Today I looked through baby photos – the first few months of my journey into motherhood.
I do this every now and then, hoping that one day it might be easier.
That I will have healed something, somehow and connected with that maternal joy I was meant to feel during that time.
I hope that one day, when I look at these photos, memories will flood in. Joyful ones. I hope to feel proud and nostalgic and to be able to look at these pictures with fondness.
Instead I get knots in my stomach. Its painful.
Because I dont remember the good things. I cant call on those happy moments that should be associated with that time. I wish I remembered my baby.
The way he smelt and slept and moved.
I wish I could recall how it felt to hold him on me or feed him.
Not just the difficulty of it all.
I wish these pictures stirred something in me that didnt hurt.
But fuck it hurts and I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but this is what I’m dealing with. This is the battle I’m facing.
The baby in the photos could be someone elses, I don’t really feel attached to him and that is so hard to admit. All of this is.
In these pictures hes often accompanied by this woman that I know is me – but it doesn’t feel like me.
She seems very unfamiliar. She looks strange and lost with a plastered half smile and an awkward handle on her kid.
She seems to be made of a part of me I no longer associate with. Its hard to accept that’s me at all really. I seem so different now.
These snapshots are almost dream-like to me. There’s alot of fog to wade through to remember the timing around the picture and so often, I just don’t remember at all.
There are big chunks of time that have dissapeared.
When people tall about my baby, I try to relate. When they remember how he started crawling or how he would roll around on the floor or what he was like in those first few months I smile and nod but I struggle to remember those parts because I wasnt truly there, not the real me and I cant recall memories from a mind that I didnt have control over.
I remember sitting next to his cot at midnight, 2am, 5am – whenever – working really hard to convince myself not to run away.
Or that he wouldnt be better off with someone else.
Or that he was infact mine because I wondered if maybe he had been mixed up because shouldnt I feel more than this? Shouldnt there be some bond that stops me thinking this way?
I remember feeling that I was a failure and would never be good enough to be his mother.
I remember feeling completely & utterly hopeless and desperately lonely.
I remember thinking that everyone, the whole world, was against me and looking at these photos reminds me of all those things.
I try not to have regrets in life. I try to think of everything I have done and been through as a lesson. I try to learn from the mistakes I made and I try to convince myself that if given the chance I wouldnt change anything, even though I might want too.
There’s value in every mistake.
But these moments I’d want to do over. I’d want to feel it all again to remember the little things about being a mum for the first time. I know there was good in there, I know there was but I cant quite reach it. Its all buried under this toxic fog I cant work out how to get through.
PND stole something from me that I cant recover and that I try to compensate for. I know it was outside of my control and that I wasn’t in my right mind.
I know I’m a good mum but Ill never get that time back. I’ll never be able to re-live those precious moments.
I know the woman in those pictures was so unwell that she couldn’t even put it into words but i’m so angry with her.
I know i’m no longer that same person and that ill never meet her again because I outgrew her and left her behind.
I just hope that one day, I will have done enough healing and given enough love that I’ll be able to look at these pictures and forgive her.