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How I know it’s not over yet

You know how I know my PPD/A isn’t gone yet?

Days like today tell me so. 

Days like today cripple me. They make me want to climb into a hole or throw myself from a moving vehicle or just not be.

We got Joshua’s hair cut and the minute we took him out of that taxi chair he started screaming. And I feel like he’s spent the rest of the day screaming.

Our trip to Target to get a gift bag and diapers? He screamed and threw his cup and crackers the whole time we were there.

Our trip home from Target? He screamed in the car like the car seat was eating him alive.

The bath to wash the hair clippings off? Screamscreamscream.

We finally got some clothes on him and I just held him, like a baby, while he drank his milk. And I fought back tears and grief over the loss of his infancy and how much I spend saying “If only…”

I stared into his little boy face and tried to find some peace and comfort. I think I found a little. Maybe. Definitely not enough.

Nap. Sweet, sweet nap. No screaming.

But I was a bundle of nerves. All tightly wound and ready to snap. So I laid down, hoping that in not interacting with the Universe I wouldn’t make the anxiety worse.

It worked.

Until I woke up to him screaming through the monitor. (Well, not screaming this time, but crying. Moaning in that way he does that says he’s very unhappy right now.)

We had a birthday party to go to this afternoon. He screamed until we got him in the car, protesting that he didn’t want to “go go” and instead wanted to just play with his toys.

The ride home from the birthday party? That’s what really got me today. That’s the point where I’d had enough.

He started screaming the minute we walked out of the door to leave the party. He screamed as we left their neighborhood. He screamed while we attempted to drive to Dan’s parents’ house. He screamed and screamed and screamed and I felt like my skin was crawling off my bones. I squirmed in the seat. I plugged up my ears. I bit my lip and squeezed my fists.

I had visions of unbuckling my seat belt and throwing myself from the moving vehicle to escape the screaming.

Nothing was consoling him. Nothing was making him better. Nothing was making the screaming stop.

So my alternative? In my irrational mind? Was to make ME stop instead.

But I didn’t do that.

I made Dan pull into a gas station and I climbed into the back seat of the truck and got Joshua out of the car seat and we just sat there.

The first thing he did? Lay his head on my shoulder to say “Mama…thank you, Mama…” and then he just wanted to sit and breathe and be.

And I? Tried to unclinch my nerves. I tried to relax. I tried to unwind myself.

I won’t say that my method worked to calm ME down. But it did seem to calm HIM down.

And that? That helped.

(The glass of sauv blanc I’m drinking right now is helping too.)

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