From the bottom looking up
After I had Luca, I went down a really deep, dark, sad hole and stayed there for about six months. It’s a sad but true fact that the postpartum depression I had after him basically blocked out all of my memories of him as a small child.
I constantly feel guilt from that, despite the fact that I know I wasn’t in control of it at all. When asked questions about how he was as a baby, or when he himself asks me to tell him stories about when he was a baby – it tends to leave me with this guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach, because I. don’t. know.
The other day a video popped up on my memories with him walking and clapping his hands. He was 10 months old, wearing a yellow long sleeved shirt and a diaper. I remember that shirt. I remember that brand of diapers. I don’t remember taking the video or anything that happened before or after it. Not a thing.
So imagine my continuing guilt when I sat in a room across from a psychologist, who, after a lengthy Q&A, said that Luca probably has anxiety and depression.
Now, I know that I’m doing the right thing, having him screened early, being an advocate for him, doing what it takes to make it right; but god, I feel so shitty right now. So shitty.
I thought that when I beat the depression that plagued me from 15-20, it was behind me. And then I got beat down again with it after I had Luca, and while I know that I’m mentally in a good place, there’s times where it starts to show it’s ugly face, and I’m aware of it, so I get it in check. I’ve learned over the years how to cope and be and recognize.
I foolishly remember filling out medical history forms, and thinking how I was so thankful that the only family medical issues is depression and anxiety and not cancer or heart problems.
But depression is scary. Especially for boys. They’re always told to man up and get over it. They can’t be emotional or show their true feelings, and I worry. I worry that I won’t be able to reach him or help him heal.
When he had chronic strep throat, we removed his tonsils. He hasn’t been sick since. When he took a header into the bookshelf and got an abscess under his baby tooth, we removed the tooth, and he was fine. Some day, he will probably need braces. We’ll get him that.
But how do you fix something he can’t see?
I told the psychologist today that I’m out of my depth here. That, as far as basic parenting skills go, I’m really good. But I don’t know how to help Luca correctly. I’m afraid that everything I’ve done to help him in the past is all wrong, and I’ve only made it worse. That when he has those tantrums, my approach to helping him isn’t giving him what he needs.
I feel so lost.
When we got back to the car, Luca seemed okay, but then again, I always thought he seemed okay. He then said, “Mama, did you know that we’re all made up of stars? That’s pretty neat.”
“That is pretty neat, little buddy. That’s pretty neat.”