Into The Light – Kristina’s Story

Not Just Another Friday


It was a Friday afternoon, but not any Friday afternoon…Memorial Day weekend. I was to spend the weekend with my 2 children, parents, and sister at the beach without my husband because he had to work. Divinely, I was glued to my chair on the front porch of our townhome.

Oddly, I had all sorts of thoughts racing through my head that kept me from getting behind the wheel and driving myself and my kids to the beach. My husband didn’t understand and I don’t think I quite did either. While sitting on the porch, I made a phone call to my best friend. I recall that I made sense when I spoke with her. Then I called my boss and

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Kristina and Her Family

apparently quit my job (I do not have much recollection of that conversation).
My husband told me later that I sat down and quoted scripture that he didn’t think I had ever memorized. He stepped outside for a moment. In that moment, I thought Jesus was returning. I grabbed our kids and begged, “Please save us, our family, and our friends!” I kept repeating those words over and over. Suddenly my husband came back inside and found me looking pale and weak, holding our children. I passed out. He appropriately called 911. Medical personnel responded quickly. As I became conscience (my nursing knowledge jumped in), I promptly and inappropriately told them to pump on my chest and intubate me. I was mentally sick.
My husband was very frightened and didn’t know what was wrong with me. They took me to the ER where I stayed for 2 nights. Then I was transferred to the psychiatric unit. How does a 30 year old mom of two, with no previous history of mental illness get admitted to the psych ward? This is where my memory fails me. The diagnosis: Postpartum Psychosis.

On the psychiatric unit, I had a sitter with me 24/7 to be sure I didn’t harm myself or anyone else. I stayed on the unit for nearly 2 weeks2 weeks without my babies, 2 weeks I did not get exercise or go outside. I ate in my room with the sitter not far from me. I took a shower with the sitter right outside my door. There are some things I remember but other memories my family tells me. My sister informed me at one moment I thought I was Tina Turner and at another time I thought I was pregnant with Baby Jesus.
I do recall thinking I was on the set of Grey’s Anatomy with Bradley Cooper and Mandisa. Shouldn’t have been such a bad place than, right? Oh so wrong – it was a very, very scary place! My anxiety and paranoia was at an all-time high during my hospitalization.  My memory began to return within the last couple of days while in the psychiatric unit. Many people ask me if a switch just turned on one day. The answer is NO – my memory just got better every day. While in the hospital, I was treated with antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, and an occasional injection when my mood and paranoia levels began to increase. I do recall trying to escape and being held down by the staff and probably given an injection to calm me down. I wasn’t being me at all!
To this day, I can hardly wrap my brain around how my mind played such dirty tricks on me. But, postpartum hormones are no joke. After spending nearly 2 weeks in the hospital, I was discharged home. For two whole weeks I didn’t see my babies ( 5 ½ month old and 2 ½ year old). I was so excited to get home and see them! But, my journey with postpartum psychosis was far from over, folks.
When I returned home things weren’t back to “normal”.  I couldn’t be with my children alone. I couldn’t be by myself. I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t return to work. Talk about restrictions! I couldn’t be with my own children by myself? Nope. Doctor’s Orders!!
I felt like I was being tortured. There was even a day I couldn’t take it anymore, but the good news is I got through that day and I’m here to FINISH this story! As part of my rehabilitation I attended an intensive outpatient program for a couple weeks, which was 3 hours of group therapy daily. Want to know what that was like? Since I was still out of touch with reality – it was like being in group therapy with my entire family! I did not like it.
After graduating from the intensive outpatient program, I was then referred to a psychologist and a psychiatrist. I continue to see both doctors to this day.

I consider myself extremely blessed as I never had ill thoughts towards my children during this whole episode. I have a new found God given passion to tell my story with other women in hopes to shed light on Perinatal Mood Disorders such as Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety, Postpartum OCD, and Postpartum Psychosis. My mission is to let women everywhere know that she is not alone. For too long I went around thinking others would think I would be a less together mom if I was on meds, but that’s not true!
Now I’m on meds and I’ll tell the whole world! It’s for my mental health and well-being!  Postpartum Depression is diagnosed in 1 in 7 women. Postpartum Psychosis is seen in 1 in 1000 so, it is a pretty rare occurrence. In fact, my doctor said he hadn’t seen it in over 6 years! I am still recovering very well and am now a Warrior Mom Ambassador with Postpartum Progress, a nonprofit organization to raise awareness, fight stigma, and provide peer support and programming to women with maternal mental illness. Information and resources about postpartum can be found on the organization’s website, www.postpartumprogress.org. I also am willing to share my story in person to appropriate group settings if contacted.

