I went into get groceries today and I remembered some tough thoughts I had had before talking to anyone about PPD. I really debated if writing about this. I wasn’t sure if it would be helpful to anyone if I wrote it, and in fact I worry it would do more harm. But then I realized if there is someone else out there who has gone through the same thing maybe they would want to know they aren’t alone. * No Sarah I still don’t have tendencies to want to hurt myself.
I think this was probably the toughest part of PPD for me so far. I did not deal with a disconnect from my kids like so many women do, in some ways I think I connected to them more. Instead I slowly started to disconnect from Ben. The thing about it, looking back now, it was a slow process and it almost snuck by me. But thankfully it ended up being a giant red waving flag. One that was raised so high I finally clued in something wasn’t right.
It took me looking back to realize it was the thing that really made me realize that I was not coping well.
Ben and I have always been very attached to each other. Since we started dating we have spent very few days and or nights apart. For a stretch we even worked together every day. People often talked about us being attached at the hip. And we almost literally were we barely took our hands off each other….get your mind outta the gutter we were PG about it!
Ben doing what he does.
I really noticed a change with us about two months before Elise was born. We fought more often, but the thing was the fights were often about silly things. We would take something small and take it into a bigger area. Or they were the same conversations we have had over and over again. But they were intense. We have obviously fought like every other couple. But we always resolved quickly, sometimes within minutes of the beginning of the fight. So, when the arguments started having a more intense air to them it felt off, I felt like we were slipping from each other.
When that started to happen I searched for all the plausible reasons. For anything that would explain it. Maybe we had kids to early, maybe we needed more one on one time together, maybe I needed to lower my expectations, my list of maybes went on and on. And some of them really did have minor truth to them. But, now I realize a large part of it was me picking away at us. *Note- No Ben you are not off the hook, you still need to work on your shit…yeah I said your shit J
This stuff is almost as hard to admit to as having PPD is. Realizing that I was literally hacking away at one of the people I love the most. What a rude awakening. So not only am I in a dark hole of depression but I drug my marriage way down there with me. I tied it to my ankle and jumped into the deep end of that damn pool again!
In the month following Elise’s birth the pressures of a relationship started to feel too much. I started to feel like maybe I was meant to be alone. Maybe I was meant to take my kids and just be alone, not have to be in a relationship. The stress that I felt around dealing with another whole family and the stress of feeling like I was bringing Ben down just felt like too much. It was feeling more and more like Ben would be better off either alone or in a relationship that was not riddle with so much stress.
Our little family
It breaks my heart all over again just to write this stuff. I couldn’t ever really imagine my life without Ben. I know I would be an empty shell without him in my life. But I hated seeing the stress everything was causing him. Ben has got the kind of personality where everyone just likes him, he doesn’t even have to do anything and you like him. Those kinds of people are usually so kind and almost child like in the way they just love everyone that you really hate to hurt them. OK obviously no one like to hurt anyone, but these kind of people are the worst to hurt. I think it’s because just as easily as they love they show their hurt and it’s freaking heartbreaking!
I am so grateful Ben is the supportive loving husband that he is. But, this just made me think, how many other women (or men) go through this process? How many people end a relationship because they couldn’t face their own problems? They couldn’t have the personal growth they really needed?
Because as much as Ben has his faults and needs to work on things, this particular problem was mine and mine alone. I needed to take the walk down the dark path that terrified me or I was gonna have to face the consequences of what it could do to my relationships. Luckily as I pick my way through this new patch of growth I have such a great support team, especially in Ben and my mom.
And now I would say we are well on our way to being even stronger. I think in my growth Ben has had his own growth. I truly believe a couple has to grow together. If growth can’t happen together I think some huge problems occur and sadly someone can get left behind. I am so thankful that Ben is so open to growth and we can work together on helping each other get to where we both want to be.
And now I think I am rambling. Not sure if this has said everything in the way I wanted it to. Hopefully…