Saturday, December 01, 2012

Living with depression

There are so many random thoughts going through my head right now. I need to get them out. I need to  at least attempt to make some sense of them. This post will probably be even more random than most of mine, which is saying a lot considering that I have ADHD. So if you choose to read it, just be forewarned that it may not make much sense to you. Hell, none of it makes a lot of sense to me. But I have to put it somewhere. I have to get it all out of my head and somewhere else.

I've always been a bit of a basket case. Most of the time I'm ok with it. But times like now, I'm not. I hate myself for the thoughts and feelings that are running through my head. But I can't stop them and that makes me hate myself even more.

I've been suffering from depression since my husband was stationed in England. I think it's the combination of the weather (horrible, always raining, very limited sunshine), the way his squadron treats people, the way people act here, etc. Last June, I had a complete breakdown and finally went to see a psychologist. He said that we needed to get a reassignment to go back stateside because my depression would only worsen the longer we stayed. But when I went to file the paperwork, the woman told me that since we had only been here for 6 months, we would never be approved. You had to be here for at least a year before they would even consider it. She said it was a difficult process and that applying and then being denied would probably only heighten my depression. So we didn't file.

Instead, I tried to get myself involved with things outside of the house. I started volunteering with the squadron as much as possible. I gave as much of myself as I could to make sure that others had the support and help that they needed. I was good at it. But I was also extremely frustrated because everything in the military is run by politics. Even just being there for someone has red tape all over the place. I just wanted to help people. That was it.

I cooked meals for families when something was going on in their lives. I stayed up all hours of the night talking to wives whose husbands had cheated on them, talking to husbands who were frustrated with their wives, encouraging new moms when they felt like they couldn't do it. I provided stockings to every one of our single airmen in the dorms, with very very limited help from the squadron. In fact, all they did was provide me with a list of names and then delivered the stockings and gifts because they told me that I wasn't allowed to.

And then it all blew up in my face. I had given and given and given of myself to these people and suddenly, every move that I made with them was the wrong one. I was even told by someone that I had too much heart to be a military spouse. I cared too much about people. WTF! How is that even possible? So now helping people and caring is a trait to be looked down upon? How confusing. But it started kicking up the depression again. Suddenly, I felt like every move I made was the wrong one and I would never be able to please anyone.

While I was dealing with that, my son was assaulted. Brutally. This wasn't just some school yard fight. The kid who assaulted mine was older, bigger, and a hell of a lot more of a bad ass than my child was. He has said since that he had every intention of hospitalizing my son.

Right after my son was assaulted, my husband was deployed. We're talking a matter of days. So I was left to deal with the aftermath of the assault on my own.

Now, let's get into the next 3 weeks of my life. Remember, this was only 3 weeks that the next series of events happened. My son was assaulted Thursday. My husband deployed Monday. On Wednesday I got a call saying he was forward deploying and he didn't know when he would be able to call again. I had no idea where he was. And while he said he was safe, I was hearing rumors over here that gave me cause to believe that he wasn't. Then we were dealing with the aftermath of the assault, police, school disciplinary hearings, etc. During this time, it was the anniversary of my daughters death. For the first time in 9 years, I had to handle it alone. And then I cracked my tooth and have to have an emergency root canal. As I'm laying in the dentist chair, I get a text from my son saying that he had walked out of the assistant principals office. Two days later, I had to get iron transfusions and then two days after that, I had to get a blood transfusion. And then 3 days after that, I got pneumonia. And then, the icing on the cake. My son informed me that he was suicidal. I rushed him to the emergency room and spent the entire night listening in horror to the abuse and bullying he was dealing with at school since the assault.

Yep, that last paragraph was 3 WEEKS. That's it. Just 3 weeks of my life.

So here's where I really started losing it.

