Postpartum depression: My daughter’s story

13 Aug

Once again I’m linking up with Mrs. Monologues “2000 on Tuesday” writing challenge.


Last week I wrote about postpartum and my story and this week is a continuation with My daughters story. The writing prompt this week is ” You are myy inspiration” and this girl inspires me more than one can imagine. Enjoy!

To say the damage to my relationship with my daughter is the one thing in my life I regret – would be an understatement. There is damage to that relationship that will take years and years to repair. She’s 7 now and we are finally at a place where I can see past it. She’s a great kid, full of spirit and heart and soul. She’s kind when she wants to be. She’s a great sister, friend and daughter. Im so thankful that I got the chance to see that. That I picked up the phone that day and called.

I was strong enough to get that help on my own even in the midst of all that. Not everyone is and sometimes when I see moms who are having a bad day, who are upset with their kids and yelling at them, I want to go to them and ask them if they need any help. But I can’t. If someone had approached me about it, I would have denied it all. It probably would have pushed me further inward. I was one of those moms who was determined that this was the best time of my life and I should be so lucky to have these kids so I pretended everyday that that was what I was really feeling. Inside, i was dying. I hated myself more and more everyday for not loving my daughter, I hated myself for the anger I was displaying towards everyone and I hated myself for not being normal.

A typical day spent with her at home wasspent mostly wishing she wasn’t here. I would pick them up from daycare and hang out with them until my husband got home from work. Once he came home, I would often retreat to my room. Sometimes I cried. Sometimes i just sat there staring at the wall. Other times, I would write. I wrote letter after letter to this girl. I would write about her day, I would write about how beautiful she was and I would write how much I loved her. I think I thought if I said all that over and over, I would feel it. I knew in my head I loved her, but in my heart I just didn’t feel it. I read those letters a few years back. Although the words were all there in all the right places, the desperation and separation still stood out to me and I found them very painful to read even then.

As she continued to grow and become a busy toddler – and busy she was – the harder things became. She was requiring more attention and work from me and I just couldn’t give it to her. She became an outlet for my anger and short patience. I was constantly angry with her and she was too little to know why. Thakfully she had a father who was there for her. He became her guardian and often took her with him to give me a break. He is her whole world and she absolutely adores him. I once read a saying “A little girls first love is her father” and for her – this is 100% true. The bond that they have would probably not have developed as strong as it is had I not been dealing with the depression. So, if there is one good thing that came out of all of this, it is their relationship. They love to go on drives together, she helps him work around the yard, she hunts and fishes with him and will do just pretty much about anything he asks of her. She idolizes him and he babies her to no end still.

For us however, the journey to get there has been slow. I knew I had hurt her and wasn’t there for her like she deserved. I was unsure if she would ever forgive me or love me wholeheartedly and that scared me more than I can express. I want her to know that she was wronged and she had every right to be reluctant. I also want her to know that as much as she was robbed, I was too. I will never forget the day when I put her in a dress and did her hair in pigtails and stepped back looked at her. And really saw her. For the first time I was noticing how adorable this little girl was and was overcome with love for her. She was 2. I had never felt that feeling about her before that day. That breaks my heart.

 I missed out on loving her for a lot of years. I missed out on experiencing all the joys of her babyhood. It wasn’t until almost 4 years later when I had my third child that I understood just how much. Every time my new baby would do something cute, everytime she would make a mess, everytime she would cry and I would go to her and comfort her, I was reminded again how much was stolen from my first daughter. How much I had failed her. I’ve spent many years feeling guilty for not being there for her. I’ve also spent many years scared of her. Scared she would now reject me, scared that too much damage had been done, scared that I would never get to be the mother I wanted to be and that she deserved me to be.

Its been a slow road to recovery. She was unwilling to let me parent her once I was ready. She was used to doing things on her own, of not asking for things because noone was there to help her anyway, of running to her father when I said no. All that put a new strain on the relationship. I couldn’t be mad at her for not wanting me when that was all she had known. Together we have found our own system. She has my temper, which how could she not, really. She came by it quite honestly. She had delayed speech, which I will always take the blame for. How could she have learned to talk properly when she was constantly being told to be quiet. Now that she is in school, she has delayed reading, which again, I can’t help but feel guilty about. If i had only spent more time reading to her, engaging her in conversation maybe this wouldn’t be. A mothers guilt about everything is always there anyways without Postpartum to complicate it, but these are a few of the things that will haunt me forever.

Despite all that she had to overcome and deal with she’s an amazing girl. I enjoy her company now and love having her around. She has a great sense of humor, is full of energy, spirit and curiosity. It’s hard for me to say whether she will remember anything about this in the future. I hope if she does, she’ll come to me and ask me about it. If not, when the time is right, I will share it with her, if for no other reason to make her aware of the potential for a repeat with her. Until then, I see the world through a different set of eyes when I am with her. She inpsires me to share my story, to let go of the pain of the past and love life. She inspires me to forgive when I want to be angry and she inspires me to not let the past ruin the future.

Word count 1302. 700 more words? im not gonna make it.


One Response to “Postpartum depression: My daughter’s story”

  1. Kate from Mrs. Monologues August 20, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    This is a beautiful post. It sounds like your relationship has gotten better with time, and you can just tell how much you love your daughter. Guilt is such a hard thing to rid of, but actions speak louder than words. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

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