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Depression. There I said it.

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:26 pm
by Tarantula

I am not a happy bunny. I've already mentally detached from what I'm typing/about to type because otherwise I would've set myself off already, crying. I hate the stigma surrounding mental illness so much right now, whilst being totally subject to it. How hypocritical is that? It's not that I think less of others as PEOPLE for being victims of mental illness. It's just that different rules apply to me; it's okay for other people to be depressed and bottom out and need help and take tablets; but it's not okay for me. Why? Because I'm bad. I'm so bad that I don't deserve help or understanding. Why am I bad? Because I was molested as a kid. And the specific circumstances of MY molestation is the incredibly rare exception to the rule that it's never the child's fault. It's never any OTHER child's fault. But I deep down still feel that it was mine and last night I bottomed out completely.

I had a job interview today that I really wanted to go to but I didn't sleep at all and ended up not going because I was worried about breaking down in public.

Awww poor you. Man up.

Nothing is more important to me than maintaining this air of being this big strong woman who can handle anything.

Except a job interview, nice one.

I didn't deserve what happened to me as a kid.

Yes you did, because you asked for it. You asked daddy to touch you down there because it felt nice, didn't you? So how can you say it's not your fault? Of course it is.

I can't have been the only child, in the history of children, to have asked an adult to touch them 'down there', can I? Does that make it okay for the adult to go 'well okay then, yippeee!' and go ahead and doooo it? Is that what any parent would have done? Don't children say the silliest things out of pure innocence?

There's nothing innocent about you because you asked for it and your body responded and then you asked for it again for years before you realised you hated it, and by that point you didn't try and stop it from happening. Until you were 15. Puh-lease, what next? Are you gonna put a gun in someone's hand, point it at yourself, pull the trigger and then blame them for what happens next? You must take responsibility for your part in it, and because of that, you don't deserve happiness or friends or understanding or a happy, stable relationship. In fact, we'd all be better off if you weren't here at all.


I've been on this gradual decline for a long time, over a year I think. I isolated myself during my last year at university and spent my time pretty exclusively with my boyfriend, who I've lived with for two years. I recently finished uni and moved to London and am wondering when things are gonna get better. I'm trying to make new friends and it does seem to be coming together, but I'm terrified of being close to anyone because deep down I don't trust people, period. Don't get me wrong. I'm not this depressive lump 24/7. During the day I'm usually okay, but I rarely experience happiness or joy and would say I'm more existing than living. Things that used to bring me pleasure have just worn off, and I'm putting myself under constant pressure to get a job get a job get a job and join the 'real world'. Yet when I get an interview with a company I'd really like to work for, I can't go. Because my brain won't let me, it's so bizarre, it's like there's this emotional forcefield preventing me from getting above a certain point. And it's rocking with my hardcore belief system about how everyone has a choice and it's simply a matter of making conscious decisions. Last night, at 3am, by myself downstairs, it occurred to me that I actually am not in control of this whatsoever. If I had tried to stand up and stretch, depression would have literally prevented me from doing so. And it would make it look as though it was MY decision. So crafty.

I've been avoiding this for so long. But it's getting worse, very slowly. How do you tell the difference between garden variety sadness and depression? I spent three hours Googling that question, and it turns out that I am experiencing depression. The crucial factor seems to be whether or not I'm still able to function 'normally' i.e. do the things I like to do, have some sort of balance. My sadness/depression LITERALLY kept me from going to that interview. They say we all have our limit before we'll be forced to deal with something we don't wanna deal with. I can't keep running anymore and telling myself to just get over it, like I've been secretly (or not so secretly) expecting other people to just get over it my whole life. This stuff is real! I'm not making it up! It's not just that time of month for me! It's real, and it's overwhelming, and I don't know how to deal with it really.

