Wednesday, May 17, 2017



By: Nishoni Harvey


I tried to keep the thoughts down. What would I ever do? It was not safe for him. I was not safe for him. I looked at the skillet. I was cooking my ground beef and tomatoes for dinner. The aroma filled the air, the sound of frying meat whisping to my ears. Suddenly the food was Samuel. He was in the skillet. I had killed him. I looked over at the infant. He still lay sleeping in his basinet. NO. I cried. I swiftly pushed him to the other side of the room.

I needed help, I knew I did. With I trepidation, I picked up my cell phone, feeling its weight in my hand. It felt heavier now. Could I really tell someone what I had been plagued with? What if they took him away? What if they took all my children away? No. I need help.

I listened as the phone rang on the other side. Maybe she wouldn’t answer. Maybe I’d be home free.


Shoot. “Kim?”

“Yes? What can I do for you?”

I paused. I took in a deep breath. Did I really want to do this? Yes. I needed help.

“I need to go to the hospital.” I began to weep quietly. “Can you take me?” I couldn’t drive at the time due to my seizures.

“Yes, of course…” It was more of a question than a statement of affirmation.

“Thank you.” I didn’t trust myself to say any more.

Kim was there in just a few minutes. The long drive to the hospital was uneventful. It was a quiet drive, for I didn’t trust myself to talk. I watched the trees race by, staring out my window.

“Here we are.” She tried to sound cheerful. “I’ll drop you here, and I’ll take the other three to the play-land. Besides, Burger King has food. I’m hungry.”

Please don’t go. “Okay.” I nodded.

I trudged inside and up to the reception desk. An older woman with short straight hair sat there, her shoulders slumped forward. She didn’t even look up.

Well, I see how important I am today.

“Can I help you?” she asked, her voice flat with fatigue.

“I need to be seen.”
          “What’s your complaint?”

“I,” I paused. Could I really tell them?  I have too. How else will I get help?

I’m having horrible thoughts. Thoughts of hurting my baby, I needed to say. No. I can’t tell them…but I HAVE to… How else will I get help?

“I just have to be seen.”

“Are you depressed, Honey.” Her voice changed to that of sympathy as she took in the sight of me and my baby.

That sounded like an easy way out. “Yes,” I replied. Shoot. I failed.

“Have a seat. We’ll be right with you.”

“Yes ma’am.”

I sat in the cushy blue chair. I could feel the cold through my skirt. I sat on the edge, back straight, trying not to cry.

I waited for only 15 minutes before they took me back. Wow, that was fast.

“What seems to be the problem?” asked the admitting nurse. She looked at me, then looked at the baby I held tightly in my arms. Her eyes took on an understanding.

She knows. My legs began to quake. My breathing sped up. I started to sweat. What if they take him away?

“I’m depressed,” I said, my voice breaking and tears threatening to spill. Shoot. I did it again. I was here to get help, and I couldn’t even be truthful with the only people who could. I was just so scared.

Back in the room, a mental health nurse came to see me.

“Do you have thoughts of hurting yourself?” she asked.

Yes. “No.” I couldn’t do it. I looked for the nearest exit.

“Do you have thoughts of hurting others?”

Yes. This baby. “No.” shoot. Again?

She stepped out on the other side of the thin curtain to speak to the doctor that had been treating me, the short, oriental doctor I could barely understand. “I don’t think she needs admitted,” she said.

My heart sank. I wasn’t able to tell them. These people who could help. What was I to do?

I HAD been having thoughts of hurting this baby. Fleeting thoughts. Not my thoughts. They were very vivid, almost like an imagining, but they weren’t my imaginings. They came from somewhere else. Maybe the devil? Maybe they were from me? Maybe he was safer without me around. Maybe I should just walk away from my family so they’d be safe. Maybe I should just kill myself. After all, I was a horrible person. I had thoughts of killing this baby. Horrible thoughts. I’m going to kill myself.

