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My Miracle

You were not supposed to be created.

Your father called you a “mistake.”

I called you a miracle. My miracle.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with on Halloween night in 2004, I knew I wanted you.

Your father was not there much and I will explain to you why later in life. Adult life is complicated and sometimes it is not fair what other people do to each other.

You see my darling daughter, your father was married to another women and already had two little girls.

I did not know he was married at the time of your creation and he did not tell me.

He tried to be there at first, but I think somewhere along the lines his life got too complicated.

I spent a lot of time being angry at him for not being who I thought he was; maybe this is why he choose to not be part of your life. I am truly sorry if I am the reason he is not in your life now.

We have another man in our life now and he has been here for a little over a year. He is not a replacement for the father you do not have, but he is his own “male parental unit” to you and he loves you.

I wish that you do not spend your adult life hurting yourself emotionally because of what your father does now.

I don’t care if you are doctor or a lawyer I simply ask of the fates that you will still be the loving and creative person you are now.

All I wish is the best for you in your life.


Alone In The City

I haven’t written on here for a long time and I realized that I should have. I consider it my therapy since it’s free.

Life has been such a roller coaster. I had a relationship a year ago but that completely ended on a rather embarrassing turn of events which I’ll share another time. Followed by that I was in a huge financial situation I began to wonder if everything would ever be better.

I’ve been battling depression silently (only one close friend knows). It’s kept me from doing things I love like working out (it’s my other form of therapy). It also kept me from attending school again. Finally after pushing myself I got back into school to become a personal trainer while working a full time job overnights and going to school for four hours four days a week. However I am struggling in one of the classes I’ve failed each test given so far, I cry on my drives home after that class feeling like I’m a total failure.

My job has been stressful too I work solo on my jobs so I get the back lash of the drama that goes on I feel like I’m back in high school.

I know I need help with school but I need to get home (it’s a 45-mintue drive) to sleep so I can go to work at 11pm. I wish I could quit my job to focus on school or find one with suitable hours that I could still find time to make things work out.

That’s the problem with being a 30 something single girl. I have nobody to support me but myself, so quitting is not an option. My apartment looks like a tornado hit it and the dishes pile up. I keep asking myself is it worth it?

My depression looms higher as I see all my friends happy in their lives and I’m still not happy.  I used to have such a positive attitude, but somehow after my relationship ended I lost that. I don’t recognize the girl I was (yes even though I’m in my 30’s, I still refer myself to a girl) she was so happy and full of life. I struggle to smile or to laugh now.

I need to get that happiness back, but I don’t know how.  I need to find some balance between life, work school and trying to better myself that isn’t so overwhelming, but I don’t even know where to begin.

The Big Break

I’m 33 years old. I have issues with PTSD, anxiety and depression. My Conversion Disorder is in remission, and I was a T-7/8 paraplegic for four years.


I’ve had a boyfriend for four years, a personal best for me! We’ve been really trying hard the last year, went to couples counselling and everything. It just didn’t work.

When I moved in, I put all my household stuff in storage, saying if things are good in a year, I’ll get rid of it. He owned the apartment and had all the household stuff one needs.

For four years, we were a We.

It’s done now, mutually, yet I feel so scared. Six days left in the month. I can stay here longer but it hurts, for both of us. Neither of us will start the healing process while living together. I want out.

I want a little place of my own, where I can cry all I need.

Right now, I have nowhere to go, hoping one of the two places I applied to accepts me. I have no household stuff …bed, microwave, broom, dishes, little and big things, I don’t have any of it.

I’m just so fucking scared. No Us, no place of my own, no pot to cook in. I feel almost agoraphobic. Too many possibilities. I just want my own little place that’s warm and safe

Still Surviving-ish. AKA I Survived You Part 2

Well, it’s been a long while since I’ve revisited this, and rather a lot has happened…

When last we met, dear readers, your hero was making it work, and getting by. So much change …so much upheaval.

When I left off, I mentioned that I was married, but we need to go back to the beginning of that relationship, as the background is important. I hope you’ll all bear with me again; getting these stories out is much like excising vital organs for me. It’s a painful process, and I’m very protective of them, and by extension, of myself.

My divorce from the wife in the first story was final in 2006. Around that time, I became reacquainted with an old friend, Becca. We caught up over the course of a couple of days, and later had dinner. At the end of the evening, she kissed me. This was confusing, as she had always been fairly …”butch,” for lack of a better term. We had a conversation about it, and she told me that her sexuality was uncertain; she was still figuring it out.

We continued to see one another for a few months, and anytime things would become more intense, she’d slow it down. This was fine with me, as I was still pretty vulnerable from my marriage. We had a good time, and I always had a sort of unspoken understanding that we were going to end up together.

Things changed.

Eventually, it came to the point that she was just using me for “stuff,” and I distanced myself from her. All well and good, but it was still hurtful.

In 2007, I met a woman who changed everything. Long distance again. (Yes, I know.) She was intelligent and well-educated and fun. We would visit one another around every other weekend. Lots of activities, and the intimacy was there, too.