Visit Kristina’s Facebook Page and stay updated on her story –
Into the Light: Thriving after Postpartum Psychosis, PPD, and PPA

Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser


~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~



The Dark Silence of the Night

When the Loneliness gets to you

I’m used to being alone. Even when I have others physically near me, I am usually alone. I can’t remember the last time I was able to let someone into all facets of my life and with each passing day, month and year I become less and less hopeful that will ever happen. I’ve become really good at keeping people at arm’s length. It’s one disappointment after another and that’s when I am reminded of how lonely I really am.

Life is hard. Some days are harder than others and I keep trying to leave people better than I found them. It’s not always possible, but I am trying. 
I sit here crying, alone and this is where I turn. Because I am expecting a virtual hug at best when I am finished. 
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~ postpartum psychosis,natachia barlow ramsey
I tell myself it’s okay if someone else hurts my feelings, I will always reach out or attempt to make the extra effort. I don’t ever want to regret how I left a relationship. I would rather make sure I did what I could. 
As I keep trying to date, I know I push people away. I am afraid they will leave, they will hurt me and I just don’t have it. I couldn’t take that kind of emotional blow in my life. 
I have gotten better at not allowing myself to be taken advantage of though and set better standards for how I allow people to treat me. There comes a place in the middle where with some men I can’t tell if I am pushing them away too quickly or I am practicing better standards for how I am treated. At times I know it lies somewhere on the middle. I have little hope to find someone to walk this journey with me.  
I am puffy faced with a pile of tissues beside me. I cannot breathe out of my nose. My cheeks and eyes are swollen and it almost looks like I’ve been slapped around. An emotional beat down. 
Amazing Grace just came on my playlist. The tears started again. I know self forgiveness is the toughest of all. Because even as I type this words pop into my head all the time like penance, paying my dues, lifelong sentence, this is what I deserve.
Now I can tell anyone else besides myself that is not true and have compassion for them. But I don’t feel that for myself. I have given myself a life sentence of guilt and grief that comes in waves. On nights like this, it feels overwhelming, as though the weight of a thousand grieving mothers sits upon my heart. 
You are good, you do deserve love, you do deserve people in your life who love and care for the whole you. All of you; your past, present and future. I am going to say this to myself and I encourage any of you who need to say this to yourself to say it as well. Because it is true and I promise it will feel like it eventually, even if it doesn’t in this precise moment. In this dark silence of the night.


~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~


Suicide is Complicated

These Muddy Waters

I was having a conversation a few nights ago with someone who had a friend who committed suicide last year. He asked me “What triggers it? What were the actual thoughts?” I had previously stated that the feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, helplessness and an unending pain went on for so long that it felt unbearable. It seemed unending. I was speaking from my own experience. My own feelings.

What I wasn’t able to answer, was what specifically that person’s own circumstances were. People have their own unique set of situations that lead us into the abyss and down into the darkness we can’t seem to find our way out of. At different times I have felt suicidal, there have been slightly different sets of trials and tribulations. For me, most of them revolve  around personal relationships and abandonment issues. Again

Postpartum Psychosis, suicide, natachia barlow ramsey, depression, maternal mental health

that arises in different ways as well. 

