Joe's Birth Story Part II: Post Partum Psychosis - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi there,

i've been debating bringing up this part of the birth story, but i think it's important to bring it out because there are a number of women who suffered psychosis post partum who weren't as lucky as me.

it's pretty long and drawn out, so I'm going to piecemeal it.

some background: there are 3 levels of post partum depression, as it were. 1) baby blues, 2) post partum depression and 3) post partum psychosis. About 1 in 1000 women suffer post partum psychosis. it isn't a form of depression but rather a mental illness that can occur shortly after childbirth. I have never been psychotic before, but I was a the highest risk for ppd/psychosis, but I didn't know this until afterwards. I'll post the risks in this thread so you'll know, too.

it's important to know the clinical definition of psychosis when understanding what happened to me, this isn't a term I use loosely, and not a term I picked to self-describe my situation, it's something that I had to become familiar with along the way.

the miriam webster definition: Main Entry: psy·cho·sis
Pronunciation: sI-'kO-s&s
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural psy·cho·ses /-"sEz/
Etymology: New Latin
Date: 1847
: fundamental mental derangement (as schizophrenia) characterized by defective or lost contact with reality

lost contact with reality - what is reality? beats me, but I sure wasn't 'here' part of the time.

in my case I was so frazzled after Joe's birth, and while he was trapped in the NICU, I worked my self into a sleepless state where I became psychotic due to sleep deprivation. It didn't 'just happen', but I don't think it could have been prevented. And to tell the truth, I honor the experience and feel that it was ment to happen. In this thread I'm going to describe the clinical aspect of the psychotic break, but the spirutal aspect is something altogether different and I'll save that for another time.

In the week following Joe's birth, as I recovered from the birth itself, I became more sleep deprived as I worked to get my baby healthy and out of the hospital. About 7 days after he was born, I was brought to the emergency room and admitted to a psychiatric ward because I had lost touch with reality to a degree that I may have been a danger to myself or others. I was never suicidal or homicidal - but in that state, you aren't in control of your faculties. There was a large period of time where I just blacked out and have no idea what was going on. This was about the time that I was admitted to the hospital. I was in the psych ward for 8 days while I recovered from my 'break'. I didn't miss Joe while I was gone, at least, not at first, because I was so far gone, but the whole time I knew I was there for a reason and accepted that I needed to be there. My husband was very strong through this ordeal, and it was incredibly hard on him; i was incredibly hard on him. And my doctor saw me and him through it. I am even more comitted to naturopathy then ever before. I am not and will continue to avoid psychotropic drugs. I was on something for a short period of time. After this incident the allopathic head shrinks wanted me to be on drugs for the rest of my life, and I just couldn't live like that.

That's the major scoop, I'll fill you in on the details shortly.

blessings,

Lori
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#2 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 03:19 AM
 
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Lori, thanks for posting this. I'm so happy you got help and are feeling better now. Hugs and support to you! The Chicago Tribune recently did a series about this; I think we need to be more aware of it.

Blessings,
Kristi

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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#3 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 03:19 AM
 
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MHM - you all have been throgh quite a lot in a short time. I hope you are relaxing and taking care of yourselves!. You are an amazing woman!
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#4 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 07:21 AM
 
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I am so sorry that you had to go through this - but I am glad that you are feeling better! Thank you for your post and for being strong for yourself and for your family.
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#5 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 10:21 AM
 
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Cyber hugs do not seem like enough...
I am so very sorry Lori...

You, your husband and sweet baby Joe will be in my prayers and thoughts...

PEace to you,
Granolamom
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#6 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 10:59 AM
 
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Thank you so much for posting, Lori. I think you're absolutely right to do so, providing you feel ready to share (and it sounds like you do). It's important for people to know that this stuff happens to women we know and love.

I really appreciate reading your story and your courage in posting. I would love to hear more about your healing process without medication (as I have been on Paxil for-freaking-ever).

