Today has been bad. Like, really bad. Like, raging-PND-that-you're-not-supposed-to-admit-to, mentally-counting-all-the-pills-in-the-house, shaking-in-a-corner bad.
First of all, Mini-A is being a shit. It's not really her fault, she's teething and has a cold and that sucks for her, but she is also being a shit. I have bruises and welts and scabs and broken blood vessels from where she has been....what word fits? It's not assault or abuse because there's no intention. It's not playing, because that makes it sound much less malevolent than it is. She hurts me because she's angry, because she doesn't know her own strength, because she's frustrated. At under 10 months old, I really can't expect much from her in the way of self restraint. But days like today when I've been pummeled near non-stop and when she isn't hitting she's shouting, are tiring days. It doesn't matter that it's not her fault. It' not mine either and I just have to live with it.
We've talked about the PND before. It's there. It doesn't go away. But it's more managable some days. However today I got to the end of the day and I just wanted to not exist. I have been Sober With A Capital S for most of the last couple of years, falling off the wagon once or twice. The 2nd anniversary of the first major wagon fall is pressing down on us right now. Two years ago this month a dear friend took her own life and mine fell apart. I didn't do anything for 6 months. I lay in bed, I didn't talk to my husband. I drank. I smoked. I was a terrible person to be around. I have no memories of it. They just aren't there. So with this looming over me and Mr A's job getting more stressful every week and with A.B being 'difficult' and with my physical health ebbing, you may go some way towards understanding why I have a drink balanced on my knee right now. This drink and writing this entry is the only thing stopping me getting dressed and walking out the house. Ostensibly,to buy a packet of cigarettes, but in reality, I know I would find an excuse not to come back. Right now, it's That Bad.
Ask most mom's why they do what they do for their children, why they want the best for them, why they work so hard for them, and they'll be able to sum it up in one word: Love. Because they love them.
My huge shame and my greatest regret is that do my best, work my hardest, and try to do everything 'right' to make up for the fact that I don't love my daughter. It's the one thing she needs most and it's the only thing I can't give her. Instead I give her breastmilk and carefully chosen clothes and child-rearing methods that I've painstakingly researched to try to fill the gap that post-natal-depression has left between us. Maybe if I do a good enough job with everything else, it won't be too bad. Her father loves her, and I raise her kindly and carefully. Maybe that will be enough. Maybe it won't matter that I'm incapable of loving her. Maybe it will mean that when mental illness inevitably shuffles me off into the ante-room of existance it won't be too bad for her. It may even be a relief to finally be free of her un-mothering mother.
Meanwhile, I will lactate and make her pork chops (her favourite) and play the airplane game and pick out pretty clothes so that when she looks back on the pictures of herself as a baby, the pictures I'm never in, she'll feel the fact that even though I didn't love, I did care.