Father’s Day Bits and Pieces

Fathers Day MTB

We plan to do some mountain biking today. When my husband and son do steep downhill runs (downhill mountain biking), I just have enough time to drop them off at the top of a mountain and pick them up at the bottom. Hopefully today, if we ride (they went on a very long ride Friday which our son is still recovering from), I can ride, too.

***

On the Way to Father’s Day with My Dad

Audio Transcript

I’m on my way to my parents’ memory care to celebrate Father’s Day with my dad. Yesterday when my mother learned that I was going to be celebrating Father’s Day with my dad and not be taking her to her communication recovery group in Newport Beach, she became very distraught, cried, and tried to leave the facility. So, I got a phone call asking if they could hire somebody to take her to the course. It freed me up to meet with my father for Father’s Day.

Granted, I’m not able to take my kid to and from school on Fridays when I go and spend Fridays with my parents. So, whenever I go and spend Fridays with my parents during the week, it interferes with my parenting. Luckily, today my husband’s home and he’s taking my son to school. My son goes to school too far to ride his bike.

So, I’m anxious because I’ll be seeing my mother before she leaves, and I don’t know how she’s going to react. I’m just anxious because whenever I see them, they expect me to get them out of there (their locked memory care community). And, I can just only take so much of it emotionally. It’s very trying.

So, it interferes with my ability to do my passion, which is writing, blogging, which I haven’t been doing as much. And, yes, I know people, some people, are a little concern that I’m doing this while driving. But, it’s a long drive. It’s like a 20 minute, half hour drive. We’re in neighboring cities, but Mission Viejo is a long city. And, then, it takes a while to get from their memory care facility to the Newport Beach communications recovery group.

I just don’t want to keep taking my mom. I want to start backing out of being a caregiver. I still basically am. But, I want to start putting up more boundaries and protecting myself, which I had to do before all this. I had to protect myself. I have to protect my time.

I have to make sure I have enough energy to take care of myself and my son. First and foremost. I have nobody else, beside my husband. Yes, my son is an adolescent, but he doesn’t drive, and it’s just not safe for him to ride his bike to and from school because of super busy streets. The speed limit is like 50 mph. He doesn’t feel comfortable riding on these streets. He feels comfortable on mountain trails, but not on these streets.

***

Mental Illness and Violent Acts

My response to Marisa Lancione’s excellent post: Can we stop blaming mass shootings on mental illness?

Honestly, some mass shootings are perpetrated by people with untreated mental illness. I’ve had to stop myself from doing violent things. I’ve had completely horrifying thoughts and impulses, which I’ve had to tell myself not to act on, had to harness all my self control to not do. At the time, in fact, I was amazed that more violent acts don’t occur.

***

My response to Henrietta M. Ross’ post: We’re All Serial Killers Now

Brilliant. Just responded to another article that I have fought murderous (and postpartum incestuous and cannibal) thoughts and impulses. At the time, I was amazed that more murders don’t occur (and more infants not eaten).

Perinatal Mental Health

This morning I attended a webinar hosted by Postpartum Support International (PSI) and 2020 Mom Project. The webinar “An Introduction to Maternal Mental Health” taught by Birdie Gunyon Meyer, RN, MA, CLC, PSI Education & Training Chairperson. Postpartum Support International promotes awareness, prevention and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing. 2020 Mom Project seeks to bring about change by the year 2020 to address the maternal mental health crisis.

Perinatal (during pregancy and postpartum) Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) 

Screening Questions (among others)

  • Are you feeling sad or depressed?
  • Do you feel more irritable or angry with those around you?
  • Are you having difficulty bonding with your baby?
  • Do you feel anxious or panicky?
  • Are you having problems with eating or sleeping?
  • Are you having upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out
    of your mind?
  • Do you feel as if you are “out of control” or “going crazy”?
  • Do you feel like you never should have become a mother?
  • Are you worried that you might hurt your baby or yourself?

The mental health of both mothers and their partners can be affected.

Get Help

  • You are not alone.
  • You are not to blame.
  • You can feel better with help.

Resources

Suicide Infanticide

Long, long ago
When my son was very, very young
I thought of killing myself
But what about my son?
I can’t leave him behind
Well then, I’ll take him with me
Oh, my God!
That’s where it comes from
That’s why mothers take their children’s lives
When depressed and suicidal
They do not want to abandon their children
They do not want to leave them behind
It’s not rational
It’s a depressed and suicidal thought process
That takes a leap
From killing oneself
To killing the one most cherished
I get it now
I get it
My brain went there
There
To that completely unacceptable place
I considered killing both myself and my son
The thought was momentary
It came
It left
The thought happened long, long ago
But it did happen
I did think it

Thank God I recognized my thoughts as irrational
Thank God I had done so much work in therapy
Thank God I was on antidepressants
Or, maybe, not
Maybe the antidepressants
Hormonal changes of birth and breastfeeding
Lack of uninterrupted sleep
Triggered these thoughts


During my son’s infancy, I was not diagnosed bipolar type II. Diagnostic criteria did not yet describe people like me. I would tell doctors that I was probably at the very least cyclothymic. To my family doctor, wife of a psychiatrist, I had depression and responded well to antidepressants. Researching antidepressants before I became pregnant, I chose Zoloft, an SSRI deemed safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. So I took Zoloft during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Antidepressants can trigger hypomania, mania, even psychosis in those of us with bipolar disorder. Treatment (even with lithium, mood stabilizers, and/or antipsychotics) does not guarantee an absence of symptoms, including depressed or suicidal thoughts, mania, hypomania, or mixed states. Living with a mental illness requires diligence, self-awareness, and knowledge.

Postpartum

Thoughts and urges
Never disclosed
Never shared
Until now

Little baby boy
Pretty rose between his legs
So pretty
Want to take him in my mouth
So yummy
Want to eat him up

Unsettling urges
No rhyme or reason
Thoughts that pass
Memory remains
Urges not actions
Still disturbing
Is this what it means?
“So cute, I could eat him up!”

No desire
No emotions
Behind the thoughts
Behind the urges
Just disturbing thoughts
Fleeting compulsions
To eat a baby boy