Forget counsellors. Tried it a few times, never helped. I only ever went the free route due to being young, and anything else would feel like emotional prostitution to me. Oh sure, they care. They're caring people. Until the clock says otherwise. Until your wallet says otherwise. I don't trust them to be able to help me. It's a very confusing relationship that my brain can't quite categorise. Is this person my friend? Then why am I on the meter? And if they're not my friend then how can I possibly trust them? One 50 minute session a week is not enough. I'd need three months just to talk them through the various complexities and weirdness of my particular background so that they had the full picture- I wouldn't know where to start (incest? Mum's casual alcoholicism/absenteeism? Jealous step mum who thinks I made it up? Violent older brother? Running away from home at 17?). Anyway I still need to sign up to a new GP and I rang up today and they said they need a utility bill which I do not have. Driving licence won't cut it for proof of address. Just because it's good enough for local government/the council (in getting my parking permit) does NOT mean, oh no, that it's good enough for a healthcare service. Any strand of determination I had to talk to a doctor died at that point immediately and irreversibly. Besides. My mum is a doctor, and I would never talk to her about this sort of thing. God forbid. Although I did text her in the early hours this morning on impulse (because if you can't put it on your MOTHER'S lap....), at best I'm expecting a 'just stay chipper' response of no depth, meaning or real acknowledgement of her part in this. At worst she'll make it all about her and how bad it is for her and remind me of why I keep cutting her out of my life for six months at a time.

So I really feel that I'm beyond the point of cynicism as far as 'mental health professionals' are concerned. I also don't like the idea of taking drugs, as I find it hard to believe that this is merely a chemical issue, independent of my past experience. I want to get over this on my own. By that I mean, without 'professional help'. However, I do believe in books, boyfriend and books. And exercise. One of the reasons I think it's hit me so hard this time is because I only just signed up to a new gym and hadn't been for a whole month. I can't have that. Going to the gym is one of the few things which I still find meaning in and enjoy. It's my time to feel good about myself. But by and large, I think that, like any medical condition, mine is getting worse the longer I refuse to acknowledge it. I don't know how to process it or understand it so I put it on the nearest plausible explanation - my boyfriend. So there's all that going on too. He's trying his best to be understanding but I know that NO ONE wants to be around a wet blanket, and the way I see it, I had better jolly well sort this thing out and FAST, or he's a goner. In a sense, I'm on the meter with him too. There's just no solidarity in anything. In my darkest moments I'm afraid I do imagine myself taking my car and driving off a bridge. In Cornwall it used to be cliff, but there are no cliffs in London so what you gonna do? I'm not coping.

I want to read, and meditate, and exercise, and cry whenever I feel like it instead of forcing myself not to as I do so often. I also feel absolutely sure that I don't want to go down the 'professional' route. I sometimes think I'd like to go somewhere for a few weeks, like even some sort of institution - ain't no shame, or there's less shame, if I know what the end point is. I've read too many stories and website testimonials of people who say 'I've been in therapy with Jill for seven years now....' SEVEN YEARS?!?!?! Jeez, if I was a therapist, I wouldn't put that up as a point of pride. I'd just feel like I wasn't doing my job right. When you book a personal trainer, you don't do it just to get fitter in general terms - well, you might go into it that way, but they will digest everything you tell them and come out with some specific, measurable goals, such as to lose a certain amount of weight in a certain timeframe. Yet with our mental health, it's all so subjective. I fear that therapy would become just another crux - another something I just bolt on to my life to make it seem like I'm progressing when all that's happening is I'm losing money/time. The problem with going on a journey of self-discovery is, you have to know your endpoint. When will you wake up and say 'today I am feeling good enough to no longer need therapy'? If you don't know, or have any idea, when that point may be, then I suspect that the professional in your life will take your money and allow you to have no particular frame of reference for when you will allow yourself to get on with your life without the stabalisers on. It's all too easy to get lost on the so-called 'journey'. Without actually going anywhere.

I'm taking a more objective approach to my condition (though still struggling to allow myself to openly call it that, rather than it being a failure on my part as a human bean). I'm giving myself two weeks to read and sulk and mope and cry and indulge and listen to Radiohead. After that I will write a book about how I conquered depression in two weeks and it will be a tour de force and you will all buy my book and I'll have enough money to drop the act (again) and go into therapy. LOL!

Re: Depression. There I said it.

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:49 pm
by retrochav
I seem to have much in common with you Broken Chord. You have broken a silence and I thank you for that.

I suffer with manic depression ( they call it bi-polar disorder now but I was diagnosed many years back and I have got used to my label!) I hold down a full time job, I child mind at weekends and on the surface I am happy go lucky and well adjusted. Yet under the surface I am often struggling to keep from screaming.

I was molested as a child. From 8 - 11. Like you I struggle at times to accept it as abuse, because I enjoyed touching the guy and being touched. At times I almost sought it out. I enjoyed the attention and loved my abuser.

