Super Sonic + UnFunny Files

For Any Mother Who May Pass This Way (Nothing funny about this post, folks)

The disclaimer- As the title suggests, there is nothing funny about this post, and it's not my usual style. Apologies if you came here today looking for something amusing. I understand some people may find this very confronting. That's OK. Please don't send me hate mail, I really don't have the emotional energy to get as p*ssed off about it as I should at the moment,OK? OK.

For any mothers who may pass this way.
Judge me, if you dare.
The part that will shock you- we’ll get that out the way first. This is the part that will echo through your subconscious mind, play in the background of your thoughts today. This is the part of the story that will creep back to your consciousness, unbidden, tonight, as you lay, warm and comfortable, on the cusp of sleep.
It’s those women. You know the ones, I’m sure you do. You have read about them, no doubt. Perhaps sat and shook your head, commented to a spouse or workmate as you skimmed articles in the newspaper, scrolled past ads on the screen.
The women who were mothers, and now are monsters.
The ones who lose their minds, yet reach from the shattered blackness of their soul to hurt the very beings they should be protecting.
The mothers, who hurt their children, drown their children, shake their children.
Believe me when I say, once I felt the same as you. Shocked and slightly disgusted, but removed and somewhat apathetic. Turn the page, close the window, change the channel. Move on. These women, these nameless, faceless women, so far from the sanctity of my life. I could never understand them. I’d never want to understand them.
I don’t feel that way now. Not anymore.
The part of this story that will be the most disturbing?
Deep within me, in a place I don’t even like to acknowledge, I have an empathy for these women. There is sadness there, of course, a sense of mourning for their beautiful babies. Horror, at the thought of actually doing that, actually going to that extreme.
But the prevalent emotion is always empathy. And the lingering questions- where was this woman’s safety net? Who let her fall that far?
I can picture, with perfect clarity, the darkness of their days. Because I know. That’s a horrible truth, and if it makes you uncomfortable, I will understand if you turn away.
But I know how it feels to be so deep in a muddled blackness that very few things make sense anymore. I know how it feels to want to hurt yourself, your baby… just anyone. I know how it feels to have voices whisper and clamor for space in your head.
The horrible truth of the matter is this- I know what it’s like to be afraid to run a bath for your child. Lest those voices get too loud.
Post natal depression is a terrible thing. Can you imagine what it’s like, to feel that alone? To feel shut off from the entire world, with only this tiny baby for company? A tiny baby who you can barely look at because it physically hurts, you love them that much; and the desperately sweet smell of their breath makes you sob. Because how would you cope now, if you lost this child, having felt a love like this? The only solution is to not love, not quite so much. A virtual impossibility, of course, when loving your child is a matter of a biological urge, with no free will involved.
And who do you tell? No one. Who could you tell? What on Earth could you say? Perhaps, just perhaps, this is the way all new mothers feel, alone and afraid and so very, very tired. So you smile, despite the energy it costs you, and try not to spit ugly words at people who foolishly enquire if your child is sleeping through the night.
And, over the span of those first few months, as a new mother, with a new baby, things get worse. And how could you tell? Where on Earth would you begin?
So you hang on, by the very skin of your teeth, by the very breath of the baby you are trying to protect from the person who should be his protector. The voices, loud at first; eventually they pale, and now you know, decisively, that they are not your own.
And you keep that secret, locked away. Not a soul needs to know, no one but you. You cuddle your child, keep him close, thank God that no harm befell him at your hands.
And you weep, silently. For the nameless, faceless women in the papers, who were not as lucky as you, who could not find the strength that you did.
A terrible secret. One that cannot reoccur. So is it any wonder, when your belly begins to swell, and life blooms with quickening, that a cold terror strikes your heart, fear and pain where there should be joy?
This time, it will be different, you swear it to yourself. The thought keeps you awake at night, long after your partner has given way to sleep beside you.
And this time..? It is different. The pills see to that. The pills, and this tiny, pink, curly inchworm of a babe, every bit of her soft and sweet and serene.
And she sleeps. There are a few rough weeks there. Reflux, medicated with this child, rather than ignored. She sleeps. And so do you.
It takes a few months, of waiting for the ominous thud, the sound of the other shoe dropping.
Your daughter is five months old before, finally, you exhale.
This is it.
You sob salty tears from the sweetness of it.
And, this time, you allow them to flow.

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For Any Mother Who May Pass This Way (Nothing funny about this post, folks) + UnFunny Files