Tag Archives: girl Interrupted

Memoir of a Teacher: Chapter 8, Robin Interrupted

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This chapter from my Memoir of Appropriation I do with special love as Girl Interrupted was a running joke between a dear friend I met whilst in the psychiatric hospital, I refer to her as Cat in my real memoir. Cat, I’ve got a chicken carcass with your name on it… with a side of potatoes,  broccoli and carrots.

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People ask, How did you get in there? What they really want to know is if they are likely to end up in there as well. I can’t answer the real question. All I can tell them is… “Oh you know me, I do so like my dramatics.”

And it is easy to retreat into the blanket fort in your head. There are so many methods of avoidance: the smile and nod, the talking really fast so others cannot get in, the hide in your room, the good old sit and rock; the strategies of the insane, the criminal, the crippled, the dying, perhaps of the dead as well. These are methods of coping with the real world whilst we can’t see it clearly.

My ex workmate Hotlips came in swiftly and totally, during my two years teaching with her. She was at a staff dinner, downing gin like it was going out of style, when a tidal wave of blackness broke over her head. The entire world was nothing but distorted noise – for a few minutes. She knew she had gone completely mad. She looked around the restaurant to see if it had happened to everyone, but all the other people were engrossed in their own drug of choice. For me it was also gin, for another heart attack causing food by the truck load and for another shameless self promotion. She rushed out, because the darkness within her was too much when combined with grog.

And then what happened? I asked her.

A lot of shaking and vomiting, she said.

But most people breakdown gradually, with a series of events that gradually erode away their soul and drive them into self loathing. In this state all normal interactions become a battle ground of paranoia and double talk. Nothing is real yet nothing is imagined. It’s all relative.

These are facts you find out later, though.

Another odd feature of the mad mind is that although it is virtually unfathomable by the “well adjusted” mind you can easily see the normal world going on around you. Sometimes the life you came from looks huge and menacing, quivering like a vast pile of jelly; at other times it is miniaturized and alluring, aspin and shining in its orbit. Either way, it can’t be discounted.

Every window on Alcatraz has a view of San Francisco.

“You look tired,” said the doctor.

No shit, I’ve got newborn twins and a two year old, all who have been sick and I’m just out of hospital with fucking Pancreatitis.

“You can’t keep yourself from shaking,” he went on.

When I’d woken that morning – I’d thought I could do it, get through one more day, taking care of the kids on my own whilst being so desperately ill. But then the shaking started and the boys bronchiolitis got worse and the tears would not stop. I felt broken.

“You expect a lot from yourself,” the doctor said.

I nodded. But the main problem was that everyone else expected a lot from me. They expected me to take care of a two year old and 8 weeks premature twins without so much as four hours of babysitting or help of any kind so that I could actually sleep. He was going to keep talking about it until I agreed with him, so I nodded.

“Does your husband know how you feel?” he asked.

I nodded to this too. He didn’t,  still doesn’t.

‘Trouble with the husband?” It wasn’t a question, actually he was already nodding for me. “Expecting too much from yourself,” he repeated. He popped out from behind his desk and lunged toward me. He was a taut fat man, tight-bellied and dark.

“You need a rest,” he announced.

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Read the real excerpt here and then, for the love of sanity, buy the book and the movie! Yes both!! https://www.bookbrowse.com/excerpts/index.cfm/book_number/241/page_number/1/girl-interrupted#excerpt

As always if you’re a lady and a bit crae crae you are welcome to join my group

https://facebook.com/groups/563402577109194

Life Hacks for Women with #PND

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8 Life Hacks for Women with Postnatal Depression

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Girl Interrupted

When you have PND everyday chores and merely thinking can become an impossible task. Solutions that seem so simple to others are often drowned out by the barrage of negative critics inside our own heads. So here are 8 tips to take the thinking out of the equation for you so that you can get back to being the best you that you can be.