Through the years I have learned to identify it and recognize the ways in which I start to become affected. I have spoken of this before. 
I have suffered from depression with suicidal ideation since I was 11 years old. Maybe younger, but that’s as far back as I can remember having thoughts of taking my own life. 
So there are times in my life that I actively get up and say to myself, I am going to live today. That may not make sense to many of you. But, there are some of you that will make perfect sense to.
Even before I became ill with Postpartum Psychosis, I had a family history of suicide and depression. 
I would like to believe I am a good example of what not to do after your mother commits suicide and a year later her father kills himself. Please get the family into therapy. Don’t think everything will just be okay. It will rear it’s head eventually. You will have dysfunction a day, or a decade later. 
Drafted January 18th, 2016
This is my life. All I can do is keep breathing and there are days when that is all I do. Suicide became my friend early in life. It muddied the waters for me, especially after my mother hung herself. That was my first up close and personal experience with it. Since that time I have lost both family and friends to suicide. I have my own scars, internal and external.

I sat with someone today for lunch who had expressed needing a friend to talk to. I knew he had gone through a divorce and had a rough time of it and was still a little angry over the breaking down of his family. I have a tough time not reaching out when others appear vulnerable, because I understand what that is like.
I wish we as a community did more to build each other up, even if all it is was meeting someone for lunch. People don’t want to be forgotten. They want to know they are important. Remembered. No one should ever feel so empty, so alone, so forgotten, hopeless that things will never change for them, that they want to die.

Please reach out for help if you or someone in your family is thinking about suicide. If you know someone who has committed suicide and want to talk call the lifeline http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis, suicide, maya angelou, depression, life, poemI wish I could have answered those questions for him. But there’s always muddy water when someone takes their own life. There was never one specific thing that triggered it for me. There may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. But it was usually a culmination of things over a period of time. Some questions that will forever remain unanswered. It’s something you have to make peace with.
Suicide is a tricky bitch. I may be smiling but in the back of my mind I am having those thoughts. They whisper to you, they comfort you. They were just hiding their pain.

Every person has a breaking point. My heart is aching right now as I think about the people I have lost and that I wish I could go back because I know better now. There are some it was so obvious but I was just too young, too inexperienced, too naive. I couldn’t have saved them all, but I could have made a difference to some. Maybe unmuddy the waters a bit. Because life’s complicated enough.


Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Postpartum Psychosis – Can you Forgive?

Forgiveness

 
Nikki Love posted an update on the POST Life Movie website on the blog section titled The Mirror. It talked a lot about forgiveness and all the variables. Forgiving the person who became ill. Forgiving the people you asked for help, forgiving yourself. I believe it’s much easier to forgive others than to forgive myself.
This takes me back to remembering even when my mother committed suicide and people would ask me if I were angry with her. I find it difficult to be angry with someone who thought their only option left to deal with their pain was to die.
Put that into context for a moment. I have been there. I have felt so utterly

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hopeless, worthless, unworthy and remained in that place for so long that death seemed like the Only option to make it stop. It didn’t appear like that every day. But it came in waves of darkness. The darkness got darker and lasted longer, with that came those thoughts of suicide.

When I picture the last time I saw my mother alive, I know now she was thinking about ending her life. I couldn’t have seen it at the time. Even being just 14 years old didn’t matter. I have seen it now and I can recognize it, Sometimes. But only sometimes and that’s if the person is using their words to communicate to me in some way how desperate they are feeling.
Above-Drafted December 17th, 2015

I started that before Christmas, in the middle of the Holidays. Halfway between our Thanksgiving and the New Year. I was on a roll and wanted to continue my effort of not only supporting the POST Life Movie, but All Moms who struggle with Postpartum Mood Disorders.

On Christmas Day, we had another loss within the Postpartum community. This was not a woman I knew personally. But I will say her name anyway because she deserves to be honored for her struggle; Sasha Hettich. I will link you to her story on Postpartum Progress and that of her husband, Cody Hettich, who spoke of her in an effort to battle the stigma surrounding Mental Health.

Last August, we lost another woman and her name was Naomi Knoles. She also committed suicide after getting released from prison, having spent 10 years there. She wanted to share her story and make a difference as well. Unfortunately, the struggle became overwhelming and she took her own life.

Both of those women suffered from a Postpartum Mood Disorder. In 2003, Naomi  became ill with Postpartum Psychosis and took the life of her daughter, Anna, after a failed attempt at her own life. She completed that effort last August.
Sasha Hettich was suffering from Postpartum Depression from all known accounts that I have read and it culminated on Christmas morning when she ended her life.