The morning after I get home from the hospital with my son, I receive a phone call at 6:30am from a neighbor. Now, her and I weren't extremely close. I had posted about what had happened the night before, because I fully believe in reaching out when you need help. And right then, with my husband out of the country, I needed as much support as I could get. So anyways, this woman calls me, acknowledges that she saw the post about my son and then goes into her newly confirmed pregnancy. Seriously??? I've been at the hospital all night fighting for my son's life and you think I give a shit about you being pregnant? I chose to just shut up and not acknowledge it. Because I knew I had nothing nice to say to her about it.

Let me give you a tiny bit of back story here though. Several of us in the neighborhood started meeting for coffee once a week over the summer. This woman bitched and complained about her kids every single time. She said that she hated them, she wished she had never had them, they were too much for her, etc. So when she told me that she was pregnant again, I did not have very nice thoughts.

So I tried over the next few days to ignore her. But she kept bringing up the damned pregnancy. Finally, she actually asked me why I hadn't congratulated her. I told her to drop it, to let it go, but she kept pushing it. So I finally snapped and told her that I hadn't congratulated her because she was a dumb ass and didn't need to be having any more kids. Well, being the strong Christian that she is, she retaliated stating "Well, God blessed me with another child so he must think I'm a good mother. But he definitely questioned YOUR parenting, since he didn't even trust you with your daughter."

Needless to say, I was already questioning my parenting. I mean, my 14 year old son wanted to kill himself. So obviously, I was failing somewhere. So her words hit me deep. I was angry, hurt, and a small part of me felt that there was some truth to her statement.

I spiraled into an even further depression. I sought help. I reached out to people who I thought were friends. I started seeing my psychologist again. I even agreed to go on anti-depressants. Little did I know that 2 out of those 3 choices would backfire on me and make my depression even worse.

Two of my so called friends decided to tell me exactly how they felt about me. And trust me, it wasn't pretty. It basically came down to me being a low life piece of shit that nobody could stand. I was worthless, overbearing, cynical, cruel, heartless, etc. You name it and that was pretty much how they described me.

So reaching out to people ended up being a really bad idea. Reaching out was difficult, but having people shove all of my faults in my face made me feel even worse. No one cared that I was depressed, no one cared about what I was going through. They only saw all of the negative about me and chose to dwell on it. I felt slapped in the face.

And then the meds made me feel suicidal. Through ALL of this, I didn't want to kill myself. I knew it was a moment in time and that I would eventually get through it. But 3 weeks after being on the medication, I was driving home in my car one day and as a truck was driving in my direction in the opposite lane, all I could think was "2 feet, 2 feet in the other direction and it would all end. It would be over. Just 2 feet." That scared the shit out of me and I immediately called my doctor and got off of the meds. I refused to go on anything else other than ADHD medication because I couldn't risk having those thoughts. Not when I am fighting so hard to keep my child alive.

So now, I'm angry. I'm hurt, I'm angry, and I can't seem to feel anything else.

I am either crying, or yelling, or a combination of both. I am a complete control freak and my life is completely out of my control right now.

I'm trying to file the paperwork to get us a reassignment. There are NO resources available here for my son. The only child psychologist here is leaving this month. My son has zero outside resources now and it scares the hell out of me. I'm trying my hardest, but because of my own depression, I definitely don't always help the situation. So I'm trying to get all of the paperwork done as quickly as possible because it's still going to be 6-8 weeks before we get an approval, and then another month to out process. I have had to wait on so many people to fill out the documents that I needed from them. No one seems to understand that it can quite literally be a matter of life and death for my child. If he kills himself because he's without resources and I'm waiting on a damn document, I will never ever forgive myself. I feel like I am failing him. I didn't protect him from the assault. I didn't prevent the kids at school from telling him to kill himself. I didn't keep him safe. And now, at a critical time in his life, I can't even get a damned packet of paperwork filed on his behalf. I have no control of my child's future right now and as a mother, that is the worst feeling ever.

I'm pissed off at "friends" that haven't been there. For turning their back on me at the slightest change in my behavior. For not even considering that maybe, just maybe, I was going through hell and needed some support.

