Musing, meandering and thinking in print

Trigger Warning: This blog is dark, and rambling, and angry, and hurt, and personal.
It's not an accusation against my husband. I know he's not mentioned hardly at all, because this is how I feel. He is, and has been amazing through this whole thing. He also tries very hard to derail my inner peanut gallery.

However, if you're depressed right now, or having a hard go of it, you may want to skip this one. I don't want to spiral you down. We'll make it out, right? And everything will be OK.

I'm sitting here, on the verge of a depressive episode. I say this, not for sympathy, but for perspective. I know that I, and only I, can get out of, through or avoid an episode. It's not up to anyone else to help me, and really, no one can. It's an internal struggle that no one sees, no one can cheer you on, navigate the short route through, or even lend a hand. It's always been this way, for me... and always will be. I accept this struggle, as part of living; and if I don't fight, then I'll die-- that's how we all are, isn't it? Either we grow, or we die, and I'm not ready to lay down yet.

I've been here on the edge for awhile; starting about Thanksgiving, actually. Some friends were having a hard time then, for the same reason that I hate the holidays: forced gaiety sucks ass! But you push it down, and push on. Nothing else to do, right, except watch the Detroit Lions lose and eat good food. But it's a good day, I like Thanksgiving.

Then we slid into December, with my daughter's birthday and of course, Christmas...To me Christmas is another day; I could skip the gifts and tree, and decoration altogether, and treat it like a "December Turkey and Stuffing Day!" That would be perfect, but appearances... blech!

Normally Christmas is a pretty happy time around here, though. My depression and absolute loathing of the plastic nature of the holiday smother down; I can celebrate family and love, and get a kick out of penguins done up in little hats... I fucking love penguins. We enjoy a good meal, good day, good games and often hot chocolate with marshmallows.

This year, though, things were vastly different. My daughter, my lovely daughter, got into some trouble on her birthday-- the week before Christmas. The week she went back to school she decided to scrape up her arms, and told her teacher she'd been "cutting" because of "bullying"...

This part is hard to write, from my perspective. I was enraged, I was sick, I was angry and upset, and hurt, and scared. She's my girl! I was terrified that she was really hurting herself. Oh, Universe, how did that happen!

Then I saw them... they had the depth of a cat scratch... So I went from scared to pissed the fuck off.

I had to explain, again, how she's NPD, how this is exactly what she doesn't need, and that this attention was validating. I also told the sheriff and counsellor that my beautiful daughter was a liar, and if they took one good look at her arms they'd see she wasn't cutting, but "thank you, for paying attention to her like this... she's fucking preening!"*

I felt so guilty...

She accused me of not caring. Of being angry. Of hating her...
I told her I was angry, that I did care. That I had every right to be mad, that she was being foolish, and acting stupid, and that "this shit isn't something you play with!" But she doesn't understand, or care. She wanted attention! Woohoo she got it, too...

The counsellor and I also tried, unsuccessfully, to explain to the cop that my daughter had actually been ring-leader of a group of bullies. So for her to claim someone mistreating her, it was most probably calling her out on her shit, or payback, neither of which would cause such a breakdown as "cutting", suddenly. He was so full of his white-knightness that he didn't listen... Yes, white knights exist in real life, too, and they're just as ridiculously annoying and stupid as online.

We were forced to a crisis centre-- basically it's a place you send your loved ones when they're really hurting themselves-- because of White Knight Sheriff. It gets them out of the emergency room after they get fixed up, and into a hospital setting that's safe for them. I sat in the waiting room for seven hours. I took her home. It was that simple. I told the nurse who did the intake: "I don't want her to hurt anyone here, to set them off, with her actions." See, I know my lovely girl, and she's a drama queen. I couldn't bear the thought of someone dying, because of her actions... a young woman was admitted at the same time-- a teen with a devoted family, who had tried to kill herself, slit her wrists. I didn't want my lovely girl to make this other girl snap yet again.

I brought her home.

And I felt so guilty. I can never tell her how terrified I Was as I made my way to the school. I was afraid the ambulance would be there, ready to take her to hospital, trying to staunch the blood as it poured out of her body. I was so afraid... and I can't tell her.

I sit here, typing through tears... but it's got to come out. I have to see this, have to type it, have to read it back to myself. This has been my reality for over four months.

She started therapy, the end of January. It has not done a damned bit of good.
She told us she acted up, breaking rules and laws, and threatening to harm herself because she "felt that [she] didn't get enough attention."

I asked her, "How much attention do you need?"
My partner asked, "How many hours a day?"
She shrugged. I said, facetiously, "What, all of them?"
She perked right up at that thought...

This is adding to the depression. Knowing she's capable of so much, and yet is perfectly happy striving for mediocrity. She'd rather be famous than smart; rather be popular than educated... I wonder if she was switched at birth, except I see my cousin's face in my daughter's.

