Postpartum Support International Blog
June 26, 2016
After I gave birth to a stillborn son, my mind obsessed around the idea that I killed him. No matter what the doctors told me, I was ashamed that my body could not keep him alive.
No matter how much my husband told me he loved me, I thought I was disgusting and didn’t believe him. I hated that my body was capable of murder and I thought I could do it again.
It was when my mind justified killing my husband that I went for help. I didn’t want to hurt him, too.
I had Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and the diagnosis made me feel pathetic…now I was crazy. It took years to learn to love myself again.
Now I realize that the time my mind took to heal was sacred.
I wish I could tell anyone suffering from PTSD: “Be patient and gentle with yourself. Sit with whatever your mind throws at you and breathe it in. It’s your mind’s reaction to great sadness and pain just like a toddler’s angry temper tantrum. Embrace the thought as if it’s an angry child, and then let it go on its way.” I was able to control the thoughts by holding them for a minute, and then letting them go . . . day after day after day.
It can take a long time, but be hopeful and ask for help. You will love yourself again.
Geraldine Donaher is a teacher, journalist, and writer in the Philadelphia area. After giving birth to a stillborn son, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She writes about the debilitating power of intrusive thoughts and negative self-talk . . . and the mind’s resilience to combat it. Read more on her website www.geraldinedonaher.com and follow her on twitter @gerridonaher .