My best friend had some bad news recently so me and my other bestie went to visit her on Saturday, a surprise visit. It was just wonderful to see her face light up. We had a proper fun day – laser quest, go karting, meal out, drinks and bingo – yes bingo on a Saturday night (don’t ask).
It was an early start for me, getting up at 6.30am to get myself showered, the kids bathed and ready for the day, breakfast, Jenny all ready for ballet, spare clothes put out, changing bag packed, sorting everyone’s meals for the rest of the day, writing Emily’s routine down, then sorting myself, packing snacks, drinks for me and Alex.. My husband had the children from 9am until we got back at midnight. It was a long, heartbreaking day but I’m so glad we went.
When I got back Emily woke up, I was so tired and the baby waking up was the last thing I needed, but I dealt with her and stayed up with her until she settled about 2am (even though the husband was up anyway watching prison break) – I suppose he had done his fair share of childcare for the day.
The next morning I could just feel the tiredness and irritability creep in. The previous day had wiped me out. The 6 hours on the road, the stress and upset, keeping overly happy and upbeat, I felt like making sure everyone was enjoying themselves was my number one task and I didn’t realise what an emotional strain it was.. I was plain and simply exhausted. I cancelled plans with friends, and just planned on staying in and then go out for Sunday lunch somewhere as a late celebration of Emilys 1st birthday. Jenny had been invited to a friends so I got her ready to go and she left for the afternoon.
My husband went to church in the morning, then went straight out afterwards to go to play squash then relax at the gym and in the hydrotherapy pool. He came back 10 minutes before we were due to leave for the meal but he still needed to shower. This immediately got me on edge as I hate being late for things, in retaliation of me being annoyed at his tardiness he pointed out that I hadn’t sorted a pile of washing from the drier which also got my back up.. And he also said that he looked after the kids all by himself yesterday and he actually managed to keep the house clean and tidy, which I took as a dig at me. All in all,
I felt stressed, exhausted and upset. I felt useless, rushed for time and under appreciated.
We fell out. I snapped at him, he snapped back and it turned in to a full blown argument about my post natal depression. He said, “I’m not pussy-footing around you any more, you need some tough love, I’m not walking on eggshells, it’s just not me. I don’t understand you – why can’t you just find something to be happy about? There are plenty of people worse off than you, do you not like your life? You have it easy compared to loads of other people! And you’re talking about wanting another baby?! You need to do some exercise, get happy! Stop moping – these therapists are just being too nice to you, I’m sick of it, it’s not working you need tough love.”
That helped. I feel much better – having my husband shout at me in the car was one of the lowest points of this shitty PND journey.
What I need is my husband to be understanding, I need a little tact and sensitivity. I need for him to understand that I’m anxious and on edge sometimes and not to add extra stress on to my plate and make me feel worse for not completing every task and nit-picking over the tiny things.
Although we ended up making friends, I couldn’t shake his words.
That night he showed the usual signs of wanting to ‘get some’ and I said I’d like some cuddles in bed (which could possibly lead to something else but I really just wanted to be held and feel loved before anything else could happen). He said he would rather stay down stairs and watch prison break. I went to bed alone.
The next morning he wouldn’t get up with the kids, he did his usual of staying in bed until 8.50am (the latest he can stay in bed until he has to leave to drop Jenny off at school). When he came downstairs I quizzed him about all of the snack cupboard being eaten (crisps, dime bars, Galaxy, haribo, cake and biscuits) and he said “well if there was something worth coming to bed for maybe I wouldn’t stay up late”. Then he mentioned that he felt like we were “friends who lived together” because we haven’t been intimate in a week.
I am struggling so badly right now. I can’t believe my own husband can talk to me like that. I am beyond hurt. I know it can’t be easy for him with me having my moments of panic and stress but it doesn’t excuse this.
I feel like I am juggling 20 juggling balls high in the air, one ball may represent a chore I need to do, one ball may represent a nappy change or a bottle feed, hanging up washing, loading the dishwasher or doing the school run. It’s taking all of my concentration to keep them all high up there, in order and not falling. Then something knocks me, like being rushed, a time limit, the husband having a go at me or picking apart the jobs that I have done or haven’t had time to do yet and I drop one of the balls but instead of just one ball dropping, they all come crashing down and I stop in my tracks and cannot function. Although my brain is screaming at me to keep going and act like a normal human being my body can’t and I end up staring at the wall like a deranged person.
I want to feel normal again.. Although I can feel the post natal depression cloud lifting I still have moments of absolute panic and severe anxiety. In these moments I feel like I have drunk 20 cups of coffee and the caffeine is coursing through my veins and I am shaky and panicking.