Today, while driving out of the parking lot at Ikea, I had a flash of something. It wasn’t memory, it wasn’t real, it was something that my brain decided to show me – a possibility, a fear, something.
I was driving out of the Ikea parking lot with my daughter in the back seat, driving like we do all the time together, and my subconscious decided to show me something, decided to make me think about something. I pictured myself not looking the right way, I pictured a car backing out of a space too quickly, neither of us looking, I pictured it backing straight into the driver’s side of my car. I picture myself, slowly dying while my daughter screamed in the backseat. My brain forced me to think about my daughter, alone, crying, confused. My husband getting that phone call. Who would take care of her until he could get to her? Who would tell her everything was okay. No one can make her feel better the way I can. Mommy hugs, that’s all it takes.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a flash like this. It was one of the first things I talked about with my doctor when I went to ask her to please, please put me back on my anti-depressants. I sat there in her office with my daughter, a newborn, in her bucket on the floor and I cried and begged for something to help me take better care of this little person. I didn’t even realize how much I loved her at that point, but I knew that all the people around me did, and I knew she was important.
Now she is my life, and this flash was infinitely more upsetting – because of the message it brought to me, and because it was so unexpected and unwelcome. I thought I was past this. I don’t want to go back to that place. As strange as it seems, I think it would be harder for me to handle it now, because then, at the start of it all, it was expected. I knew, going in, that I was going to have PPD. People surrounded me with care and worry. I was ready to ask for help.
Now, I feel as though I should be past this. It’s enough already. Look at this beautiful, vibrant, smart, funny, outgoing little girl I have in my life. She looks to me for everything, she loves me and I love her and enough with the bad stuff already. Can’t I have a little while just to enjoy us together?