depression

Children in a family are like flowers in a bouquet …

… there’s always one determined to face in an opposite
direction from the way the arranger desires.

And in my family that one is very obviously me. 

I always used to think that we were exceedingly close as a[-n immediate] family.  And to an extent we are.  There are circumstances in the past which made us closer, but there are also events which pushed us away from each other.  And it’s the events which pushed us away from each other that are determined to colour the way I think about my family.  And sometimes I hate them in the way that only family can hate each other.  And I hate myself for that.  Nobody will ever hate me as much as I can hate myself. 

Mumsy sent me an email.  The email made me p.issed and very sad, even though she was just being chatty and nice.  I wrote a sarcastic response to her email and then spent ten minutes listening to the angel argue with the devil before deleting the offending article. 

I’m not entirely sure who won the argument.  Was it the angel because I didn’t send the email as I didn’t want to upset Mumsy, or was it the devil because by not sending the email, and therefore not letting her know how aspects of it upset me, it’s just something else that eats away at me inside … ?

There are too many things eating away at me inside.  I’ve always scorned the idea of actually talking to somebody about the things that are living in my head [longtime lurkers may remember my post about believing it to be a weakness], but just recently I’ve been so obsessed by these things that I feel I need to speak to someone before my head explodes.  When my head explodes it will not be a pretty sight.  There will be much terribleness.  And I can’t put my family through that. 

I’ve started writing.  Well, I’ve started writing more.  And I think that I’ve started writing better.  Writing is actually really therapeutic.  Cathartic.  Most of the things that I write come from personal experience … most of it is stuff that I need to get out of my head.  I think that I’m just really hoping that by writing I can gain some sort of release from it all.

I suppose that only time will tell though. 

I had a very happy day.  I was all smiles and energy and naivety, with a few random moments of clumsiness and sarcasm thrown in for good measure. Then we came home and Mumsy phoned me.  I was eating so I didn’t answer.  I mowed the lawn, made some chilli from scratch and played with my pussy [-cat] … anything to put me off calling her back. 

It was a mistake: I was still very angry and upset.  I was needlessly miserable.  And despite being in tears and needing my Mumsy to be my Mumsy – and offer me phone-huggles – all she could say was, “Oh Elizabeth, why do you always have to take everything so personally?” in a tone which oozed disappointment, at which point I told her not to be horrible to me and hung up. 

Childish?  Oh yes. 

Which takes us back to the quote at the beginning of this Xlog.  I can’t be arranged.  I can’t fit snuggly into the family.  And I will never fit snuggly into the family.  There is too much that’s been swept under the carpet, too much that is hidden and it will never be unhidden.  I will always be the one who remembers everything, and I will always be the one who wants to cause chaos, and I will always be the one who feels overwhelmed by certain events.

I will always be the one who would rather twist that knife in deeper than be happy.

I love my family.  I love them SO much.  But they make me sad.  When we’re together [which is rarely] we’re so very close.  How can I not be so very close to the only four people in the whole wide world who have ever seen the real me?  They’ve seen me cry, they’ve heard me scream, they’ve stepped out of the path of thrown objects and laughed at my attempts of physical violence.  These are the people that I feel most comfortable with.  But when we’re apart I feel as though I don’t know them at all.  And I truly hate that.

As a terrible teenager I always stormed upstairs and slammed my bedroom door behind me, before lying on my bed, usually in tears.  But after about an hour I always went down and apologised for my behaviour.  And so I did with this situation.  After calming down I picked up the phone, dialled the number I will never forget, and apologised to Mumsy.  And we chatted for an hour.  And all is good in the Land of KatieFinger.

Except now the devil is arguing with the angel about why it needs to be me who apologises …

*sigh*

please God bless my family who I do love muchly xxx Elsabeth

[I wrote this on Saturday night.  I considered posting it, but I didn’t because of TBB.  I’ve changed my mind and now you all get to know what a f.ucked up emotional bitch I really am .  If I feel stupid for posting it, it will no doubt disappear fairly quickly.]

Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.

My middle name is Worrywart.  Seriously.  Or it may as well be. 

I worry about anything and everything.  I always have done.  What you consider to be a minor triviality I consider to be a major life-threatening situation.  I can barely use a phone, overtake a lorry, speak to a stranger, sit on a bus, hear an odd noise, watch my cat disappear to her secret place, walk past a small crowd [even when it’s people I know very well, although amazingly I can cope with a crowd of teenagers], enter an unknown place, send a text message, open my front door, disagree with someone [even a good friend], smell a smell, stand in a queue, sit in the cinema, order at a bar, make small talk with the hairdresser, smile at a parent, watch the news, laugh at a joke [I don’t ‘get’ jokes], nod a greeting upon seeing the neighbours, open the post, walk along the pavement, and many other ordinary everyday things, without worrying. 

I live with it, like some disease.  I’ve developed coping strategies: when sitting on the bus I hide behind my iPod and laugh at folk in my head; I’ll check through the window before I toddle outside and if need be I’ll wait till the ‘danger’ is less and there are barely any folk around; I won’t open my front door if I’m not expecting anyone, nor answer the phone unless I recognise the number [and even then I’ll only answer if I want to]. If I didn’t develop strategies I’d be confined to never leaving the house, and that in itself would probably be worse [when I think something is wrong at home (a leaky toilet, for example) the best thing I can do is go out because if I can’t see it or hear it then it isn’t happening]. 