Blessings!
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#7 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 12:05 PM
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Wow, I am so sorry that you had to go through that. What a journey. But thank you for sharing, it is an integral part of the story. Hugs to you and your family... I am so happy that you are all home now and growing together (*really* growing, did'nt you say in another thread that Joe was pushing 9lbs already? ).

XM
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#8 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 12:15 PM
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Big . Thanks MHM for sharing. The more people know the less they have to do alone.
Much to you.

winner.jpg Adina knit.gifmama to B hearts.gif 4/06  and E baby.gif  8/13/12 (on her due date!) homebirth.jpg waterbirth.jpg

 

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#9 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 12:39 PM
 
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MHM,

I can't answer exactly to the psychosis part of the post partum..but I can tell you that my friend's husband has written a book all about post partum in general and one of the things that few moms know is that there is an oil that the mom naturally has in her but during pregnancy and then during nursing that oil is 'ripped' out of the mom and sent to the baby. There is much to the oil and depression (and possibly psychosis) anyway, his book came out a couple months ago and I think you might be interested in it...yeah, I know...just what you need a book in the middle of everything... but I just wanted to tell you about it.



http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...83331387&itm=1


also: these are the nutrients that I took after pregancy and they were a BLESSING...nothing like having a two month old baby and watching the World Trade Center go down in front of you...I found my hormones crashed that very day...I sincerely felt the nutrients helped me boost them back up...anyway, just wanted to tell you about them.

Here is the link:

http://www.pregnancyrecovery.com


HUgs, hugs, hugs............

Check out New Moon on my Astrology Site

http://tracyastrosalon.blogspot.com/

 

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#10 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i think you're referring to omega 3 fatty acids. this came up quite offen while i was in stir. women definately need this to battle post partum depression.

i am not depressed and have not been on omega 3's, but i do recommend them to anyone having pp-depression. my symptoms were related to the other stuff i went through. in my case omega 3's weren't the solution and i didn't start taking them, anyway.

seriously ladies, i'm not in denial, and i'm not feeling depressed, that's what's confusing about ppd as a category, that psychosis should be listed with depression is confusing, but clinically that's how it's described.

I WAS feeling depressed, but this was aparently a withdrawl reaction to going off risperdal, and anti-psychotic, too quickly. i got the help i needed with that, as well. i was still having some troubles and i've started meditation practice and that's helped, also. it's a whole body approach - mind being part of the body and not seperate in this case, although mind does refer to other aspects of ourselves.

don't feel sorry for me. this was ment to happen and i don't feel bad at all. i have learned so much about myself and the nature of things, and this is why i want to share it with you all, so no one has to be confused and hurt when it happens to them and women like Susan Smith and Karen (?) Yeats don't have to go to prison when something beyond their control takes them over. those poor women aren't responsible for their actions, those around them should have been aware of waht was going on and helped them. it's sad, and those children died because no one recognized the symptoms and helped those poor women when they needed it most.

this, and other things, are what make me a mystic healer mom; that i was able to go through the illness and come out the other side and am now sharing it with you so we can prevent this happening and raise awareness for other women and children and families.

healer, heal thyself



Lori
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#11 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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you are absoltely right, nutrients and nutrition are vital to recovery. no one seems to realize how important this is to the body and the mind.

in my case the anti-psychotic did jolt me back to reality and then one of the contributing factors of my illness was my existing manic-depressive disorder. i've started a nutrient program to help me with that: EM Power, I mentioned the special that was on Discovery's Impossible Cures show in the last week. I have copies of the show, but I'm not supposed to offer to make bootleg copies of stuff. I don't know if it's a problem since the comercials are included. Hm. quandry. Anyway...

when I was suffering withdrawl from the antipsychotic, the True Hope folks helped me with additional nutrients, specifically inositol and choline to help with anxiety and racing thoughts.

blessings,

Lori
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#12 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 04:01 PM
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Oh, MHM! I'm so very sorry you had to go through this and for your family! Thank you for sharing your story with us here. I learned a lot about what it is like in a psychotic state. It's hard to get that from the news about Andrea Yates and DeAnna LaJune Laney - all the focus is on the act of murder and the punishment(s).

