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Where do I even start?

My boss and owner of the salon I work at is a lovely Asian lady who is extremely fair and trustworthy in regards to making sure each of the three nail techs she employs gets an equal turn for work, she puts herself last in the rotation and often even skips herself to give us more work and I have no qualms whatsoever that she gives us our tips and earnings correctly – but honestly, she has terrible, horrible customer service skills.  I mean, she has absolutely no grasp of the polite niceities that are so important in our Western culture and while I know she means well she appears rude to many customers and several have turned around and left the shop because of it.  Add to that the fact that with the colder weather less and less people are coming in for pedicures and manicures and then top it off with knowing that the owner does not trust me to apply acrylic nails yet and I am making less and less money every day.  Equals stress for me.

The beauty school I attended is threatening to suspend my nail tech license if I can’t pay the remainder of the tuition I owe them soon so I’m going to vocational rehabilitation to see if they can help me either with my tuition or send me back to school for an esthetics license and/or to teach nail tech students at a beauty school.  It can take up to 60 days for voc rehab to decide if they can help you or not so more stress for me.

My marriage is tense, strained.  I have realized I don’t want to make it work.  My  husband may have worked very  hard to kick his pornography habit but he is clearly  still addicted to sex because it’s always on his mind as evidenced by the majority of his jokes an comments.  I’m so tired of hearing about sex in any media, it just makes me nauseous now.  My  husband is trying very hard to be a great husband, a nice guy and a good father and to a large extent he is succeeding but it’s a day late and a dollar short.  I realized that I avoid going to bed at the same time my husband does because I’m tired of the snuggling and the sex so I stay up late and am exhausted all of the time.  More stress for me.

My oldest daughter finally has a full time job at a call center, different from the one I worked at before I became a nail tech, and while she doesn’t enjoy having to work so late into the evening she is enjoying very much the paycheck that comes with it.  However, with her newly discovered grown-up-ness she is becoming increasingly intolerant of me and her younger sister – and of my sister who lives with us temporarily.  It is an chilling thing to know your child despises you.  Yet more stress.

But the most stressful thing is that my youngest daughter met a 20 year old guy in the Navy over Labor Day when she went to visit her best friend, our neighbor girl who joined the Navy right out of high school last year, and even though my daughter and this guy only spent two days together they have spent nearly every waking moment since talking, texting or Skyping.

For the first two weeks it was amusing and we thought it was just a phase that would pass.  After a month it became annoying.  At six weeks it was concerning, the two month mark came and went with a marked increase in the time they spent together despite our discouragement and now at about 10 weeks we’re terrified.

The things she has told me about him go from bad to worse – early on in this relationship he “ripped her a new one” for not telling him she was going to a color guard event and wouldn’t be available to talk to him on the phone that day.  Later, he found out that she fell asleep on the shoulder of a boy on the bus and completely blew up at her in a jealous rage.  She started cutting herself again sometime during the next week and she found a way go quit being in the color guard a few weeks later.

This 17 year old child of mine has completely changed from a happy, outgoing, friendly person who loved being in the color guard, going to school and working at her job to a withdrawn, introverted, sullen teenager who stopped being involved in everything she used to love and hates coming out of her room.  She’s asked to be home-schooled for the remainder of her senior year so that she will have more time “to work” but really it’s to spend on the phone with him.  She’s missed so many days of school that we’re getting letters saying just a couple more days of being absent and she won’t be able to graduate.  She doesn’t have any friends anymore except for him.  She gets angry with us for calling her out to the living room to spend time with us because it is taking her away from her boyfriend.  She’s lost about 15 pound since she met him.

We have talked and talked to her, telling her this is an unhealthy relationship, that his fits of rage are unacceptable and immature and that his behavior is controlling.  I tell her (privately) that he is just like her father was when I married him.  She looks us in the eye, smiles, says she understands and will break it off with him without any intention of doing so and spends a little bit of time with us before saying she’s tired and then she goes back t0 her room and stays up until 2 in the morning Skyping this guy.

My husband gave her a phone curfew of 11 pm because she doesn’t get enough sleep, doesn’t eat enough and forgot to take her medicine for several days so her migraine got out of control and we had to take her to the ER last week.  She agreed to the curfew while speaking to her father and then promptly ignored it that same night.  My husband then told her that she would bring her phone out to the living room to charge overnight at 11 pm for a week and she became so furious that she started talking about moving out of our home to her best friend’s mom’s house two doors down.  Less rules there…

When I went to talk to her alone after my husband said we were taking her phone away at 11 pm she gave me even more disturbing news that I can’t bring myself to share with my husband because he will absolutely lose it.  This guy is schizophrenic and has a second personality who calls itself “Nightmare”.  She has talked to Nightmare on Skype and calmed it down until the guy himself came back.  She said that Nightmare made fun of her and laughed at her, saying the guy was never coming back.  She doesn’t see the danger in this situation.  I was stunned and in so much shock I could hardly say anything and I had to find my few remaining sleeping pills to get to sleep that night.

