on the back's of those worst case outcomes that you get links to your sites. You get readers aghast, but still reading, and coming back for more. Those worst case outcomes are what make the papers, and drive people to provide more funding. It's sad but true. 

This is about all of us. We are all in this together. Oh sure, I get upset because I will be going on 17 years since I became ill and not having a clue what was happening to me. Now going onto four years blogging and I still hear the same thing. 
Yes, progress is slow and I have seen it myself. But if we, we the women at the forefront who are doing the pushing. The women who are standing up and demanding to be seen. Shouting out loud, you will hear us. We Need to be together, we need to stand together. We cannot be Un-united. We Have to support each other, in all our endeavors. 

This is not about each one of us individually. This is about all the women who are here now, who will come after us, our daughters, our granddaughters, sisters, all women.  

Every time you share a post, you like a link, you comment, and you pass along information even if it does not benefit you in the moment, you are paying it forward. You are helping more women, more families, more moms. 
Isn't that what you would have wanted someone, anyone to have done for you? I know I would have. That's what I think about every single day when I get frustrated. When I get so irritated because I am not allowed into some of the inner circles and many of my posts don't get "shared" by some of the "hipper" Postpartum circles. 
I remind myself that, they are the people who are not paying it forward. I will continue to do my part. I will continue on my journey. 
I will continue to be your Huckleberry.





Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser

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





Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Postpartum Psychosis - POST Life

POST LIFE Movie


A tormented mother has a difficult time coping with life after the tragic death of her 3 month old daughter.


This is a movie about life after Postpartum Psychosis. Something I write fairly regularly about. Nikki Love has started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise awareness about Postpartum Psychosis. Let's help her reach that goal, so we can help all mothers. All Moms Matter. 

A WORD FROM THE PRODUCER:

So we have officially launched our campaign to raise funds and raise awareness. It's been a looong journey for me...


Setbacks, Convictions & Courage

11/24/2015 Update


I can't even begin to tell you the emotional roller coaster ride over the past few days. But I will try. This is going to be a long post, but I have to share this story about setbacks, conviction and courage. You'll be blessed by the end, I promise! :-) ....











Here's a link to the Go Fund Me site as well to support this very important project.




Every Dollar Counts - Let's Make this Happen!
We are ALL WARRIOR MOMS!



Director / Producer: Salli Richardson - Whitfield

Writer / Producer: Nikki Love

Executive Producer: Nina Yang Bongiovi

Executive Producers: Blessed Ent., Jerwana Hill, Calvin Roberts

Consulting Producers: Jane Honikman, George Parnham

Cinematographer: Keith Smith

Original Score: Kevin Flournoy

Editor: JJ Geiger

VFX: Zafer Mustafa & Eddie Williams


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






Sunday, November 22, 2015

Suicidal Ideation

Suicide Ideation


natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis, suicide, maternal mental health, post life, depression

Suicidal thoughts they come and they go. They are rapid, they are slow.
Up and down, the feelings float by. Creating hunger, telling lies.
I try to climb, I try to be free. I feel the weight, it's crushing me.
Creating the hollows beneath my eyes. I feel my hopes begin to die.
Inside my brain I try to reason, I try to say, you can do this another day.
Darkness gathers along my mind. It's creeping in, it's not so kind.
Everything is bitter now. Sleep I must, sleep somehow.
I will myself to not wake up. The ache inside is just too much.
Death will be a sure release. All the pain, would just cease. 
Every teardrop would just dry. No more weight, no more cries.
At last I'll breathe my very last breath. It whispers to me, it's for the best.
Tonight may be the night I see, all those who've left long before me.
I tell myself it's the only way. I cannot live another day.
Once it's done, I just go numb. It's over even before it begun.
Nights are long, the days are short. Suicide; the last resort.



And Sometimes You Just Have to Keep Breathing-






Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser

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






Saturday, November 14, 2015

Staying Grounded in Grief (And Creating a Shitstorm)

My Heart is Aching


As I read through an article about countertransference and they're taking about a therapy session in which the mom is grieving for her newborn son that was stillborn; I have such an intense ache inside my own heart, it feels like someone is actually squeezing it tightly.


I am paying attention as I read the article. I have not gotten all the way through the story yet. It's an article written by Karen Kleinman in Psychology Today. I had been trying to find some articles on anyone who had studied mothers who had lost children in the throes of Postpartum

Psychosis and what the grieving process is like for them. I've have been unsuccessful so far. So, in my own attempt to explain what this hell is
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like for those women, I will walk you through my experience reading this article:

It's titled "Countertransference: When is yours, mine?" and it is about a couple named Monica and Bobby who lost a little boy nine months gestation. He was two weeks post term when delivered and pretty much uneventful. 
My own son, Hunter was also born close to two weeks post term. This pregnancy for me was physically difficult. Nothing serious, just a lot of ongoing physical issues. 