I'm even more pissed now though. Because these friends knew that I was battling depression. They knew that I was having a hard time. Yet now, they want to be in my life because someone else pointed out just how difficult things have been for me. NOW they feel bad for saying/doing what they did. Because they didn't realize how much I was going through?

Well, to those "friends", all I can say is FUCK YOU. You did know a lot of what I was going through, and you've known since the start of our friendship that I have been battling severe depression since we moved here. You didn't care. The only reason you're even making an attempt right now is because you feel like shit. I don't need pity friends. I need people in my life who are going to be there through the good, the bad, and the really fucked up. You walked away. So please, do us both a favor and stay the fuck away.

I'm so mad. I'm yelling and screaming about everything. To the point that I've pretty much stopped talking. Because I even yelled at my kids over Christmas. Over FUCKING CHRISTMAS. Who the hell does that? I quite literally feel like the worlds worst mother right now. I've apologized to them like crazy, but it doesn't take away what was said. Just like all the hurtful and hateful things that others have said to me lately won't go away. It just sits there, in the front of my mind. A constant reminder of just how shitty I really am. So I feel terrible for my kids. I hate myself for yelling at them. I've talked to my therapist, their therapist, etc. I'm trying to fix some of the damage that I've caused but I will never ever be able to completely repair it. I failed my kids in that moment.

When I'm not yelling, I'm crying. I dwell on everything that has been said and done lately. I question all of my friendships over here, because if these two can have such an underlying hate for me, then does everyone else? I don't know who to trust, so I trust no one. Which makes me feel even shittier, because I know that there are a couple of people who have done nothing to deserve the mistrust. But I can't. I can't trust anyone right now, because never in a million years would I have thought that either of these women hated me as much as it has come out that they did.

So yes, I'm a hot mess right now. I'm an emotional wreck. Crying, angry, hurt, confused. I feel rejected. I feel like I'm sucking the life out of everyone around me. So I'm trying my hardest to just not have people around. To isolate myself in my own little world. In a world where no one is hurting me and I am not hurting them. I live each day just trying to get through until my next psych appointment.

I know that things will eventually get better. I do know that I have some incredible friends, and I am aware enough to realize who has been there for me and who has not. Even at my lowest, I know that there are some people that care. But that doesn't help in those moments that I feel like I can't handle one more rejection. I don't want to be a burden on yet another person.

I just want to smile again. I want my kids to laugh, to smile, to want to live. I want us all to be ok. So yes, I'm getting us all the help that we need. But what we need the most, is to get out of this life sucking hell hole. It's really hard to battle depression when depression has so many weapons and all you have is a strong will and stubborn pride. But that will get me through. Because even though my mind still wanders on occasion to what it would be like for everyone if I was gone, two things keep me going. One, my son needs me. I am his only advocate right now and he needs me. And two, I'm too fucking stubborn to give anyone here the satisfaction of knowing that I'm gone.

We're realistically looking at about 3-4 more months here. I can handle it for that long. This is just a blip in our lives. We will get through it. It's hard as hell, and at times, I feel like I'm wading in quicksand, but I know deep down that we'll get through it.

There have been many more moments lately that have affected me, but when you're severely depressed, pretty much everything sends you spiraling down into that dark sinkhole of self depreciation. I can't let those moments consume me. Well, to be honest, they do. But I won't give up. Not happening. I know that I have more reasons to live than I do to die. So I'll make it through. Even if I do it by isolating myself from just about everyone IRL for now. It's a way to protect myself. And to protect them. Cause I"m pretty fucking brutal when the anger hits and I never know when it's going to hit. I can't control it. I've tried. Trust me, I've tried. So yeah.. In order to not fuck up anyone else's day, I'm going to hide out in my own little world and just hang out with the friends that live in my computer.

So I guess that's about it for now. I know this was long and if you managed to actually stay with me the entire time, then thank you for "listening" to my rambles. I just needed to get it all out somewhere. Gawds knows everyone is sick of hearing my "woe is me" stories.

