Waiting for today...: October 2015

Friday, October 30

Birthday Blues, Stigma & Me

It’s been a rough three days.  Depression has been heavy… crushing.  I only worked one day in the last seven so boy did I have big plans!  But nothing that would overtake me.  I convinced myself that if I did nothing else, I would wash my hair and tidy the kitchen.  

Pipe dreaming.  
I barely left couch.  

Terrible stomach issues left me feeling useless and fatigued-on-top-of-fatigue.  Soon worthlessness and guilt crippled me.  Powerlessness snuffed out all desires to do anything about it so I said “f*** it” and binged on sleep, low budget horror flicks and cartoons.  

I disappeared into distraction.

And there came the parade of birthday wishes that ushered in a pulsating anxiety shaking me from what I made my comfort.   Between social media and phone calls I wanted to bury my head in the ground in hopes they would all just go away.   And just to complicate matters, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I allowed myself to be cornered into a tug-of-war: on one end my needs, on the other the dubious wants of a friend who has also felt the weight of depression.  

I thought to myself “what type of s*** is this?”
But I won that war.

Meanwhile, days have passed and the parade continues.  Stragglers.  Shouldn’t I be happy? Grateful, at least?  But depression and anxiety have made their home: using up the toilet paper and eating all the food.  I’ve been squeezed out… again.  There’s hardly any room left and now it’s home to work and back again… and back again.  

The moral of this sad and pathetic excuse for a telling is that mental illness on its own is ruinous.  But it is the stigma that tells them to close up their bowels of compassion and redirect blame to us.  It then manipulates us to turn on ourselves.  To give up and retreat. Helplessly choosing suffer alone instead, muted and restrained in the dark.  To slowly deteriorate into obsolescence.  Or to fall into swift tragedy.  

Thursday, October 22


con’t from: Trying Times
I had dual feelings at the end of that school year. On one hand, I feared being left back would have disastrous implications on any future plans for college. But on the other hand, I felt relieved. It was an opportunity to have a fresh start. I would still have my friends but I no longer would feel threatened by my then classroom bullies. That sentiment was not shared at home though. With my secrecy and her lack of insight, how could my mom even begin to understand?
I redeemed myself, however! An opportunity to graduate on time presented itself in the form of night classes. Of course the underachiever I became didn’t pass those classes with flying colors. Nevertheless, I passed. And it was a proud moment.  For me at least.
Tensions between my mom and I were on a sharp upward trajectory way before I failed the 10th grade.  For this, we were both to blame.  I was an insecure and rebellious teenager. Not only with a tumbling self-esteem but by then seized by passive-aggressiveness.  My mom had a strong-willed personality and reflexive emotional abandon due to a desperate need to guard her neglected and bleeding wounds.  Yes, she is resilient.  Despite my frustrations later in childhood she has overwhelmed the cruel odds that were set against her in her own childhood to my amazement.  
But hurting people hurt people, even if unintentional.  It is what it is.  And while parents are no exception, there were a few brow-raising moments that I can remember during the high school years. These would include not talking to or being short with me for days at a time, showing annoyance in response to my acts of affection and destroying my things.  But these paled in comparison to the hurtful things that were said.
As the issues between my mom and I mounted, I became envious of the relationships my friends had with their parents. Namely, my bestest and her mother. I often asked myself why our relationship seemed different, even cold at times.  I had so many unanswered questions. There were so many misunderstandings.  As we drifted further and further apart, I was left on my own to search for a root cause of the disconnect. What a heavy burden to bear even as a teen! Naturally, I searched my own childhood.  Soon I questioned every decision my mom made in raising me.  Next, I blamed her for all of our problems.  Yet we were both to blame because our ineffective communication.  That was the real culprit.
For example, up until a couple of years ago I had the impression that I was dropped off in the Bahamas at three months old.  I was actually three years old.  Furthermore, it was my grandma’s idea to watch after me until my mom finished school.  These misconceptions, seemingly harmless, led to intense feelings of abandonment. And I often wondered how long I would’ve been with my grandma had I not asked to come home at nine years old.  Similarly, the fear of abandonment drove me to allow my feelings to build to boiling points before sharing them.   So once I did, it was often with anger and contempt.

verb aban·don \ə-ˈban-dən\
1   a :  to give up to the control or influence of another person or agent
    b :  to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right or interest in <abandon
2:  to withdraw from often in the face of danger or encroachment <abandon ship>
3:  to withdraw protection, support, or help from <he abandoned his family>
4:  to give (oneself) over unrestrainedly
5   a :  to cease from maintaining, practicing, or using <abandoned their native language>
    b :  to cease intending or attempting to perform <abandoned the escape>

aban·don·er noun
aban·don·ment \-dən-mənt\ noun

from Merriam-Webster

I was angry.  She was guarded. And we would have at least two screaming matches before I left home.  One in which I poured out my heart, with anger but also with the rawest and honest of emotion. I was hurting; desperate for guidance. For insight.  In that moment I needed to see her vulnerability.  I needed to feel safe.  But… nothing.  I was shut out again. And then…
Now this thing with me and my mom.  She told me… I forgets what day but I was on the phone with my (bestest). My mom came to my door and said when I get off the phone she needed to talk with me… to cut this story short she said, “In January I’m moving into a one bedroom apartment, that will give you 6 to 7 months to find your own place… ~ Thursday, August 7th, 1997
That day my feelings of abandonment were brought full circle.  My feelings of being a throw away were reinforced.   Years would pass before we spoke of it again but she denied ever saying it.  Maybe I heard wrong.  Or maybe her mind, with great sorrow, repressed that memory. I may never get closure regarding that.
No worries.  

In the past few years we’ve often agreed that mother-daughter relationships will be contentious to a degree.  I would extend this to all parents and their children.  It’s just not something I could understand at the time and it was too painful to blindly accept. Ineffective communication... that was the real culprit.

Monday, October 19

Article: Rejection Really Hurts

"While everyone accepts that physical pain is real, people are tempted to think that social pain is just in their heads," said Matthew D. Lieberman, one of the paper's three authors and an assistant professor of psychology at UCLA. "But physical and social pain may be more similar than we realized."…
"Rationally we can say being excluded doesn't matter, but rejection of any form still appears to register automatically in the brain, and the mechanism appears to be similar to the experience of physical pain,"…”
con’t reading: Rejection Really Hurts, UCLA Psychologists Finds published in ScienceDaily. Retrieved on March 4th, 2014 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031010074045.htm

Tuesday, October 13



I was so conflicted as the calendar counted down to Vegas.  I had so many reservations. Mainly, would my mom be gentle and understanding of my depressed state.  And, would I be able to mask my irritability and not lash out at her unfairly.  To my relief our week together went better than my pessimistic mind had me thinking the last few months.

There were plenty of laughs.  Even some tears, on my part, as I spoke about my frustrations of not knowing who I am which was met with compassion on my mom’s part as she shared the struggles she had finally confronting her own pain.  I admit there were also some overwhelming moments: the crowds, the many treks up and down The Strip, the long days. Just being out of the comfort zone of isolation had me on edge.  So even though I made sure to bring my reads, mindfulness coloring book and Bluetooth keyboard to neutralize those anxieties, I needed a break by Wednesday.

I found myself in bed most of that day.  And by Friday, after a long day in the Arizona desert the day before admiring the shapes and colors of the Grand Canyon, I was finally ready to be alone.  But I’m grateful to not have been with anyone else but my mom over the last week. Because through it all the only pressure I felt was, well, self-inflicted.  Also, I wouldn’t have had even half the experiences I did if it wasn’t for her.

Thanks mom.

I love you.