I realise something fundamental that you perhaps can't accept. We were children. We were curious, we wanted to make our abuser happy. They didn't force us to do anything, we went along with it. But we were children. We were not emotionally or physically developed enough to really grasp what it all meant. That is why we feel so torn now. On one level it feels wrong, but on another we weren't forced or hurt, so we take a share of blame.

You and I would never do this to a child. Even if a child begged us, we would explain that it's not something adults do to children. We would explain that when they grow up they will choose someone special to love and touch. We would rather take our lives than take the innocence of a child.

Knowing this makes it easier to understand why it's called abuse. We wouldn't do it to a child because we feel the wrongness of it. We know the torn damage we carry around with us. With all this knowledge in mind, you must realise that you weren't to blame. The adults who touched us should have said no. They should have helped us realise that we weren't ready to take that sort of emotional decision.They may not fully grasp the damage it would bring to our lives, but would have known that it isn't appropriate.

I can't comment on counselling and therapy. I never raised this issue because I was too ashamed to day I had found some pleasure myself. I thought I was a freak. I thought abused children were forced and beaten, felt dirty from the start. I thought I was sick for not wanting to stop it, for not feeling dirty. I worked voluntarily for a child abuse help line and found others had the same conflict.

The feelings of depression have many, many roots and factors, far more tangles that can be resolved in a 50 minute session. It is a battle that so many of us struggle with each day. I think the only way through is to talk openly here, in chat rooms or face to face with trusted friends. Depressions best friend, like an abusers best silence.

Re: Depression. There I said it.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:11 pm
by Bel Bel
I am so glad you have been able to admit the stage you are at in your "illness". Afterall if your leg was hanging off you would be ill but becuase it's your head you can't accept it may have broken down and therefore is affecting the "normal" functioning just like a leg hanging off would affect you walking.

I actually really believe a cognitive therapist would help you. As I understand consellors are there more to listen but cognitive therapist actively help you help yourself to change the way you think and action thoughts. I have seen remarkable turn arounds in several people who have used cognitive therapy.

I do understand you don't want to go down this route, you see it as a sign of weekness. However why do you believe you have the skill set to help yourself. A heart surgeon trains for many years to perfect his skill, so does a cognitive therapist. What training have you done? Your life skills have already been impaired by your experiences so you have a skewed view on somehting that was NEVER EVER EVER even the smallest bit your fault. This will interfer with "self medication/therapy"

I do like the fact you have given yourself a timescale but that may come and go with no real change and if that is the case please reconsider getting some help.

If the concil sent a parking permit did a letter come with it, if yes that should be sufficient proof of address as it is from the council.

Hope you are having a better day today?

Now get to the gym and pull yourself together :P

Re: Depression. There I said it.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:53 pm
by Tarantula
Thanks for your replies, both very helpful as always. Retrochav, this whole dynamic of asking for the abuse has been at the heart of why I feel I'm to blame. That, and my body's physical response.

But listen to this! I spoke to my mum for two whole hours on the phone yesterday, it was the strangest thing, but I ended up telling her everything I've told you! And she still said it wasn't my fault! In fact, she told me that my older brother, when she used to bathe him, sometimes asked her to touch his willy; she just laughed and told him the cabbage patch story instead. Instead of abusing him.

Hearing that really turned a switch for me. She said that most children will say something like that at some point, and if they like something, they will ask for it. As for my bodily response, she said that there would be something medically wrong with me if I DIDN'T have that response. I couldn't believe my ears, especially as we have a very difficult relationship, part of my resentment towards her arising from the fact that she's never been supportive about it and even did blame me straight after disclosure! However, she took it upon herself to apologise for saying those things back then yesterday, I didn't prompt her or anything. My boyfriend thinks she's wanted to say that for a long time.

I've read about CBT Bel Bel and I do find it quite pragmatic and therefore better for me than other approaches; however, rather than seeing it as weakness, I just don't like the idea of my deep issues being someone else's business. I don't trust mental health professionals, I find that whole area somewhat vulturistic. But I do know that that is more to do with my trust issues than their validity. I'll level with you: I feel that it would be a weakness for me to take anti depressants. For good or bad, that's how I feel about it. I don't want to go through life with the handicap on, even temporarily... but if I believed that talking to a specific someone would help, I'd do it. I have no faith, had little to begin with, and unfortunately my limited experiences with professionals so far has diminished whatever belief I had. If there was someone who wanted to help me for FREE, simply out of altruism and for its own sake, I'd go for it... but when money or time limits get involved, well, it just starts to feel like a trading system all over again. Paying for someone to have a conversation with you about your life... I dunno, it makes my skin crawl a little. Also I'm still clinging to this idea that if I can work through this myself, I'll come out better for it. Some say that you can't do everything on your own. Others say, if you want something done, do it yourself. I find myself more on the latter side of things. Besides, I'm not completely alone...

