If you suffer from chronic depression, you may have your okay days, and your really low days. I can’t say I have experienced a day in the last 3 years where throughout the whole day I was nothing but happy. Even if I felt very flat, almost lonely in a way. That’s how I would personally describe my depression anyway.
I have experienced infant loss, I have experience domestic violence and mental abuse from a narcissist. I went from one terrible relationship to the next. How? Why? I have asked myself that as well, I have thought maybe I am just not worthy of love. Maybe I am just stupid.
Delving in a bit deeper with a psychologist uncovered something I never would have thought would matter. I am an individual, I am not my mother, I am not her mother, I am me so why does this pattern of abusive relationships keep me in a vicious loop?
My real father, was psychically and emotionally abusive to my mother and she left him when I was a baby. I haven’t met him since, I write to him every now and then and he responds but I don’t have an interest, nor have I ever really had a desire to spend time with him and get to really know him. I have had other father figures in my life and that was enough.
My mother’s, mother was in the same situation when my mum was a baby, an abusive relationship that she had to walk away from.
Now I also was in a very bad relationship, fell pregnant and I too will be a single mother.
History has repeated for a third time it would seem. My psychologist asked me if I have any relationships I can look up to and set an expectation for myself, I don’t actually know of any. I allowed myself to fall into a narcissists trap just because he wasn’t psychically abusive like my last boyfriend. He would often remind me that he was better than my last boyfriend also, I thought it was great. Little did I realize emotional torment would start and I would actually find it a lot harder to recover from than any psychical abuse I had ever experienced.
My mind was more delicate than my body ever was. Especially gone through having a still-born and then not knowing how to cope and isolating myself. I didn’t get the help I needed, I put all my grief and sorrows and locked it away inside the heart of a puppy. This is how my psychologist explained it, I thought I was insane and mistook the puppy for the baby I had lost, even though I knew he was a dog and not human it makes more sense that I would channel my grief into a dog.
It is not uncommon, and sometimes people will put their grief into an object. Then they have trouble parting with it. It becomes a symbol of their loss, something they can look at and touch.
Mine was living and breathing, mine was a puppy and they are hard work not so different from a child really. I knew what he sounded like, I knew he had a little quirky personality, I knew what his fur smelt like.
My grief made me so desperate, I felt like I just had to survive it. I had to survive myself, I had to find purpose otherwise I found myself slipping into darkness. I developed a way to cope with my dog, soon the darkness turned to just grey.
That is when I met someone who saw I was vulnerable and I became a target. I became prey.
I was made to prove myself while they barely lifted a finger, I was forking out thousands of dollars to travel overseas to see them and allow them to travel to me. They didn’t work, they had no money. They weren’t willing to work to afford to see me, they knew I was weak and they knew I would pay. They never offered to pay me back for plane tickets. They would accept it when I would suggest I pay dinner, sometimes really expensive restaurants, hotels, I even paid their bills. I just wanted to be kind because I truly cared for them.
Sometimes it helps to write all this down so I clearly see the way they acted was disgusting.
It gets worse because they were gaslighting me, telling me I had various sorts of disorders. They were using my weaknesses from an abusive past to prove I had all these disorders, just because I was anxious and frightened. They would prolong and heighten the fear so I would act out and then they would pounced on me. They were using things I thought I could trust them with to project any problem back onto me. It came down to it ALWAYS being my fault.
I believed it was, I believed I was a terrible person. I was isolated and felt like this person, this person that I knew I couldn’t trust was the only one I could turn to. I started to have family members turned against me, family members questioned by behavior. It was terrifying for me because that just proved I was losing my mind.
I was told I was negative because of depression, I was told that I shouldn’t be sad any longer for a child I had lost because I was having another, I was having theirs. I was told to find a way out and stop being depressed, basically. It made it worse because I started to force myself to feel happiness when I didn’t and it made me sick.
I have none of those disorders this person claimed I have. I was very stressed, I was very unhappy. Anyone who is working their back side off to support themselves and another adult who doesn’t seem to making an effort in return is stressful. Thinking you’re going insane is stressful, I even checked myself into a hospital one night out of fear of myself. Only to find I was fine, I was rational and I was self-aware, I was explaining the situation and the psychiatrist simply said “You are in an abusive relationship. Get out!”.
I did, and I am fine. I am no longer stressed, I am no longer worried about finances. I am making normal relationships with people and enjoying aspects of life again.
I am not cured of depression, I have my days where I get overwhelmed with grief still but that is okay. There isn’t a time limit on grieving and I found when I allowed myself to have my bad days and stopped forcing myself to have good ones, I began to heal, in my own time.
If someone truly loves you they will wait for you, especially when they knew you suffered all along. If they are impatient, if they expect you to feel happiness when you just cannot find it yet then they’re only inconvenienced for very selfish reasons.