Horror Show in My Mind: Gut Punch

Intrusive thoughts were like a gut punch to my psyche.  They were so vivid and so real.  I could not bear to even consider what my mind was showing me.  It was all too horrible to imagine.  I would shake my head to clear the thoughts from my mind.  I would turn on the television or turn up the radio if I was in my car.

I felt this urge to jerk my car into the path of oncoming traffic.  What if I got into a little accident and broke my leg?  I could finally get some rest and some sleep.  Then I would shake my head again and berate myself.  What kind of person thinks like that?  I hated myself so much for these thoughts.  I felt like I was a complete failure.  Many women were able to handle motherhood with grace and ease.  What was my problem? Why couldn’t I cope?  Why did everything set me off?  What was it about the noise level that made it impossible for me to concentrate?

I hated myself.  I loathed my weakness and my anxiety.  I could not believe how my mind was betraying me.  I let my anxiety go unchecked, and it developed into rage.  Anything could set me off.  It could be stains on clothes or a sink full of dirty dishes.  After my outbursts of rage, I would feel ashamed that I let myself get so out of control.  I would sob uncontrollably, feeling the horrible pit in my stomach that signaled my shame and disgust in myself. Again I would berate myself in my mind.  My inner monologue would hurl insults at me.  I was a terrible mother.  I was a terrible wife.  My husband and my girls would be better off without me.  I should just run away from my life since I was bringing nothing but pain and misery to my family.  I could not bear the thought of leaving my family behind even though my anxiety made me want to run far, far away from them. My anxiety was so severe that I lost thirty pounds in six weeks. I could not sit still. I had to be doing something all the time. I could not rest, and I felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin.

I did not feel the anxiety leave my body until seven months after my youngest was born. I laid in Corpse Pose in yoga class, and I finally listened to that small voice in my mind. I knew that I needed to get help. I made the phone call the very next day, and I had my first session with my therapist that same week. I survived with the support of my family, my friends, my therapist and my online support team of #ppdchat and the Warrior Moms.




About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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14 Responses to Horror Show in My Mind: Gut Punch

  1. quinn0808 says:

    So glad u got help. And you are such a better mama for it.

    • Thank you sweetie. I am so grateful that I got the help I needed. It has made me a better mama. I had to work through a lot of my issues, but it ended up being just what I needed to move forward.

  2. I had those same thoughts. Still do. My psych said that they are a coping mechanisim believe it or not. It gives us a sense of relief to think of those things when we are in the thick of horror. I know it is sick way of looking at it, and yes we do feel terrible after the fact. I’m rambling…sorry.
    I’m glad that you’re sharing this.

    • So glad to see your lovely face on my blog. I have missed you, Kim. My next book to read is Karen Kleiman’s book about intrusive thoughts. It does make sense that we would catastrophize the worst thing that could happen, right? I realized now that I was just burnt out by wanting to be in the hospital to get rest. When I talked to my therapist about that one, she pointed out that my mind was trying to tell me what I needed. I think that I have imagined the worst case scenario since I was little. It makes so much sense that they are a coping mechanism. I want other mamas to realize that they are “not the only freak in town” as Yael would say. If we share the scary stuff, it helps others. xoxo

  3. I am so glad you did reach out and get help. Your honesty is helping other mamas, Jenny. I hope you know that.

  4. Laura says:

    Thanks for brave posts like these. I’m beginning to wonder if any mom really manages new parenthood with “ease”. As always, I appreciate that you speak the truth.

    • Thank you so much Laura. I do not think that any mom navigates becoming a parent with ease. Some women may fake it better than others. The more I talk about these thoughts, the less frightening they are.

  5. story says:

    Proud of you for writing this. You are more powerful than the thoughts.

  6. Andrea says:

    I had horrible intrusive thoughts too & once I started healing I realized how my entire life I have always thought the worse case scenario, with pretty much everything.

    So glad that we can talk about this & posts like this are out there for others to find because back when I was suffering it was extremely hard to find anyone else who had these thoughts & the isolation made it worse.

    Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    • Andrea, I have always been prone to worst case scenario thinking too. I am so glad that more of us are talking about these thoughts. Knowledge is power. It doesn’t make the thoughts any less scary. It just helps to identify them.

  7. You are so awesome for your honesty and for your strength. I struggled with many of those same intrusive thoughts the first time, and I’m noticing that they’re starting to come back again. So glad to have found you and so many other wonderful women, and to know I’m not alone this time.

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