So I'm sitting across from a young (and I mean young like a pup here) resident at my doc's medical practice, answering questions which will lead him to deduce, correctly, that I have lost my stuff and need some antidepressants. (Erm, I mean, will lead him to correctly assess my having fallen prey to a little post partum depression and anxiety... and still need some antidepressants).
"Yes - I am experiencing feelings of exhaustion, unexplainable (and explainable) sadness, anxiety, blah, blah, blah." "No - I don't want to off my children, hear voices telling me to off my children or voices of any other kind, etc. etc." I respond to each question like a good little patient, even though they are annoying (and I think likely also questionnable tools for screening purposes. But I digress).
Then he asks: "Are you experiencing any guilt?" I laugh. And not like a delicate hee hee or even a nervous giggle. We're talking full-on guffaw-y, snort-y, spit-flying-out-of-the-mouth kinda belly laugh here. For a second, I think he is kidding around, being tongue-in-cheeky to distract from the seriously lame assessment schpiel. Nope.
"Are you experiencing any feelings of guilt?" he repeat again, a bit louder and looking a little nervous, as if I've chosen that exact moment to lose my tenuous grip on reality. Though I know it will probably scare the pants off the poor fella (who can't be more than, say, 24 years old), I find myself almost unable to stop laughing for a minute. I'm a 35 year old mother of two, talking to a young man who may as well be a toddler, about my PPD (which I already know I have and just need a blooming prescription). And it now seems exceedingly clear to me that whomever wrote the screening questions for PPD is most definitely NOT a mother.
Find me a mother who says they don't feel guilty about their mothering, and I'll find you a big fat liar.
So apparently the whole lot of us are short some happy pills.