Charlotte: Losing Herself

Patrick worried; Charlotte distanced herself from the girls more each day. It was getting to the point he considered moving them into the main house as a permanent solution to their care. Patrick blended plant care with childcare. Settling them in the shade whilst tending the garden, chatting to them as he worked. Teaching the sleepy girls about the types of vegetables he was growing. Despite their newborn status they needed to know what would make them strong and tasted the best.

Charlotte

Charlotte celebrated her birthday with quiet reflection. She blew out the candle without making a wish. Her heart failed to know what she required to feel whole again. There was hope Caleb would stand before her, tell her he would stay, then everything would fall into place. A confession of love would transform her into the mother the twins deserved. Motherhood, she believed, should be as natural as breathing. Something that blossomed with each memory captured. Instead, it felt alien. Vicky tried to reassure her that everyone finds a way and the girls will love her no matter what.

Those feelings of inadequacy remained within her. Charlotte shook: tears bubbled beneath the surface. A constant wave of fatigue threatened to consume her. Looking into the puffy red faces of her children, she begged them to stop screaming; her body weakened, a lack of food and sleep. Charlotte considered taking the cribs and leaving them somewhere. Trying to live up to the expectations of her family and the babies, it terrified her. Playing the role of mother, it felt forced upon her. She resented it, sinking deeper into the guilt of hating the responsibility. It was worse than that, she could not admit she did not love her daughters. 

Charlotte

Patrick learned she walked out of her finals, leaving uncertainty over her graduation. He expected arguments as he questioned her decisions; the mounting irresponsibility concerned him. She would sit for hours crying. How could she explain the devastation of disconnection from her offspring? Patrick doled out his lectures on how she should be; all she wanted to do was disappear. 

That was the answer, to disappear. If Charlotte could somehow vanish from this life, surrender her role. Her babies could be raised by a person who would give unconditional love. She imagined being happy, sorrow free, a weight lifted, giving her a life where she and Caleb were together. There could be several lifetimes to approach the theme of motherhood; she did not have to consider it now. If there was a way to remove her memories of Daciana and Luliana, live in their non-existence. Charlotte wanted that life.

Soft closure meant the twins were unaware of their mothers’ decision. They drifted off with full tummies as silence filled the surrounding rooms. Minutes became hours; nothing stirred. Patrick crept into the room expecting Charlotte to be sleeping. Instead, clothes lay scattered across the bed. The wardrobe door ajar. A weight of disappointment turned to shock as two babies cried.

Support for anyone struggling with low mood or depression after giving birth is available either via the Doctor or through charities. Included with this post is a link to MIND – https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/postnatal-depression-and-perinatal-mental-health/about-maternal-mental-health-problems/

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