PPOCD - a Grimm fairytale with a happy ending 

illustration by Studio Proba

illustration by Studio Proba

poem submitted anonymously 

Post partem
Me post me.
Yes, All that happened to me
And, it doesn’t go away, totally. 
You get scars, I won’t lie. 
Wrinkles show years that you hide with a clichéd disguise, 
From having reluctantly seen the world through Dante’s eyes. 

Part-em me
As I jump out of my skin, 
A black cat is crawling on my chest again.
In the dead of the night.
(Did someone say, dead? 
I hope that won’t get in my head...)
A heavy, dark, protecting feline lurks and follows me everywhere
But when the light comes, nothing but a stray,
Desperately looking for anyway in or out of this personal cell. 
God, it really is a version of hell.

Impulses and hands shake,
But like rocks we all settle in to the ground
But some of us, live in lava
In climates of wind and rain, 
That can flip you back in the past again, and again.

Sometimes so very far into the past...
That you can find yourself living
Amongst the first women of civilization.
Fighting or flighting all day long.
In a internal battle to protect you and your baby.
Seeing danger at every turn. 
You must think of all that could ever happen, even the unthinkable,
Then, you will never be caught off guard or get burned.

But, you aren’t back there, 
You are here in this room with toys and lullabies, 
And, fresh sheets and coos.
There is no dark cave, no clubs,
No mud-covered creatures, larger than whales, blue. 

Why is that time travel switch so faulty?
Hormones, stress, dna—they all loosen the switch to sometimes create the perfect storm. 
And, like Katrina, no insurance will cover this damage, in you. 
No doctor will be asking more questions unnecessarily so. It’s true.

It’s a long road, of winding, expensive therapeutic ways, where you learn to count to 5, all over again. 
While she convinces you, "You’re alright."
And, you tentatively grin. 
You find ways to survive and even to smile. You enjoy your new life, awhile after awhile...and then you test the boundaries of your mind, and you think you are free, but it’s full of reminders,  guilt and shame ghosts, that sadly seem somehow meant to be. 

Meant to be? Doomed to stay?
Now, your mind is definitely playing a game. 
You don’t want to play, but your torn inside. 
Insomnia and responsibility start to collide, 
The subconscious inn is full, and the fears start to leak,
Into your real world that you’ve given an oath to protect, week after week. 
Waking up, each day and putting on your suit of armor, 
Your heart grows weary and nerves are goners, not stronger. 

So, here you are, a mother, you see.
With the task of a titan
Set forth in front of yee.
Longing each day to be mentally free. 

How can you get there?
Start by trusting YOU again, 
Fight against the cruel visions
With loving visions of your life to come
Of you at their wedding
dancing without shoes and laughing.

Tell yourself there will be a future, 
And, that you will both be in it. 
Hold your baby and look into their eyes each day, 
Let them know you are their protector, and you won't let anything happen to them.
Tell them you love them. 
Make the promise, face to face, each day, 
despite their age,

And, your relationship will become real and clear,

Rather than just a fictitious fear.

You will get there,
And, be able to let your shoulders drop,
Allow yourself to live in the moment and breathe
Know you will not be pulled apart, or broken in the end, 
Because unlike the Humpty Dumpty story,
You can actually be put together again.


The End.