Tuesday, November 13, 2012

30 Day Holiday Photo Challenge - Day 14

Day 14 - Fear

This is one of the days that has tested me the most around here, and I still am not sure that this is really what I meant when I wrote up the list.

This obviously is not my picture, but the hallowed work Scream by Edvard Munch.

This is my fear.  Feeling like this.  Again.

For those who don't know what it means to not be in control of your thoughts, you will gladly have no idea what I am talking about.

For those who've been there, I'm sure you understand.

After the birth of my daughter, I experienced post-partum depression, manifesting primarily as intrusive thoughts.  Essentially what happens is this: you take every input your brain receives, television, movies, music, books, and then your mind takes it and twists and warps it.

I'd read a book about a family going to a zoo, then imagine throwing my child over the railing to the alligators.

I'd think about taking the kids up to the mountains, but end up lost on some winding road, imagining driving over the edge.

I'd clutch her to me tightly every single time I walked past the stairwell because my mind showed me dropping her down them.

I knew there was something wrong and refused to acknowledge it.  I'm a doula, I'm trained to recognize the symptoms, I should have known better.  I did know better and still I did nothing.

I spiraled out of control, terrified to leave the house, and no one knew.  I hid it from everyone.  Until the day that I had a nervous breakdown, a captive of my own mind.

I sought help then, recovered, and waited for years to tell most of my family and friends.  Ashamed of what I had allowed myself to become.  I let it go on until after that newborn was over a year old, and I have no memories of her infancy.

I'm terrified of it happening again.  I've lived in a body controlled by a mind that wasn't controlled by me.  It's not a good place, I promise you.

What are you afraid of?


  1. Holy crap, Kelly, I don't know if this post should be categorized as fear or as bravery. I will tell you this, the Kelly I see is honest and strong.

  2. I went through the same thing after Abby was born. I had the most horrific thoughts that scared the crap out of me. Thank goodness for my doctor and Zoloft. I was terrified it would happen after #2 was born, but it didn't...like you, I rarely talk about it. If anything, I feel angry that I got robbed out of enjoying those first few months with my daughter. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What am I afraid of? Failure. In life.


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