, there was a Princess who was the sweetest in all the land. Her name was Princess Bermantha, and she could make birds sing with her loving smile. She was a true and beautiful soul, and was cherished throughout the land.
Princess Bermantha’s mother, Queen Cole, loved the Princess more than anyone could imagine. Princess Bermantha had helped free her mother from the curse the evil Sorceress Velma cast upon her. Queen Cole was able to find her happiness again because of the Princess, but it was not easy.
When Princess Bermantha was a baby, Queen Cole had taken the young Princess out for a stroll through the castle garden. While the Queen was cuddling the little Princess, a toad hopped into the pathway. It startled the Queen at first, but she soon began to laugh. Suddenly, a dark cloud began to swirl around the toad, and the Queen stepped back. Then, a very tall, ugly woman was standing in front of the queen, with an evil grin on her face.
“Finally, your majesty, I have you all alone. You have felt blessed to have such a beautiful daughter, and it sickens me. It’s not fair that you revel in all this joy, while I suffer in my dark tower. I am putting a stop to it now,” said the Sorceress Velma.
The Sorceress pointed her finger at the Queen, who had collapsed to the floor in order to protect her daughter, and a dark cloud began to swirl around the Queen. It only lasted an instant, and then the dark cloud, and the Sorceress, were gone.
The Queen got up, brushed herself off, and walked back to the castle with the Princess, as if nothing had happened. When they got back inside, Princess Bermantha began to cry. They had been out all day, and she was growing hungry. Queen Cole began to feel something she had never felt before. She looked at her beautiful daughter, and became annoyed. That annoyance grew into anger, and the Queen began to yell at the Princess.
“OK, OK! I know you’re hungry, but will you just be quiet for one second! I only have two hands, you know?”
The Queen had not noticed her anger, and did not know that she had been cursed. As time went on, she only grew more and more angry. She started to feel resentment towards her beautiful Princess, and her husband, The King. Why was everyone else so happy and cheery, she thought.
With anger came great sadness. The Queen no longer felt the joy she had when she looked at her daughter’s beautiful smile. She was surrounded constantly by a dark cloud that nobody could see. This dark cloud prevented her from experiencing the joy and love that most mother’s experience with their children. She felt as if she was suffocating, as if the darkness was tightening around her.
Shortly after Princess Bermantha’s fourth birthday, the Queen fell into a tailspin of emotions. They were never anything she could control before, and this time was no exception. The Queen started to scream at the Princess for making too much noise, which made the Princess cry. This only made the Queen even more angry, and she spanked the Princess for no reason and sent her to her room. During this rage, the Princess noticed something about the Queen. She was not like her friend’s mommies, who were joyful and loving. This made Princess Bermantha terribly sad, and she began to cry into her pillow.
The Queen came to see the Princess to apologize for her anger, which is something she always did. The Queen sat down on the bed, and talked with the Princess. It was during this time that the Princess noticed something more about her mommy. She noticed a glimpse of the dark cloud that surrounded her.
“Mommy, what is that?” asked the Princess.
The Queen sighed deeply, and asked, “What is what, dear?”
“That dark thing swirling around you.”
This angered the Queen, and she started to feel the rage again. The Princess noticed this rage building up in her mommy, so she asked, “Mommy, why are you always so angry at me? Why don’t you love me?”
This only angered the Queen more, but it also allowed her to see something. The dark cloud surrounding her became more visible, even to the Queen herself. The years of anger and sadness were becoming too much, and were becoming visible to everyone, even the Queen. The anger she felt when her daughter showed great sadness and concern for her only made the dark cloud darker. This not only frightened her, but also the Princess.
“What…what is going on?” asked Queen Cole to herself. She ran to the mirror on the wall, and saw herself for what she had become. The Queen saw the anger and rage on her face, and the deep sadness in her eyes.
“This is not me. This is not who I am. What has happened to me?!” screamed the Queen into the mirror. She then collapsed onto the ground. The Princess, though still scared and uncertain, came to her mother, and held her hand. The Queen looked up at her beautiful daughter, who wiped her tears away. The Queen felt love for the first time in a very long time, which gave her strength.
As they sat on the floor holding each other, the Queen began to remember things. She remembered how she used to feel, and alive and full of love she used to be. She also began to see glimpses of the day she was cursed. The dark cloud surrounding her began to look more and more familiar. The Sorceress Velma’s face flashed through her head, and Queen Cole realized that this dark cloud was not normal. This was not how she was supposed to be. The Queen realized she had been cursed!
The Queen jumped up off the floor, took her daughter’s hand, and ran out to the castle’s garden. In the far corner of the garden stood the tower of the evil Sorceress Velma. They ran to the tower, and found their way inside. They climbed the stairs together, and found the Sorceress in the top room.
“Sorceress Velma, I know what you have done to me! You have cursed me, and brought me great pain and sadness. Not only did this curse inflict this pain on me, but it also spread to my family and friends. Why?! Why would you do such a thing?!” yelled the Queen in anger.
“I could not stand to see your happiness! It’s not fair that everyone else can experience love and joy, while I sit in my tower day after day in deep sadness and anger. It was only right that the most powerful woman in all the land suffer the same way as me. I enjoyed seeing you suffer, and cry in agony!” screamed the Sorceress Velma, with nothing but hatred and evilness coming from her eyes.
Just then, the Princess stood up, and walked towards the Sorceress. While the Sorceress was yelling, the Princess had noticed a small bottle on the shelf next to her. It was labeled “Healing,” and this intrigued the little girl. She took the bottle, smiled at the Sorceress, and said, “It’s time to rid our lives of you. It’s time to heal!” Princess Bermantha through the bottle at the Sorceress’ feet, and a soft, white cloud came up, and engulfed her. The the cloud, and the Sorceress were gone.
A white cloud then surrounded Queen Cole, and she no longer felt suffocated. Then as quickly as it came, the cloud was gone. The Queen fell to the floor again in complete exhaustion. Princess Bermantha came to her mother’s side, and wrapped her arms around her mommy.
Days went on, and the Queen was happier. She was able to enjoy everything Princess Bermantha had to offer, and feel the love that mother’s are meant to feel for their children. Some days were still a struggle, and the curse had gone on for too long, and left scars on her heart, and her soul. However, those visible scars were just a reminder of her strength, how far she had come from that dark cloud, and how her daughter’s love helped her see the darkness for what it truly was.
This is a story about postpartum depression, but with an obvious fairy tale spin. Velma is the name those within the #ppdchat community have given to PPD.