I recently came across Lindsay Clancy’s devastating story. She initially made headlines in February when she strangled her three young children to death and then attempted to end her own life as well. She ended up surviving, and is now facing charges for her action. Just by only knowing that she killed her three children and attempted to end her own life, you’d call her selfish and a coward. I know I would. But I also understand the hardship women can face after giving birth. I just can’t imagine having to go through the same hardships over and over while having to take care of your other children.
Lindsay Clancy suffered from postpartum depression. She was being treated for it medically speaking. On that fateful day in February, her husband left her alone with the kids for half an hour. When he came back, he found his kids’ lifeless bodies and his wife fighting for her life. And despite her actions, Lindsay Clancy’s husband says he doesn’t blame his wife at all. A person who’s not a parent, as well as a woman who hasn’t gone through postpartum depression or a man whose partner hadn’t gone through postpartum depression wouldn’t understand how someone could forgive, let alone not blame, a parent for killing their own child. In this case, the lives of THREE children were taken by their own mother, the person who was supposed to guide them through life and protect them.
But please hear me out…
Postpartum depression is a very serious illness too many women go through after pregnancy, and it’s not anything that should be taken lightly. I had a very interesting experience myself after I gave birth to my son. I wouldn’t call what I experienced postpartum depression, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless. I almost started questioning if motherhood was even for me. It was a sad reality for me because motherhood was what I wanted for myself for a very long time, and it took me 5 years to finally get there.
When my son was born, I didn’t feel a connection to him whatsoever. To me, he was just another one of those babies that was the same as everyone else. At times, I’d forget that there was a third person in the house, and I’d be surprised why there was a crying baby beside me. When he’d cry because he was hungry, needed a diaper change, or just wanted my attention, I’d be frustrated because all I wanted was to just be left alone. It was such a heartbreak for me because I felt as though my son was a stranger to me, and my family showed more love and attention towards him than I did.
I wasn’t his mother – that was what my brain was telling me. I try my absolute hardest to be the best version of myself for the sake of my son. It’s something I have to do in order for him not to have a f*cked up life. I want him to have the best life possible. I want him to have a great life in the future. Therefore, I have to be the best that I can be for him now. The world is already a cruel place, and he’ll have to deal with a lot outside of what my husband and I can control. The one thing we can control is what environment he’s put under at home and the in the presence of anyone close both me and my husband. For instance, I allowed my father-n-law to meet my son, but after seeing how he treats me even in front of my son, and what he’d said about my son to my face just with the intention of hurting my feelings. I decided that it’d be best that my son didn’t witness such toxicity at all. If my father-in-law showed the slightest bit of care about my son, I would’ve reconsidered. But in the almost 5 months since he was born, he only showed me that he wants things his way or no way at all and that he can treat me however he wants no matter who sees it, even if it’s my own son. I’m not giving it to him. I, along with my husband, decided that my son deserves better than that.
My father-in-law is completely full of himself and would never admit he’s in the wrong no matter the circumstances. In the decade that I’d been with my husband, my father-in-law attempted to break our relationship until the very same day my husband and I got married. He wouldn’t accept me into the family and to this very day, he treats me like I’m invisible. When he does treat me like I’m there, he always finds ways to find dirt on me. The only times he and I can ever tolerate each other was when we’d both be drunk. But I’m not the only person he mistreats that way. He thinks everyone around him is less than and doesn’t ever hide that. That’s just the type of person he is.
I couldn’t care less what my father-in-law thinks of me. I don’t believe it’s any of my business. I’m not married to him and I don’t have children with him (thank f*cking goodness). I’m married to and have a child with his son. His son is an amazing husband and an amazing father. I fell more in love with my husband When I saw him become the father that he is to our son. When I see the bond between him and my son, and when I see the way my son looks at his father, my heart just melts. All I want for my son is is to feel loved by those close to him. The world is already a cruel place to begin with, so I want him to know what being loved, being appreciated, and being kind feels like at home and around those closest to him.
The few times I saw my father-in-law be in the same room together, my anxiety would kick in and it wouldn’t go away. My son didn’t seem to like his energy around him either. He’d be grumpy from the moment my father-in-law stepped into the same room as my son to the time he’d leave. With that being said, after seeing the overall energy my father-in-law brought to me and my baby following his birth, decisions needed to be made. When the time came to plan the celebration of my son’s arrival into the world 4 months after his birth, As a united front, my husband and I decided it’d be best that my father-in-law didn’t come to the celebration. The turnout of the celebration just confirmed to me and everyone else who closely knew the dynamics and the backstory of my relationship with my in-laws that the negative energy my father-in-law brought into any room just doomed the party and that it was all calmer when he wasn’t around. My son deserves all that no matter what strain it causes and no matter how much my father-in-law tries to hurt me or control the narrative because of it. Being in my son’s life is something that needs to be earned and deserved. My father-n-law proved time and time again that he doesn’t earn and doesn’t deserve to be in my son’s life. My son deserves the best and I will provide him the best.
So what does this little rant have anything to do with postpartum depression, you ask? It actually has a lot to do with it. You see, postpartum depression is treated medically. It all starts with a mother’s 6 week postpartum appointment with the OBGYN. During my own appointment, I was asked the most basic questions about the aftermath of the birth of my son, and I was told that a therapist was available for me to talk to if professional help was needed. But it wasn’t enough. I don’t believe that six weeks is enough for a woman to even realize there’s a disconnect between her and her baby, and it’s most definitely not enough time for a woman to realize she needs seek professional help for it. Not only that, but speaking to a therapist or the medication that is provided for women is not always the answer, and those in the medical profession need to realize that. Lindsay Clancy is the perfect example of what can happen if a woman is mistreated during her time of distress. The medical system is failing us, and I just can’t say it enough times anymore.
After hearing of Lindsay Clancy story and going through my own distress, I realized that everything needs to start with me and the environment I provide for myself and my family. I’m actually thankful for my father-in-law because seeing myself and how I was with my son when he was in our presence made me realize that I need to take matters into my own hands and put me first. Once I made that realization, everything improved. I became more self aware. I became more empathetic. I became a better wife. But most importantly, I became a better mother to my son.
When I think of postpartum depression, I immediately think of Hayden Panettiere, an American actress who started her career at a young age. During the time when she starred in ‘Nashville’, a show that ran between 2012 and 2018, she got pregnant with now 8 year old daughter. When her daughter was born Panettiere went through postpartum depression. Her pregnancy was written into her character’s the storyline, and when she was going through her demons, she had to play them out artistically as well. I just cant imagine having to go through something that devastating in your persona life and then play it out at work. It only made it harder, I assume, and I wish the people she worked for at the time were more empathetic towards her as a human being, a woman, and a mother. This just goes to show that the people you surround yourself with – whether it be family, friends, co-workers, and bosses – have a big effect on your mental health and what you and your brain tells you. Motherhood is not all glamorous, It can be an ugly thing, and it’s being proven time nd time again.
One thing that resonated with me about Panettiere was her saying that she wished someone told that it was okay it was okay to not immediately be in love with your baby as soon as he’s born. Here’s what exactly what she said: ‘I wish somebody told me it’s okay if you give birth to your child and you’re not immediately like, ‘Oh my god, I love you more than anything in the entire world right now.’ It’s okay and not abnormal.’ That just summed it all up for me when it comes to understanding postpartum deppresion.
One thought on “POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: IS IT A MYTH OR SOMETHING MORE SERIOUS?”
This was a very interesting article. I didn’t realize how bad this form of depression could be. When I had my last child I felt depressed. Fortunately it didn’t last long and I had a support system.