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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 I had been reading all of my posts sitting in drafts, some may sit there unpublished forever.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~