We need to come together as a Postpartum Community. I know I sing this song often. There is a divide within the community between the Depression and the Psychosis community where there should not be. At any time, the depression can turn to psychosis.

You are All Moms that this could happen to. This is not to scare you, it’s to make you aware. Neither or those two moms thought this would happen to them.

In between the death of those two women, there have been countless other women I do not know the names of who have lost their battle. I for one do not want it to be in vain.
If I know of your battle, I will Always say your name. You will be remembered here.

I challenge other Postpartum Mood Disorder Blogs to do the same. Do not let there be a divide. Do not be a part of the problem. You say you want to erase the Stigma. Well Actions Speak Louder Than Words. You cannot claim to want to banish the Stigma surrounding Maternal Mental Health and be part of the problem. You have to be part of the solution.
Be part of the Solution.

 
 
 

 

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

I’ll Eat Your Sins

Sin Eater

Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Postpartum Psychosis, Postpartum Psychosis stories, sin eater, hopeless, Depression, Suicide,
Send me your broken, send me your dreams
Send me your heartache, Send me your screams
I’ll take the hopeless, I’ll take the lost
I’ll take your helpless, I’ll pay the cost
The taunted, the tortured the sad and the blue
The beggars, the paupers, they all can come too
We’ll be an island, of dysfunctional shame
We’ll huddle together, our souls set aflame
Unwanted, unfit and cast far aside
The hidden, the shamed, we all have to hide
I’m here to tell you, I’ll eat your sins
I’m here to say, you can start fresh again
I’ll be your voice, I’ll scream out your thoughts
I’ll share your madness, all tied up in knots
We’ll be an island, of dysfunctional shame
We’ll huddle together, we’ll play their game
Send me your broken and send me your dreams
send me your heartache, send me your screams
I’ll take the hopeless and I’ll take the lost
I’ll take your helpless and I’ll pay the cost
I’m here to tell you, I’ll eat your sins,
I’m here to to say you can start fresh again
I’m here to tell you, I’ll eat your sins
 
 
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

I’m Your Huckleberry

I’ll Be Your Huckleberry

I’m just the right woman for the job! I didn’t necessarily want the job; and it’s not exactly the job I would’ve imagined I would have had when I was a child, but I will do it nonetheless. Why am I the right woman for the job? Well, because no one else wants to do it.

Here’s my observations on what happens in this – POST LIFE (Nikki Love is attempting to tell a version via her movie) I am writing about as it happens to me and feel the real time effects.
Natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis, postlife movie, depression, suicide, death, nikki love
Let me explain (this is the part where I’m your huckleberry comes into play perfectly) – people ignore you as you stand before them as a real live person. Or at least in cyber time. It makes them uncomfortable. As long as you continue with the act of suicide and make sure you actually die; you will be lovingly remembered and it will be romanticized. Your family and friends will be invited to speak at public events to raise awareness. Your story will be shared whenever one of them posts something about you, and on any kind of anniversary, there will be a remembrance.
You will become a stepping stone. Your back will become a platform for which others stand on to tell their own stories, and promote their own causes.
That’s not to say their causes are bad or not worthy of being promoted. On the contrary, most of them are fundamental in women’s healthcare. I mean ALL Postpartum Mood Disorders are important and need to be discussed.
But and this is such a big, enormous but, we also need to be talking to and having women like myself be the ones actually doing the talking. Share my posts, share my stories, get on board. I don’t ever want to hear “I don’t know what to say” again. Because if that is your response to me when I make myself readily available, then you have absolutely no business ever talking about Postpartum Psychosis and what those worst case outcomes are.
Because it is on the back’s of those worst case outcomes that you get links to your sites. You get readers aghast, but still reading, and coming back for more. Those worst case outcomes are what make the papers, and drive people to provide more funding. It’s sad but true.
This is about all of us. We are all in this together. Oh sure, I get upset because I will be going on 17 years since I became ill and not having a clue what was happening to me. Now going onto four years blogging and I still hear the same thing.
Yes, progress is slow and I have seen it myself. But if we, we the women at the forefront who are doing the pushing. The women who are standing up and demanding to be seen. Shouting out loud, you will hear us. We Need to be together, we need to stand together. We cannot be Un-united. We Have to support each other, in all our endeavors.
This is not about each one of us individually. This is about all the women who are here now, who will come after us, our daughters, our granddaughters, sisters, all women.  
Every time you share a post, you like a link, you comment, and you pass along information even if it does not benefit you in the moment, you are paying it forward. You are helping more women, more families, more moms. 
Isn’t that what you would have wanted someone, anyone to have done for you? I know I would have. That’s what I think about every single day when I get frustrated. When I get so irritated because I am not allowed into some of the inner circles and many of my posts don’t get “shared” by some of the “hipper” Postpartum circles.
I remind myself that, they are the people who are not paying it forward. I will continue to do my part. I will continue on my journey.
I will continue to be your Huckleberry.
Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Postpartum Psychosis – POST Life

