This is the face of postpartum rage.
I didn’t feel sad or depressed.
I didn’t have anxiety.
But I did cuss my husband out, slam doors, and break stuff.
One day I stormed out of the house with my toddler and baby in my arms.
I strapped them in the double stroller and demanded my husband stay home while I went for a walk.
“Get away from me!” I shouted.
I remember feeling so incredibly angry. I had so much emotion, so much energy, and all of this stuff inside of me was too much. It all came out in a fit of rage.
I had to get out of the house. And I didn’t want my husband anywhere near me.
“Why won’t you talk to me? What’s going on with you?” he asked when I came home from my power walk.
I couldn’t answer. I felt so ashamed of the way I treated him. And I honestly didn’t have an answer because I didn’t know what was wrong with me.
I wasn’t depressed and I wasn’t anxious. I passed the six week depression screening with flying colors.
But no one screened me for rage.
Now I know I was experiencing postpartum rage.
Intense uncontrollable anger.
Unexplained outbursts over the small stuff.
Like the time I got so frustrated with my flour canister because I couldn’t get the lid back on. After a few failed attempts, I raised my arm and slammed my hand down on the lid.
The ceramic top shattered from the force of my rage filled fist.
No one screened me for rage.
Postpartum rage. It’s like an out of body experience.
I never curse at my husband, break stuff, or slam doors and storm off. But I did have all of these outbursts during the first six months after giving birth to my second baby.
I hid it from my friends.
I hid it from my kids.
I hid it from my family.
But I couldn’t hide it from my husband.
My husband took the brunt of all my rage.
I look back on that time in my life and feel ashamed of the way I treated my husband.
I wonder what my life would have been like if I told my doctor. I wonder how I would have felt if I took a pill or went to therapy.
But I was knee deep in diapers and dismissed my outbursts.
I brushed it off because I wasn’t sad all the time or fighting depression.
My rage filled outbursts came out of nowhere.
I felt pretty good in the calm before the storm. I actually felt happy until the anger boiled up and I had to power walk my way through a rage wave.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
I just feel so angry,” I finally admitted to my husband.
He did his to best support me. But I regret not getting more help.
I regret not making a doctor’s appointment. I thought about it many times and always came up with an excuse.
I wish I could get those rage filled months back. But I can’t.
I wish I could go back in time and make things right with my husband. But I can’t.
All I can do is share my story.
Because no one screened me for rage.
If you feel anger, rage, or overwhelming feelings you can’t explain, reach out for help.
You don’t have to deal with postpartum rage on your own.
You are not alone.
This is the face of postpartum rage.I didn't feel sad or depressed.I didn't have anxiety.But I did cuss my husband…
Posted by Motherhood Empowered with Audra Powers on Monday, March 2, 2020
I want to know the rest of the story… like what happened next. You wish you’d asked for help, etc. But what DID you do? Did it just stop as quickly as it started? Did you eventually go to therapy? Anxiety rage is a real thing, but what if, like you, it feels like ONLY rage with no clear triggers? TIA.
I started feeling better around 6-8 months postpartum and I did not have these symptoms with my first or third baby. I did take medication for a short period of time for depression due to trauma 7 years prior to becoming a mother, so based on that knowledge, I wish I would have made an appointment to seek advice on medication to get me through the symptoms I experienced with my second baby. I am thankful that I had a strong support system and the symptoms lessened enough to where I felt good managing my regular mom stress with exercise and prioritizing alone time on the weekend. For me prayer was also very helpful. Looking back I can see how I was under an immense amount of stress during that time on top of having a baby, which I believe manifested in extreme outbursts. I am really thankful I did not experience this with my third baby. Now whenever I start feeling overwhelmed (because I have three kids under age five and this season is exhausting!) I make sure to prioritize intense exercise (a huge outlet for me), alone time, naps on the weekend, getting outdoors, and really communicating with my partner. I hope that helps!
Yes. Yes. Yes. I can relate. I had the anxiety too, but the immediate bursts of rage and anger toward anything and anyone around me was intense and scary. Thank the Lord above that my husband was on my side because he told me flat out how I was acting, and encouraged me to go see a professional. For all you Moms out there that are going or have gone through this, all you feel is real and legitimate, but I am here to encourage you to find someone to talk to professionally who can help. Not only that, but that professional may recommend talking to your Physician about a daily medication to help counteract those intense outbursts until you have the personal tools (like deep breathing, etc) to know when it’s coming on, and what to do to calm it. NO SHAME in that, only love and good wishes on your mental, emotional, and physical journey to well being.