Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SICK (05/09/19)
- TITLE: Spinning Out Of Control
By Corinne Smelker
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“Stop! Stop talking to me! What you’re saying is not true!”
You’re not worthy. You’re a terrible person. A horrible mother.
“That’s not true. I’m a good mom. I love my kids.”
If you loved them the baby wouldn’t be crying right now, and your son wouldn’t be begging to go outside and play. See, you're awful, you can’t provide for them.
Erin spun around her kitchen, flailing the dish towel around her head as she twirled. Her son, just four years old, crouched in the corner next to his baby sister, rocking her car seat as he watched his mom pace, spin and yell at nothing. He stuffed his sister’s pacifier in her mouth in a vain attempt to stop her crying.
You should kill yourself.
“No,” Erin half-sobbed, half-screamed. “I can’t do that. Stop talking to me. Go away. I can’t take your taunts any longer. If I promise to try harder, will you go away? Please? I’m begging you, go away.”
“Mommy. Mommy. Stop screaming!” Joshua pled as he rocked his sister and himself, and tried to shrink even further into the corner. Startled, Erin briefly stopped her pacing and looked over at Josh and Serena, as if seeing them for the first time. “What? What is it, baby?”
“You’re screaming Mommy, and I’m scared.” Josh rocked the seat even harder as Serena took in a fresh lungful of air and resumed her high-pitched keening.
Immediately Erin rushed over to her children and put her arms around Josh before releasing Serena from her car seat. “I’m sorry baby! I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Kill them. Kill them. Kill them. They’ll be better off without you. Since you’re too cowardly to kill yourself, kill them. Then they don’t have to suffer, they don’t have to live with you. You’d be doing them a favor. So kill them. And then kill yourself.
Erin frantically tore at her hair and repeatedly banged her head against the wall.
“Stop it!” she screeched! “For the love of God, stop!”
Josh wriggled away and tried to pull Serena too, but Erin tightened her grip on her six-week old daughter.
“Where are you going, Josh?” she asked, calm suddenly permeating her body and her voice.
“I want to watch TV,” his voice wavered as he slowly walked backwards towards the family room.
Kill them. Kill them both. Kill yourself.
Erin struggled to stand and hold Serena at the same time. She clasped her daughter close to her chest as she moved towards Josh.
“Come here honey,” she wheedled. Josh continued to back away slowly.
“I tell you what, let’s have a bath first, and then we can watch TV, ok?”
“But I want to watch TV now,” Josh whined.
“No! Bath first, then TV,” Erin yelled.
Drown them, then get your husband’s gun from the safe, put it in your mouth and pull the trigger. The world will be a better place without you in it.
As she started up the stairs, the front door opened and Robert walked in.
“Daddy!” Josh cried as he threw himself into his father’s arms, trembling from head to toe.
“What’s wrong my boy,” his dad asked. He looked up the stairs to where his wife stood clutching his daughter to her chest.
“Erin. Are you ok?” Concern flashed over his face as he took in her posture, her intense hold on Serena, and felt the trembling mass of humanity in his arms.
“Oh Erin, honey. Is it happening again? Are the voices back?”
Erin nodded her head slightly as tears welled up. “I’m so sorry Rob. I’m so sorry. I can’t stop them. Why won’t they stop?”
In two bounds Robert reached Erin and his daughter, and allowed his wife to slump against his chest. Holding the three of them, Josh, Erin and Serena, he crooned, “It’s all right. I’m here now. I’ll call Dr. Scott and get you admitted back to the hospital, ok? Now, let's all pray, all right?”
He felt her nod her head against his chest as sobs racked her body. Josh and Serena settled quietly against their dad as he stroked their hair and assured them all that they’d be ok. For the first time ever, Josh stuck his thumb in his mouth and began to suck.
Post-partum psychosis is not often mentioned in church, but it is a very real illness, and can affect any woman, even those who are normally emotionally stable.
1 Corinthians 2:16 …But we have the mind of Christ.
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