Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Dark PPD Secret

I’ve seen atrocities committed against animals in my day and I’m not talking about on TV. I’ve been in the lower level of a two story barn that had horses in manure up to their knees, manure built up so high they could not lift their heads or they would hit it on the ceiling. Horses who have spent their entire lives starving in a stall of manure who have never seen sunlight.
I’ve snuck around property in the dead of night to film horses and dogs, skin and bones, eating insulation from a mobile home because there was nothing else to eat so that we would have enough evidence for a judge to grant a warrant for removal.
I’ve cried tears over animals we couldn’t save despite our best efforts because we rescued them from hell too late.
Having spent years fighting against the cruelty to animals and the pathetic laws we have to punish animal abusers, I should have caught it sooner. I should have realized something was wrong with me when I could not control my temper for the smallest infraction of my dogs.
I excused myself over and over because it is true that the more advanced my son progresses, the more my dogs act out for attention, but that doesn’t excuse my behavior. I have cried and begged my husband to get rid of the dogs because I don’t want my son growing up thinking its okay to abuse animals. I’m embarrassed that I have stood on my porch screaming at my dogs knowing the neighbors can hear me. I’m ashamed that I have struck out at them, kicking them away as they swarm in like vultures for the smallest amount of food my son drops. I’m horrified at my negative feelings toward them, the hatred I feel towards these creatures who only want love and affection.
I look in the mirror at the end of the day and I see a monster. How could my son possibly love this ghastly face that stares back at me? And still I would feel uncontrollable rage building up in my chest like bile as my son fights sleep and the dogs bark at every shadow jerking his eyes awake once again. I know its wrong, but it’s like watching me from outside my body as I pick up a crate with a dog huddled inside it and throw the whole thing out on the porch in the cold and rain. These pampered pooches that have ruled their kingdom and known basic discipline are now subject to the wrath of an ogre.
When I leave the house and drop off my son at daycare, I cry and sob because I want to hug my dogs and give them treats and for a few days we are good. I play in the floor with them and give them extra time in the yard. Then Cody (who is obsessive with licking Matthew in the face) accidentally knocks Matthew down as he tries to eat the crumbs directly from his mouth. As my son begins to cry the ire of the banshee emerges and I scream and rail at the dog causing both of them to flee to their crates in pathetic trembles.
What must my son feel from me when I’m choking on my own fury. It’s amazing that he even calms down when I scoop him up as I’m bellowing at the dogs.
Even if he knows my anger has nothing to do with him, I don’t want him thinking its okay. I don’t want him growing up remembering to be afraid of his own mother. I’m not a happy person when my anger consumes me. I have NO Reason to be this angry and it’s not like me. A temper? Yes, I have that but this deep controlling consuming seething rage that takes over? It isn’t natural and its certainly isn’t me! I don’t want to be this repulsive and hostile person anymore. I want to be loving and sweet and in control of my own body and emotions.
I failed to catch it even though it was right in front of me. I have become one of the most vile things I can think of, abusive. Being what they are, they forgive me. (sometimes over and over again).
As I sat on the floor last night with my son and his snack on the coffee table, the dogs drooling beneath him, I breathed deep and let it go. There are worse things then bits of roast beef being licked off the carpet. My son is at the stage where he thinks its funny to feed the dogs and feel their tongues on his hand so he is often sharing with them (even eating after them which I find appalling but I can’t stop it all the time) staring over the side of his highchair and purposely dropping food to them and laughing. They are performing on instinct and I can’t fault them. I can’t begrudge them anything given that they will lay there and let my son yank their ears into the position of a Joan Crawford Face Lift. Cody is already becoming Matthew’s shadow, constantly trying to play with him. When Matthew crawls to their food bowl while they are eating, they both back away and sit knowing he has priority and they would gladly share their food with him.
I love my dogs (even though they aggravate the crap out of me with some of their antics and have the most horrible breath on the planet) and I know they will be great playmates and loving with Matthew as he grows. I have no idea why my wrath has centered on them (not just on them) and I will have to continue to work on controlling my anger. They deserve better than me but I can make it up to them. If the meds do nothing else, I hope they ease my anger and my house becomes loving and peaceful again.
I am so revolted by myself in this, that I didn’t even want to write it but I have to admit it. I have to get it out because I’ve hidden too much from everyone, from myself. I have to face it in order to correct and move on.

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