The Other Woman

trappedShe’s been around for months now. Her presence growing gradually over time. Inching me out of the picture little by little.

I ignored the approaching danger. Blamed it all on other things.

At first, I even felt a little free. Words and actions weren’t so guarded. If I felt it, I said it.

You see, I’ve been reined in all my life. The good girl you know? Doing my best to “live a life above reproach,” like I learned in school.

Life in the fishbowl.

Set the example.

This new woman was intoxicating. A free spirit, fun and witty. She wasn’t bound by decorum. Patience wasn’t making her think before she spoke.

So I started to give her more room…not realizing she was the one calling the shots. My stern glances when she went too far were ignored…and I know she saw them.

I’d open my mouth to bring on a reprimand, she’d twirl away. Pretty soon I realized…. I was up against the wall.

The furniture had been crammed in front of me, effectively hemming me in on all sides. Giving her more room to dance.

There she’d go again, frantically twirling in the middle of the room, laughing. This wasn’t sweet fairy tale princess dancing. It was primal, manic, frightening.

There were times she would play with me like a marionette. Making me dance all night with her. I was exhausted, not allowed to sleep. Only when she was tired of playing would she toss me away.

She would hurl things across the room of my mind. Screaming. Then, as if sorry for her rage, the tears would pour out before bursting into more laughter as another chair flew, crashing into the wall.

Sometimes, she would sit in the middle of the room quietly, mindlessly playing with her hair. Staring at me surrounded in furniture. She couldn’t understand my problem. Why was I such a stick in the mud?

Those are the times I dreaded the most.

That’s when she would start in with the “what ifs.”

Terrifying questions.

What if you crashed your car right now?

What if Stacy just dropped from your arms?

What if you just drove away and never came back?

She had taken over. Sure, here and there she would let me stretch my legs, but not for long. A day or two here, an hour or so there. But then I’d be back against the wall at her mercy.

I had no where to go…

___________________________________________________________________

This has been me for almost four months now. It’s been the scariest, most frustrating, and saddest time of my life.

The other woman took over so gradually, didn’t realize until a month ago that I had no more control.

I’m sure it sounds cliche, but I never thought it could happen to me.

I never thought I would have to battle postpartum depression. “Battle” seems to light. More like “war.”

It’s a strange feeling. Being trapped by your own mind. Some people think you can just “snap out of it,” and I admit, I thought I could.

I wished I could.

I prayed I could.

The brain may only weigh three pounds…but it’s powerful. It had me effectively trapped. Pitted against myself in a fight to the death and I was on the losing end.

But I’ve called in for reinforcements and I’m fighting back. Between my awesome, hubby, my dear online prayer sisters, and working with my doctor, that other woman is starting to pack her things.

I am hoping it won’t be long until she is gone for good.

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18 thoughts on “The Other Woman

  1. Hang in there Heather,your father will not forsake you. He will be your strength and your anchor.
    Post partum happens and you do not have to be ashamed. Sounds like you are on the right road now,
    Stay strong and remember your not alone. Thank you for sharing your struggle.
    I will be praying for you.all

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  2. Sweet Heather, this is so powerful. So courageous. And it speaks to all if us… Whether we ourselves have fought this battle or if we have a loved one who has. I pray for God to continue to heal your beautiful mind and bless you with complete freedom. Oh how I love you!

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  3. I’ve been there too. I didn’t ask for help, I struggled and lived with guilt for those feelings for many years. The 1st 12 months as a new mommy didn’t fit into the picture I had always painted in my mind. God our great healer, came in and blessed like only he can. Praying for you and thank you for sharing, because there is some gal out there who is going to read this and say they need help. I didn’t ask for help because well…to many misconceptions about mental health and following God. Blessings!

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  4. Heather, I am so sorry you are going through this. I am praying for you and asking your Father to help guide you and comfort you. Keeping fighting…

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  5. Oh my dear sweet sister in Christ…as I read your “what ifs”… I said two of those very things 14 years ago. We had just moved and I had no friends to talk with. I finally told my husband the things I was feeling, spoke with my doctor and got on medication. God is SO GOOD in His provision — I am VERY thankful tonight for the support you have and for our loving Father’s protection of you. Praying for total healing.

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  6. Heather, I am incredibly proud of you for sharing you story…and sharing it so powerfully. We need moms walking your journey to be courageous and speak what they are feeling so that they can find freedom!! You have such an amazing gift with words. I pray many women will read this and find hope and comfort in your words.

    Blessings,

    Wendy

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  7. I was there this exact time last year. It will and does get better…wholly and completely better. You are on your way and joy will abound.

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  8. What a powerful confession of where you are at Heather! Satan wants to keep us in the secret, and you have pounced on that by bringing the truth of your heart “into the Light”. James 5:16 says “Confess your faults one to another and pray for one another, that you might be healed.” In our weakness He IS strong! His power is made perfect in weakness. Praying for you as you walk this road. Keep your eyes fixed on Him.And keep reaching out to your sisters in Christ!

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  9. Heather, you’ve painted a wonderful picture that helps someone who’s never been in your understand the pain depression brings. And for one who has walked this road, it is an accurate portrayal. Awhile back I felt myself falling into the pit of depression again…thankfully not as far as I’ve fallen before. But while I was in the midst of it, God kept speaking to my heart…we don’t have to struggle in silence. We need to ASK for help, which will only happen when we A – Admit our struggle, S – Seek Help and K- Keep Trusting!! He also led me to share on my blog and though depression is a struggle we often hide and can even fear sharing…it’s one many experience. Thanks for putting yourself out there and using your pain to help others and glorify God!! Blessings and prayers for you!!

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  10. Heather, I thank you for being so vulnerable to help many of women like me and others. My babies are now having babies but I have been battling depression for years. You have described the battle in my head and scared of who I have become and under more and more stress lately she has been more in control. I’ve been in much prayer the last two days and I see now where I am and what I need to do. Father God thank you for answered prayer for me and Your grace upon Heather and her honesty helping so many more then she will ever know. Bless Heather Father and I give You the Glory Lord. In Jesus Name.

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  11. Thank you for all of your sweet comments. It’s amazing how the simple…though challenging…act of sharing can bring such immense healing and strength. I look forward to the days ahead, no matter how bumpy they may be. I know God will get me and my family through it all.

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  12. I was there 12 years ago… didn’t admit it for a long time. I was a pastor’s wife and this was my second child – surely I was fine! Psalm 3:3 says “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head” and verse 5 “I lay down and slept: I awoke for the Lord sustained me”. These were my life verses during that time. When I was emotionally depleted and on the edge of a dark precipice, when I as raging uncontrollably with anger, and when I was tortured with sleepless nights HE sustained me… HE lifted my head and still does… God bless you Heather, you can do it xx.

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  13. Blessings friend. I don’t really have any good words, except to say I appreciate your honesty and can imagine how difficult it was to recognize the reality and take the step to speak up about the struggles that come with ppd. You are in my prayers.

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  14. “Heavenly Father, have your hand on Heather as You continue to fight this war for her. (For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (Deuteronomy 20:4 NIV) bring peace to her mind and her spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

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