Monday, December 8, 2008

She Loves Me, But She Sure Has a Funny Way of Showing It

It is 3:18pm and I am finally awake. I missed work again. I feel like I ran the Boston Marathon when instead I've had a marathon of sleep and still can't wake up.

Let me reiterate; I missed work.....again.

I had every intention of going in today. I am such a complete loser for not going in. I set the alarm last night. I woke up at 6:30am to make sure my daughter woke up. From there everything becomes fuzzy because I literally do not remember walking out of her room to my bed and falling asleep again. All that I remember is waking up at 8:30am realizing that it was late because the sun was so bright in the room. I then contacted work and told them that I am still not feeling well and will be in the office tomorrow. Why they should believe that I'll be there, I have no idea. I don't believe it myself.

My Mom called today. She's been calling all weekend and I never answered. When I get like this it is difficult to talk and act like everything is fine. She realizes when I don't call back that I'm going through another episode, as I call it, and she gets worried. Finally, today I answered the phone and we spoke.

My mother knows that I have depression. She knows that I was in the hospital a little more than two years ago. I remember the day before I was going into the psychiatric ward she and Daddy were going on vacation to the beach. She knew that I was being admitted and she asked on the phone whether she should go on vacation or not. Of course I didn't want her to feel bad about going on vacation, and my word, if she has to ask me, I would rather her go anyway. Let me say this one more time, though: I was being admitted to a psychiatric hospital and she asks if it's OK with me that she goes to the beach? By all means, Momma, go to the beach! Just because your only child wants to end her life because she has depression so overpowering that she can't see straight, don't let it get in the way of you having fun on your beach vacation!

Don't get me wrong. My mother is very sweet and nice. Everyone loves her. She is a very elegant woman in her own way and I know that she loves me. It's just at times she has a funny way of showing it and it hurts. She would rather come to your house the morning that she is going to the beach right before you are driven to the hospital by your husband because you can't drive yourself, give you a hug and press a check into your hand so that she feels absolved of any guilt because she gave you money. I dutifully told her to have fun and not worry about me. She actually went to the beach. I hope that she had fun and it was worth it. Oh wait a minute; she gave me money to help out with the bills while I was in the cuckoo's nest. OK, I guess it was worth it to her.

She was at the beach for one week. I was in the hospital over six weeks. She never came to visit, but she did call. She doesn't live in another state. She lives about 20 minutes away.

After getting out of the hospital, I tried really hard to be honest about my feelings and tell people when I felt the maw of depression tickling my neck but when I did that my husband and parents freaked out. I realized I couldn't tell them because they all automatically thought I would go back to the hospital. I even remember there were times that my depression was manageable and I was OK, but maybe I would have had a bad day, like anyone else in the world, it happens, and my mother would get this frightened voice and ask, "Are you doing OK? Are you getting sick again? Do you think you should go back to the hospital?" I would say, "I'm just having a bad day. It happens to people without depression! I am fine, don't worry!" After a while I just started acting like I felt great no matter how I truly felt. I don't know who wouldn't do the same.

Today on the phone with Momma, she asked how I was doing and if I was going through an episode. She said that she had called all weekend and was worried. I told her that I'm having an episode again, but that it would get better as it does. Since I have one child who is the love of my life, I now ask myself this question: If that were my daughter, would I say after the fact that I'd been calling all weekend because I was worried or would I have gotten in my car and driven to her house? Most definitely the latter. In fact, I would have gone to her house, made food for her and her family, cleaned up, washed clothes and done whatever she needed.

Momma asked if I needed anything or if she could do anything. I told her no. I feel bad to ask for anything, and I know that she wouldn't feel comfortable anyway, so it's just easier to say no. She must know that I hate to ask, and anyway, if she wanted to do anything, why didn't she drive to my house to see me since she was so worried?

I realize that I sound very passive-aggressive right now and I certainly don't mean to be. I just don't know what else to say about all of this.


