14 May 2015

Ma.

She bathed him lovingly.

She warmed a bit of silky oil between her palms. A leg was flailing in the air, she caught hold of it and rubbed the oil in, starting from his fleshy thigh to the tips of his pink toes. Her hands flattened against his cute, round tummy as she worked her way up to his tiny shoulder blades and then to the tips of his tiny fingers. She caught hold of one finger and put it in her mouth, so soft, so succulent. She looked into his eyes while the baby looked back at his mother, his big, round, midnight blue eyes staring back at her with vague recognition.

She stuck her elbow in the bath water to check the temperature and opened the tap a wee bit to cool it off. Then she slid him into the bath, she got lucky with this one, he loved the water. He proceeded to spend three quarters of the next hour splashing his bathwater around and gurgling with happiness while his mother soaped up a lather on his little body and shampooed his downy hair… she worked away till he was squeaky clean, and then some.

It was just as she was reached for the warm Turkish towel that she felt the clouds blacken. It sent her into a tizzy of panic. Her husband was away, her mother had gone back home and the neighbors were at work – soshe prayed… first for strength, then for mercy. She wrapped him up and laid him down on the bed – he was not too pleased at being taken out of the bath but welcomed the warmth.


The clouds gathered some more, blackened some more till her motor skills were impaired by the hate she felt. The Chinese dagger they bought from the curio shops near the Great Wall reminded her of a memory, a happy memory, a memory unmarred by......bawling filth. A memory in which she was the centre of her husband’s world, second to none. A memory in which she didn't have to share him with anything. Especially not this... thing.

Then it became simply convenient to slowly sink the dagger into its soft flesh, piercing skin layer by layer, one swift yet soft movement. It cried out at first in shock. Then, when the blade was deep enough, only gurgles flowed out of its mouth. She laughed, so different from mocking laughs from you were in the tub, aren’t they? 

As another memory broke through the clouds flitting in and out of her mind, she remembered the first time she had nursed him. But by then the bright vermilion of blood had already left a stain on the sheets that wouldn't be easy to wash away.

What have I done?

***

P.S: Postpartum psychosis is very real. Get help.
P.P.S: Linking to Three Word Wednesday

15 comments:

  1. I personally know someone who is suffering from it and it is painful to all those who are around her. It is very very real, common and scary. We need more awareness about it.

    I loved the tale you created to showcase it.

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    1. It is pretty alarming how mental health is ignored by Indians... Thank you, Lioness :)

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  2. Depressing, tragic, but very well written.

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    1. Thank you Berowne :) And welcome to my little space!

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  3. Oh my goodness, you made me shiver. I'm lost for words.

    Rosey Pinkerton's blog

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Rosey :) And welcome to my blog

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  4. What a brave write..i fully admire your courage and the knowing way in which you wrote this..a brilliant piece and one that would resonate with many mothers/parents..if they weren't ashamed into not being able to express these thoughts and feelings before it's too late

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    1. Thank you so much, Jae, but I'm afraid I write this only by imagining what pain postpartum causes, I can't take credit for the courage you attribute to me... But it means a lot, thank you <3

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  5. Whew! that was a chilling tale.

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  6. This one chilled me to the bone. You have done a splendid job here though my heart feels a little broken right now :(

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  7. This would give me nightmares! I hope and pray for people who suffer from this :(

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Go on, you can say it.