Then, she started shopping for a home in my hometown. It meant so much to me that she was willing to uproot herself so that I could be near my family. We found a wonderful fixer-upper for a good price, and started working toward buying it.

Those of you who have bought a home know that it is a very stressful process, and the stress took its toll on her immensely. She wasn’t the fun-loving Jen I had gotten to know, anymore. Still, I stuck it out, but eventually, I wanted the “old Jen” back badly enough that I told her to let the house go. She did, and I hoped for things to go back to normal.

Shortly after that, her father became seriously ill, and she was heavily stressed over that. Still no good old Jen. I was right beside her through his surgery and recovery, still hoping for a return of what we used to have.

She bought a house in her hometown, which stressed her out even more.

I proposed to her in 2009, and she said yes. Surprise, surprise, planning a wedding is very stressful as well. I was at wits end by this point, but I was committed to giving this relationship the best possible chance.

We married in 2010, and my daughter and I moved into the house she had bought. Stress. I was in a new city, in a job I hated, with no friends, and nobody to talk to but the woman who was increasingly frustrated with me. She had never lived with anyone before, and had all her ducks firmly in a row, and suddenly she had a husband and a stepchild, in her space, all the time.

We enrolled my daughter in the private school that Jen had gone to as a child. The people there were horrible and elitist, and my daughter acted out. The intimacy Jen and I had went away. First, Jen started sleeping on a mattress on the floor in the bedroom, because she said it was better for her back. Later, she started sleeping in the guest bedroom, because she couldn’t stand the sight of me. She worked nights, and I worked days, so we managed to barely see one another. I would come home from work and do my best to drink myself into a stupor, and she would constantly berate me about the things she needed help with.

I am not a smart man. If you want me to dust the dining room, just say, “medic77, dust the dining room for me,” and I will do it. If you want me to clean the guest bathroom, just say so, and it will be done. Jen, however, believed that I should be able to see what needed done and take the initiative. It wasn’t an easy concept for me, but I won’t make excuses.

She would catch me in the middle of a project she had given me, and ask me to, for instance, mow the lawn. Ten minutes later, once I had gotten to a stopping place in project one, I would go outside to find her mowing the lawn herself, and mad about it. It made me crazy. She was a therapist, so she KNEW it made me crazy. I turned into a “yeller.” I’m not proud, but we would have epic screaming matches while my daughter cowered in her bedroom and wished for it to be over. Jen threatened to have me committed.

In February of 2011, after living under the same roof for less than nine months, we separated, and I came back to Ohio. Jen later told me she was mad about that, too. She thought I should have gotten an apartment where she was. It just wasn’t possible. I didn’t have any savings, and I had only worked my current job or a few months. It just wasn’t possible.

Back in Ohio, I went back to work, and got a second job with state benefits, which eventually became my only job. Jen and I weren’t interested in communication at that point, so I was very low.

We went through cycles of talking and silence. I had friends, but Jen always suspected me of being in secret relationships with the female ones. It was just another lack of faith. A couple of years ago, after we had been separated almost longer then we were together, I met a girl at work, Lorrie, and we started a relationship. I was happy.

One night, Lorrie and I were laying in bed talking, and I heard a noise. Suddenly, Jen was standing in the bedroom. It was as bad as it sounds, but it could have been worse. At least we were clothed and only talking. Still, not long after that, our divorce moved forward and was final.

I am still with Lorrie, but our intimacy is gone. We haven’t had sex in months. She says she loves me, but she just isn’t interested in sex. I feel as though I did something to cause it. She doesn’t touch me. She doesn’t kiss me unless I initiate it. She SAYS that if I want sex, I should just say so and do it, but it doesn’t feel right to me. I feel like sex should be a union; a collaboration. Not just, “Hey, hold still a minute.”

I know I’ve got depression and anxiety, but I can’t help wondering just what it is that makes me so forgettable. Why I can’t seem to find anyone who just WANTS me.

So, yeah. I’m surviving, but just.

Noonday Demons

A woman who has major depressive disorder decides to go back onto her medication:

This is her story:

Today, I decided to go back on anti-depressants. This is a battle I’ve waged for years; do I really need them, do they really help, are the side effects worth it, am I just a loser who can’t deal with life’s vagaries.

Last weekend I drafted a post that contained the line, I feel like a bucket brimming with tears, and the slightest, inevitable tremble of the earth makes them overflow. It’s an inelegant metaphor, but worse, it’s a pretty clear symptom that things are not going well. It’s partly a bad birthday, partly the break-up, partly some harsh health news. It’s mostly, if I’m honest, cyclical, recurrent, my noonday demon.

“Grief is depression in proportion to circumstance; depression is grief out of proportion to circumstance.”
— Andrew Solomon

This is a family tradition; at the cousins’ table at last weekend’s wedding, we raised a toast to Lexapro and discussed having a candy bowl of all our meds on the coffee table of the rental house we’ll share at the next wedding. It’s funny, but it isn’t. Undiagnosed and untreated depression, manifested as alcoholism and other self-destructive behavior, blackens the family history like soot after a fire. Not everyone, not all the time, but too many, too often.

