I Have a Counselor!

And its okay if you have one too.

I used to think that I didn’t need counseling, that my mental health was… what? I never talked about mental health. I didn’t know what it was. Welcome to the club, right?

Well, now that I am suffering from the aftermath of postpartum psychosis, bipolar affect, shock, and the trauma of losing my children for three months I am acutely aware of how important mental health is, how difficult it is to maintain, and how being open about it with a counselor can help.

So, if you have a counselor (that you see via the internet these days) know that you are not alone and that its a good thing to seek help for your mental health. Its step one, in fact, and arguably the most important step.

Stay safe out there. And thank your counselor.

Highway Ahead

Once we get on the highway we will start to make some headway. But I’ll be driving faster, and we’ll talk about different things. I just want to make sure you remember everything about me. That I suffered an acute form of postpartum depression. I know I almost left you, but you have been a great passenger, always letting me change my tune. You were a real trooper in the motel, and we agreed on the itinerary at once. You listened so well to how it happened, too. What really happened, what happened the night before, and what happened next. What happened in the hospital surprised you, too, and I haven’t even explained all of that.

I spent nine days in the hospital in total. Those nine days were full of more “tests” and delusional thoughts. They made me eat, but, like I explained to them, I would not eat without my children. Other patients and the nurses made sure I complied, however, and though it was like jail I did receive medical attention that I was needing. I haven’t heard from the hospital since discharge (except for calls from the billing department) and finding a psychiatrist has been difficult. We all know that healthcare in America is lacking. Well, I could write a book. But I’m not writing an expose on mental healthcare in America. I’m just cruising through my emotions, stories, and experiences. And you’ve just happened to come along for the ride. Thanks for your company so far.

What Happened Next

After they took my children, ripping them away from me as if I were truly an alligator wrapped around them in the backseat of the cop car, they got us into the hospital. I was put in a bed, probably a triage unit, and asked questions. All I wanted was water and to see my babies. I got up twice to search for them, hearing their cries coming from the other room.

I was sent back to my room, treated as a danger to my children. I would ask for water and they would ask me another question, like how long had we been in the field? Four hours? I said. Who knew? I didn’t for sure. I only received water after a woman told me she was taking them. I was still delusional and agreed. They gave me water and no water has ever tasted that good. I wish I had refused it though. I wish I had fought harder to see my children.

On the Road Again

Cat got your tongue? 🙂 I know. What do you say to that story? Most people have heard about women doing crazy things to their children postpartum (I’m not researching that stuff right now but you can go for it). So there’s a stigma. Stigmas can’t be changed overnight. I can only relay my experiences. So put your seat belt on and let’s go. I’m not done.

What Really Happened

So yeah, I survived an assassination attempt. Delusional discussions begin here. I “survived” by diving into the weeds with a three year old and a seven month old baby at 11:00 a.m. on one of the last days of the summer. I had left the truck open in the driveway of the “house.” The house where they had been brainwashing my children at night. The house I was sure I had found secret access to. And I would confront them for hurting my son! For whatever they had done to him! For they certainly had! But, like Bambi’s mother, I’m not much for confrontation.

Once we had laid in the weeds however, I discovered us in the middle of a “test.” That’s a delusion for ya: always changing. I would have to cross to the other side of the field with both children. Choose only one and you fail. Lose both and you fail. Turn back and you will be killed. But you will need to find water. For you came unprepared. As always.

It’s difficult to quiet two children while carrying them through razor sharp weeds. But you must for “they” have guns. You must get down. You must know how to hide. My two pups quieted after some time. They were listening to the only person they had available to them at the time – me.

My left elbow still hurts. I carried Sergio in that arm. God, he was pissed. He wanted to go back. But I was terrified. We couldn’t. I failed right there. Should’ve listened to that baby. But the delusions had control and I was trying to save us. You must listen to me here. I was trying to save us.

So I pushed the grasses down to create a path. Sergio walked behind me. Then I let him lead. Then we had to stop to lay the baby down and rest. Which plants did I know? Why didn’t I just bring one bottle of water? Which plants could we chew on for water? Come on! Survive!

It gets real hot outside after a little while. Especially when the trees are on the other side of the field. Hold on, I feel like throwing up.

I took off my black jeans. I took off Sergio’s pants. I took off Marisol’s onesie. We needed to breath, didn’t we? Through our skin? I took the diapers off. They were wet and heavy and I had no way of changing them in those circumstances. Marisol was getting lethargic. We crouched under some tall weeds. It didn’t help much to cool us. So we had to continue on. Away from the “house” and towards the trees on the other side.

We got there, following purple topped “butterfly” grasses. Pushing through here, re-directing there. Some weeds are much more difficult to push down than others (there’s a tip for ya :)). I laid the baby down in the shade under those trees, on top of the clothes I had taken off but continued to bring with for that purpose. I had to keep laying her down – lowering my overall “score” in this delusional “test” of primal fear and instincts. Sergio was being argumentative and was calling for his abuelita, for help.

But still, there was no water. And no one was there to help us. I had hidden pretty well. So we waited in the shade. Until I finally realized what was happening. What was happening? I suddenly had the epiphany that the “power” was in my hands all the time. So I picked the kids up and we found our way, walking in an old creek bed, crawling through the drainage tunnels beneath a road, coming up into a new field and finding the road again.

Above us was a drone (yeah baby, I was on local news) and a police officer quickly made his way over to us in his vehicle. I was half-naked, as were the children. His eyes were wide and terrified. But I was calm. Having passed the “test”. I chose both children and saved the three of us. I held both of my babies to my chest as the police car raced to the hospital.

When we arrived, they reached inside and took those babies from me. The next part is hazy and makes me want to cry. And I will need some coffee if we’re gonna keep going. Which we might as well.

If you feel like you might harm yourself or your baby call 911 or go to the ER. Postpartum psychosis and/or depression are serious conditions and need prompt treatment. I will be providing more information and resources as soon as I collect it and process it myself. Postpartum psychosis happened to me suddenly, has had a huge effect on my life, marriage, and the lives of my children. If you are feeling overwhelmed, guilty for no reason, like you can’t get enough sleep, or paranoid about your baby, seek treatment. This post is not to diagnose or treat, however. I am not a doctor. I am simply a survivor.

My children are currently with DCFS because of the events I have described above. I could have harmed my children they said. But I didn’t. And I never would. This is an explanation of the delusions that led me into the field that day. I just would like to mention, again, that I got us all out. Comments, experiences, and the like are welcome.

I Know…The Road Trip…

Sit back dear. I’m sorry I left you on the roadside back there. But I came back for you, didn’t I? I threw you out and all but I’ve calmed down now, I swear. Forgive me.

It’s just that, suddenly, you reminded me of something. A delusion I once had. I will drive a bit slower now. And I know some good back roads. So we have time to talk.

I will tell you about the time that someone once tried to kill us. Me and my two children, I mean. We made it. But it’s just you and I now, unfortunately. On this ride, at least. Hold on. I’ll tell you.

This is meant to be a cathartic way for me to digest my post partum delusions. It is mostly fictional and contains delusional episodes. It is not intended for any purpose other than my own healing.