I waited very impatiently staring out the picture window. The diaper bag packed hours ago rested on the floor by my feet. I held on tightly to the bundle of screaming baby in my arms and I thought angrily:
“Where is he?”
My teeth clenched.
Half an hour passed.
My heart pounded.
An hour passed.
Foot tapping anxiously.
When my husband finally came in the door to greet us, my eyes scrunched with so much anger I was sure that he had felt it pierce his soul.
“What is the matter?” he said.
“What’s the matter? What’s the matter? We were supposed to meet my parents an hour ago for fish and chips,” I said, my tone of voice getting louder and more forceful.
“Oh, I forgot. Well, we can go now,” he said reaching for our baby out of my arms.
“We can’t go now. It’s done. We do this every year on Good Friday and you ruined it,” I hollered.
“Babe, I didn’t ruin it. We can still go and get fish and chips!”
“You don’t get it. We missed my family because you’re a jerk who can’t remember our stupid dinner plans. Plans that we do every year!”
He started to walk away with our screaming infant. I hated that he just walked away and never fought back and without thinking, I kicked my foot through a wicker chair.
You see, postpartum depression gave me something fiercer than tears and anxiety.
That betch gave me anger so uncontrollable that not only did it scare me, but scared the people around me.
Yes I, Kimberly, the once meek and shy girl, turned into a raging hostile shat storm of hormonal and chemically imbalanced monster.
And it didn’t take much to ignite that fiery monster within me. It billowed in my stomach every day just waiting for the right moment to combust outwards, and it didn’t matter who or what it was directed towards. Dishes, walls, wicker chairs, family and friends, and worse directed towards myself in the form of self-mutilation.
No one or nothing was safe from it.
It was terribly irrational and I couldn’t control it.
Family and friends were afraid of me.
I was afraid of me.
So what things rocked my tension scale?
- The way my husband slurps his soup.
- The way my brother just trampled in the house with his shoes still on.
- The way my dog barked to go outside the second I sat down.
- Changing a diaper again after changing it 0.2 nanoseconds ago.
- The lady who rammed her cart into the back of my heels.
- Anybody who wanted to give me advice on how to parent.
- Dog hair on the floor
- The house wasn’t clean enough.
- So on and so on
I felt so ugly inside.
My psychiatrist said that anger and irritability were symptoms of postpartum depression, and we worked really hard together at finding the right medication combinations and talking to get me through it.
I also have a little black book that my husband has dubbed the “black bonkers book” where I immediately write down what made me mad. It puts my anger on the paper and I can walk away from it.
Oh, and then there is mommy time out.
Yes, I’m 30 years old and I take a time out either in my room or in the bathroom. It helps to just remove yourself from a situation and just breathe deeply and slowly.
Since blogging, I haven’t read much about the anger and rage portion of this illness which is why I’m writing this today.
So how about you? Do you suffer from rage and irritability among your postpartum depression symptoms? What types of techniques do you use to calm yourself down? How does your family react to your behavior?
Note: For more stories on anger and postpartum depression/anxiety, read these: