The importance of family.

The people in my life and how they have influenced me.

My mum.

on June 23, 2013

As I fleetingly mentioned in my previous post, I don’t think my mum has ever truly been happy. All I have ever known is her and her deep-seated relationship with depression.

As a child I saw her deserted by my father, left broken and on the floor. It was up to me to pick her back up and dust her off, preparing her for his return and his subsequent departures. It took us many years to get her strong enough to put an end to this devastating cycle and we finally lived as a single parent family.

Money was sparse and her depression still ruled her life. Her anxiety has prevented her from ever earning a living and she attempted suicide twice. She failed. Was that a good thing or a bad thing? I’m not sure I can answer that question honestly because I don’t think I know the answer yet. Her life takes dramatic turns all the time. I don’t know what she’s doing or how she’s feeling from one week to the next. One day I’ll see her and she’ll be on top of the world, even though I know it’s all a front. One day I’ll speak to her on the phone and she’ll be chain smoking, in her pyjamas and sobbing down the handset to me. She’ll not wash or eat for days but then one day she’ll wake up from this dark cloud and get back on with life until the next week or month.

I can honestly say that even though I have lived with her depression for so many years, I still don’t understand it. I still tell her to get a grip, get dressed and get out the house. She tells me it isn’t that easy. I don’t think I ever want to understand why something so simple to me can be so difficult for her.

She lived as a single woman with no romantic interests, after my dad left, for about eight years. Then I think she relived her youth. Had a few one night stands and started some car-crash relationships. She has just ended one of those relationships and jumped straight into another.

I’ve began to keep my distance now. I have my own family to support and I am a little tired of being the parent in our mother/daughter relationship.

She often asks me how I am so detached from everyone and how she can be like me. How am I so cold? Why am I so defensive? I truthfully told her it is because I don’t want to let the depression catch me. I don’t want to leave my emotions open to this debilitating condition. My emotions are in a locked box and I’m not sure who has the key.

I wonder what damage I am doing to my children by letting them see me so emotionally distant from everyone but I figure it can’t be much worse than the damage caused to me.

I’m trying to break the cycle but I think I have gone too far in the wrong direction.

I love my children and my husband dearly; more than they can ever know. I hug them, kiss them, feel those deep emotions a wife and mother feels but mostly keep my feelings to myself. I put a front on to everyone. I am always externally happy. If I have a problem I cry in the shower. I dust myself off and pick myself up. I refuse to make other people do that for me.

I am my own worst enemy.


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