Sometimes I can’t control things though [usually my emotions, rather than anything tangible] and that’s when I’ll start to panic.  I’ve never suffered a panic attack, at least, not of the variety that you read about.  My worry is manifested in the tight constrictive feeling living in my chest, in the way I play with/bite the skin around my thumb nails, an uncontrollable urge to giggle … this is the way I live – anxious, bewildered, on-edge all the time.  And when I panic the way I am is multiplied by zillions. 

And it makes me want to cry. 

Occasionally I’ll start to panic for no discernable reason.  There’s no rhyme or reason behind it, it just happens.  Sometimes it only lasts for a matter of minutes and sometimes it lasts for days.  Trying not to cry on a crowded bus is silly, but trying not to cry in front of your blokey is just ridiculous – but when you worry that you’re a disappointment [he helped get me off the anti-depressants] and that feeling is so severe it makes you feel physically sick … pffft.

And then, to really mess with my head, I get insomnia again [of the i can fall asleep easy enough but i’ll wake up at very early o’clock and not be able to go back into the land of slumber variety], after a break of a few months.  Not sleeping makes me worry.  Not sleeping after trying for an hour makes me panic.  Getting up at four in the morning to watch the tellybox and make strawberry jelly is a stupid thing to do, but at least it helps quieten the panicky feelings.  Not sleeping last night makes me worry that I won’t sleep tonight and so now I won’t sleep tonight. 

Ah, ya bugger.

So, this post was brought to you by a very panicky katiefinger, who is worrying about everything and who currently has no control over her feelings and would like very muchly to just curl up into a ball and forget about the world.  I can’t even blame it on PMS.  Humpf.  Writing about it is my coping strategy.  Therefore, feel free to ignore this post.  Thank you.

please God bless me and let me sleep tonight, and bless the blokey’s toothache xxx Elsabeth

If it’s a bad day, you try to suffocate.

[I’ve written this because it’s been playing on my mind and because I feel it’s only fair to share the warts as well as the diamonds.  I haven’t written it for sympathy or pity, both of which would make me feel weak and stupid. Nor have I written it so that you can accuse me of playing the little girl lost card, the i need attention card.  I just wrote it, that’s all.  Maybe a little part of me is hoping that The Blokey occasionally reads this.  Maybe I just want hugs. Maybe you won’t even read it.]

The tragedy of it is that nobody sees the look of desperation on my face.  Thousands and thousands of us, and we’re passing one another without a look of recognition.  ~Henry Miller

This is one of my favourite quotes.  As a younger version of myself I wrote it on a piece of scrap paper, in gothic-style writing, and kept it fixed to the wall above my bed with blu-tac. 

The last couple of weeks have been incredibly hard for me.  A friend told me that the psychological come-down after the wedding could be intense and I needed to be prepared.  However, I’m not entirely convinced that the way I currently feel is solely connected to getting hitched.  I’ve suffered from depression [real, not your airy-fairy woe is me type of depression] for years, probably since childhood, definitely since my teens.  If you asked me to pinpoint a precise moment in my life that could have led to the depression I couldn’t do it.  If you asked me to name a few of the situations that I found myself in that could have caused the depression I could probably do that, but they would be little more than excuses.  Besides, there are too many things.

I feel this real need [craving] to go back on the anti-depressants. 

As I believe I’ve mentioned in the past, The Blokey doesn’t understand.  He’s the son of a mother who sees no middle ground.  Their world exists in black & white and there’s no grey.  It can only be black, or it can only be white.  How can you be unhappy?  We’ve only just got married! he says.  I feel for him , I really do, because I can’t explain it.  I can tell him how I feel consumed by my emotions, how one minute I can laugh, yet the next moment I can cry.  I can tell him that I’m lethargic, that every little thought in my head is magnified to such an extent that nothing else matters, that it’s not him – it’s just the way I am.  But it’s not enough.  He doesn’t get it.

Hell, even I don’t get it.

I can’t even explain it to you.  You’ll only understand if you’ve ever been there.

I thought it would be nice to just curl up in a ball.  Just for a day, two days, a week, a month, even a year.  Just forget about everything.  Pretend that nothing exists.  But I can’t because I have to get on with the rest of my life. 

A couple of weeks ago he said that maybe I needed to talk to someone, a psychiatrist or something.  You think I’m mental! I exclaimed. 

The thing is, if I go to the doctor, if I ask to go back on anti-depressants, if I even go and talk to someone [I did it once (three or four times), at uni, but it didn’t help, he didn’t listen to me] then I’m giving up, I’m becoming weak and I’m letting people down.  I don’t want to let people down anymore. 

Lots of people don’t like weak people. 

But then, if I don’t do it, what does the future really hold for me?

So, The Baby Brother is doing a photography course, and he’s also thinking about doing an MA [I think, from his emails].  I realised that I’m feeling decidedly unchallenged in my job, but I don’t want a new job.  So I’m thinking about getting my head into shape and developing myself, intellectually.  An MA is too expensive.  So I’m contemplating either an A’ Level in Philosophy [which would stand me in good stead if I ever choose to go back into teaching, even though much of it I studied at degree level anyway] or a Diploma in either Abnormal Psychology or in Child and Adolescent Counselling, both of which fit in with what I do currently.  Although to be honest, I have other reasons for wanting to do the Abnormal Psychology Diploma – and I think it’ll be the one I opt for.

Maybe all I need to get me out of this ‘funk’ is some mental stimulation …

Sometimes I really wish that I could be one of those happy, bubbly characters who isn’t hiding anything underneath the face they choose to show to the outside world.  And trust me, it is so easy to hide how you feel when you spend your entire life feeling this way. 

please God bless the thousands of people who feel like me xxx Elsabeth