Van said...

Having been in your position - unable to talk with loved ones, not able to go to work - I just have to point out that you are not a loser for not going in.

It happens, don't ride yourself for something you cannot control.


Laura said...

Your post hit so close to home for me. My situation is almost identical to yours, except mine involves my whole family. When I was hospitalized no one came to visit, all 3 times. The day I was put in due to a close call with suicide, my parents went to a BBQ. When I was finally back home I would receive calls but my mother would talk about shopping. No help was offered to care for my 2 small children while I tried to get my head together. I never heard from my brothers and sister at all. No wonder I find it hard to take off the mask of "I'm ok." It's just too painful to be myself and face the fact that I'm all alone in my illness. I do what you do ... I just don't answer the phone.

p.s. Don't feel bad for not going into work. You have to look after you first.

Karen ^..^ said...

No, you definitely have a point. She should have come, instead of called, if she tried calling all weekend to no avail.

Nothing passive aggressive about that, sweetie.

I have a very good friend from high school who has the sort of depression you do, he has suffered with it since tenth grade. He knows of an onset when he cannot wake up.

My heart goes out to you, and I dearly hope you find a medication that works for you.



Anonymous said...


You have to be okay with not being okay. I hope you feel better very soon, mama.

Wandering Coyote said...

I have really big issues with my mother and so this post resonated a lot with me. Some moms just can't be with their daughters when the daughter is in pain. The more I read, the more I get the feeling that I'm not alone in this. My mom just can't bear to see me in pain, doesn't know how to deal with it effectively, and so she puts up a wall by blaming me and making everything my fault. This is something I can't blog about because she reads my blogs. Gr. Anyway, I hear you; it's rough, I know.

Anonymous said...

You have to do whatever you need to, in order to make sure you're okay.

Its almost as if your body knew better than you did that you weren't up to a day at work yet.

Try to see if you can get some exercise in - even a gentle walk. Go somewhere green. It may take a herculean effort to get out the door but it will be worth it.

I know what you mean about the family support thing. What I've learned is not to have expectations of people, even those I might reasonable imagine would/should support me. Its easier that way... because we simply never know what's going on for another person.

Actually, I wrote a little something about this a while back:

Your mom probably feels like she's doing what she can. She possibly even wishes she could do more. Maybe one day, she'd like it if, when she asked if there's anything she can do - you told her what you'd like. Even if its just that she comes over and makes you a cup of tea or something.

Its such a mystery, the way people connect and mis-fire with our communications. Why, with some people its so easy and with others...

All I'm saying, is the things that you have to deal with that are hard... well, you're not the only one. Whatever her unspoken issues are, they get in her way of being close to other people too.


Immi said...

Your mom sounds a lot like my dad that way. Not people that deal well with much. Sucky.
Btw, you don't sound passive-aggressive to me, more depressed and getting angry over unsupportive parents. That's normal, I do believe. *sending hugs*

Da Old Man said...

I won't offer any advice. Just take care of yourself, please.

Bon Don said...

Same here, I don't know what advice to give... just know that you have new friends out here in blog world that care!

*sending positive thoughts your way* take care doll

Anonymous said...

I've been in a mood myself lately. I get this way around Christmas and the holidays. My mom is like your mom and so was my dad. I don't know why. I know what it's like to need someone to take care of you and never get it. It's not you it's them. I'm thinking of you and I hope you feel better soon.

Chunks of Reality said...

I haven't done very well with commenting these last few posts because I just couldn't. Blogging how I felt was so much and I couldn't say anymore about it.

I just want to thank you all for your kindness and support. I have thought a lot about what each of you have said and I thank you once again.

Anonymous said...

please read my past 6 or 7 entries...i think you will be amazed how similar our paths are right now. if anything, you'll know you're not alone. email me if you need anything---you can find my email in my "about" section at my website.

Anonymous said...

Geezus even our mothers are somwhat alike.

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