Hollow

depression-13057

When I was a kid I became an expert at subterfuge. I knew how to lie, evade, and assuage. My survival was at stake. The lives of loved ones dependent upon secrecy and denial. I was completely alone in my abuse. I was careful. I never trusted anyone. If they were kind the would betray my confidence out of love and concern. If they were unkind the consequences of exposure could be more severe. I knew better than to take the risk. I didn’t allow myself much in the way of comfort lest I soften or drop my guard. I spent most of my time with very self-absorbed people knowing that my secrets were not worth knowing.

*

As an adult I found myself unable to open up. I tried therapy but I only presented preselected versions of self. I aimed for safe diagnoses. I didn’t want to be irreparable. Damaged. I have years worth of philosophy and psychology tucked away. I know what to say in order not to seem too sick (though I am not much of an actress I am sufficiently confusing). When I am too sick I hide away from public sight. I wanted to hear someone say you are making progress, you are healing. I selected problems that seemed more manageable. I thought if I could make some changes, manage some small successes it might get me going. I placated their egos despite poorly articulated advice.

*

When I was pregnant with Isadora. I spent a lot of time with my OB/GYN we didn’t talk about my life outside of motherhood but he figured it out. He knew that I’d been sexually abused because he saw that some times and he altered my care, catered it especially for me. I trusted him and I’ve never been so proud of myself as when I gave birth. He followed my plan to the letter, respected me, listened t me. It occurred to me then that I could go to a doctor open up and they’d know exactly how to precede and if they didn’t know they’d ask for my input. I wasn’t a little girl anymore I didn’t have to protect. It didn’t work that way doctor’s do not immediately trust patients. Opening up is way harder than I’d ever imagined and contrary to expectations doctor’s rarely have the insight unless your symptoms happen to coincide with one of their tried and true lists. I found myself protecting Sam. What if I was institutionalized? Given a diagnosis that is too big for a a relationship survive? If it was just me and I had no one to disappoint. No one to say you lied to me about who you are. Then maybe but the risk was too big with a relationship. What if they take my daughter away? What if she has to have a crazy mother? A Depressed mother is bad enough but a mother who is truly sick? Then I think if I am truly sick I owe it to her to get help. On and on it goes. My fears wrestling with my morals (morals which are sometimes too rigid for me to even functionally bare).

*

I have an appointment on Monday the name doesn’t correspond with the female doctor I originally saw. I have no idea if this man will be my doctor or if I am going to rotate between a group of doctors. Retelling my story over and over with layers of bias smeared on top. I have to let go of my safe list of symptoms I am anxious, I am depressed, I have low self-esteem and dissect the monster. I am going to have to say that I think about dying a lot even when I don’t know myself to be sad. That I sit by the knife drawer for some sort of perverse sense of comfort. That I plan my death even though I don’t plan to die because I don’t want to traumatize anyone. I have to talk about my superstitiousness, my obsessional thinking, my intense need to isolate and cocoon myself. How I never feel quite real. How I haven’t grown up and not in the good way. How I get so emotional and distressed at times that I become unable to really make sense of the event that induced the reaction in the first place. How when I scream (when in emotional pain not the angry sort, this scream isn’t undirected at anyone) it doesn’t sound human it is just this horrible empty monotone sound that distresses other people immensely. I think I have been depressed so long it has made me a little psychotic. I feel unhinged and possessed.

*

I can be completely tricked by something on the one hand and on the other hand have it completely parsed. When taking medication I can distinguish the emotional side-effects from my natural emotions. The physical side-effects from an oncoming illness and even from a somatic stress response. I know the apathy created by a drug and the apathy of my own mind. That doesn’t mean I can shake it. I am almost too introspective for therapy. That sounds strange but Sam was told the same thing. Weirdly you be too deep for a therapist to manage which is something I keep hearing now that I am trying to open myself up. My therapist would need a strong personality to drag me out. They don’t have to be smarter than me. I am, honestly not that smart and I don’t say that to knock myself. I am just not particularly logical.

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19 responses

  1. Ives, this is very intense. I am proud that you are able to open up to this, because now you can begin your healing. Here in Southwest USA it is 10:30 pm. I have to go to bed now, but I want to reread this in the morning then further comment. You are a beautiful person, inside and out. Remember that. Love you! ((HUGS))

  2. Before I go, I want you to know that I understand severe depression to the point of losing reality. It is a very very difficult place to be, and I hope and pray you aren’t there. If you would like to talk, please email me.