my mum was so good last night. I still can't get over it, after everything that's happened between us. It's like, the moment I made myself vulnerable, everything changed and I found myself having the first meaningful conversation with her in..... Ever. She kept telling me to come down for at least a week and spend some time, and to stop worrying about getting a job and to make feeling better my first priority.

I've also spoken to my brother in the last 24 hours and he's being supportive as usual. I even managed to confess that I was still feeling bad about an argument we had back in February. I'd taken so long to mention it 'cause I was afraid of it causing another, even bigger argument. But he just apologised and nothing bad happened, which was another example of how my vulnerability paid off.

I'm still scared of my boyfriend going off me if I stay upset, but weirdly, he seems quite chirpy. I think he's relieved that the focus/blame is no longer on him and the relationship. He's happy to potter about the house while I read and think by myself. He says I'm being remarkably honest about things.

I went to the gym today and it felt good. It would be so easy for me right now to write off the last 48hours as a blip and go back to pretending I don't have a mental health problem. I feel okay now, but I'm ever-watchful for the next appearance of my depression. It's like in Super Mario. Everytime you face the Boo (ghost), it freezes. But whenever you look away, it comes alive and starts chasing you.

Oh! The company who I was gonna do an interview with but cancelled, got back to me today saying they're having another interview day in a few weeks, and I'm still invited. So I haven't lost my chance either!

Maybe there's something to being totally authentic about how you're really feeling, however scary it feels. It's good to feel something.

Re: Depression. There I said it.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:18 pm
by retrochav
I am so glad that you felt able to have an open and honest chat with your mum. I imagine your mum felt shocked and caught up in disbelief that she couldn't see what was happening in her family, so at the time wanted to shut it all down as though it wasn't real. It must have been such a relief for her to be able to say sorry and talk about it with you. I really hope this is the start of a closer relationship between you both.

Your mum stated a fact that many parents and carers come up against, children are curious and make unknowing requests. The correct thinking adult will brush it off, or gently explain its not appropriate behaviour between adults and children. I hope hearing it from another person helps you see that you were an innocent, with no blame to bare.

It's great that the interview is still an option. I didn't go into those aspects last night as they seemed issues that were less prominent. I wish you luck with it.

You can register temporarily with a GP, or the local health authority can allocate you a GP, so please don't give up.

Take the last 24 hours as a sign of a new beginning. After years of living in a shadow of shame, you can now move towards the light. This is a new beginning for you, and I wish you all the best with the journey. Keep us posted x

Re: Depression. There I said it.

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:22 am
by Tarantula
Everytime I get close, or begin thinking about considering the possibility OF getting close, to my mother, I get burned. Every single time.

I got a distressed call from my brother today saying that he had decided to visit our mother randomly, only to be greeted at the door by my other even older brother (he's 38 I think) who drove us both out of our home there years ago (hence me running away at 17, mentioned briefly earlier), who likes to think he's a London badman by squaring up to people (like his teenage sister for example) and doing the whole intimidate thing, along with numerous incidents of drink driving and, on one occasion, carrying an imitation firearm to a park at night to scare all the racist people - he also strangled our mother a couple of weeks back, then called the police and turned himself in. He's a serially unemployed (because mum keeps paying for him, including plenty of cars and laptops and things to fuel his online life), alcoholic nut case and we haven't seen or spoken to him in five years. Mum told us he had an injunction and wasn't allowed near her, but when my younger brother called the police today, seeing him in the house, it turned out that there is no injunction, mum was talking out her backside as usual, and in fact he has been visiting whenever he wants money, despite receiving benefits (money in cash or he gets no benefits as the government wouldn't bail him if they knew he was receiving money elsewhere).

As if that wasn't enough, mum sided up with her recent attacker in front of the police, saying that she had no idea why my younger brother had gotten so angry. She then called in 'back up' in the form of a pair of family 'friends' who me and my younger brother have never liked or trusted, who mum tells us like to steal things from the house when she's not looking, but for whatever deranged reason, whose counsel and life advice she seems to take oh so seriously. Yeah, they showed up and started telling my younger brother to clear off, calling him a 'fraud' because mum bought him a flat a year ago. Out of her own choice. And in place of his share in her will. So apparently he's a fraud for that.