Hugs to you and your precious son - you have both been through so very much.

Trabot, I took EFAs and Omegas throughout my pregnancy (for baby's brain!) and nursing and continue to today...my family history of schzoid, depression, bi polar and suicide motivated me to get hip to essential fatty acids and I think they've saved me from falling into the black hole and the other psychiatric disorders.
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#13 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by El Casey S
You are an amazing woman!
nope, I'm just a 'NormalMom' but, thank you.
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#14 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Friday was a real breakthrough day for me. A lot of major chnages and revlations occured.

I was talking to my naturopath about the experience, we keep in touch so i can be sure that i'm healing. and to bump up her office visits so she can charge me more because honestly, she was the cheapest doctor in this whole mess and i think she's only charged me $300 so far. and we paged her in the middle of the night some times. . we discussed my admission to the hospital, as she was the one who comitted me, and she'd never done this before (incidentally, she was reading Women and Moods before this happened so was primed to recognize the signals). She said that once in a psychotic state, the person isn't aware of their actions. That they sometimes have violent thoughts even if they aren't a violent person. They have no contorl over this and this is one of the problems with the understanding of PPP. It is well known that psychotic states will do this to someone, but a mother will potentially turn the focus of these violent thoughts on the child/ren. This isn't something she chooses to do. And after talking to her, this is sort of a dark moment, but it isn't something I had control of, I know this, I realized that I was having violent and uncontrolable thoughts - I'm not now, thankgoodness, but these bizarre thoughts were getting more violent. I'd take a knife out of the drawer and think all sorts of incredibly bad things about what could happen with a knife, mostly accidents. I was afraid to use the knife for the purpose of cutting my food. I can see how this oculd have escalated if left untreated. Scarey. And this is the first time I've really investigated that aspect. I hope none of you ever experience this. It's just NOT RIGHT not to be in charge of your faculties! Ok, that asside...... whew.

blessings,

Lori
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#15 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 07:22 PM
 
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One of the hardest things about depression and the related illnesses is that they don't mean you are "depressed." Although I didn't suffer from PPP, I did spend six days in a psych unit last September. Parts of it I don't remember, but it was what I needed to get back on track.

Please join us on the PPD board. I'm sure you have a wealth of wisdom to share.
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#16 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 07:50 PM
 
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Hey Lori,

I teach childbirth classes, and we touch on post partum depression/anxiety, some risk factors, and when to call us. Could I print out your story and hand it out in class? Would that be alright? I might edit it a little (like to get it to fit on a page, or add it to a hand out on risk factors), but I would not change your story in any way, and I could email you the handout for your approval before I handed it out in class.

I think people need to see that normal moms, normal human beings go through some incredible things, some good some bad. And it helps to have a real story to make it, well, *real*.

If you are uncomfortable with that, no problem. But if you are okay with it, and if you want to add anything else that you think might be helpful, that would really be great. Like you said, it was meant to happen....well, maybe you can help others by sharing your story. Even if the help is *understanding*. Know what I mean?

Anyhow, thanks for sharing. It is incredible and interesting and shocking (as in, shocking one into reality) to hear your story. Regardless of whether you give the okay for me to share your story, I'm going to focus a little harder on ppd/ppp in my classes. It certainly deserves it! Thanks for reminding me of that.

Thanks again;

Lori
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#17 of 35 Old 05-17-2003, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Lori,

Sure, you can use what I've entered here. If you have any questions just let me know, I'm sure there's a lot I could add but I see it from my perspective. For example, what your support people need to be aware of and how to go about getting help and what resources are available. One thing I was totally unaware of was that most hospitals have psyciatric wings and that the regular emergency room is where you go for this kinda thing. I had no idea. And we also made use of the county mental health clinic, much cheaper and also for non-life threatening conditions. You contact the crisis hotline to see if they can help, and if they can't, go to the mental health walk-in, most cities have something available.

