I used to be terribly judgmental. Not in general, but about specific things I thought I knew about or things that I didn’t fully understand. It’s sad that everyone catches themselves being judgmental at some point or another. Can it be helped? Maybe, yes, sometimes? We are all flawed that’s just the human nature. I’m so thankful we have it in us to learn and grow, to become better from our experiences and through them be able to understand more what others go through. That was definitely the case with me.
I am the mother of a boy and girl twin and a son who came 23 months after them. I didn’t have too bad of postpartum with the twins but my third was a different story. Slowly I started to become depressed.
There are many stories of woman doing unthinkable things to their children. Women who are put into prison for ending the life of their own children even. These are the women I judged. “That woman should never have had kids. She is pure evil. That woman is sick and twisted!” I would think these thoughts not having a clue what their stories where. Did I know some were now motivational speakers? Did I know what had caused them to become that monster for that brief moment in their life? Nope, I had no clue. I didn’t care, they hurt their kids! Well…
When my postpartum depression hit, it hit hard. I became someone I didn’t know or even recognize. I fell into a darkness that enveloped me further and further in till I thought there was absolutely no hope. Did I ever severely beat my kids? No, but I did and thought things I’m not proud of.
I would sit on the couch and think, “I should be happy. Why am I not happy?” I used to be someone who would think, “Depression? No such thing, they are just not choosing to be happy.” Like I said, I was a little more judgmental back then. But through my experience with severe post pardon I realized that depression is real, so real and scary. It wasn’t until I hurt myself, becoming a danger to myself and my kids that my husband and mom forced me into therapy and pills. I was so against psychiatrists and therapists, but I bit my pride back and did it. It was only then that I started to get better.
I cannot describe how bad postpartum can become for some woman. It’s as though you’re in a deep dark pit with slick walls that you cannot use to climb out with. You feel like the worst person, mother, wife on the planet. You cry for hours down in the dimly lit basement in a ball and repeatedly put yourself down. You gaze off at a party and wonder why you can’t be as good a mother as the rest of your friends. You wonder how on earth you could possibly think that you wish you had never had kids, that they’ve ruined your life. You wonder how you could have other thoughts about them that scare even you! You feel as though you are the only woman on the planet to ever experience the sadness and anger you have. You are afraid to tell anyone how you are feeling in fear of judgement from your peers. Your afraid someone might call CPS. You don’t even know if you’re a good person anymore. Nothing your spouse says can help because what do they know about how you feel?
I am here to say I went through it all, and I came out a better person. I can understand these mothers who have done far worse things than me from postpartum. I can turn my judgments to love and understanding. I didn’t go through my terrible trial for nothing, I now can be there for anyone I know who might later on in life go through what I did. I can be there for them. I can understand without passing hate.
“What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” We need to use our trials in life as lessons and as ways to help others. We all relate better to people to have gone through similar trials, but how do we get through trials? We get through the with the help of people who have been there, who understand what we are going through. People who help us feel safe as we reveal our deepest regrets and experiences. That’s the key. We can only grow through trials, we can only help others if we have experienced what they are going through at that time.
Trials are a blessing. I learned long ago to see the good in the bad, because no matter what bad thing is going on in your life, no matter how awful the thing you have experienced, there is good that comes with it. Even if it’s just being able to be there for someone who is experiencing the same trial you had and survived through.