The mother in the therapy session has asked to share a photo of her son with Karen. I am only a few paragraphs in and I have already gotten a stomach ache and my feet have started doing a toe crunch. I start touching my thigh lightly, tapping

As they are sharing the photo my eyes are filling with tears and I don't want to cry and I remind myself it's okay. I remind myself I am the only one here. My legs tighten and I cross my feet, I am biting my top lip. I take a minute for myself. Deep breaths. 

I go back to read a bit more. 

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I got through to where Karen starts discussing Freud and how she starting comparing their stories. I realized I am clenching my jaw and I am rubbing one of my wrists. As I type this I cannot rub my wrist. I am still
clenching my jaw but have moved to positioning my feet in the prone position not moving. 
After typing those two statements I stopped doing both of those things, at least momentarily.

I took a three week break from writing that. That's how difficult it can be.
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As I found the article again, I started immediately rubbing my left thumb and ring finger together. I haven't quite found my place yet, I am about to do just that.
Before I hit the tab I am tapping my fingers together on my left hand.

I'm not quite to the place, but my eyes skim over the part where Monica has asked to show Karen a photo of her son. It brings me back to the time I was still at AMHI in a women's forensic group (there were four of us) and I had brought one of the only photos I had of my son to share. It took me most of the group to finally say I wanted to show them my photo. The group was run by two female psychologists and one of them, just before I was about to hand my photo over to one of the other females, stopped me to ask "what I was hoping to get from sharing?". I immediately took my photo back and felt as though I had been kicked square in the guts. (I am constantly rubbing my fingers togethers and crunching my toes around the rung of the stool I am sitting on)
The safe moment that had been created during the group in which I felt as though I could share, was shattered when she stopped my hand from passing along the photo. It did and still does feel like a priceless token of time that I have captured. So small and yet worth so much. It's all I have.

I am going to go back to the article, but typing that small piece has sent me to tears that I am trying not to let get out of control.

I have gotten to the part where Karen says "The death of a child must be the most difficult to mourn." I thought when my mother died it was terrible. Missing a child and mixing it with the knowing guilt of your own hand creates something I wouldn't wish upon anyone.

Every day I think about dying. When I hear the name 'Hunter' I turn my head. When I see a reference to Robin Williams (my son was named after Robin Williams character in the movie Patch Adams) I think of him.

I feel as though most of you don't deserve to talk about Postpartum Psychosis and the 5% possibilities unless you are willing to stand in front of me. You are not allowed to say how sorry you are for the mother who just tried to drive into an ocean, or who got shot in front of the White House. You are not allowed to share their stories until you face me. You are not allowed to speak to the grieving families and the widows, the orphaned children or the lost souls until you are willing to stand in front of me.

You don't have that right. Your rights are revoked. Until you backup your words with actions. Because I am a Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser.
I make myself do things I don't want to do all the time. I face my fears. I am afraid. I am alone. I make choices that I hope will make things not just better for the here and now, but better for the future. (I still make mistakes, that goes without saying)
But, this is not an easy life, my mind carries the burden and my heart carries grief.

I finished this tonight November 14th, 2015. I started this almost a month ago. I couldn't do it at the time. It felt crushing when I tried.

But it needs to be said. Just getting through that article took a month and I finished it tonight because of a tweet that ticked me off. Unintended, but yet isn't that how all shitstorms start?

I do wonder at times if I wasn't here to say "Whoa, now!" "Hey" and start jumping up and down and waving my arms around like a mad woman, how many things would just get swept away unnoticed. I mean, I guess who else will do it right?





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





Monday, November 9, 2015

Am I Worthy?

"Am I Worthy"

 Originally written while I was remanded - Nov 25, 2001 (I had just spent my first Thanksgiving alone)

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

Life continues elsewhere, but behind these huge stone walls, time seems to stop and sometimes you forget who you really are. 
You've looked for the light at the end of the tunnel, but hopes and dreams seem to get further and further away until you believe you can't see them anymore. 
You want that with every mistake you make it will be your last, and at last you will learn from your mistakes. 
Do you think I'm worthy?  Do I think I'm worthy? 
There have been many times I have forgotten God and all he has given me. For I am too busy enjoying myself. 
I often feel unworthy and believe he will not want my broken body and soul, for I did not turn to him when I was standing tall. 
I wonder of my uncertainty of God.  Is there truth behind my prayers? 
I can say out loud to anyone who would listen; yes, of course God loves me. 
Whenever I stumble, he waits for me to ask for his help again.  For like all parents, they love their children always, and I am one of his children. 
But in my heart, while I lie in bed at night, my fear is that I am undeserving of God’s love and forgiveness. 
I waiver in my faith, and wonder if God is really there. 
I try to recall in my desperate moments, the times I have been filled by his presence and overwhelming feelings of love.  
And I have, for it is not God who forgets me and gets too busy to say hello.  It is I who forgets to give thanks to him. 
Yet he always helps me back to my feet when I fall, caresses my tears and fills me with hope I so desperately need. 
So I pray again the same unforgotten words that I try to believe will be heard. 
"Please forgive me, I am sorry and I want to do right by you.  Help me God, for you are my strength when I have none." 
So in my weakest moments, when I feel like I have been dropped from a tall building like a rock to the ground, he will wrap his celestial arms around me and embrace my fall, for he knows I will turn to him.


