It had been building for months, but I swore up and down it wasn’t postpartum depression. I still do, to an extent. Everything about Hadassah Lee fills me with joy. I cherish everything about her, even down to her nighttime antics which give me little sleep and no rest. I swore up and down it wasn’t hormones, either. Nor was it winter. I can handle the cold and the dark. But still I was angry most days. All day. I cried a lot, at the drop of a hat. There was a lot of yelling, slamming, leaving the house. I figured out how to dump quickly and efficiently on my husband, and how to mask everything from the kids. My kids are perceptive. They ask me what’s wrong. They give hugs. In the loud places, I stonewalled. In the quiet places, I crumpled. I tried to think rationally through situations and describe my emotions, to take away their power. The only word I kept coming up with was rage. It was bright and blinding.
And then came the cry for help. The event that set off the alarms. A big blaring sign that read GET HELP, RACH.
It was a typical midweek morning. Chris was still unloading his gear and his thoughts from Sunday’s services while simultaneously preparing for the next one. I’d worked the previous day and stormed through the house, cleaning and fuming with what had become the usual fury. We were trying to get out of the house for some reason, but I can’t remember the plans now. I asked Chris to get the girls’ boots for them while I finished getting dressed. After a few minutes of searching, it was discovered that one pair of boots was missing. We looked in the usual spots, to no avail. Instead of just rolling with it and letting Chris grab another pair of shoes for the forlorn twin, I lost my junk. I refused to the leave the house until the missing boots were found, letting it take me to tears. Tears, over some missing boots. I made the kids sit on the couch while I stomped around, convinced that nobody else could find the missing boots as well as I. And besides, they’d just get in the way. I was on a mission. The muttering below my breath became loud and forceful, words and emotions flying as if this were truly the end of my world. I could feel myself, see myself acting absolutely crazy over something so small and yet… I couldn’t let it go. The boots were eventually found nearly an hour later and we loaded everyone up, late to our destination. Chris hadn’t said a word the entire time, but I could feel it. I had crossed the line. I had become fixated on the something trivial to the detriment of my mood, my day, and my family. And this wasn’t the first time. But I knew it needed to be the last.