Today I feel like talking about depression. I guess that's because today I'm in a pretty severely depressed state. There's no rhyme or reason why - it is what it is. I have issues.
I don't know what set it off. Well, that's kind of a lie. In part its because its September. Kiddo should be just starting his college adventure this year. Instead, he's here at home, lost and alone. I'll save you the trouble of wondering why this is bothersome and explain...
Kiddo was bullied throughout school. Not just by other kids, which was bad enough. He was also bullied by adults - from his kindergarten/first grade bus driver to his school appointed occupational therapist, teachers, special needs bus drivers and finally his health ed teacher in 10th grade. For whatever reason (probably because kiddo doesn't tolerate misinformation and questions everything) this teacher decided to go after him. On Sept. 27th two years ago, he called kiddo a "stupid useless waste of space", involved the entire class in pointing out that kiddo didn't belong and shouldn't exist. Kiddo, who was having massive panic attacks already, stopped attending school.
We fought the school to allow him to move to a smaller high school, but they refused to allow him to leave. Their solution was to place him in the "behaviorally challenged classroom" which is an isolated classroom where kids who have shanked other kids (or in one case used a hammer to beat another kid over the head). We were threatened with being reported to authorities for not forcing him to attend school. They refused to take any action against this teacher because "that's just how he motivates students". Yeah.
Kiddo is not violent in any way. He struggles with aspergers syndrome, anxiety and depression. Putting him a classroom of violent kids, manned by a counselor and a police officer, was not the solution.
I cannot begin to describe how helpless and frustrated I felt - but I can say my depression became so profound I had to go on medication to even function.
Eventually we accepted that no one was going to help us. Kiddo dropped out of school on his 16th birthday with my permission. We couldn't take anymore.
Last year I didn't have time to think about all of this because we were going through kiddo's cancer scare. On the 30th of this month we have his first annual checkup to make sure there's no sign of the tumor returning.
On top of those things weighing on me, my father hasn't been well this year. He's undergone several surgeries. And my father in law, a quiet gentle man, has reached that end of life stage where he's decided its his time. This is causing my husband incredible stress and he's breaking under the weight of it, coupled with the weight of my son's struggles and the pressures of his job.
So...yeah...I guess I understand where my depression is coming from. It's made worse because I don't have any social outlets. Over the years, I've lost contact with all of my friends. Most of them didn't know how to deal with a person whose kid wasn't cookie cutter and dumped me. Some just drifted away with time and distance. I am house bound with no one to talk to all day but the dog and the cat. Without a schedule kiddo has become nocturnal - he sleeps most days until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Hubs is gone when I get up and doesn't get home until 7ish most nights. And while kiddo is 18 technically, I'm loath to leave him alone except for short periods of time to run to the grocery store.
There's all this empty space in my life where I have nothing but my iPad, my computer, books and my depression. Sometimes I'm okay with that - I surf the web. I go on Twitter and read tweets from the people I follow or I tweet myself. I read. I play games. It's not fulfilling and its lonely, but I can shut that out and just exist most of the time.
It's hard to be so isolated. And on days like today, I start reading the tweets and I can't help it. I feel even more alone. The people I follow have lives. They have friends. They have stories to tell or pictures to share. They joke with each other. When I tweet a reply to one of them (which is rare because I know I'm a voyeur and I don't want to be intrusive), I think they must wonder "who is this freak that's following me thinking she has the right to tweet at me"? I want to tweet at them that I'm not a creepy stalker, just a very lonely person. But maybe I am a creepy stalker person by the fact that I follow them and read their tweets...
I have...well, I have nothing. I haven't held a job in 19 years. I haven't hung out with friends in 18 years. I haven't gone out to dinner with my husband in 18 years. I haven't been on a vacation in 12 years. I haven't been home to visit my parents in 10 months. I'm one month short of my 51st birthday and almost half of my life has been lived in this shit house in the middle of nowhere, with no one to talk to.
This house is my prison. It's Hell.
So this is what depression tells me - and yes, I know depression lies: No one knows I exist. No one gives a shit that I exist. On days like this I'm not sure I want to exist.
I'm pretty sure life isn't supposed to be this way.
I'm sorry for this shitty post. I just needed to get it out. Now I'm going to go lock myself in the bathroom and have a good cry. And then I'm going to put on my big girl pants and deal.
FYI: Its Suicide Prevention month. If you need help, there are places to turn. Suicide is never the answer. It is final and it leaves behind broken people who will never recover from your decision. It doesn't solve anything. Life has its ups and downs. It's messy, it's heartbreaking and it's beautiful. Sometimes, like now for me, it seems like it will never get better. But it does. It has to.
So reach out and ask for help if you need it. You are not alone.