Two days ago, an incident in Bangalore jolted me deeply from inside. It was an incident where a mother, pushed her 7 years-old differently-abled daughter from the terrace of her flat. That helpless little girl, Shreya, died on the spot. The mother told the Police that her daughter was restless and she decided to throw her down to calm her. When I read the news and looked at the picture of the mother, my first thought was – she looks sick and she needs help. Depression may be? However, I am not in favour and support of her actions at all.
She looked like a mother suffering from depression and loneliness. She was separated from her husband and bringing up her daughter all by herself. Surely, it couldn’t have been easy for her. I am a mother too and I don’t think any mother would want to harm her own child, come what may! Then, what must be going in her mind before taking this drastic step? Were her problems big enough to take the life of her own child? What was she thinking? What triggered her to do this? Did she have friends to speak to? Did she have parents in whom she could have found her shelter?
This accident took me back a few years and reminded me of a phase I went through.
It was around the time our first child was born. A little fairy came into our life, who continues to light up our world with her exuberance. Our whole family welcomed her with utmost love and affection. Everyone around me was excited and full of glee and joy. But, I was feeling something else. I was happy and sad at the same time. In initial few weeks, my days and nights were just for her. Despite having help and support from family, I took the charge to take care of her in my own way. I never paid any heed to the unsolicited bits of advice and suggestions. Having said all of that, it took me a few weeks to actually feel the bond with her. But, why! I didn’t know the answer myself. I felt like I was losing myself. Every now and then I would burst into bouts of crying and throw unnecessary tantrums causing troubles to the people I love the most. Why was I behaving like this?
After few months, I was feeling emotionally drained more than ever. My husband is always full of energy and pays so much attention, but, even then I was feeling neglected. I was craving for a real conversation since now all our conversations were around baby meals, vaccination, diapers and everything baby. I started EMOTIONAL EATING and gained a lot of weight during the first year post-partum. I was also struggling with body issues since I didn’t like the way my body became. My confidence and self-esteem were at the lowest. I was always irritated and my anger flared up at drop of a hat. Meanwhile, I was growing fonder of my daughter and my love grew deeper. I didn’t let my emotional trauma impact my bond with her.
All this while, I kept confusing my feelings with mommy blues, but little did I know that I was heading towards DEPRESSION. I was constantly feeling like I was entering a dark tunnel with no end and no redemption. NOBODY NOTICED. I NEVER SPOKE! And this was my biggest mistake.
Around the time when our daughter was about to turn 2 years, my husband saw me unhappy with my physical appearance. He decided to get me the membership at one of the best health clubs in the town. I kept saying no and finding excuses but he was adamant. This decision turned my life around 360 degrees. We decided to put our daughter in a daycare that was in my husband’s office campus and she started going there regularly. That gave me much-needed breather and space. We wanted her to start socialising and get rid of her separation anxiety. She would go there for a few hours, while I was at the gym.
Days passed, our daughter grew a little more and I started to enjoy my workout everyday. I was losing weight and gaining confidence. I was calmer and happier but, it wasn’t the easiest road. I was working hard on to get over my body issues and proving to myself that this is not what I am; I can and I will come out of the tunnel I was into. It took me over a year and humungous amount of self-motivation to get back to feeling normal. I am very proud of myself to redeem myself back and how!!! Now when I look back, I think I could have atleast shared my feelings with my lifelong buddy – my husband.
Overcoming my depression and complexes would have become easier if I have spoken out about them. If, only!