For me, it begins with a lack of resilience. My normal ability to adapt diminishes and diminishes until I can’t remember that I ever had it. Then, despite the pride I take in being self-aware, I start to judge my good life unworthy and tell myself that my unhappiness, my deep profound malaise that rips the joy out of each moment and shows me only the glaring photo-negative of each happy event, is actually the only sane and measured response to a terrible world and my own failures to strive against the terribleness. That’s the most insidious part, for me; my beautiful brain turns against me, whispering that I am correct in my assessment of my own awfulness and that I deserve to feel bereft, that my sadness is borne from clearly seeing the world and my own bottom-rung place in it. That the life that stretches before me will always be this bleak and hopeless, and that it’s my fault, and that I’m forever lost.

I mostly retain enough self-awareness to know how first-world self-pitying this sounds to anyone but me, but knowing that doesn’t combat my secret belief that it’s true.

My first episode of depression hit me during my fourth year of college. I was living by myself, and working two jobs, and so sad and overwhelmed that I began skipping classes to sleep and sleep, until I got so far behind that I saw no option but to quit. The rueful backstory here is that my parents had already yanked me out of my beloved city and school once, for financial reasons, and I had fought bitterly to return to the life I thought was rightfully mine. And then I ruined it. No one, myself included, ever thought my actions might be aberrant because I was ill; I was just a failure who fucked it all up.

“…a part of depression is that it touches cognition. That you are having a breakdown does not mean that your life isn’t a mess. If there are issues you have successfully skirted or avoided for years, they come cropping back up and stare you full in the face, and one aspect of depression is a deep knowledge that the comforting doctors who assure you that your judgment is bad are wrong. You are in touch with the real terribleness of your life. You can accept rationally that later, after the medication sets in, you will be better able to deal with the terribleness, but you will not be free of it. When you are depressed, the past and future are absorbed entirely by the present moment, as in the world of a three-year-old. You cannot remember a time when you felt better, at least not clearly; and you certainly cannot imagine a future time when you will feel better.”
— Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)

I’ve tried and tried to write about the beginnings of this last trough, when my sister’s boyfriend was shot and nearly killed on our front porch in 2006. Well, I have succeeded in writing about it–the awful terror and despair of the days and weeks that surrounded the event, and my subsequent PTSD and years of broken sleep and terrible anger–but I’ve failed to write about it in a way that is useful. It’s simply too raw and ugly still, and there is no happy ending, only pain and permanent disability and broken hearts. The long-term effects led to my worst low ever, eventually, and to an appointment with a psychiatrist where I wept uncontrollably and confessed that I was afraid to leave my house and afraid to stay home alone and at the bitter end of my ability to conceal how bad things were. I was scared that I would die, that I was broken in a way that could never be put right.

Medicine was a revelation, a silver bullet that lifted me up and out in weeks. I’d gone so far as to get a prescription for anti-depressants before, but never taken them. Once I started, within six months I’d launched a new business, gotten a promotion, found a new place to live, and started dating again.

And then in January I quit. I felt good, I was falling in love, I was emphatically not a person who would be on meds for the rest of her life. I wanted to be the plucky heroine of my own story who’d had some lows and left them behind. I didn’t want my dates to see the pill bottles. I didn’t want to be damaged goods.

But I don’t want to be mired in black sadness and self-doubt any more either. I’ve met so many people lately who are doing amazing things with their lives, and I’ve lost so much time already. I write this to remind myself that I have more to offer the world than I’ve been able to give, that the drum of failure and hopelessness inside my head can change its beat. I get a flash every once in a while of what my life could mean, of what I could accomplish with the talents and abilities I have, and I need to hold on to those images and walk toward them. If I have to pause in my march each day to wash down some false pharmaceutical courage, it’s a small price to pay.

My Ex-Husband Killed Himself

My ex husband killed himself two months ago, and I’m not coping.

He has left behind a four year old daughter, and as we are still married, I am his next of kin.

I left him 18 months ago, he seemed happy and he seemed to get on with his life.

Since leaving him, I have been dating someone new.

I found my ex hanging from his loft. Since then, he is almost all I can think about.

My partner has been great, amazing, incredible, but I really cannot shake a feeling of guilt, and sadness, wondering why he did it, and how if I hadn’t left him, he would still be alive.

It’s breaking my heart, and it’s breaking my soul. Every time I feel strong again, the slightest thing sends me right back to square one. I saw him hours before he died. Why didn’t I notice any signs or see anything wrong? He seemed happy and normal and himself.

I am so cross with him. How could he do this to our baby? How could he not see that she adores him and hangs off his every word?

He will never know how many regrets I have. He will never know he is so missed. I don’t know how to rebuild my life, as a 20-something widow, single mum of a grieving four year old.