This guy is actually worse than my husband was when I married him.  If I had divorced him when the girls were little would this have even been an issue now?  Is this my fault?  Or is this my reward for doing the “right” thing and staying married, to watch my little girl make a worse choice than I did?  She’s on a train, hurtling forward at breakneck speed and the bridge is out but she won’t listen to me, won’t hear me.

I don’t know what to do.  We don’t know what to do.  She is convinced she loves him and that he loves her and that everything will work out because they love each other.  He makes her feel needed because she is “one of two people on earth who can calm him down”.  But this isn’t Romeo and Juliet, this is serial killer and victim.

So I’m on the Titanic, knowing that this family is going to sink.  I’ve had to accept the fact that if I do divorce my husband it will be seen by all our family and most of our friends as my fault and I will be the horrible wife who just up and left a 20 year marriage.  I’ve come to grips with the fact that I will lose the house and possibly my car and I may wind up in a women’s shelter for a short period of time.  But to see my youngest throw her life away like this, to know this guy has the potential to kill her or worse, to make the remainder of her life a living hell, has really destroyed my heart.  I can’t just abandon her to her own choices like she wants but neither has anything I’ve said or done come even close to stopping her.  To try and corral her with rules she will just break will only push her towards moving out sooner and breaking all contact with us, possibly even dropping out of high school and moving several states away to be with him.

My depression is back, full force and I can feel that I’m heading down a very dark path.  I’ve started taking my pills again but what am I going to do when they run out?  Being a nail tech doesn’t come with insurance and Obamacare isn’t worth a hill of beans.  I feel powerless to help my daughter and I lack the desire to do my part to save my marriage but at least this much is different from when I was depressed before – I want to live.  I’m not exactly sure why, I seem to have a horrible future looming ahead of me, lots of pain and tears coming my way, but I want to live.

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And wowzers – seven days after my last, terrifying post I went and saw my doctor just like I said I would.  She put me back on the Happy Pills and boy oh boy, what a difference!  Four days after starting the pills I began humming at work.  At my call center job!  I haven’t hummed while I worked for literally years so I was shocked but very pleased when I realized what I was doing.  Yesterday my good friend from work noticed that I was a lot “lighter” than normal.  Yes, indeedy, the Happy Pills are working!

Interestingly enough, in a conversation with my  husband sometime between my horrible, horrible day and going to the doctor my husband confessed to me that he is “Heavily Depressed”.  I asked him what he is willing to do about it, as in go to counseling or take medicine and he flat out refused to consider either.  Hmmm…  He seems to think that if we can just “fix our marriage” that his depression will go away.  I advised him that, speaking from experience, it doesn’t work that way and it was probably going to take a lot longer to “fix” our marriage than it would to treat his depression.  Neverthless, he remained adamant that he would not get any kind of help.

I just ended my long, four-day stretch at work.  I have tomorrow off, work two more days and then have a long four-day weekend off.  I have a ginormous transcription job that I need to have completed by the time I go to bed Monday night.  Once the job is finished I am going to have a talk with him on my next day off, which would be Thursday, about how I see that his behaviors have been affected by his depression and that I want him to go to the doctor and get some medicine.  If he refuses to get help for this medical condition that damages both him and his entire family there are going to have to be some permanent changes made.

I don’t really want to rock the boat but at the same time I don’t think we can keep living like this. I don’t WANT to keep living like this.  I am clinically depressed and probably have been for most of my life.  I’ve sought treatment three times now, once postpartum, once about two years ago and this last week.  I know I can’t beat this by myself and I know I need help to overcome the effects of depression.  I was actually shocked that I didn’t realize he was depressed before, and probably has been his whole life too.  You’d think living through it I would have recognized the symptoms but I didn’t.  In the end, I know that all this time I’ve just chalked it up to his difficult personality and ultimately he is responsible for his own physical and mental health.  We can only go forward, there is nothing that can be done with the past except learn from it.

If you pray, pray for me, this will be a much harder conversation than the one where I told him he had two months to curb his pornography addiction.  Add to that the fact that our oldest child graduates high school next week, we will celebrate our 20th anniversary this month, I actually made the deadline to apply for taking the state boards in June and am hoping to start my new career in July… and life doesn’t need help getting any crazier yet this issue needs to be addressed.  Our entire family has suffered from both of us being depressed and untreated for years and it has got to stop.  It will stop.

