All too often, women who are suffering inside, are too afraid to speak out about their feelings, for fear of being persecuted, of being rejected and of being labelled a monster.
The reality is that PNI is NOT a choice, it is not for the weak or for someone who just can't cope, it is not an excuse to not have to deal with the trials of motherhood. It is a VERY real and difficult illness.
For anyone to believe that getting PNI is something a Mother chooses, must be a very uneducated and naive individual indeed.
Pregnancy, labour and then the aftermath of looking after the baby, is a very big change to go through in a little over 9 months. EVERYTHING changes and what people must remember is that PNI is additional to all this, not a result of this.
It is not something you develop because you ae not coping. Indeed, finding the changes difficult can increase the anxiety, fear depression etc... But it is NOT that which causes PNI.
The hormonal changes in our body and the need to protect and love our children are root causes of PNI. You think things that aren't natural, that aren't what you truly feel, they are not 'you'.
But because of the overwhelming love you have for your child, you question yourself 'is this me'? 'Have I been a monster all this time'? 'Am I ill or am I a bad person / mother'?
This time in a woman's life, who is suffering with PNI but doesn't know it, is absolutely hell on Earth. It is physically painful to survive each day, being thankful you didn't act out those thoughts, deliberating constantly in your mind whether you are capable of hurting your child, telling yourself you are a threat, you are dangerous, they would be safer if you were not here. Sometimes women can even feel their children would be safer if they were not on this cruel Earth too.
It is a very lonely, scary and intimidating place to be in. You love your child so much and want to protect them, even from yourself.
Now more than ever, people need to know the truth about PNI, they need to recognise that ANYONE can get this illness. From any walk of life, from the Mother of six to the Mother of 1. From the council estates to the mansions, from the single Mothers to the happily married one's.
IT IS NOT A CHOICE!!
If anything, in my experience, it is the very strong and loving Mother's that get struck down with PNI the hardest. Their need to feel nothing but love around their child makes it even harder to cope with the thought that you are capable of hurting them.
A Mothers love for her child is like no other. It is strong, overwhelming, wonderful, awful, a complete life lived for another. PNI seriously plays with this image and turns it into the worst thing possible, out to get you, out to hurt, out to punish you for being such a bad Mum... when in reality, you are the best kind of Mum.
If people are educated, there is a greater chance that women afflicted with this illness will get the help and support they need... fast. Whilever we sit in the shadows, not understanding what is happening to us, why it is happening and if something can be done to change it, we will continue to hear these tragic stories, of women comitting suicide ...and worse.
If the public knows what it is, HOW BAD it is and how with support, love and help they can come through it even stronger, we will see a society of strong women, unafraid to speak up and get help ...instead of being looked down on for not fulfilling the 'image' of what a Mother 'should feel ' and 'should be'.
Not enough is done to educate women and their families on PNI. I firmly believe that information should be given out with the Pregnancy and Childbirth books, the packs we all get on our way out of hospital and in every Doctor's visit after birth.
It is almost as if the medical professionals don't talk openly about it because they fear that it will make us question ourselves or put ideas in our head. It seems to be an 'If we say nothing, nothing will happen' attitude.
This is wrong. For those women who don't get PNI, they will read the information, like every other bit of information they receive. But IF they do have PNI, the information will speak to them, they will have a place to go and will not be afraid to speak out.
Partners and family also need the education, they need to know the signs to look for and how best to approach the woman who is suffering, so desperate to talk but too afraid to.
A listening ear and a non judgemental attitude makes the world of difference to a woman suffering from PNI. It took me 6 months to tell my partner how I was feeling, and this was only after I found PNI ORG UK, confided in a friend and went to my Doctor, who subsequently told me I was not a monster. 6 MONTHS!!! 6 months of torturing my insides beyond recognition.
My little boy means more to me than ANYTHING, he is ALWAYS on my mind. I would give my life in an instant to protect him. Throughout PNI this did not change, this only increased to a point where I actually thought I had to kill myself to protect him... FROM ME!
This was not natural, not me at all and NOT A CHOICE!!
To all the ladies out there who are afraid to speak out, afraid they are monsters, afraid they are falling apart... YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOTHER!
You deserve to love your child and be happy. If you are afraid to speak out to your GP or family, then please please please come speak to us at PNI ORG UK - pniorguk.proboards.com
We all know how you feel and we are here to help. You can tell us anything in confidence and we will not judge you.
PNI is a temporary illness, not a life sentence. You are not a criminal and you CAN and WILL get better!
Sending lots of love to all of you