POST LIFE Movie

 

A tormented mother has a difficult time coping with life after the tragic death of her 3 month old daughter.

 

This is a movie about life after Postpartum Psychosis. Something I write fairly regularly about. Nikki Love has started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise awareness about Postpartum Psychosis. Let’s help her reach that goal, so we can help all mothers. All Moms Matter. 

A WORD FROM THE PRODUCER:

So we have officially launched our campaign to raise funds and raise awareness. It’s been a looong journey for me…

Setbacks, Convictions & Courage

11/24/2015 Update

I can’t even begin to tell you the emotional roller coaster ride over the past few days. But I will try. This is going to be a long post, but I have to share this story about setbacks, conviction and courage. You’ll be blessed by the end, I promise! 🙂 ….

 

 


Here’s a link to the Go Fund Me site as well to support this very important project.



 
Every Dollar Counts – Let’s Make this Happen!
We are ALL WARRIOR MOMS!
 

Director / Producer: Salli Richardson – Whitfield

 

Writer / Producer: Nikki Love

 

Executive Producer: Nina Yang Bongiovi

 

Executive Producers: Blessed Ent., Jerwana Hill, Calvin Roberts

 

Consulting Producers: Jane Honikman, George Parnham

 

Cinematographer: Keith Smith

 

Original Score: Kevin Flournoy

 

Editor: JJ Geiger

 

VFX: Zafer Mustafa & Eddie Williams
 
 
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~
 
 
 
 
 
 

Suicidal Ideation

Suicide Ideation

natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis, suicide, maternal mental health, post life, depression
Suicidal thoughts they come and they go. They are rapid, they are slow.
Up and down, the feelings float by. Creating hunger, telling lies.
I try to climb, I try to be free. I feel the weight, it’s crushing me.
Creating the hollows beneath my eyes. I feel my hopes begin to die.
Inside my brain I try to reason, I try to say, you can do this another day.
Darkness gathers along my mind. It’s creeping in, it’s not so kind.
Everything is bitter now. Sleep I must, sleep somehow.
I will myself to not wake up. The ache inside is just too much.
Death will be a sure release. All the pain, would just cease. 
Every teardrop would just dry. No more weight, no more cries.
At last I’ll breathe my very last breath. It whispers to me, it’s for the best.
Tonight may be the night I see, all those who’ve left long before me.
I tell myself it’s the only way. I cannot live another day.
Once it’s done, I just go numb. It’s over even before it begun.
Nights are long, the days are short. Suicide; the last resort.

 

And Sometimes You Just Have to Keep Breathing-

 

 

Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~
 
 

Staying Grounded in Grief (And Creating a Shitstorm)

My Heart is Aching

 

As I read through an article about countertransference and they’re taking about a therapy session in which the mom is grieving for her newborn son that was stillborn; I have such an intense ache inside my own heart, it feels like someone is actually squeezing it tightly.

