...is simply this, that somehow I will damage my children beyond my capability to repair with mere hugs and kisses.
I live in a world where every time, and I mean every time, I lose my temper and land up shouting I am racked with guilt. Sometimes this means my poor sons have on the one hand a serious bollocking and on the other a sobbing woman who keeps apologising. I don’t know how a normal mother works. That obviously presupposes that I no longer think of myself as normal.
And that I fear is the crux of the matter, for it is only when I am in an episode that I am not normal, so to speak, but the problem is, I don’t necessarily notice when I am going into an episode so I don’t know how long I have not been normal for – are you with me?
During a course of a year I may have one or two major episodes and perhaps several minor episodes, a minor episode lasting a few days while a major one can last a few weeks’ maybe months. At present I am in a major episode, one that is exceedingly deep and I am struggling. In fact, on Friday I called in the BIG guns, something I have not had to do since I had PND four years ago. I stabilised over the weekend and Dad has been stood down and is now on Amber Alert, bags packed ready for my call.
It sounds silly but having Mum and or Dad with me while I go through this gives me the confidence to go about my daily life and more importantly acts as a brake on my temper when I am so tired. I can safely leave my boys in their capable hands while I go to the bottom of the garden or else hide in the Holly by the moat and silently scream.
Imagine always dreading the morning, I do. I dread it because I don’t know how I will feel, will I wake up refreshed enough to cope with the demands my children throw at me from not finding clean pants to helping them put on their socks, from persuading them to wash their teeth to eating their breakfast. It is the smallest of things that can set me off and I cannot control it, or at least feel that I can’t, and all I want to do is run away.
Other days I cope fine, I presume these are normal days but my memory is shot and I forget how many of those I have - the joyful peculiarity of depression being that I tend to focus on the crap days rather than the normal ones and forget that I probably have more normal than not.
Whatever happens in the day I always manage to say goodnight to the boys with a huggie and a kiss to each, hoping that somehow this makes up for it all.
For them to have this mother who one minute is like the sun, the next like a storm must be bewildering in the extreme. I know sometimes it scares them. How will they turn out? How will they deal with it? How do they deal with it? For them, I am told, this is normal, they know no better. My job is to tell them that this is NOT normal and to always always apologise for my bad behavior. It seems to work for my youngest, but his ego rivals the world. For my eldest, I save my biggest fear - what happens if he is like me?
This is in answer to a question posed on British Mummy Bloggers by Deer Baby about how depression can affect children.