Monday, April 28, 2008

Travels in the Land of Depression

I had meant to write this earlier, but, as with most things lately, I'm running a little late..... I really wanted to write this so that I could re-evaluate my history with depression before I started with a new therapist, which I did earlier today. (BT and I seem to have reached a... if not a deal, then a stasis, by which we'll stay married for now so that I can keep my health insurance and we're making money arrangements as well. *Sigh of relief* At least this can be said for BT, he is generous and giving of whatever he has, when he has it.) But not that the therapist and I could really get to alot of my history because I was trying to get him caught up enough that he might be able to give me any advice on...anything. Then again, as I write this, I'm not sure who exactly I'm writing this for or why, especially now that the first therapy session is over. I suppose part of it is so I can re-evaluate it Part of it is to share it with other people out there who might be going through the same things. Finally, I guess I want to share this with those who are important to me, who I know read this, so that maybe they can understand.

I can't really remember a time when I wasn't depressed, even though I didn't know that was what it was called then. While I don't remember making it at all, Sir said that, once, when he was going through some of my old stuff, stuff I had made when I was a kid, and there was something where I wrote that I hoped I would go to heaven so that I could be with the angels. From the date on it, I was only 5 or 6 years old. What I do remember was what got me sent to a therapist the first time. (And yes, I do mean SENT, because that was how I viewed it at the time and viewed going to therapists for quite some time thereafter.) I was either 5 or 6 at this time as well. My uncle, the middle one, the alcoholic/addict one, was just starting to get a divorce from his wife. I had been in their wedding, as the flower girl. She was beautiful, at least to me at the time- blonde, thin, an 80's dream. And, supposably, Cybil Shepard was a distant cousin of hers. Her name was Lynn. And, for some weird kid reason, I started signing my name as Lynn on drawings and assignments. I don't know why I didn't think it through further, realize that it would look weird and get me in trouble. Or what I thought was trouble at the time. Ok, and I do know why. Because I was a kid and I was having a hard time adjusting. It was embarassing when I finally got called out on it, when the teachers and the whole class looked at me like I was insane because I was taking on name of my soon-to-be-ex-aunt. Actually, it was so embarassing at the time that I can't remember telling anyone about it until right now. My parents had already been divorced for two years by that time and I'm sure that everyone in my family thought I was adjusting as well as could be expected. But, then again, it was just around that time that I saw my (biological) dad, so.... Needless to say, I got to go to see a nice man (therapist) a couple times. I remember talking and drawing pictures. I don't know if it helped or not.

Things started escalating as the teen years started hitting full force. I think everyone has some amount of chaos during their teen years. My body developed early and very visibly. I looked much older than I was and got hit on by older teenage guys who were mortified to find out that I was 11 and not 15 or 16, like they were. And I was interested in sex, but, when you are that age and you don't live near any of your friends because you go to small private school and you're too introverted and your neighborhood is too dangerous to be friends with local kids, well, you just don't have much opportunity to explore sexual things. Plus, I think the whole gender binary, double standard, fucked up way that sex is viewed in our culture doesn't really let anyone, boys or girls, explore their bodies and their sexuality in safe ways that they can view positively. I wanted a boy that would "love" me (as I probably would have "loved" any of them at that point) so that I could explore all the sexual feelings I had at the time, which I felt could only be explored with the opposite sex through the very straightforward kissing which leads to necking which leads to sexual intercourse. In addition to knowing now that there's so much more you can do, so many more people you can do it with, so many reasons that you can do it, I also recognize that I wanted that "love" to make up for the love I didn't have from my (bio) dad. (Even though I had at the time and still do have, luckily, a wonderful step-father who loves me and cares for me as he would his own biological child.) Also, if someone loved me, then it meant that I was worthy of love, which would contradict how I felt, as if I wasn't worthy of love, especially if my own father couldn't love me. Even to this day, I always feel like I must be unworthy because my father still doesn't want anything to do with me, which to me means he obviously doesn't love me.

But finding "love" at 11 or 12 with an 11 or 12 year old boy is...well, I was going to say more difficult than finding love with a man or woman your own age, but I'm not actually sure that's true. Either way, it wasn't very sucessful back then and I actually ended up spending most of my nights crying myself to sleep while listening to sad, crappy easy listening, adult FM music. The summer I turned 13 three important things happened. 1) It was the first time I got to spend my summer at home alone, as opposed to the previous summers which I spent at a summer day camp. 2) It was the first time I actively contemplated suicide. 3) We moved away from the "bad" suburbs of the really really big city to the "good" suburb of the smaller city where we still live and I got to go to a "good" high school. At this new school, I got to start over, in an environment that was quite a culture shock to me, where I had even less luck with guys. I decided I would stay stuck on a guy back where I used to live, the futility of which made me ever more depressed. I think I spent most of my high school afternoons, except those when I was working, curled up in the fetal position on my bed, crying. It got even worse during finals time each semester because of all the stress. I'd cram for as long as I possibly could, then break down and cry really hard, then make myself go back and cram some more. I was always very relieved when finals were over.

But, just as my inability to deal with men is at the root of much of my depression, men have also been, or tried to be, my saviors as well. It was my relationship with Sir, his unrelenting and unreasonable belief in me that caused me to try medication for my depression, to (kinda) voluntarily hospitalize myself when my continued cutting was too much for him to deal with, and to keep picking myself up over and over again when I fell off the treatment-for-depression wagon. This last fall, when I was overwhelmed by the combination of my very painful gallbladder problems, my anti-depressant medication pooping out on me, a summer spent dealing with and taking care of ill family members, and a wonderful loving couple who just wanted too much too fast, it was Mon Parrain's pressure and belief in me that lead me to seek out hospitalization again, to tinker with a new medication, to take the chance on marrying a wonderful man that I was (am) head over heels in love with. It was BT's long-distance desperation that kept me hanging on during the medication tinkering process- when moving from 75mgs to 150mgs made me aggressive and homicidal, then moving from 150mgs to 225mgs made me suicidal, and staying on 225mgs took away most of my higher cognitive functions. Now it seems to be TyRoy's push that is helping me during this down turn, helping me to have some kind of hope for the future, convincing me not to let the bad with BT determine my moods, and forcing me to get up (usually by kicking out of bed and not letting me return to it) so that I will be awake for appointments, job searching, and going to a job.

Alright, so at this point, I am realizing how much this post has deviated from what I had intended. When I first started thinking about this post in my head, I thought it would just be a catalog of my depression, my medications, my doctors, my therapists, and my hospitalizations. But I actually haven't covered alot of the actually nitty-gritty facts. I've ended up with a litany of how my life has been guided and shaped by the men both in it and out of it. I feel like this should really be the end of this post but I haven't even touched on the fact that, because of health insurance, or lack there of, I don't think that I've even gotten to touch on the fact that, while I think that talking to therapists have helped at the specific times when I talked to them, I don't think that talking to them has made a damn bit of difference in changing the deep down issues that still pop up and feed the depression monster. (Well, there, guess I mentioned it now.) I guess I'll leave that for another day.

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