Outsource Support

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PND does not occur in a vacuum, although it does seem very much like you are trapped in the vacuum of space where no one can hear you scream, it is a whole family issue. Most women with PND are lacking support, whether it be an emotionally distant partner, dysfunctional family of origin or having moved far away from family and friends, these women are often very much “alone” in some way. Hire a nanny or babysitter someone to fill that void. Nobody is Super Woman, everybody needs help. Even just 4 hours twice a week will have you feeling more in control. Use one day to sleep and the other to get things done.
There are several organisations that can help connect you with a babysitter so that the whole process is not so scary and difficult to manage. Find A Baby Sitter allows you to advertise for a Babysitter or to simply browse through people in your area and contact them.

Order Food Online

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Sometimes doing big shopping trips is hard with a little one in tow, having to manage carrying a baby or toddler or two plus heavy groceries can be a more strenuous workout than any Zumba class. Order big items online. There are of course always the big two companies, Coles and Woolworths, but other companies run delivery services as well such as Farmers Direct and Harris Farm.

Get a Dryer

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Yep, you’ll feel like an environmental terrorist but it will save you time, time which is precious to you. You don’t need to be Super Girl or Enviro Woman every moment of your life. You can prioritise getting through the day for the next few months/years and then return to your ecologically friendly ways once you have the energy to smile, let alone lift your arms to do washing.

Get a Therapist

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Nice one Sherlock, tell me to get a therapist, obviously I know that but where to start. You can always check the list of Medicare Approved Providers in your area, call up, find out if they have a vacancy, and then see your GP to get a referral to that specific person, or see your local GP and ask about a Mental Health Treatment Plan and ask who they would. With a Mental Health Treatment Plan, Medicare Approved Providers give you either free or drastically discounted therapy. You simply pay the gap.

Medicare isn’t the only organisation that helps with paying for psychologists. Both BUPA and The Teacher’s Health fund offer free one on one sessions with PIRI (Parent – Infant Research Institute) connected Psychologists. No paying upfront and getting a refund you simply show them your card and they bill the Health Fund directly.

Your Child Health Nurse at your Community Centre can also refer you to see a Social Worker who can be of enormous benefit for pointing out options and strategies.
There are also organisations like Maternal Connections and Jade House that deal exclusively with women and women’s issues. Google “Postnatal Depression Psychologists” in your area.

Relationships

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PND is a whole family issue. There is every chance that you may need relationship counselling with either your partner or ex-partner. Living with a person with depression can be tough on the partner, but living in a depressive state where you do not feel supported is also a harrowing situation. Both sides need to heal the rift so a good place to start is Relationships Australia.  Relationships Australia is a National body that offers assistance with setting up and maintaining positive relationships in families and communities. Just call them up and ask them where to start, they’re experts in the field not you so don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers because that’s what they’re there to help you with.

More Intensive Intervention

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If you’ve hit breaking point then it is time for serious intervention. Across the country there are Mother and Baby Psychiatric Units that allow yourself and your child/children who are under one stay for treatment. They have nurses on staff to help with not only your care but also your baby’s and psychiatrists and group therapists to assist you in healing. Speak to your GP about what Mother and Baby Units are near you and how to access them.

Just Breathe

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Sometimes it seems like it’s all too much and that you can’t take it for a second longer. You have a baby crying, dishes piling up and no help in sight. Just breathe. Everybody says it, but it does work. I find that more focused breathing through the use of Tai Chi or Chi Gung to be more helpful to me rather than simply taking deep breaths as it really allows me to detach for a moment, regain my energy and start again. Even just a two minute warm up exercise can help and the best bit is you can do it anywhere, and if you have a toddler they’ll usually join in quite happily. Being a busy mum you probably don’t have time to dash out to a Tai Chi class but you can still learn the basics through an exercise DVD or even YouTube.

Keep a List of Contacts

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If in doubt phone a friend, and by friend I mean a professional. There are several organisations who will be happy for you to ring up and say, “I’m lost, I’m struggling, I need help and I don’t know what to do.” They’ll then ask you a whole bunch of questions in order to try to find out how best to help you. Answer them honestly so they can do their job. It may feel intrusive but you’re worth it and you deserve help.

http://www.panda.org.au/
http://www.piri.org.au/
http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
https://www.lifeline.org.au/

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As always if you’re a lady and a bit crae crae you are welcome to join my group
https://facebook.com/groups/563402577109194