Staring at row upon row of baby food jars, I was guided along the rows in a slipstream of terror and paranoia. If I couldn’t make food myself without the fear of poisoning my weaning child, then surely these guys could? I began double, triple pressing the little safely lid just to check again, and again that they weren’t already depressed and useless to buy. I stood there for hours knowing I’d bring them home and chuck them straight in the bin. Sleepless nights, saturated in dreams that my baby would be taken from me didn’t help. Waking breathless and heaving tears heralded the end of these nightmares multiple times a night.
This was only the beginning of the hell. The stigma of postnatal depression tied me in bounds made with threads of paranoia, isolation and fear. So I spoke to no one. No one at all. I coped with this for two years. I fought. And fought. And fought. My rational brain armed with reality tried hard to slay this thing that straddled my back and helped make new parenting the hardest thing I’d ever battled.
I’m a collage artist and photographer. This collage is a reflection of how that type of hell feels.
— Carmen Scott