wall. hit it. check that off my list for today.
trying to get them to school on time–wrong
trying to get them to eat–wrong
trying to get them dressed–wrong
trying to get them clean–wrong
zipping the jacket–wrong
having them not show up to school late–wrong
waking them up–wrong
My silence in my home is the only acceptable form of me to the three who need me.
The hardest thing about being a depressed mother? The odor. No matter how much relentless, caffeine-induced energy, forced enthusiasm, skilled application to educational crafts, or books read on development. No matter what care taken with my fragile mental health…taking my pills like a good girl every night so I wake up in the morning to do it all again. No matter how clean the kitchen sink, how nutritious the meal, customized the birthday presents, thoughtful the note in the lunch box. No matter how carefully I avoid repeating patterns of abuse and violence –no matter. I stink. It is as if my depression leaves a permanent, distasteful and toxic odor coming from my very being. No matter how much I dress it up, clean it off, put make-up on it, expose it to fresh air and aromatic therapies. I toss chemicals into it, paint it pretty colors, or force it into room-mommy scenarios.
It still stinks.
The fumes of depression seep out of every pore with the stench of decaying life and flammable, noxious fluids that lead to forensic evidence in my face–that my own mother chose my father over me and my father chose me over my mother. My children–they are bomb-sniffing dogs.They smell the little girl I was–discarded and thrown into the trash with the giant Gallo wine jugs. They smell the lack of basic import I have ever had on the mother, father, brother, and sister family of origin I fell into. They smell the dangerous mix of rage and intelligence that may combust at any moment. They smell despair and destruction. My kids smell my depression.
I stay vertical as to not hurt them more than I already have by exposing them to a life long…long life…with a chronically depressed mother. It goes like that…it is like that. New strategies on disinfectant, deodorant, dialogues on anti-depressants. Days like this are the scratch and sniff of it. These days scrape hard on my soul. And I reek of it.
They are out there…my kids are out there right now waiting for me to pick them up after school, as I do every afternoon in a dutiful attempt to assure them that my love is greater than the force of gravity on my heart. I am already dreading the predictable, palpable disappointment they will have when they get in the minivan and the smell of my mood reminds them I am not EVER going to be the bounce-house of distraction-filled fun that is their father.
They will never know he broke me too. Asshole. And I stayed for them, sleeping with one eye open and one foot out the door ever since. Seven years of a thirteen year marriage straddling suspicion and motherhood.
Against every fiber of my being to drive it off a cliff and enjoy the fall–I am getting in the fucking minivan, I drive on the right side…stop at all the red lights, avoid oncoming traffic whenever I can.
Joy gone. Independence gone. Creativity gone. Respect gone. The possibility of being touched by a man and feeling safe–he and my dad put the nails in that coffin, too. Yuck.
it is this always
i am barely, rarely, fairly ”good enough,” silent, and vertical.
and i smell like a martyr.
*HUGS* girl! I know exactly what you’re talking about! Our kids can absolutely tell when we’re “faking it”. A couple of thoughts/suggestions:
1. If you can afford it, check in with your doc and/or therapist. Your meds aren’t helping as much as you need them to;
2. Depending on how old your kids are, consider opening up to them a little bit. My daughter is 6 and she & I had a major breakthrough the other day when I explained to her how I was feeling;
3. Make a point to do something for yourself everyday. You list a lot of things you are doing for your kids but I don’t see anything that you are doing for yourself. A bubble bath, a walk, reading for pleasure or taking a nap.
But mostly, I want to tell you that you are a wonderful mom. And you are doing a wonderful job. Hang in there & we’re here if you need us
thank you dear…good to know i am not nuts, and that someone relates. i am way beyond the bubble bath, but have a good track record in knowing when to call shrink and yet again, adjust meds. it is a life long chemistry act. thanks for reading my post.
am glad Katya wrote a comment, and I like what she said. I agree, you are not nuts, but I have been in very similar states of depression. I do hope you keep the chemistry stable enough to not drive off that cliff. Hang in there, there is light. And, I am “addicted” to exercise (it sounds cliche, I know) as the endorphins from it are the best at lifting my downer times and wanted to throw that idea out there for you to try if you think it would help? Plus I feel “strong” after I exercise too.
Besides that, it seems as though your husband is abusive? That doesn’t help you at all if so. If you do have a shrink, telling the shrink might be the first step.