I am paying attention as I read the article. I have not gotten all the way through the story yet. It’s an article written by Karen Kleinman in Psychology Today. I had been trying to find some articles on anyone who had studied mothers who had lost children in the throes of Postpartum

Psychosis and what the grieving process is like for them. I’ve have been unsuccessful so far. So, in my own attempt to explain what this hell is

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like for those women, I will walk you through my experience reading this article:

It’s titled “Countertransference: When is yours, mine?” and it is about a couple named Monica and Bobby who lost a little boy nine months gestation. He was two weeks post term when delivered and pretty much uneventful.
My own son, Hunter was also born close to two weeks post term. This pregnancy for me was physically difficult. Nothing serious, just a lot of ongoing physical issues.
The mother in the therapy session has asked to share a photo of her son with Karen. I am only a few paragraphs in and I have already gotten a stomach ache and my feet have started doing a toe crunch. I start touching my thigh lightly, tapping.
As they are sharing the photo my eyes are filling with tears and I don’t want to cry and I remind myself it’s okay. I remind myself I am the only one here. My legs tighten and I cross my feet, I am biting my top lip. I take a minute for myself. Deep breaths. 
I go back to read a bit more.
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I got through to where Karen starts discussing Freud and how she starting comparing their stories. I realized I am clenching my jaw and I am rubbing one of my wrists. As I type this I cannot rub my wrist. I am still
clenching my jaw but have moved to positioning my feet in the prone position not moving. 

After typing those two statements I stopped doing both of those things, at least momentarily.

I took a three week break from writing that. That’s how difficult it can be.
postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow, natachia barlow ramsey, maternal mental health, suicide, death, postpartum depression, friendship
As I found the article again, I started immediately rubbing my left thumb and ring finger together. I haven’t quite found my place yet, I am about to do just that.
Before I hit the tab I am tapping my fingers together on my left hand.

I’m not quite to the place, but my eyes skim over the part where Monica has asked to show Karen a photo of her son. It brings me back to the time I was still at AMHI in a women’s forensic group (there were four of us) and I had brought one of the only photos I had of my son to share. It took me most of the group to finally say I wanted to show them my photo. The group was run by two female psychologists and one of them, just before I was about to hand my photo over to one of the other females, stopped me to ask “what I was hoping to get from sharing?”. I immediately took my photo back and felt as though I had been kicked square in the guts. (I am constantly rubbing my fingers togethers and crunching my toes around the rung of the stool I am sitting on)
The safe moment that had been created during the group in which I felt as though I could share, was shattered when she stopped my hand from passing along the photo. It did and still does feel like a priceless token of time that I have captured. So small and yet worth so much. It’s all I have.

I am going to go back to the article, but typing that small piece has sent me to tears that I am trying not to let get out of control.

I have gotten to the part where Karen says “The death of a child must be the most difficult to mourn.” I thought when my mother died it was terrible. Missing a child and mixing it with the knowing guilt of your own hand creates something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

Every day I think about dying. When I hear the name ‘Hunter’ I turn my head. When I see a reference to Robin Williams (my son was named after Robin Williams character in the movie Patch Adams) I think of him.

I feel as though most of you don’t deserve to talk about Postpartum Psychosis and the 5% possibilities unless you are willing to stand in front of me. You are not allowed to say how sorry you are for the mother who just tried to drive into an ocean, or who got shot in front of the White House. You are not allowed to share their stories until you face me. You are not allowed to speak to the grieving families and the widows, the orphaned children or the lost souls until you are willing to stand in front of me.

You don’t have that right. Your rights are revoked. Until you backup your words with actions. Because I am a Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser.
I make myself do things I don’t want to do all the time. I face my fears. I am afraid. I am alone. I make choices that I hope will make things not just better for the here and now, but better for the future. (I still make mistakes, that goes without saying)
But, this is not an easy life, my mind carries the burden and my heart carries grief.

I finished this tonight November 14th, 2015. I started this almost a month ago. I couldn’t do it at the time. It felt crushing when I tried.

But it needs to be said. Just getting through that article took a month and I finished it tonight because of a tweet that ticked me off. Unintended, but yet isn’t that how all shitstorms start?

I do wonder at times if I wasn’t here to say “Whoa, now!” “Hey” and start jumping up and down and waving my arms around like a mad woman, how many things would just get swept away unnoticed. I mean, I guess who else will do it right?

 

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Am I Worthy?