So, I chug along... trying to take care of everything, to fix it all. Because dammit all, I'm a fixer! It's my job to smooth shit out, to make it all fucking better. To shove down my own anger and upset and make sure everyone is doing fine. It's my job to make sure everyone is healed. It's my fucking job!

She's not fine. She's not healed. She's mentally broken, and we don't know how to fix that. Maybe medication... maybe not. I have to get her into see someone else-- and cross my fingers.

I still have two boys who need me, too. One does, anyway, he's only nine. And yet, on his birthday I had to leave right after dinner, so I could deal with the shit my daughter dredged up... I had to take off for shit-duty, on my son's birthday. Do you have any idea how fucked up that is? How awful I felt?

Things are calming down, now. Calm enough that I can create this new equilibrium. Calm enough that I can hear myself think again. Calm enough that I know none of this is my fault.

And yet...

The thinking starts. The inner voices shouting at me, telling me what a horrible, shitty person I am, if I can't even bring up a kid to obey the law. How can I consider myself a parent, if my daughter is being such a fool? How dare I tell anyone I love my kids... if I loved them, they wouldn't do this! I would have taught them better.

Around, and around it goes. Over and over, shouting me down, yelling at me, letting me hate myself for my lack, for my failures in the parenting arena. If I can't even raise my kids right, how can I do anything? Can't write, can't think, can't ponder, can't analyse... can't do any of that if I can't possibly raise a child correctly. I'm a huge, fat, fucking failure. I suck at everything. I'm worthless, and most of all, I failed my kid.

I failed her, by not being able to magic away her NPD. I failed her because I am fundamentally incapable of paying attention to anyone, or anything that isn't a book for an entire day. I failed her by not being able to speak the language she understands to teach her right from wrong. I failed her. Some how, I failed her.

But I know, damned well, that I didn't! Contrary thoughts mingle.

And I failed society. I've failed all of you, by managing to bring up a kid who doesn't regard you as important; who doesn't see that her actions ripple out; or who just doesn't give a fuck.

Yes, logically I know this isn't me. This is something organic or chemical in her that I didn't do anything to cause, and therefore can't un-cause. I didn't break her, as it were

Which leads me back to my circular thinking, the circular thinking that precedes a depression. I'm trying to reign in the self-hatred with regards to my kid. Trying, and failing, and wishing I could pray to a god I believed in for guidance.

Wishing I could beg this god for help... and knowing I'd get it.

See, I don't feel like I lost my faith in a Divine Personage. I feel like that Divine person up and left me... how else can you explain that defiant lack of prayers answered, how else can you explain the lack of comfort in prayer and meditation... other than a clearing of the mind. How else can anyone explain that feeling of abandonment that crops up every time I was ignored by the Cosmos, and had to make my own way...

Makes for despair, let me tell you. But I can't pretend to believe, and I won't lie to myself or anyone else. I'll just sit here, whole and strong, in myself, and shake my fist as the Universe in its cruelty, its randomness, the lack of compassion outside of that given and received by humanity.

I can be angry! I can be, and it's fucking all right!! And I am angry. I'm so fucking pissed...

But it's OK, I think. That despair can be embraced, and channelled into something good. I can rail at the years I wasted, hoping a god would be there, hoping that my daughter would be made whole, that all my kids would be blessed and protected. I can take a breath, square my shoulders and impudently shout back at the nothing, that echoes with my voice. This is the way it's always been, really, we throw our bravery into the darkness knowing it might be thrown back at us by anything, by deaths and disease, by hate and fear. But we do it anyway...

Because to lay down is to die, and I'm not ready for that yet.

All the while depression creeps up on me, silently stalking on clawed paws.

I haven't been able to write, because all that would have come out would have been tears and recriminations and self-flagellation. Even this blog is more full of self-doubt and disgust than most of the others I've written; it's more random than most, more disjointed, more me.... This one has taken me an hour to get this far, because I keep stopping myself from deleting the whole thing.

I want to believe it will get better, and a part of me does. That's the part that's determined to enjoy life, even if I have to battle the clawed beast of Depression with my bare hands. It's the part that knows I will win. I will!

That's the part that can't write, though... it's the working part, but not so much the thinking part. The mentally sound part of me doesn't have much to say... I think that's often the nature of mental illness... those of us who are fucking crazy can create amazing things! But we're still fucking crazy, still have those inner battles, still hate ourselves. We wake up wishing we could go back to sleep; wondering if we're even really human, if we're worthy of life, if we're worthy of anything at all.

But we create, and we are so fucking beautiful in our crazy.

Today I'm beautiful in my crazy.
Today I'm OK being ill, and knowing it'll pass.
Today, I am me.
And that's good enough.





*Yes, I said this to a Pima County Sheriff... I thanked him for validating her stupid actions, for telling her she was right and correct to threaten to harm herself for more attention, and I told him that if he's shut the fuck up and listen to me, he'd know what was going on. Instead, he was busy being righteous and indignant and "You're the reason people like me hate cops."

I was pretty angry.

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