What’s more awkward? Sitting on the couch at your parents’ house on Easter Sunday as a converted Jew or your pastor brother asking about the book you’re writing about your postpartum depression experience? Where everyone around you turns their heads and widens their eyes to a record screeching? Or is it all just really fucking awkward?

My husband turned his head to me the most, with a look of confusion going beyond asking where the butter is in the fridge. Right in front of you bro. Just like my postpartum depression, can’t you tell? I stumbled with my words as my mother asked me, “Why didn’t you tell me?” Where I tell her even my best of friends didn’t know. My husband didn’t know. I’m not sure if he felt betrayed that he was in the dark but as I back-peddled to explain to him that it wasn’t just him, I don’t think it mattered. He was in the dark and six years later he was finding out about it just as everyone else was.

I’m the woman who feels she can conquer the world and fix things on her own to justify her existence. My husband is the one that wants to take charge and fix things on his own to justify his importance. Those two personalities don’t work very well when it comes to postpartum depression. It doesn’t help that the two of us are horrible at communicating. Speaking for myself in this marriage, I push things under the rug until they disappear. He does the same, and the times he has expressed his frustrations is usually when the fuse just blows from dealing with the annoying behavior for too long. So my feelings of boredom, sadness, regret, loneliness, and resentment (just to name five) were hidden. Pushed under the rug. I decided to wait and see if it was just the baby blues. I’d find help if I needed it. Trouble is, I didn’t.

Next thing you know, six years have passed and I’m writing a book about all I went through. When he reads the book, he will have many surprises of the many feelings I had as a new mom. He will be saying, “Was she really feeling this way?” and going back in time to try to remember how he could have missed all this. There may be some anger that brews that I wasn’t honest with him so he could help me. Or feelings of insecurity about what he could have done to help if he only knew.

Exactly why I didn’t tell him. I was overwhelmed as it was, so insecure that these feelings defined the mother I was and that it was going to be forever. Ashamed that I wasn’t happy with being a mom and I had regrets. No offense to my husband but if I couldn’t admit these things to my closest friends, who I told just about everything to, then how was I going to tell him?

For now, I’m going to keep editing the book and eventually have him read it. I have to prepare for his reactions and how I can explain to him why I kept these feelings a secret. Why I chose to take the postpartum journey alone with all of them.

How did you share your feelings with your partner? I’d love to hear what helped you.


Michelle Mansfield Blog

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