My depression started after my mom had brain surgery. My mom had been having a lot of problems with headaches. Went to doctor to doctor and never could find anything. They finally decided to do a CT when she started passing out. They found a brain tumor, about half the size of her brain. They weren’t sure whether she was going to live through it, but somehow she did.
Times after that were hard dealing with it. I remember the first day of school. I went to the elementary school I did because my mom taught there, otherwise I was out of zone. Apparently the kids had started a rumor that my mom died that summer. So my “friends” came up to me and asked me why if my mom had died I was still going to that school. Some friends: don’t care about me as a person, just want to get rid of me.
I blamed myself for her brain tumor. The doctor said that she had the tumor forabout 12-15 years and was likely caused by a hormonal change. I was 12 at the time, putting it in the right time frame for the pregnancy with me causing the tumor. I blamed myself for it for years, and still not sure whether or not I’ve forgiven myself for it. More just tried to bury it.
That year, I wrote all my good bye letters. I had the plan, but never could go through with it. I never told my parents. I didn’t want them to feel bad, or to think bad about me. I was supposed to be the strong one, to be able to get through anything that life gave me. Depression was for the weak and unChristianlike. Or so did my dad. Since I didn’t want the name calling, etc I decided to just hide it.
My eighth grade year was miserable. And not much better in high school. I hid behind my books, and acted my way through everything being alright. I didn’t dare tell anyone how depressed I was, how much I wanted to die. I was afraid it would get back to my parents again. So I told no one anything.
My freshman year in high school, I had a class where I was the only white. One of the guys there liked hitting on me, feeling me up. I was afraid to tell anyone. I cringed and held back tears every time he ran his hand up my shirt or into my shorts. The kids would stand around me hiding what he did from the teacher. He was in a gang and twice my size. And I was afraid. The other white kids had asked to be removed from that class; I was all that was left in there. I think the number one reason for not telling anyone, besides that he was in a gang, was the fact that I didn’t want my parents knowing. I didn’t want their pity, their constant questions. I prayed the guy wouldn’t come to class and fought the tears when he did. A year of hell, and it was over. I never had to see him again, luckily.
That year also brought the death threats to whites letters. If you were a white and attended school on Fridays, a bunch of folks were going to go around and shoot you. Lovely. Nothing ever happened, but getting the letters was still unnerving.
By tenth grade I was looking for a subtle way to show how depressed I was. I started starving myself. I made my way down to 500 calories a day and working out for several hours. Finally lost the weight; was down to 112 at my lightest. Every one told me how good I looked; no one asked questions. I didn’t bother volunteering. It finally got to the point where food disgusted me and the longer I could go without it the better. By college though, I broke that diet when I met my current husband.
My grandmother died the first day of classes my sophomore year. We were really close, especially when I was younger. Eventually lupus and the pain took over her life and it was hard to talk to her at all. We watched her slowly decline in health and cognizance. That was the final blow. I finally confided in a professor at the time. He tried to get me to go to counseling, but it would take several years and more blows later to convince me to.
After my mom’s dad died and a best friend got raped, I was coerced by that friend and my current husband to go.
I finally graduated from college and went off to grad school. This was an especially hard time. For once I had several good friends. And a dang good counselor. The more I delved in to my past, the more depressed and suicidal I got. Many mornings I was suprised to find myself still alive. I don’t know what got me through those nights, besides the overwhelming exhaustion I would always feel. By the time I had gathered the things “needed”, I would be so tired that I would cry myself to sleep before killing myself.
While I have no desire to kill myself now, it’s still very hard to accept my living. I feel I bring no good to this world. I’d be jealous of those that did die, and wished it was me instead of them.
This blog is my story of the feelings that I go through of the battles I struggle with daily, unable to tell.