Thank you, guys. Thank you for caring enough to comment, and email, and be concerned. Thank you for sharing similar experiences with me so that I don’t feel alone, so I don’t feel crazy. I don’t – on either count.
There were two kinds of responses to my last post. Those of you who have experienced PPD thought that I was experiencing PPD. Those of you who have lost a parent thought that I was experiencing grief.
This feels like grief.
My dad died when I was 8 months pregnant. His diagnosis came within mere days of my positive pregnancy test. There was not one day during my pregnancy that my dad was not dying.
The collision of two such enormous events left me unable to fully realize the sadness of one or the happiness of the other.
Now, Dove is here and my dad is not. It is now incredibly easy for me to be happy in celebrating my child, my children. But the sadness? That really is just starting to manifest, and the form that it is taking right now is part anxiety, part action.
But I think that’s ok.
I think that I have just been dealt dual life-changing circumstances, and I think that my response to them have been ok. Maybe not the healthiest, every second of every day, but I think that’s ok. I think I will get through it.
13 years ago I was held up at knifepoint in the middle of the afternoon, at my retail job. In a good part of town. (Hell, I now live blocks away.)
It scared me. It scared the hell out of me. For many months I was scared – of any man that I did not know, of being alone, of it happening again. I wanted to talk about it, so I went to see a therapist. After two sessions, the therapist decided that I had post-traumatic stress disorder and wrote me a prescription for an anti-depressant.
Without getting into a big thing about how I feel about psychiatric drugs, here’s what I did:
I threw out the prescription.
Here’s what I thought:
I was just held up at knifepoint. My life had been threatened. I was scared. Shouldn’t I be scared after going through that? Have I really gone beyond the realm of what’s socially acceptable on the scale of being frightened? Isn’t it ok to react the way I’m reacting, considering what I just went through?
I felt the answer was yes, and that in time, the fear would subside, leaving me cautious but stronger. It did.
Here’s what I wonder about what’s going on now:
Five months ago (tomorrow), my dad died of cancer while I was pregnant. I did not want to be sad while pregnant. Now I am not pregnant, and I am sad. And I am scared. Because I do not want to leave my children thanks to cancer the way my dad did.
Isn’t it ok that I feel this way? Isn’t this an ok reaction? Won’t it eventually subside, leaving me stronger?
I think it will.
And if it doesn’t, I won’t be ashamed to ask for help. And I know that you would help me find it.