For he is my strength when I have none.  And we are all worthy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had written this when I was spending my first Thanksgiving in AMHI. I remember I had never been away from family during the Holidays before. When I got up Thanksgiving morning, I cried into my cornflakes. I would no longer be preparing a Turkey.

I've been struggling a lot. Away from everyone down here in Myrtle Beach. Thanksgiving is fast approaching and my experience is telling anyone up close and personal about my past is not only not fun, it sends people running. 

People always, always think they want to know. They just cannot comprehend. So, you go through the painful, twisting of your soul to tell them and they run away. Because they cannot fathom when you try to explain to them beforehand when you say it's too difficult to talk about or understand. 
So you die just a little bit more inside each time you believe one more person who tells you to trust them. That they will be the one to understand. 

I stepped out of dating for years now. My last serious relationship ended in 2011. I wanted to focus on my daughter and all that was happening. 
I had only begun dating again since being down in Myrtle Beach. No one knows me here. But, no connections. Nothing worth mentioning until very recently I met someone, I had that feeling you can't quite put words to. It's that feeling you wait for. I mean it only took four years right? 
But, you know how this ends:
I go ahead and start mentally preparing myself for the big reveal. I had to buy some alcohol (and any of you that know me, know I don't drink) to start talking. I'm having an anxiety attack the entire time and trying to give this abbreviated version by only saying I was responsible for another life at this point. My guts feel like they're being ripped out of me. 
He's being very kind. As we are talking, I tell him I could hug him and never let go, and he gives me a warning about not doing that. I am crushed. 
We end up on my balcony and he ends up going in first and I stay outside trying to figure out what to do. I then hear his truck start up. I go back inside and he is gone, along with his things. I proceed to send him a series of irrational texts (at this point I am fairly intoxicated) and I got Lasagna in my bed too (I have no idea about that either, found it there this morning. Like I said, I never drink and I drank an entire bottle of wine myself)

This is the most difficult conversation in my world to have with someone. People do not understand what they are asking. This is why I gave up dating. I feel like a fool for believing. I really thought for a moment I had paid penance for everything. I thought someone good, kind and genuine was being sent into my life. Someone who seemed to value the same things I did and was loyal to a fault. 
I'm tired. I want to keep believing, I do. It's just hard. 



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








Friday, October 16, 2015

Lumpy Potato Paste & Friendship

My Best Friend


We met freshman year of highschool. Your name was Adam. We were kindred spirits and I can't remember a time when we weren't fighting or when we weren't best friends. 



postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow, natachia barlow ramsey, mataernal mental health, suicide, death, postpartum depression
Adam and I 2007
We eventually had to be separated in class because we would talk and laugh the entire time. We would try to make it through, but inevitably we would draw photos on paper from across the room (sort of the retro version of texting) and get kicked out. 
Right from the beginning, you would get mad at me for not eating pepperoni when you wanted to and I would get mad at you for not doing something I wanted.
When I moved to Virginia when I was 15 and came back to Maine at Christmas, you were the only friend I came to visit. You wouldn't get me tissues out of the bathroom and I had been crying, so I had this huge snotball I had to cover with my hands. I was so mad at you. 
When your parents took me in the year I turned 16, I used to come into your room at night to watch Johnny Carson. I would enter with a jacket and blanket already on. You had the AC cranked and it was winter. In Maine. But that's how cold you always liked it.

Months could go by and we would have moved or not been talking and would see each other. The conversation would pick right back up as though I had seen you yesterday. 

There were times were had serious fights. So serious we didn't talk or see each other for more than a year. I couldn't even recall all the times we told each other to Fuck off Asshole. But we told each other I love you even more.

You're still my friend, and I miss you. I miss knowing that no matter what there is someone that has my back. I miss that kind of loyalty in a person. 
I miss having someone around that I know even if we disagree, even if we don't see eye to eye, it doesn't mean you aren't there anymore. 
I miss knowing my daughter has someone that would always take her call and when she texts you about her ultra sound, you ask her if she's having an alien baby. She thought that was so funny. I loved you for that.

I miss that you always knew when it came right down to it; certain things just trumped other things. Arguments could be put on hold. Humor could always be used to get over stuff. Grudges could just be done away with. 

