Parenting with Depression and Anxiety
I know it’s yet another sad posting and I want to write more about the positives of living with this illness. But I am currently circling the proverbial drain here. My depression is getting so bad I’m not sleeping and I’m becoming increasingly worse. Sleeplessness is the thief of my peace and of my hope that tomorrow (damn it…TODAY) will be easier. And it turns me into a snarling monster with the kids when they are acting up, which guess what? It’s what kids do. All kids. I wish to hell I knew why some nights, no matter what meds I take, the sleep refuses to come. I imagine it laughing at me. It is the most stubborn opponent and my most vicious enemy in this illness. I hate this feeling now…knowing it’s 4am, I have only a few hours of quiet and then my kids will be up and the day will begin and I will be dragging my sorry self through it. And then just around time for me to make dinner and take them to their activities, I’ll be passing out on the couch. So I’ll have to take more medecine to get up again. What kind of special torture is this?
I wish I could say Memorial Day was a good break for this family but my mood infected the entire weekend. The kids were especially troublesome and I can’t forget that it could be me and not them who is triggering the whole God-awful cycle. I find myself shouting and I hear my mother’s voice, her exact words even, coming from somewhere inside me…trying (G0d help me) to make my kids feel as bad as my mother made me feel. What the hell is wrong with me?!? I know better. I understand my illness…yet I cannot stop myself and before I know it I’m weeping and apologizing to these young people who deserve so much more than me. God, why is this happening?
I used to (still) hate my mother (especially her even though my father was depressed too) for not getting help with her illness. She was the primary care giver and she was a weepy doormat to my father most of the time. Other times she was bitchy and verbally abusive to him. Emasculating him in every way she could. But to us she was consistently horrible. Nasty and yelling all the time. Taking to her bed just to get away from us. When she had to go back to work after a few years, she was even worse because she blamed us all for having to actually go out in the world and try to make a living. I despise her to this day for not getting help. Because she could have made it better. She could have BEEN better. She could have gotten well and treated us with kindess and a little compassion. But no…she was in denial. There was nothing wrong with her! She’d never see a therapist or God forbid go on medication. Screw us. She was suffering, so by God, so would we all.
Now, decades later, here I sit at 4am, slamming coffee because all my meds and all my damned years of therapy ARE NOT HELPING. All these damned doctors and opinions and weight gain and hair falling out from drugs…I am so freaking sick of it. I want to break something! How could I be anything but sour and nasty? All the things I said I would never do to my beautiful children, I’m doing. I am not kind and compassionate to my kids all the time. Sometimes yes…but not enough. And so now the self-loathing kicks in. The tears are coming faster and I don’t know how I’m going to drag my shit through another day like this. I pray. I meditate. I beg my God to please make it stop. Let me just be normal. The guilt is perpetuating this never-ending anxiety which leads to more depression and around and around we go.
Is it because I know what’s wrong and I’m doing something about it that I’m even angrier and more resentful that I cannot get well? Maybe denial is the better path? Maybe then I could continue on in some hazy ignorance that there was nothing wrong with me… and I could convince myself it is everyone else who’s screwed up. Maybe I could just write it off to having rotten kids like my mother did. Maybe her simple solution, and why I hate her so much, is why she’s survived this long (77 years) without changing a damned thing about herself. Could this be true? Could I have been so stupid for so long? Maybe. But I don’t think so. Because then my kids, and especially my daughters, would have no chance of escaping this Hell. I’d be dumping it on them same as it was dumped on me. And I simply could not live with that. I would end it first. End myself first. So I’ll keep trying. But I am really starting to lose hope. Days like the one I know today will be just really kill the spirit.