**** Just to be clear, I know that some of the people in my life that have hurt me lately didn't set out to.  But considering my state of mind right now, it DOES hurt though. So No, they may not be asshats to anyone else, but I personally can't stand them. I'm hurting, whether they meant for me to or not.


  1. You, my dear are one of the best, most caring, AWESOME peeps in the world, and screw anyone who doesn't give you the benefit of respect and support that you need in times like these. You are an awesome and supportive mother that's held a life and family together during a trying time and that's no easy feat.
    The dependasauruses there can go piss up a rope in high wind, because they don't deserve your friendship!! Breaking down is a symbol of being strong for just too long, and you deserve to have a strong shoulder to lean on in times like these, it's just that the affore mentioned BITCHES aren't strove enough to handle a responsibility as important as real friendship, which is SAD, and weak-minded. They need to quit living in the high school word, grow the fuck up and be a real and supportive ADULT FRIEND!
    I don't have a problem callig every one of those sorry wastes of O2, because that's exactly what they are! You're better than all of them combined.
    Keep your head up, sending lots of love and support from over the pond, and looking forward to throwing the best "WELCOME HOME" party anyone could ever ask for!

  2. *Hugs*

    It's been so hard to see you go through all of this, and I'm glad when we hang out together, you have a chance to unload quite a bit. Have you thought about trying the light room at the HAWC?

    You have "too much heart", yet are "cynical" at the same time? Pffft. How about you're a person who *cares*, and yet are realistic about the way life can be?

    As I've told you, I value your honesty - and I value it greatly. You are the person you are. A friend appreciates that.

    You know I am here for you - happy to participate in this wonderful thing you are doing with the stocking program (and I NEVER volunteer, but YOU are the reason I did it), and happy to listen when you need to vent, or to go run errands with you when you want to talk about something else entirely and need a distraction.

    If there's one thing I've experienced in these almost 20 years married to the military, it's that highschool mentality so many of the spouses have. That is why I am one of the spouses who has so few friends among them. I find the subculture extremely toxic, and I'm super picky about who I associate with. When I was actually scolded and shunned in Korea for my feminist views on gender socialization and stereotypes (long story), I laughed at those spouses and jokingly referred to myself as "The Infamous El Guapo" from that point on.

    I'd never been friends with any of them, and their opinions simply did not matter.

    But I KNOW how it feels when a friend betrays you. It happened to me once, in my early years as a military spouse, and it taught me to be much, much pickier - to distance myself from anyone who appeared to be a problem or a drama magnet.

    For example, that particular person who hates the children she already has, and is pregnant with another? The moment I smelled a whiff of trouble from her, yes, I would have created distance. That might sound heartless of me, but distance is safer than setting oneself up for potential problems later. That's one of the big things I've learned over the past 20 years.

    Also, your friend above is absolutely correct in everything they said, particularly about being strong for too long. It happens, and we burn out. Trite as it sounds, you honestly need to recharge (hence, those sunlamps at the HAWC could really come in handy for you - maybe even your teenager too).

    So, again, *hugs* to you, and also THANK YOU for being MY friend since we met here! <3

  3. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you are a bad mother. The fact that your son could come and tell you exactly what had happened and what was going through his mind is a testament to that. The fact that you reacted in a way that saved his life without hesitation proves it.

    as for the "friend" that said you are worthless, overbearing, cynical, cruel, and heartless. Everyone has worth and yours is far greater than people are giving you credit for. Overbearing, it means you know your stance on things and will fight for what you believe in, and people who think you are overbearing just have a differing opinion and are being asses about it. Cynical and heartless.... Everyone is cynical just to different degrees, its what allows you to see what is wrong in the world. How can someone be heartless who saw something wrong while depressed and did something so giving as creating Christmas for those who wouldn't have had one. As for the accusation of being cruel, I've only talked to you twice on google and a few comments on things here and there, but you seemed pretty damned nice to me, even if you do want to throw boots at me. :D