“Am I Worthy”

 Originally written while I was remanded – Nov 25, 2001 (I had just spent my first Thanksgiving alone)

postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow, natachia barlow ramsey, maternal mental health, suicide, death, postpartum depression
Life continues elsewhere, but behind these huge stone walls, time seems to stop and sometimes you forget who you really are. 
You’ve looked for the light at the end of the tunnel, but hopes and dreams seem to get further and further away until you believe you can’t see them anymore. 
You want that with every mistake you make it will be your last, and at last you will learn from your mistakes. 
Do you think I’m worthy?  Do I think I’m worthy? 
There have been many times I have forgotten God and all he has given me. For I am too busy enjoying myself. 
I often feel unworthy and believe he will not want my broken body and soul, for I did not turn to him when I was standing tall. 
I wonder of my uncertainty of God.  Is there truth behind my prayers? 
I can say out loud to anyone who would listen; yes, of course God loves me. 
Whenever I stumble, he waits for me to ask for his help again.  For like all parents, they love their children always, and I am one of his children. 
But in my heart, while I lie in bed at night, my fear is that I am undeserving of God’s love and forgiveness. 
I waiver in my faith, and wonder if God is really there. 
I try to recall in my desperate moments, the times I have been filled by his presence and overwhelming feelings of love.  
And I have, for it is not God who forgets me and gets too busy to say hello.  It is I who forgets to give thanks to him. 
Yet he always helps me back to my feet when I fall, caresses my tears and fills me with hope I so desperately need. 
So I pray again the same unforgotten words that I try to believe will be heard. 
“Please forgive me, I am sorry and I want to do right by you.  Help me God, for you are my strength when I have none.” 
So in my weakest moments, when I feel like I have been dropped from a tall building like a rock to the ground, he will wrap his celestial arms around me and embrace my fall, for he knows I will turn to him.


For he is my strength when I have none.  And we are all worthy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I had written this when I was spending my first Thanksgiving in AMHI. I remember I had never been away from family during the Holidays before. When I got up Thanksgiving morning, I cried into my cornflakes. I would no longer be preparing a Turkey.
I’ve been struggling a lot. Away from everyone down here in Myrtle Beach. Thanksgiving is fast approaching and my experience is telling anyone up close and personal about my past is not only not fun, it sends people running.
People always, always think they want to know. They just cannot comprehend. So, you go through the painful, twisting of your soul to tell them and they run away. Because they cannot fathom when you try to explain to them beforehand when you say it’s too difficult to talk about or understand.
So you die just a little bit more inside each time you believe one more person who tells you to trust them. That they will be the one to understand.
I stepped out of dating for years now. My last serious relationship ended in 2011. I wanted to focus on my daughter and all that was happening.
I had only begun dating again since being down in Myrtle Beach. No one knows me here. But, no connections. Nothing worth mentioning until very recently I met someone, I had that feeling you can’t quite put words to. It’s that feeling you wait for. I mean it only took four years right?
But, you know how this ends:
I go ahead and start mentally preparing myself for the big reveal. I had to buy some alcohol (and any of you that know me, know I don’t drink) to start talking. I’m having an anxiety attack the entire time and trying to give this abbreviated version by only saying I was responsible for another life at this point. My guts feel like they’re being ripped out of me.
He’s being very kind. As we are talking, I tell him I could hug him and never let go, and he gives me a warning about not doing that. I am crushed.
We end up on my balcony and he ends up going in first and I stay outside trying to figure out what to do. I then hear his truck start up. I go back inside and he is gone, along with his things. I proceed to send him a series of irrational texts (at this point I am fairly intoxicated) and I got Lasagna in my bed too (I have no idea about that either, found it there this morning. Like I said, I never drink and I drank an entire bottle of wine myself)
This is the most difficult conversation in my world to have with someone. People do not understand what they are asking. This is why I gave up dating. I feel like a fool for believing. I really thought for a moment I had paid penance for everything. I thought someone good, kind and genuine was being sent into my life. Someone who seemed to value the same things I did and was loyal to a fault.
I’m tired. I want to keep believing, I do. It’s just hard.
 
postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow, natachia barlow ramsey, maternal mental health, suicide, death, postpartum depression
 
 
 
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~