Oh the joys of being me!  Here’s the roller coaster ride of feelings I  had today:

Overwhelmed
A Failure
Anger
Weary to the bone
Incapable
Suicidal
Hopeless
Unworthy
Faith-less (as in having no faith, not as in being unfaithful)
Rejected
Doubt
Alone
Zero endurance
Panic

OK, so that’s not really a roller coaster ride, that’s a gravity drop ride…

Today was horrible.  The fourth ten-hour work day in a row is always hard on me but this particular Monday at the call center there was non-stop calls from 11:30 am to 7:30 pm, just back-to-back-to-back, with a much higher than average ratio of mean customers than normal.  Seriously people, it’s not my fault you don’t open and/or read your statements and therefore “forget” to pay your bills on time or get interest charges from failing to pay off your promotional financing offers before they expire!

I started my day tired, cried off and on throughout the day because of my customers attitudes and comments and ended the day exhausted and yet, obviously, unable to sleep.  During my shift today I wrote several “Goodbye World” notes in my head – trying to decide what to put on Facebook to make the appropriate people feel guilty and how could I contact my youngest daughters only nice ex-boyfriend to ask him to look in on her when I’m gone.  At some point I realized my thinking was pretty messed up, which only made it worse because then the feelings of “I have no business being a parent” kicked in and only made the urge to off myself stronger.  I really began to feel like I would be doing the world – and especially my children – a favor by not being here.  Towards the end of my workday the calls slowed down and I became a little more rational.  Yes, stop freaking out, I am going to call my doctor tomorrow to get back on some form of anti-depressant because there really is something terribly wrong with me.  (I’m sure that someday this blog will wind up in a clinical textbook about depression and I’ll be reduced to nothing more than a case study, although that’s probably all I am to some of you anyway…)  I fantasize that my doctor will place me on disability because my jobs stress me out so much, but that is just one more fairy tale that will never come true.

I contemplated my faith, or current lack thereof, today.  As a child I loved God with all my heart.  As a teenager I was desperate for the peace my church promised I would have if only I followed God faithfully and did my very best to be a Good Girl.  After high school I began to see that reality was not the life I was told it would be as a Christian.  As a young married wife I slipped further and further away from believing the Christian ideal and now I’m wondering if God would even notice all that much if I cut that last thread and left Him altogether.  But if I don’t believe in God what’s left to believe in?

I have a jewelry open house this Saturday, trying to raise money to pay my school tuition and although I created a Facebook event and invited 50 of my Facebook “friends” to it I haven’t had a single response, yea or nay.  Which leads me to doubt that any of them will come because when everything shakes out I really don’t have “friends”, I have acquaintances.  Lots and lots of acquaintances.  I’ve chased most all the people who might have considered being my friend away by virtue of being mentally disturbed, distrustful and insecure.  I feel so alone, like there’s no one who will help me get out of this hole I’m in and I don’t think I can get out of it myself but I keep trying.  I really want to delete all my so-called friends and actually be as alone as I feel I am but I know I will regret it in the future.  I’m not sure why I’ll regret it but I just know that at some point I will…

My husband, who does woodworking, is all excited for my open house and has been making hand-crafted wooden pens this last week for me to take and try to sell at my fundraiser.  Not to help me get my tuition paid but to get him money to buy more wood because he wants to start a woodworking business from home.

A friend made sure to point out that her contribution to my efforts was limited to prayer.  Good grief, I’m not asking for charity – although standing on the side of the road with a sign asking for donations will probably make me more money than all my efforts to actually earn it will so I may do that soon too – but I wasn’t trying to guilt her into buying anything from me either.  It’s probably me just reading between lines that aren’t there again.  With her it seems like it’s always me reading between those damn invisible lines, I’m always wrong about something.

And that’s the core of what I always come back to.  It’s not you, it’s me.  It’s always something wrong with me.  I’m broken, I’m damaged, I’m wrong, wrong, wrong.  I can’t do anything right.  It’s true, that is my mother’s voice!  She has so much to answer for – although being dead she probably has answered for it by now…  Unfortunately I’m still sorting through all the crap she instilled in me growing up.  I’m 40 and finally realizing that most of it IS crap but I feel like the old dog you can’t teach new tricks to – how do I change the way I think?  The way I feel?  The way I respond to life?  The easier way out is death but honestly I’m a coward.  Too scared to die, not brave enough to live.  Clinging to the mushroom life because the evil that I know is easier than the good that I don’t know.

People in my church avoid me – and to be fair I avoid them now too.  The few that used to speak to me don’t any more and I feel like I’ve been given up as “lost”.  That I’m not worth their efforts anymore.  That I’m beyond “saving”.  That I could change if I would just decide to change.  My suicide would only cause them to “tsk, tsk, tsk” and think in their hearts that they were right.  My staying alive is the only way I would possibly dare to spit in their eye – and that’s pretty good motivation right now.

The next step is to get out of this job and start being a Nail Tech.  Right now I can’t deal with more than one goal.  Raise $1900 to pay my school bill, pass the state boards and start working as a Nail Tech.  After that, who knows?  Maybe reaching one goal will give me the courage to accomplish another goal, like leaving this church with or without my husband.

