Postpartum Voice of the Week: Afterbirth by @angiekinghorn

Music. The way feelings sound.

The above is a quote featured in a picture I shared at my Facebook account not too long ago. I believe in it, strongly. Music, for me at least, is one of the most powerful ways to enhance or change mood. It’s powerful, all-encompassing. Hidden in the beats, rhythms, and lyrics of certain songs, there are memories. Some blissful, others haunting and terrifying.

I blogged about overcoming the haunting memories which Linkin Park’s album Reanimation held for me. It’s the album I listened to as my then 9 day old daughter had major surgery for the first time in her life. It was while listening to this album I first slid under the waves of the sea of Not Okay and wanted to stay there, drowning in my terror at the hard swirling around me. It took me five years to listen to the album in it’s entirety.

Yesterday I read Afterbirth over at Angie Kinghorn’s blog. In it, she recounts how a specific song, “Lines Upon Your Face” by Vertical Horizon, holds similar memories for her. Angie writes, “I’ve tried playing it in small doses to get used to it, musical allergy shots, if you will, but the violin pulls my heartstrings out and flays them bloody every time.” 

Unlike me, she didn’t play this song purposely, it simply happened to play on her iPod as she sat in the dark in the nursery after a traumatic birth, her father in pain in his illness, and the fear it brought forth within her soul.

With each verse, she swirled deeper into the darkness, just as I did while listening to Linkin Park. The darkness was comforting for me, but for Angie, it broke her wide open, shattering her into pieces, ultimately leading her to the realization she needed help.

I’m listening to the song Angie listened to that night in the dark right now via Grooveshark. I understand how it could break someone apart.

Go read Angie’s post. Show her some love for sharing such a powerful experience with the world. It takes courage to fight your way out of the dark but it takes even more courage to share it as Angie has done at her blog.

2 thoughts on “Postpartum Voice of the Week: Afterbirth by @angiekinghorn

  1. Angie Kinghorn

    I am honored and humbled to have my voice shared here. When I was in the depths of PPD, I felt so alone, and I didn’t tell anyone other than my husband. No, not even my family. I didn’t want to add to their stress. But it was more than that; I felt shame. Deep shame at the idea that I had a beautiful, healthy new set of twins and I was so depressed. I felt there must have been something so wrong with me.

    And there was, but it wasn’t my fault. It took me a long time to understand that; to truly accept that PPD is about brain chemistry (and perhaps genetics), not your love for your child. And so I began to talk about it. I began to write about it. Letting this secret out into the sunshine, I saw that it wasn’t a monster, but rather a mountain I’d had to climb, and one that many other women do, too.

    So to all of you out there who are somewhere on that mountain right now, there are so many things I want to tell you. You are not alone. This will not go on forever. You will get better. You are stronger than you think. There are people out there who can help you, but you have to let them. If you do, one day you’ll become one of those people yourself.

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