“We are going to send you home,” said the doctor, jarring me from my thoughts. “If your depression should get worse or you begin to have thoughts of suicide, come right back in or call 911. We’re going to set you up with the mental Health Care program here close to you.”

I nodded my head. “Yes sir,” I promised, and I called Kim to let her know I was ready to be picked up.

          “Hello,” the lady said, holding out her hand to me. She was average height and thin. Her brown hair lay on her shoulders. Soft curls outlined her face.

          “Hi.” Her hand was cold and soft.

          “I’m Cathy. I’ll be your counselor.”

          She handed me a paper, high gloss and light in my hands.

          “I’d like you to read that before we get started,” she said.

          I read the paper with wonder. This woman, the woman who wrote the paper, had the same problem I did. She had thoughts of hurting her baby.

          My hands began to shake and my chest started to hurt.

          “Does any of that wound familiar?” she asked with true concern.

          I nodded my head, looking down at the paper again. There are others like me. I’m not alone.

          “Do you have thoughts of hurting your baby or yourself?”

          I nodded again. Tears began to fall.

          Candy just sat there staring at me, waiting for me to say something, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t form words around the lump in my throat. Someone else understands. She understands. I began to trust her. She knew what was going on and she wasn’t concerned for my children. Maybe she wouldn’t take them away. She already knew about my thoughts. She could be trusted.

“Tell me about you.” She said softly. “What have you been going through?”

I looked down at the paper again. It was my lifeline, my line to the present. Could I really share with her what has been going on? I hadn’t even told my husband. I decided to take the leap.

“I can’t even nurse my baby without having thoughts of snapping his neck. I’m so scared I’m going to hurt him. Or worse.” I started to sob. What could I do?

“Have you been having suicidal thoughts?” she asked, reaching across the desk and touching my hand again.

I nodded my head in silent affirmation.

“Hun, you need to go to the hospital,” she said quietly, her eyes again filled with concern. “They can help you there.”

I looked up, wide eyed. The hospital? The mental ward? I was scared. What would they do to me there?

“Don’t worry, hun. It’s not as bad as you think.”

“I need clothes,” I said.

“It’s fine. You can go home and pack a bag. Be back here as soon as you can be.”

Maybe I should run. I don’t want to go to the hospital.

Arriving at home, I saw my in-laws sitting quietly at the table. I’d forgotten about them in the midst of the confusion. They had arrived the day before, visiting from Florida. How could I tell them? What could I tell them?

I went into my room to pack a bag. The room I had shared with my husband for six years. Why isn’t he helping me? Does he want me to go? To be out of his hair? Maybe he doesn’t love me anymore…

In the meantime, my husband filled my in-laws in with the information. Finally packed, I headed toward the kitchen table where my family still sat. I looked down at my bag and then back up at my in-laws. I saw then that they understood. Their faces were filled with concern. Understanding.

“I had post-pardum depression,” my mother-in-law said. “I know what you’re going through.”

No she doesn’t. Nobody understands.

I heard the shrill ringing of my phone. “Hello,” I answered it on the second ring.

“Hi, Nishoni, this is Candy. Are you on your way back yet?”

“We’re leaving the house now,” I replied, a bit of bitterness in my voice.

The mental ward was nothing like I imagined. If fact, I hadn’t imagined anything. I was too dumbfounded. To depressed. My mind was too busy to think about it. I went in through the emergency room, from which I was ushered by two security guards to the wing of the hospital that held the patients with mental problems. The security was high. The entrance was a thick, locked door. A camera on the outside of the door warned the nurses at the desk of our arrival, and they buzzed us in.

The nurses took everything from me that could be a danger to me or anyone else in the ward. Shoe strings. Computer chords and cell phone chargers. Belts. Strings and ties on my clothes. They took anything valuable, my cell phone, my rings, my necklace, and locked it up to keep it safe.

They led me to my room to show me around. The hospital smell, antiseptic, filled the air. A bed and one chair were the only things that graced the room. I set down my suitcase and followed them out to a dining room. A small kitchen set in the back corner of the room, its cupboards filled with snacks and drinks. The dining room was filled with round tables and a bulletin board one the wall meant to brighten our day. Yeah… Not going to happen.