Fair warning, today I am on the down side of life.  

I did a full set of sculpted pink and white nails on a fellow student at the beauty school today and they didn’t look very good.  Now for those of you who don’t know, sculpted pink and whites are hard to master and I’ve only done two sets previously so I’m not surprised that they looked Really Bad – but she shouldn’t have been surprised either.  To make it worse she kept saying ouch and telling me to be careful when I was using the dremel to shape the nails after I had applied them.  I was honestly trying my hardest not to hurt her but apparently it wasn’t enough.  When I finally finished (after 3 hours) all I wanted to do was burst into tears and run from the room.  To me, it felt like she thought I was hurting her on purpose, that I did a bad job on purpose and she was sorry she offered to be my guinea pig.  Also, I’m fairly certain she’s going to file them off as soon as she can tomorrow.

The world is full of people who will make me feel the same way when I do their nails, how will I ever manage to have my own nail business someday?

And that set my thoughts off into a bad downward spiral:

1.  We owe the state over $4,000 in taxes from 2007 & 2008 and they are going to garnish our wages soon so we might lose our house this year.
2.  Speaking of the house, we are three months behind in our mortgage payments because I lost my job in September and didn’t get another job until November so there’s another $3,000 we owe that we don’t have.
3.  The beauty school wants me to start paying for my tuition (the verbal agreement when I started was “pay what you can when you can” and the lady – who isn’t there anymore – who signed me up knew I had just lost my job and wouldn’t be able to pay anything for a while) and the school might say I can’t go to any more classes until I’ve paid them.  My total bill is $4,000.
4.  Our power bill is over $1800 because we haven’t been able to pay the power company very much since September when I lost my job.  They put us on a payment schedule of $185/mo until March because it’s winter and we have children in the house so legally they have to work with us without shutting the power off but we keep adding more than that to it every month so what’s going to happen in April?
5.  There’s another $5,000 in medical bills floating around out there, unpaid, because of my youngest daughters post-concussion trips to the ER for migraines…  Can anyone else hear Bankruptcy calling our names?  Either that or it’s a winning lottery ticket…
6.  I’m a bad mom.  I just am.
7.  I’m a horrible human being.  My husband has made all these changes, really super-huge changes, for me over the last year and I just wish he would go away because I don’t want to be married anymore.
8.  I’m a 40-year-old failure because I work at a call center.  This has got to be one of the least prestigious jobs I have ever had.  Receptionist is even sounding pretty good to me right now.
9.  I’m selfish and manipulative and wicked and evil…

Oh wait, was that my mom’s voice I just heard?

Crap.

I’m letting my emotions run wild because a dead woman’s voice is still in my head.

Am I going crazy?

Crappity, crap, crap, crap, crap.

I pray all the time for God to change my heart because I KNOW mine is not right.  I cry and weep and beg God to save me, to fix me, to give me His heart for other people.  To restore my faith and renew my passion for Him.

Instead I feel myself sinking beneath the waves once again.

God I believe, help my unbelief!

I’m finding that the hardest thing to believe right now is that I am lovable and that I am savable…

So what is in my life that is good right now?

1.  I have made one good friend and a lot of fun friends at my new job.
2.  The cosmetology students at the beauty school really seem to like me, one of them even gave me a completely unsolicited hug before he left for the day today.  (Don’t get any crazy ideas, he’s right about the same age as my girls.)
3.  I still have my two best friends.
4.  There’s a new nail tech teacher at the beauty school who really knows his stuff and I’m looking forward to learning from him for the second half of my schooling.  Provided, of course, that I can keep attending classes…
5.  I get to sleep in almost every day because of my new job schedule.  I work four 10’s from 11:30 am to 10 pm and love it because this schedule takes advantage of my body’s natural sleep cycle.
6.  I joined the gym at work and my goal is to use the treadmill, elliptical and/or bicycle at least twice a week to start on my goal of losing 20 pounds.
7.  My new schedule at work gives me a four-day weekend every-other weekend, yay!  I want to take some quick “vacation” trips to the ocean and other fun places this year.
8.  I’ve set up a little nail station in my home and have had several people come over and let me do their nails.
9.  I’ve stopped gaining weight and have been holding steady for almost two months now.

So nine good things to counter nine bad things.  I’m not dead so that’s another good thing, eh?  Life goes on and every day is a chance to start over, there’s another one for the good side…

I guess that the moral of the story is that I have more baggage than a Greyhound bus full of musicians but God has brought me to this place where He’s thrown all my luggage off the bus and He is helping me sort through it before allowing me to travel any further.  I don’t like it but recognize that the process is necessary.

If you pray, please pray for me.  A lot.  If you even think you might have somebody like me in your life please love on them without any strings attached, they need it.