I'll dig out the risk factors shortly and anything else that was helpful and print them here, as well.

It was a hellava thing. And actually, I was quite open to the experience and welcomed it, letting it take me where it may, for the most part, but it can be quite frightening if you aren't aware of what is going on. And it's so different and weird that most people won't know how to support you if it does happen. I was pretty fortunate to have established a relationship with my naturopath and that my husband is so concerned about my welfare. It was also pretty fortuitious that the baby was in the NICU at the time because it would really have made things unbearable to have him at home while we were all going through this. I don't think he would have been injured, but newborns are a handful, even with their mamas aren't going through what I did. He was safely being taken care of by the nurses in the NICU and I learned a lot about baby care, to boot .

blessings,

Lori
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#18 of 35 Old 05-18-2003, 12:37 AM
 
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MHM, it is hugely important that you posted this in TAO, particularly.

Thank you for sharing it ...

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#19 of 35 Old 05-18-2003, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by amyrpk
MHM, it is hugely important that you posted this in TAO, particularly.
why is that?
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#20 of 35 Old 05-18-2003, 03:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by MysticHealerMom
nope, I'm just a 'NormalMom' but, thank you.
I disagree, you are amazing because you had the strength of spirit to a.) "let it take you . . . " or whatever the exact quote was - I've not been through what you have, but on those moments where my life is really intense and possibly borderline, I found fighting it made it worse, and yet I dare say most people would try to fight the windmills of their minds and end up getting lost. . . AND b.) you are sharing this in such a way that truly helps other people - I agree with Amy, here at TAO you reach more people, and it seems like a closer family when someone opens up such things here where we can support each other. I'm sure there is a c.) d.) e.) and f.) . . . but right now I really need to go. I can imagine that thinking of yourself as more than normal may be difficult, fighting with perception altering experiences, but do know that you are to many of us here extraordinary and loved.
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#21 of 35 Old 05-18-2003, 10:01 AM
 
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MHM, I think it's very important that you posted this in TAO, because many folks ... MDC members and guests just surfing through ... will see the PPD section and say, "Oh, not me, couldn't be." Or just think it doesn't apply, or couldn't ever. Or think that someone they know is just ... well, I think you get my point. Putting it in TAO opens it up to a lot wider viewing, and allows more of us to understand just what can happen ... and allows more of us to learn compassion.

IMO.



Though I have just noticed this thread was moved to the PPD forum. So much for that ...
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#22 of 35 Old 05-18-2003, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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it was moved, but there's still a link in tao.

you know, i didn't even think about putting it in ppd, because psychosis isn't really depression, it's (generally temproary) mental illness, and i thought of this as my birth story, not my account of ppd, so don't think it needed to be moved. I can see your point. Perhaps the link in TAO is enough to broaden the topic as you describe.

I think it is something that is of interest to the general populace and not strictly a ppd area because it's so rare and misunderstood. and it's a darn harrowing tale

