What Do YOU Have To Be Depressed About?

I am a very open book.  Even in my real life, I have never shied away from being honest and open about my struggles with everything from infertility, depression, and being a parent.  I have often posted long Facebook posts about these struggles, detailing how I feel, what I do to maintain my life, and helpful words for those going through the same things.  I’ve had a lot of people thank me for being open, and that’s why I do it.  You are certainly not alone, and I want you to always know that.

….but my family thinks my depression is not real.  They think it’s impossible for me to suffer from something when I have no reason to be sad.

“How could you possibly be sad? You have a great husband, great kids, a great house!” – Mom

“You need to just quit thinking about other people so much. You can’t fix the world. That’s what’s making you sad.” – Dad

“Just don’t be sad anymore, okay?” – Grandma

I’ve tried explaining that depression isn’t just being sad about things happening around you.  Yes, it can be a contributing factor, certainly.  It can even be the main reason you’re depressed, like if you are dealing with a loss of a loved one, or a job loss.  Depression can also be hormonal and chemical in nature.

My depression is hormonal.  The hormones from my autoimmune thyroid condition, and the hormones from my PCOS, and the hormones from my PMDD and join together and crush my soul with their spikes and dips.  There is rarely anything I can do to control it.  I take medication and supplements.  I eat right (I do not drink alcohol, I do not eat gluten, dairy, or sugar), I try to do yoga stretches (exercise is hard when your body is constantly aching from autoimmune issues), and I try to meditate.  I spend 98% of my life focusing on trying to feel better, and doing everything in my power to try to avoid another depressive episode.

My family knows this, yet they still constantly tell me that I can’t be depressed.  Sometimes they blame it on my caring about things, sometimes they blame it on me being sensitive, sometimes they blame it on me being a millennial.   I mean, I suppose being a sensitive, caring, 36 year old might be the cause of my hormonal imbalances…. wait, no, that’s stupid.

If your parents are unable to understand you or help you, help yourself.  Research, talk to people who understand, talk to a therapist.  Do whatever you can to try and improve your health.  I’m going on years of trial and error, working out exactly what helps and what doesn’t.  It’s a constant battle and a constant struggle to feel good, or to even feel “normal”, but I am constantly trying.  Constantly working.  Constantly pushing through….  because what happens if I give up?  What happens if I give in to the depression and let these emotional neglectful family members get in my head and echo around in there with the already dreadful voice of depression?  How can I ever heal?  How can I ever be a good mom, a good wife, a good person if I let them tell me that I can’t feel better while being who I am?

I can feel better, and I will feel better, and since they cannot be part of my healing, their words will be one more thing I no longer ingest.

My First Father’s Day Awake

I’ve always known that I didn’t much care for my dad.  We have our good moments, but they are few and far between.  Mostly my relationship with him has been avoidance.  Avoiding his alcoholic assholery, his demeaning comments about how I look and/or act, and his narcissism, which oozing out of his pores along with the booze.

I do not like my dad.  I honestly never have, but this year really opened my eyes.  I have no desire to talk to him, and when i see I message or missed call from him, I am filled with dread.  I’m not good at hiding how I feel, even within a text message, so he knows.  He is very aware of how much I’ve changed, and how I am unapologetic for it.  To say that his narcissism is eating him alive with “HOW DARE SHE?!” is putting it mildly.  The other day, after I didn’t quickly respond back to an “I love you,” I was confronted by my mom, demanding that I tell my dad I love him even though “we haven’t always been the best parents, but we are the only parents you’ll ever have.”  Anyone else ever heard this shit before?  I was sick, and disgusted by feeling obligated to respond.

I did respond though. I said “Love you,” and was immediately told to also respond to my dad’s phone too.  It was torture, but I did it, and yesterday I had to send “happy father’s day”… and it took me until 3pm to actually do it.  (Why did I feel like I “HAD” to?)

This was the first year I haven’t wanted, in any way, to send that message.  The emotional damage my parents put me and my sister through as we were growing up is weighing on me now.  As a mom, I struggle.  I struggle with understanding why I am always so angry and why emotions of my kids are hard for me to process.  I am an HSP (highly sensitive person), I have emotions leaking out of me at every moment, but when my kids are overly needy, I get angry.  Why?  Because that’s how my parents responded to me.

When I was emotional growing up (often), instead of being supportive, my parents made fun of me.  They ridiculed me for being upset, for crying, for locking myself in the bathroom so they could’t see me.  They STILL talk about it, and make fun of me for it.  I’m in my mid 30’s.

I suffered from emotionally neglectful narcissistic parents, and I am on a road to recovery.  I need to fix myself so that I can be a better mother.  I have to fix my trauma that they caused, just so I can live a better life.  Just so I do not pass this trauma to my own kids.

Who else is carrying the trauma of someone else?  Who else is trying to heal right now?  What’s your first step?

My first step is reading “Adult Children of Emotionally Neglectful Parents.”  It’s been so accurate it’s actually making me mad that I didn’t realize how much damage I have from them.  I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive them, especially since I have spent the past 3-4 years trying to discuss it with them, only to be told that I’m just too emotional and sensitive and that “your life isn’t that bad!  Quit being dramatic!”

I am angry, and I am determined to work through this anger and get to a point where I am at peace with being myself and where I am able to be an understanding mom to my own children.  I cannot let their mistakes be my mistakes. I cannot let their 30+ years of infectious words keep seeping through me.

I am kind, I am intelligent, I am capable.  I suffer from anxiety, depression, and anger.  I can and will learn to use everything I am, and everything I suffer from, to improve myself and live a healthier, happier life.  Healing starts when you’re ready, and I’m ready now.