Looking at me, it'd be hard to see that I have high standards. My hair is dyed in a haphazard way, a variety of colours - browns, reds, bleached bits and stray bits of blue. I rarely wear make-up. 98% of the time I wear my glasses rather than contacts. I buy clothes in charity shops and in shops from the mid-range high street. I am carrying maybe a stone in weight more than I should be, and am pouring myself into size 12 clothes.
But I do have high standards. They trip me up, and hold me down. But in a perverse way they give me a height from which to look down at others and judge. I beat myself up about the possible judgements people are passing at me, and yet I still judge. Basically I'm more than a little messed and mixed in the head.
My standards come from a good place, a pure place, but they are hard to maintain. I hide behind them, define myself by my ability to be self-sufficient. Yet inside I've crumbled and daily I run a gamut of emotions from deep joy at my beautiful children right the way though to wanting to run the contents of my knife rack through my chest.
"Go to your GP", some well-meaning friends have said. "Get some meds", I'm told. Been there in the past, took meds from age 15-18 years, and here I am 10 years later still a bag of poison in my brain and I am refusing to even think about the GP. He is there to treat sick people, other people, not me with my sickening view of myself. If I can't even get the words straight in my head, how on earth could I explain it to him?
Not sure if it's a post-natal depression, or just me being a whinging moan. Probably the latter, but even if it were the former I am past caring. People tell me to go to the GP, and what I want is for them to tell me I'm ok, loveable and to ask if there's anything they can do to help. But, I doubt I'm loveable, and even if they offered help I'd see it as a form of attack.
The other morning I was pacing up and down the street like someone half wise, pushing Lydia in her pram trying to lull her to sleep. I stayed within the distance of a few houses from my own, as Adam was inside and I wanted to be visible to him in case he needed me. Round and round I walked for upwards of 20 minutes, then I parked her outside our living room window. I've been doing that for weeks, as it's an improvement on her just falling asleep in the car (petrol is expensive) or just on the breast.
Anyway, so I parked her outside the window, and turned to walk into the house and she woke up. I could almost feel my head crack. So round and round I walk again, getting closer to the edge with each step. I tried to not cry and just realised what a fool I looked.
I sort of felt like I'm held back from attempting to get help, because I'm so angry at myself for needing help and not being able to be effortlessly superb like the yummy mummies heralded in the media and who all seem to frequent the same mums and tots groups I do.
Yes dear, it's okay to breakdown a bit, as long as you do it quietly, as long as you doing it over there away from sight, and as long as you're okay again to cook dinner tonight.
No one said that to me, but that's how I feel. Keep the mask on and just keep on going. Who do I think I am stepping out of the expected box I've put myself in? I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mum, I am married to a man who's applying to become a Minister, and look at the shape of me!
Don't mistake me, my children are well cared for, and I am functioning alright. The house is clean, tidy and everyone is in a good routine. But in my head I'm just screaming and screaming.
I pick fights with my husband, and I couldn't even tell you what I'm saying. I just pick at him because he's the closest thing to picking at myself. I am a nightmare to live with, and I regret most words.
Lydia will be a year old next month, and most days are good. She's a joy and a delightful child. None of this is because of her, it's just my response. I can't even tell you exactly how my head is, but I'm trying to.
I've spoken to a few other friends who've gone through similar. Good to know I'm not alone, although I often feel very alone.
The purpose of this blog post is to just get it out of my head, and to maybe let another mad bat see that I'm a mad bat too.