I could go on about what went right and what went wrong. One thing that was seriously wrong was that after I got out of hte hospital I needed to see a psychiatrist to help with my meds. Now what I didn't realize at the time was that I didn't really need the meds because I can manage this with naturopathy. But, in order to show progress and get out of the hospital, I had to make an appointment with a shrink. Actually, a psychiatric nurse practitioner - I highly recommend nurse practitioners for areas where a full-blow professional is too much for the task. Like seeing an OB when a midwife is all you need, if you get my drift. Anyway, in this case, the NP got too involved and made the tansition worse. Because I was diagnosed as bipolar, and I was manic on top of being psychotic, she told me that I couldn't trust my judgement about my mood. Now that is something that just really messes with your head. Here I am, delusional, coming off of being psychotic with one, and only one, priority in mind; take care of my son, get him out of hte hospital, bring him home and be the best mother to him that i can. And I have to check with someone else about everything I'm thinking and feeling to see if it's real or if i'm just being either manic or delusional. And this woman gets overly involved in my recovery, demanding that I stop breastfeeding/pumping and be ready to be on psychotropic drugs for the rest of my life. She'd talk to my naturopath and they'd both get into this frenzy (for example the NP told my naturopath that I was still delusional and that she was going to tell the NICU not to release my son because I couldn't handle it, and that she had the autority to do so. Turns out she didn't and the hospital didn't listen to her anyway because they saw me everyday and used their own judgement, whew. And my naturopath is in touch with my husband and mother and conveys these messages and everyone gets freaked out and I have to some how find the wherewithall to give her the right answers when I see her so that she won't keep screwing with my head, but I can't trust my own judgement. I finally realized that I had to stop seeing her and trust the nutrients instead of the psychotropics, but it was pretty hard because I was still delusional, having trouble adjusting and manic as all get out. Yes, my judgement was flawed, so it was pretty difficult to tell the difference between who was helping and who wasn't.

there were a number of visions or hallucinations that came up while I was psychotic that lingered afterwards that prepetuated the delusions and made it difficult to make judgements. let's just say that the entire event was very spritual and I had a lot of delusions about my inflated importance and place in the world afterwards.

Like I said, I'll include the spritual aspect in another thread, but it was a highly spritual and opening event.

blessings,

Lori
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#23 of 35 Old 05-18-2003, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well, moving it doesn't change the priority in TAO, so it doesn't incidate that it has been updated. It shows up when you do a search for new topics, but a lot of folks don't use that option, they just go to the forums they like, so it looks like people new to the forum won't be able to easliy find it unless they're looking in ppd or do a search for new topics.

oh, well, i'll see what Cynthia thinks.
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#24 of 35 Old 05-18-2003, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jish
One of the hardest things about depression and the related illnesses is that they don't mean you are "depressed." Please join us on the PPD board. I'm sure you have a wealth of wisdom to share.
Having been around family members who had PPD and the related illnesses but weren't 'depressed', ITA. This is a big misunderstanding, imo, about PPD. Big misconception about depression in general, since there are so many different ways to be depressed.

thank you again, MHM for sharing your story. Takes courage.

Edited for typos.
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#25 of 35 Old 05-18-2003, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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another thing to consider - psychosis is psychosis, regardless of how it's acquired, mine just happened to follow my birth. how one deals with someone who is psychotic is very important. it's very misunderstood.

thanks all,

Lori
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#26 of 35 Old 05-18-2003, 02:24 PM
 
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#27 of 35 Old 05-18-2003, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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part I of the story is here, incase my sig changes:

http://216.92.20.151/discussions/sho...threadid=55129
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#28 of 35 Old 05-18-2003, 10:58 PM
 
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MHM, I too wanted to thank you for sharing your story. What courage you have!

Jessemomme, what you are describing is Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I had that too. Very scary. For me, it was like I would pass the knives and think "Oh my G*d, what if I....?" Then I would be so scared that I even had that thought. It wasn't that I ever thought that I wanted to do that, it was like I was scared I was going to do it by mistake.

This stuff is all so hard to talk about but it makes it easier for everyone when we do.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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#29 of 35 Old 05-19-2003, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oops, i just wanted to make a public apology, i surely didn't intend to violate the rules by making a stink about where this thread got posted.

apologies to Cynthia for jumping the gun and not waiting for a decision.

I guess I just wanted to get the message out there since I got the guts up to share it. I could definately see the point about posting to TAO and PPD.

blessings,

Lori
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#30 of 35 Old 05-19-2003, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so what was that all about? well, I'm still working on some new boundary issues. I'm definately not the same person I was before the birth and the psychosis. I've been bugging Cynthia about a number of things since I got out of the hospital. She's just gracious enough to take it in stride.
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