One minute I was fine, the next a raging lunatic.
By: Aggie Armstrong for YourTango.com
Nothing ever prepares you for motherhood. Nothing. I read the books, made my birth plan, chose a playlist for my delivery and yet I was still totally naive and ignorant when the baby actually came nine months later. I was particularly wary about having postpartum depression since I had had episodes of depressed states in my 20s. In the first few months after giving birth, I was always on guard of how I was feeling. It was a soupy mixture of sleep deprivation fog and hazy bliss.
I was handling new motherhood like a champ until six weeks in at 3 AM in the morning when my husband and I had a huge fight, the biggest to date in our marriage. I can’t even remember what it was about now – my only vivid memories from that time are how sore my boobs were – but I chalked it up to hormones and severe lack of sleep. I was okay for the next four months, until a similar out-of-control feeling slammed into my brain out of nowhere. One moment, I was proclaiming my love for my little family, the next my kid was crying, the cat was whining, and all the dishes from breakfast were coming at me. My mind filled with loud noise and chaos. I felt cornered, unable to escape to a quiet respite.
I lost it.
The rage I felt was so real and so strong it scared me. My husband, in his attempt to calm me down and shepherd all of us out of the house and into the car, came toward me to give me a hug but I swatted his hand so hard, it sounded like I slapped him in the face. It was the first time I ever told him to get the f*ck away from me. The look in his eyes was pure devastation and confusion. He couldn’t understand how one minute I was fine and the next, a raging lunatic. I couldn’t either. I started hyperventilating and had to go upstairs to try to collect myself and figure out what the hell had just happened.
After that, almost every other week, I experienced incredible fits of rage, followed by feelings of immense guilt. Coupled with growing anxiety for my baby’s safety - I had nightmarish visions of her getting really sick that it would keep me up at night - it became crystal-clear that I was a total mess.