do no read further if you have problems with triggers to your thoughts.
When Harley was 4 months old I started have bad anxiety. I started having what if thoughts that something would happen to her somehow. I self diagnosed myself after reading articles about post partum depression. I however read an article about post partum ocd that talked about women that have intrusive thoughts that they themselves will hurt the child in some way physically or even sexually. I remember telling DH about it and making the comment, "I'm glad it's not like that, that's horrible."
My anxiety did get better but when Harley was almost 7 months old DH had to go out of town for a conference for work. I always sleep terrible and high anxiety when I'm by myself at night. This was the first time I've had to with my daughter. For 3 days I probably slept a total of 7 hours. I was exhausted and drained. I was in the middle of changing her diaper when out of no where it hit me. All of it. ALL of what I had read in that article. I was disgusted, I felt guilty, I was terrified. What kind of mother has these thoughts? Was I going to be like Andrea Yates or am I some kind of pedophile. The intrusive thoughts and images were unrelenting. I tried to keep it together once DH was home but I couldnt. He could tell that something was bothering me. I was sitting on our bed after we put Harley to sleep and I just broke down. I told him EVERYTHING. I was so afraid that he was going to be horrified, that he would think that I would actually hurt or touch our daughter. I told him that I felt like a terrible mother and person in general. I told him that I wanted to curl up and die because I would rather do that than even come close to hurting my daughter or live with this pain. To my relief he took my hand, said that he loved me, and that he knew I would never do anything of what was going through my head. He said everyone can think things they don't want to. That made me feel a little better.
The next day I was barely getting by. I could barely take care of my daughter. We decided to go for a drive to try to clear my head. We were an hour from home when I had a full blown anxiety attack. I felt sick, I was rocking back and forth bellowing with tears, and telling DH that I wanted to just die. That was the breaking point. He drove me straight to the er. By that time I was numb, staring off into space, didn't even have a thought in my head. I felt out of my body. We went to the room and I told the Dr only that I was suicidal. I left out the intrusive thoughts, I was so scared I would lose my daughter. They gave me Ativan and said that I could stay overnight abd talk to a psychiatrist the next day. We decided that would be good. They never however said they were really putting me on a 48 hour hold in the psych ward.
After 2 days I was able to leave. I went straight to a therapist. And she was a godsend. She told me I'm not crazy, that she didn't think I was a danger to my daughter, that I definitely wasn't a pedophile, and that I wasnt alone. She said that there were a good amount of mothers who suffer from ppd as well as ppocd. I told her everything, the first time I had other than family, and she listened as I sobbed till I couldn't breathe. She helped me so much. She said I didn't need to hide what happened to me. That if I told someone I trusted, they shouldn't judge me and that it's going to feel like a dirty little thing if I didn't share.
With the help of my therapist and a prescription of celexa, I am now doing so much better. I can take care of myself and my daughter. It can still be a struggle for me. Sometimes I still get an intrusive thought but I'm better at dealing with it now. I'm still working on my anxiety in general. I want those who may be going through it too to know you are not alone and to get help! Tell someone and get help.