I loved that we could openly disagree with each other and our feelings wouldn't get hurt. Or if they did it was short lived. 

postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow, natachia barlow ramsey, maternal mental health, suicide, death, postpartum depression, friendship
Friendship - Getting things ready the night before he was married
I remember the sheets I had gotten for you to sleep on. You said they felt like butter. I say that sometimes now. 
How we went looking for wet battered whole fried clams, and drove an entire day looking, until we were both so hungry we stopped at this small roadside place, and you fell in love with the whole fried clams there. We left and never found the place again. 
How many times did we go to a party the winter I stayed with you and your parents, you would always say, go directly upstairs and not to visit with your mom because we'd had a couple wine coolers? (ugh remember those) I'd stand there like a deer in headlights. 
It was your dad, that not only showed, but taught me that mashed potatoes could be wonderfully creamy, fluffy and not taste like cold paste with hard lumps. I fell in love with mashed potatoes at your house and stopped having to shove cold, lumpy, potato paste into my sweater pockets to flush down the toilet after that winter. 
We used to tease your mom and say that eventually we were going to walk in and the entire house would be knitted. There were knitted toilet paper covers, dolls, dollhouses, vacuum cleaner covers, doilies, socks, clothes, miniature furniture, etc...


It's been almost four years since the day Wendy called and said you didn't wake up. Sleep Apnea with an enlarged heart. 
There's always a moment where everything freezes. Things tighten, everything feels very slow and very fast all at once. You question, asking what, why? 
I am never prepared. The day of your funeral my daughter totaled a car. 

postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow, natachia barlow ramsey, maternal mental health, suicide, death, postpartum depression, friendship

I miss you. I miss the world being made out of people like you. Obnoxious, loud, brazen, loyal, kind, and true.

Are people just not made of that kind of stuff anymore? It's a rare day I

would ever "unfriend" someone (as though that's actually possibly) in this digital age. 
I have people I have to block for obvious reasons. But it takes a lot and I do mean a lot for me to actually cut someone completely out of my life. We all need time and space. There are times we have to walk away for a bit to get some perspective.
Sometimes we need to grow apart a little, so we can grow together a lot. 

I forgive easily. But I am okay with that. I would rather be that person. It takes a lot of energy to hate and hold a grudge.

I miss my friend that I just knew that no matter what at the end of the day, I could count on. It's hard to find people like that anymore. 

You were my friend for 23 years and it just wasn't long enough.






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


Friday, September 18, 2015

When I Try to Be Brave

I Have Debilitating PTSD


*Originally blogged Aug. 18th, 2015- One of the sitting in drafts*


Almost no one knows I suffer from severe PTSD. It doesn't stem from one specific thing; it stems from a multitude of things. I know there are certain people that see me as dysfunctional; perhaps it's easier for them to see me that way. But I push myself often to do many things I am scared of. Things that give me a lot of anxiety, and that is when I am trying to be my bravest. 


I have had nightmares since I was a child. Where I would wake up in a cold sweat, heart racing and unable to move. As an adult, they have just gotten worse. I now take a medication that is supposed to help with nightmares. It was approved originally for veterans with PTSD. It doesn't
Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Maternal Mental Health, Suicide, Depression, Kinkade, Pollock
Kinkade meets Pollock
really work that well, if at all (for me).
My daughter and I were sharing a one bedroom apt down in the Carolinas the last few months and on several different occasions she would tell me I was talking and crying in my sleep. I also take anxiety medication just before bedtime, which I believe helps as well. But, nothing makes it all go away.

I have different ways I cope when I have a panic attack. I listen to music. I rock back and forth. I breathe deeply. I go for a drive. I try to reach out and talk to someone, even if I don't tell them I am actually having a panic attack.
I imagine when they are sitting and speaking with me I may look to them anywhere from calm, to a little fidgety. Inside? Well, inside I probably look more like a Jackson Pollock painting than a Thomas Kinkade.

I had PTSD even before I became ill with Postpartum Psychosis. All the events that came after, just exacerbated the condition. It also made me realize I can be brave even when I am scared. It taught me to push through even when I am frightened and don't know what is on the other side.
That's what I would say is courage. Having courage doesn't mean you aren't afraid. It doesn't mean you wouldn't rather be doing something else. It means you are doing it anyway.

When you stand beside someone, when you take their hand. When you become their voice, help them find their own. When you are afraid you might be the only one but you do it anyway. When you take that chance knowing just one other person might be reached. When you are scared, afraid, worried, panicked and you do it anyway? You are courageous. You are the brave. You are the Moms, you are the Warriors, you are the Women who make a difference.

Every, single, one of you who takes time. Be it a few moments, minutes, hours or days to stand up, share your stories and be courageous when you are feeling so afraid; you are also the Warrior Moms who Make a Difference. You are All Needed.





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


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
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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 bathroom stall...

      
    
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    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