Ok, how many of you are country bumpkins like me? If you are, then I’m sure you know all about Chiggers….and if you know about Chiggers, I’m fairly sure it’s because you’ve been bitten by a good amount of them, like I have. Pesky little things, aren’t they? Barely visible, they can cause a serious bout of irritation and make you uncomfortable. As a matter of fact you rarely you know you’ve been bitten by one until you’ve started to itch and you see little red dots staining your skin.
For myself, since developing PPD/PPA after Alex’s birth, and now living with BP & anxiety, being triggered is like being bitten by a chigger: I rarely notice it’s happened until after the irritating itch has already set in, and I’m scrambling for ways to relieve it. Like the small, tiny, invisible little things that crawl up and under your skin til the find the perfect place to take a bite, triggers can make your life freaking miserable. At least they do mine..the itching becomes unbearable. I’ve battled depression & anxiety since I was a teenager, but for whatever reason, since Alex’s birth, I’ve become far more susceptible to certain things that make me “itch”….like noise…
… Loud noises in fact. I can’t tolerate them. Haven’t since April 8, 2010 at 6:37am. It’s the crying, that grates on my nerves and sanity. It literally feels like I’m being raked over with metal spikes. When it happens, everything in me goes into Deafcon 4 and the heart races. The thoughts scatter like roaches in the light, scurrying for some dark corner to hide and fester in….only coming out after the onslaught of anxiety is over, when I’m most susceptible to depressive moods. The tiny noise chiggers, they move rapidly across my body, setting off my sweat glands…the sweat literally pours from me like rain that refuses to let up. Fatigue creeps in and reaches for the shut off button-it usually finds it and I collapse, even if it’s just mentally until I can do so physically.
It seems like the minute he came into the world, my ability to withstand kid-induced noise exited-stage left. It’s like some kind of secret inside trade went down between my body and the universe, and I don’t really think that’s fair….I mean didn’t Martha Steward go to jail for doing something similar? It’s just not cool. Shouldn’t even be legal, if you ask me. But for whatever reason, no matter how much preventative maintenance we do, we just don’t get much of a say as to what the trade-off for having children will be.
It sucks. I wish I could say that I’ve mastered it. I have coping strategies, breathing exercises, medication, and Jesus. But there are moments….there are days….when the meltdowns, the screams, the always-being-peppered-with-questions, the “Mom, mommie, MAMA, MOM, MOOOOOM, mommie…” the whining, the neediness, the tantrums have me running for the only place I find refuge:
Yes. The bathroom…it shields me from the demands of motherhood, and provides a nice, comforting cold floor to rest my sweaty body on. It’s like a spa I have an unlimited membership to, that’s open and offering respite whenever I need it, no matter the time of day. I sit in there, cool off and distract myself with tweets & FB statuses. Everyone always wonders why I have so many FB status updates and go on tweeting sprees…well, it’s not because I think I have something beneficial to say, it’s simply because they offer a solid distraction while my body attempts to restore me to homeostasis…and some semblance of sanity.
I found myself hightailing it to El Bano yesterday after an ER visit resulted in an exorcism-esque meltdown courtesy of Alex. Screams, flailing arms, wrestling, body contorting, AND an always questioning and Power Ranger yelling 4 year old set off every alarm bell in my being. It was all I could do to keep from cowering in a corner somewhere. I spent the rest of the day trying to breathe through the edginess and irritation…tried with everything in me not to scratch, scratch, scratch the itches that just wouldn’t stop coming.
Just writing about it is making me sweat and my heart to feel panicky…so let me stop here.
My point? Trigger bites suck the big wad. Period. I hate that no matter how much self-care I do, the itch from this particular trigger bite won’t go away. It sucks feeling like I’m at it’s mercy…I wish there was some kind of OFF-like spray that could shield me from being bitten so easily.
I may have survived my battle with PPD & PPA…but this is one battle wound that’s still scabbing over, still itching every time a scream or cry erupts.
What about you? What “bites” or triggers you? Any PPD battle wounds that are still healing or have left an ugly scar?