      • I had to continue therapy. Being open and honest with my therapist. Learning to trust my therapist. I refused to be around people that pulled me down. I journaled a lot. I took lots of walks. I joined a therapy group that held classes and took classes I was interested in and would heal my self-esteem. And I turned to God. I didn’t become a religious fanatic, but I started noticing hearts in nature. Every time I found a “heart shape”, I knew that was God telling me he loves me. It’s amazing how many hearts in nature there truly are. Once I started seeing hearts, they seemed to make themselves known to me all the more. Getting outside of myself. Helping others. Making friends. Knowing that there is someone “bigger” than myself, I could trust him and knowing that he loves me more than I can even begin to imagine. We depressive types take the world on our shoulders and it becomes more than we can bear. Our minds snap and take us out of reality and start defining reality for us – but that reality isn’t based on truth. It is based on our past, on our emotions, our feelings, and our fears. I had to start trusting people to help me. One of those “people” was God. We don’t have to become a religious zealot, we just have to believe. We have to believe that he is real, that we are loved, and that he never ever leaves us alone. And, he will take those burdens off of our shoulders if we let him. First, we have to forgive those who hurt us. That doesn’t release them from the evil deeds they did to us, it just releases us from them (that person/those persons) so we are no longer their “victim.” I use to have to pray that God would help me be able to forgive those who hurt me. Then, before long, I was able to forgive them. That is so freeing! This was how I broke through my darkness, and how I continue to fight it whenever it raises its ugly head. Thankfully, those episodes become less and less.

      • I feel like I am trying to take healthy steps the therapists even say that I fight more than a lot of their patients. I can see the good in people and in my life as well. If I didn’t have fight or hope I wouldn’t be here but yet I still seem trapped inside my own mind. I am going to have to trust that somehow some way I will get there. Maybe Sam’s right and it is just bad posture (he is obsessed about posture).

  3. You show so much strength in trying to seek help. That speaks volumes, along with the kind of loving mother and wife you are. I could tell you a million times over what a wonderful human you are but I hope one day you can look in the mirror and see it for yourself. Even if you can’t…I won’t stop telling you what an amazing, intelligent, beautiful person you are!!!

      • Right now I am just tired I went to my appointment on time for therapy they had scheduled incorrectly and so they sent me home with another appointment. I have seen this therapist once but I have had no less than 7 appointments =( I was sick once but the others time they have messed up scheduling.

    • I completely agree with Anja. This probably sounds silly, but it worked for me. (I was desperate for anything to help). When I had a problem, I pictured myself tying it the string of a helium balloon and letting it go. I did that with all my problems. Just the imaginery felt as though it was real, and it helped!

  4. Sometimes, after struggling for so long, regardless of the fact if your eyes are open or closed, we lose the ability to see when we are walking and when we are dug into mud up to our neck. I believe you are walking.
    I am not much of a specialist, I am more of a “that majorly fucked up person that treasures her madness”, nor a perfec advice giver. I don’t know, this world is often painted by strong individuals into something that it is actually not and when you try to force a high alert soul into it, it hurts it (or it is jsut an excuse I keep telling myself!).
    I won’t offer you this or that god or a devil, or a routine or whatever similar – just plain old pure Love. If you give it to yourself,purely, I believe it heals and makes things a little bit easier at least.
    From the bottom of my heart I also wish you bestest of luck with your new therapist. I hope everything turns out ok and it is a perfect match for you ❤

    • Thanks so much =) I am not sure how to emphasize that I don’t wish to become normal whatever normal might be lol. I don’t wish to give up introspection or daydreaming. Madness can be a delightful romp or it can be a terrifying prison. My brain is not at the moment being cooperative or conducive to my creative processes. I have to have some level of cognition in order to write coherently (losing my memories is pretty scary) and some level of alertness so that I can observe/experience. I love that I see things differently what I don’t like so much is this chronic state of fatigue/fugue/amnesia. I used to think I couldn’t write unless I was miserable, unless I stayed the same. You have to be fearless to write it’s not fearless to sit inside of cocoon. My writing requires that I look deep inside myself but myself is being obfuscated by sickness.

      • “whatever normal might be” – yeah, this is what I was refering too. I really disslike some peoples approach, I mean, it’s ok it works for them,but it is not a universal “cure”. If we look at it a few years back, being left handed was considered a disease! And people were forced to change their ways.
        This is why I always stress how important it is that you (I mean everyone using the services) trusts their therapist, that there is a bond of trust forming between. otherwise, it’s just beating around the bush.
        I love the way that you let your writing practicaly live on it’s own and you are not using it only as a tool of expression but liberation as well 🙂

      • Thank you so much =) I am really hoping I like my therapist right now I am frustrated because they keep messing up the appointments it just isn’t inspiring confidence I need them to be organized. I also need them to be hands on. I can talk to I am blue in the face but I need some practical advice to. Here it seems you pay basically to have small talk I am hoping they have a different approach.

  5. Yup. Okay. I’m trying to dry up the tears before my visitors arrive.

    I may type some more when I have myself sufficiently together. I may not. But at least let me say this. This one struck close to home. Thank you.

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