I was in the hospital for a week, then I was out for a weekend, and then right back in again for another week. I missed so much of my son’s life that when my family came to visit I didn’t feel like I knew him at all. Yes, I was nursing him. I was pumping and sending it home for him. But, what else was I doing for him? Nothing. I wasn’t there. I’m a bad mom. I’m not even there for my baby.

Upon getting released, I wasn’t allowed to be alone, never mind alone with the children. I was still having suicidal thoughts and fleeting thoughts about killing my baby. What good did all that time in the hospital do for me? Nothing. Maybe I’m not getting better because I’m not strong enough. Maybe I don’t really WANT to get better. Maybe I am just that horrible of a mom. I want to die.

Soon, I began to have psychotic episodes. I saw things that weren’t there. I heard things. I believed things that weren’t true. I believed Samuel wasn’t even mine. I believed his mom was going to walk back into our lives and steal him away.

I looked carefully around me scanning the tree line, scrutinizing every green tree. What if she came back? What if she tried to take him away? What could I really do if she did? Nothing. She was her birth mother. I was just the sitter.

I should have realized when she had dropped him off three weeks ago that she would never return. At first, I was angry that she would leave this little burden with me. He was taking precious time away from my three children. I had picked up the phone several times to phone the cops, to tell them this woman had never come back for her baby. To tell them to come take this little burden away. But I couldn’t do it. For some reason, I just couldn’t. I didn’t know why.

Slowly I began to love this infant, this three week old. How could I ever separate myself from him? How could I ever give him up to the state? He was mine now. No one could steal him away. I would protect him with everything within me. She was NOT the best person for him, after all, she abandoned him. He was mine now.

I wasn’t out long before I knew I still needed help. My counselor sent me to a full blown mental hospital two hours from home. I was there for three weeks as they worked with my medication to get it right. They diagnosed me with Bipolar, OCD, PTSD, and Post-Partum Psychosis. The meds they put me on made it impossible for me to continue nursing my son. I can’t even nurse my baby. I’m a bad mom.

Three years later, I am still dealing with thoughts, though I have learned to cope with them. Thoughts of hurting my son, though they are further and fewer in between. Thoughts of suicide, but I protect myself from them. When I get suicidal, I have my husband lock up my medicine.

I have established a safety net, a group of people I could trust and talk to. I have my husband, my father-in-law, my best friend, and another friend. I can’t always talk to them. In fact, sometimes I can talk to one of them and not the others. Sometimes I can’t talk to anyone except God. Sometimes I feel like He’s not even listening, though the Bible swears He is. Sometimes I feel alone until after the fact, then I can tell someone. Why that helps, I don’t know, except that it helps relieve the guilt.

I am still working on learning to stop, or at least deal, with these thoughts. Telling myself no, refuting the thoughts, as lies, with truth. The best truth being Christ. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

The way to Heaven. Everyone is a sinner. “There is none righteous, no not one.” Everyone does bad things. One lie makes you a liar, even if it is just a small, white lie. One theft makes you a thief. One murder makes you a murderer. God sees every sin the same, abominable. A person who only told ONE little white lie and never sinned for the rest of their life is just as bad as someone who murders innocent children. Every sin sends us to Hell. “For the wages of sin is death…” Every person is going to Hell. But JESUS IS THE WAY. “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ out Lord.” All you have to do is believe on Jesus as your Savior. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him form the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart, man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” “For God so loved the word {that’s YOU} that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

He is the Truth. God cannot lie. If He said you are saved forever, you are saved forever. John 3:16 says you have everlasting life. No one can take it from you. You can’t even take it from you. Otherwise God is a liar.

He is the life. He gives you life today. Every day that you live, you have an opportunity to live it or simply walk through life. Doing what God asks is what makes life worth living. He can give you real life. All He asks is that you read your Bible and pray, go to church, and tell others about Christ. What do you choose? Choose life.