She was a wonderful wife and mother–talented, giving, fun, and a great partner. However, with the birth of her 4th child, she experienced emotional trauma, even though the birth was physically normal. Afterward, her personality changed. She was constantly feeling overwhelmed with life, no matter how much support she had. The fortitude to hold it together was in short supply. She and her husband went through deep emotional waters, and her connection to her husband dissolved permanently. Her ability to connect with her children also changed.
After two decades, she largely rebuilt the relationships with each of her children, but she asked for and received the termination of her marriage. She and her spouse still have a caring relationship. He understands that this experience was bigger than they were able to surmount. He does his best to work with this unforeseen and unexpected reality he landed in to feel deep compassion. He is also appreciative of the victories she had to restore her life to something she can manage.
At the time of these emotional upheavals, she did not receive a diagnosis of mental illness (there were no processes in place to check for the emotional changes of postpartum depression and anxiety, so it wasn’t effectively dealt with). It is hoped that the medical field will develop a process to better understand the risks, symptoms, and treatment of postpartum depression and anxiety that has impacted, and continues to impact, so many women.