Oh boy, there's so much more to add to the loonytoon ridiculousness of it all, you probably think I've had too much Skooma or something, but I'd really be here all night. Suffice to say, poo went down today, the result of which being mum utterly betraying my brother/us once again, by siding up with the older nut case brother at whatever cost, just like she did when I ran away from home, I mean, she bought him a car a few weeks later. He was 34 at the time.

So now I feel rubbish. I just don't know what to do. Mum lies, and lies, and exaggerates, and fabricates, and creates drama, and lies. She's the reason I seek utter truth and clarity in things with brutal scrupulousness. I have this insatiable need to UNDERSTAND things in my life - including, no, ESPECIALLY people - because my mum makes no sense whatsoever. I am constantly re-evaluating my approach to the mum, based on the latest poo to hit the fans. It's so depressing that this has happened at all, but why NOW? Just when there was the first ray of sunlight in our relationship in..... EVER?

I still feel quite numb about it, and my blood boils for my younger brother, who would have been so ganged up on at the time. The injustice of it all makes me mad. She's at the centre of all this, and it's quite clear that she likes to bad mouth each individual to everyone else - she bad mouths us to nut case brother, nut case brother to us, family friends to us, us to family friends - and I'm completely bewildered as to why she does it, or how she can live with herself.

I feel like cutting her out of my life for the umpteenth time, but I never stick to it and it never changes anything. Boyfriend says I should just take, take, take what I can from her, without any guilt or remorse, because she owes me so much more than money could buy, but since money is all I've ever gotten from her, well, it's a start. And anything I don't claim from the bank of Mum, it just goes towards nut case brother's next car. Or family friends' next laptop or camera or holiday.

Oh I just don't know. Given how wonderful our last conversation was (by comparison), I feel like this great big present - the best present I could ever ask for, in fact (i.e. my mum's support) has been snatched away from me. Again.

Re: Depression. There I said it.

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:33 pm
by reckoner
This is easier said than done, but is there a way for all the examples of your mother letting you down to actually give extra value to the support she gave you the other night, rather than devalue it? From what you say, she's never going to be able to provide you with what you need, there will always be the concern that the good moments will be followed by bad ones, so maybe you have to treat those good moments as even more precious.

Despite all her flaws, she is the only one who can give you the comfort you need because of her knowledge of what you went through and that she couldn't protect you. It's just that you have to somehow live with the fact that they'll be rare. Each one is still an opportunity to make things better, but you already know enough to not put too many eggs in her basket. It's so sad she can't seem to make up for what you've gone through, but no matter what else happens, I think what she said to you that night is something no one else could ever tell you, and that you can truly believe. You're right, it is the biggest present, yours to keep and I hope you never throw away.

Wishing you all the best.

Re: Depression. There I said it.

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:35 pm
by retrochav
I created a post in February about my mother, who firstly would blame me for the bullying by my aunt and two uncles that I faced, then in the face of the wider community criticising her, backed me up for a while. Today she runs around after them, continues with her " I will come and visit you on" which of course she doesn't, and generally continues to let me down. Yet something has changed.....and it's my response towards her.

I recognise that she is my mum, but she is only another human being. Admittedly if she wasn't my mum, I certainly wouldn't choose to have her as a friend, but my expectations of her have now changed.

I hope you can find a way to do the same. Mums have a goddess like status in society, and its such a high standard that many will fall short. If you, as an adult, can see her as a person who is as flawed as any other person walking the earth, it gets a bit easier to cope with.

I simply smile at mums good intentions. I don't build myself up for her to let me down. If she tries to tell me she didn't offer to visit, or never said she would do so and so, I just laugh and say that she can't use that weapon against me because it never happens anywhere else in my life, and I just calmly tell her I'm not interested in debating it. If she talks about her brothers and sisters I just listen, and if she critiques them, I just remind her that she chooses to be around them then she shouldn't slate them.

Keep in mind the nicer aspects of your mum, and especially what she told you that night. Yet the rest of her behaviour is symptomatic of being human, being torn and being short sighted. Keep the relationship at arms length, with politeness and civility but no dependency on her. Then you can't get hurt.