An Open Letter to my husband about Postpartum Depression

Superman,

Since the baby was born, things have been different. I’ve been different. And I haven’t really understood why. I just know that I’m not the same girl I used to be. I don’t laugh when you pick on me. I get angry. I don’t just pick your sweats up off the floor. I throw them and yell and have a hard time letting it go. Sometimes, I just don’t want to be with you. And I don’t know how to explain it. But I’m going to do my best here.

I used to think it was adorable when AG would play with me or pick on me. She’s so much like you. She does things just to make me laugh. Now, I hardly notice. I actually didn’t even realize she still does it until you started pointing it out a couple weeks ago. When she cries, sometimes I don’t get those mommy feelings I used to where I just want to run to her and comfort her. Sometimes, it just infuriates me. I end up yelling at her when her mommy should be kissing booboos and healing hearts. When they come into our room in the mornings to wake me up, I don’t get excited and enjoy the snuggle time. I get upset because I am constantly exhausted despite the fact that my body technically gets enough sleep.  I love them so much it hurts. It hurts because I know I should be comforting them and eating up every second. I know they are growing up so fast. I see it. I’m with them, watching it all the time. And yet, I just don’t want to be here sometimes. But I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. I feel as if I’m in constant conflict with myself. I miss them when I’m with them because I feel that I’m not giving them everything they need and at the same time I just want a break. To be alone at home in a clean house with no obligations, no diapers to change, no expectations. There is no way to explain how much I love these two tiny humans we have created. They are all of me and all of you. They’re smart and funny and beautiful, but I just want to run away from them sometimes. And I don’t know why.

I used to enjoy dinnertime. I loved cooking and figuring out what I was going to feed y’all for dinner. I would spend HOURS planning meals and making shopping lists and grocery shopping and then cooking it. Now, we eat out most days. I grocery shop because I have to. But at the end of the day, I’m so exhausted I can’t stand the thought of standing over the stove when I could be sitting on the couch. I don’t enjoy cooking like I used to. I don’t enjoy many things the way I used to. Like movies. I’ve somehow managed to shoot down every time you try to take me on a movie date under the guise of “I’d rather just talk. We can’t talk and REALLY spend time together watching a movie.” But we can. And I miss it. And I don’t get it.

Then, there’s you. YOU. The most amazing man I’ve ever known. The person who holds me when I cry (which is literally every single day lately) and the man who has always made me feel like the only woman in the world. The guy I met at 15 who gave me a ride home from church so I didn’t have to walk home alone in the dark. The guy I married at 18 despite the best of objections. The only guy I’ve ever needed with every fiber of my being. And yet, sometimes I don’t even want to be around you. But at the same time all I want is you to hold me. The man I yell at over trivial things like taking the wrong route to the interstate and the laundry and dealing with the girls differently than I do. The man that knows how much I have changed and how much it haunts me and how much I want the old me back and never makes me feel worse about it than I already do. The man who has stuck with me and stayed unchanging through what has been simultaneously the worst 16 months of my life and the most amazing experience having TWO sweet girls to love. The man who doesn’t hate me for horrible things I’ve said, knowing I never meant a word of it. And my best friend in the entire world.  I pick at the smallest things you do. They absolutely throw me into a rage. I know as I yell or get angry about them that I shouldn’t, yet I can’t seem to simmer down despite my best efforts.

The anxiety and the guilt consume me. I know I shouldn’t feel the way I do, but I can’t stop it. I know how I used to feel about you and the girls and I want to feel it again. I want to BE the mom and wife I used to be again. Then I wonder if others can see how awful I am. How I can hardly feel anything anymore. How I get angry over nothing. I’ve been told to pray and it will go away. Well, I’ve prayed. And prayed. But now, you know I’ve seen someone about it. I’ve been given a diagnosis. Postpartum Depression. It sounds so taboo, yet we both knew what it was.  I don’t always understand how I feel. And on the rare occasion I do, I don’t know how to communicate it to you. Some days I just want to quit. I want to run away and hide and cry until I turn back into the girl I was a year and a half ago. But I can’t. I have a full-time job where I juggle our girls at the same time from home. It is overwhelming to an extent I cannot possible utter. And it is EXHAUSTING hiding it from everyone. Trying to suppress it is impossible, so to those who don’t see me behind the scenes, I’m either just dropping the ball or I’m neurotic, never focusing on one thing. But we are now on the road that, hopefully, leads to recovery.

