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How Postpartum Rage Made Me Treat My Daughter

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When you imagine someone with depression, you imagine them crying a lot, maybe sleeping a lot. I never imagined them angry, but anger and rage can be symptoms of depression, postpartum depression, other mood disorders and postpartum disorders.

Before I went through severe postpartum depression, most people even closest to me would not describe me as someone with a temper. My husband, maybe at times, like when we fought, but even then, nothing like the postpartum rage I had at times. People would mostly describe me as happy and bubbly, even when I was pregnant. I honestly think sleep deprivation was the main contributor to my rage because it was the worst in the middle of the night, when my daughter would not sleep, and therefore I did not sleep. This made me so angry because I was so exhausted, and the angry person I was becoming made me even angrier, a vicious cycle. I wanted to be happy and bubbly again. I felt like I was being the worst version of myself for my daughter and I did not know how to change it.

I also showed the rage only at home, usually around my husband and daughter where I felt the most comfortable. Unfortunately, we often take it out on those closest to us for this reason. This is the main reason my marriage almost ended, and this is what I felt the most guilt for when it came to how I treated my daughter postpartum. However, now she is almost 13 and does not even remember those moments. I have also told her about them and she understands as much as a 12-year-old can, or honestly at 12, it seems like she understands better than most adults, and I hope that never changes. Since then, of course, I have found healthier ways to take things out, or to deal with them before they come out in the form of rage. I do not think I am the happy bubbly person I was before my depression. I am pretty often — I mean, I am a preschool teacher — but not as happy and bubbly as I used to be, and I don’t say that as a bad thing. I do not bottle up my emotions all day anymore and only let them out at home. I was not intentionally doing that before — more subconsciously really, I think — but I of course learned this was not the healthiest thing for me or those around me. Also, when my husband and I do argue, which is a lot less these days than even before my postpartum depression and definitely a lot less than in the midst of it, there is not as much built up as before, and I don’t think I even have the temper I had in fights that I did before — although he may say otherwise, but don’t listen to him. Don’t listen to him about how many Amazon packages I order, either.

I used to have such a head-in-the-clouds view of the world and since that world has been shattered, I have become more of a realist. I honestly hate it sometimes and wish I could be in the clouds again. I try to get closer to that again the more time that has passed, but I am still so scared to get knocked out of the clouds again and for that rage to return. I honestly do not think it ever would as strongly though, because I have been knocked down before, and it took a while, but I was able to get back up.

Photo by Sergiu Vălenaș on Unsplash

Originally published: December 17, 2020
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