I want you to know that even when I don’t feel loving toward you and the babies that I love you all so much more than I could ever explain, more than any of you could possibly comprehend. I want you to know that there could never be anything more important to me in this life or another. I want you to know that if it weren’t for God’s grace and the little bit of bible-reading that somehow manages to eek its way into my day (and it’s usually not from picking up the Bible), I wouldn’t have made it this far. I know you can’t understand this, especially when I don’t. But I want to thank you for being what I need and what I never knew you’d have to be for me.

I love you so much. You’re my Superman.

Love,

Baby

19 thoughts on “An Open Letter to my husband about Postpartum Depression

  1. Laura Williams says:

    This is so beautifully written and I feel every feeling right along with you (even when you are too tired for feelings!) You are not alone in feeling like this and it does get better. I have tablets to manage mine and now, after 3 months, most days now the old me is back and I am enjoying my babies again. Thank you for sharing – you are so brave in doing so x x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cate Purvis says:

      Thank you. I wrote this to help my husband understand better what I’m going through because it can be so hard to actually speak it. I posted it in hopes of someone relating to it and it helping either another woman understand what’s happening or her husband understand the feelings she can’t communicate.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cate Purvis says:

      Thank you for reading. I think because it’s something that’s considered taboo and people are t talking about it, it is hard for others to understand it. Heck, it’s hard for US to understand it.

      Like

      • hilkayaker says:

        Too true and the symptoms are so varied it can be hard to understand that it is a sign of ppd. It is a lot more common than the stats show too

        Like

  2. http://imagenesespeciales.co says:

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote
    the book in it or something. I think that you could
    do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that,
    this is great blog. A great read. I will certainly be
    back.

    Like

  3. Love, Gem x says:

    I can relate. I have a 17 month old daughter and until I recently returned to work part time there was days I felt I was going to lose my mind. It really affected my hubby. Sending you love and may God give you His peace ❤

    Love, Gem x

    Like

  4. Sara says:

    Thank you for this! This sums up everything so well for me right now! I’m sending this link to my husband to read. We have a 4 year old boy and 8 month twin boys.

    Like

  5. Kim Elmore says:

    Bless you Mama. Thank you for finding the words I couldn’t. It’s like a light bulb went off. You understand what I couldn’t til now. So many of us are going thru this. It’s important to know that God would never give us anything we couldn’t handle. I often need to remind myself of that. I’ve forwarded this to my amazing husband who has tolerated my behavior along with our 3yr old and 4mo old twins (boy/girl). God bless you and your family.

    Like

  6. Chasity says:

    I needed to read this right now. At this moment I am sitting on my front porch crying and hiding away from my husband and three daughters. Our youngest is 5 weeks. I feel like I am failing all of them in countless ways and I can’t make it better. That causes me to lose my cool and immediately regret it and feel like I don’t deserve them. I honestly feel like they would be happier with someone else. I know this is just the PPD talking but it is difficult to hear those things in your thoughts. I’ve went through this with all three so I know it will pass but it is still hard when it’s happening. Thanks for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cate Purvis says:

      Oh, honey. I’m lifting you up in prayer right now. Find a support system and know if you need to see a doctor and have help regulating the hormones, there is NO shame in that. It doesn’t make you a bad mom or a bad Christian. It makes you human. I remember those feelings all too well. Just know that you have a Comforter and a Friend in Jesus.

      Like

  7. Rubie says:

    Cried a lot after reading this because it was spot on as if I am reading my own thoughts. Thank you for writing this beautiful article. Made me realize I am not alone in this battle.

    Like

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