Class Reunion

It’s one of those days, days when I wonder if getting out of bed was really worth it. I know… I have to go to work, make money, to survive. But what happens when that is no longer important? When I could care less if I get to the next day? The depression is so bad all the time. I want relief, anyway I can get it.

My senior class is planning a 12 year reunion to replace the 10 year reunion we should have had. We didn’t have a 10 year reunion because our class president was a loser. Or is a loser. I don’t even know if she is even still alive, out of jail. I just got the email for planning the 12 year reunion. It also announced the reunion committee members. The president was one of the people that tortured me in one of my classes because I was white, and therefore I responsible for all her problems. I was repeatedly felt up by one of the guys in that class. The class stood around me while he did this so the teacher couldn’t see. I was the only white in the class, he a gang leader. What was I supposed to do? I never told my parents, still haven’t today. What good would that do now? I felt so alone that year.

I know I’m supposed to forgive her. No problem doing that. I’ve been told over and over by counselors and friends I’m supposed to hang out with people that make me feel good, that don’t contribute to my depression. Why should I go to this reunion then? So I can be surrounded by a bunch of people that were happy to make my life a living hell? Why would I go through that again? I know it will only be for a weekend, but still. The people I want to see have kept in touch with me over the years. All the other people don’t care about me, so why waste my time?

i know this shouldn’t be a big deal

I wish you were never born

I remember those words clear as day.  I had done something, apparently wrong, or at least wrong in my father’s eyes.  My sister and I were in the hall way.  He was yelling at me/us.  Long before this, I had learned to block his yelling.  But I heard those words. 

By that time, I was already wanting to die.  I take that back, I was already wanting to kill myself.  Hearing my dad re-affirm my thoughts was upsetting in one way, comforting in another.  I’ve often been told that I am ambivalent.  This was no exception…

I was infuriated that my father would tell my something like that.  Parents are supposed to love their children, or so I thought.  But, maybe he was right.  Maybe I was such a horrible child that I deserved this.  After all, since parents aren’t supposed to say something like that, and my father did, I figured that meant that I really deserved it.  I really deserved to feel abandoned.  I did something so bad, and was such a horrible child over all, that I deserved to have a parent that didn’t want me. 

It was hard to make it through the following days.  By that time, I already wanted to kill myself, and I spent so much of my time just trying to tread water.  I figured he didn’t want me, that if I died, he wouldn’t care.  Who else would?  My mom?  She was strong, she could get through it.  So was the rest of my family.   

That wasn’t the first time it was uttered from his mouth, and it wasn’t the last time either.  As the years wore on, it got easier to accept this re-affirmation of how lonely, and completely depressed I was feeling. 

The words still haunt me today.  I can hear them repeated over and over again in my head.  It’s hard to cope, to keep pushing on, when I can hear my dad’s voice say he wished I were never born.  I know he likely said them out of anger, but that made no difference then, nor makes any difference now.

My grandfather’s church

My father is Church of Christ, so is my grandfather.  Growing up we had to go to both Mom’s church (Catholic) and Dad’s church.  Well actually, we wanted to go to Mom’s church, but were pretty well forced to go to my father’s one too.  If we wanted to do some Youth Activity that was going on at my mom’s church, nope we couldn’t do it; but at dad’s church he was just fine with it.  If we wanted to accept Communion in the Catholic church, we weren’t old enough until we reached 18; if we wanted to be baptized in his church, we were ready at 10.  He set the rules, and basically they were if we wanted to participate in his church, then more power to us; if we wanted to participate in my mother’s church, we were damned to hell and therefore he wasn’t going to let us have anything to do with it. 

We visited Memphis this past weekend.  Since next week is Father’s Day, we thought we’d go to church with my grandfather to help him celebrate.  My husband and I went with my mom, dad, and grandfather.  Now, I’ve pretty well been discontent with my father’s church for a pretty long time, so I take everything that they say with a grain of salt.  No point getting worked up over something that I know I can’t change, and since I want to show my support for my grandfather, I go.  However, my DH isn’t so forgiving.  Him and my dad nearly got in to an argument over the last sermon.  I agree with my husband on this. 

What was the sermon?  Well, about indifference in Christians.  According to the perfect preacher, there are three kinds of people:   Those who believe in God fervently and follow all the preacher’s steps in showing their support to Him, those who oppose his (preacher’s) views on God, and those who believe his (preacher’s) views but don’t totally embrace it.  To follow all the steps, you had to be involved in EVERYTHING.  I, on the other hand, believe that God gave us all a set of tools that we were good at.  I might be good at one thing while another might be good at another thing.  I believe in using our skills to the best of our ability, and focusing on what we are good at, or have a passion for.  Dear preacher did not.  And it wasn’t so much what he said that ticked us off, it was how arrogantly he said it.  How arrogantly he said that if we didn’t do everything he said, then we were going to Hell.  I think that’s the buzz phrase in that church.  Seems to me every time we go there, they seem to be telling another set of things that would damn us to Hell, like he was the gatekeeper at Heaven. 

It is hard for me to understand why my grandfather would want to go to a church like this.  Yes, I realize that he sleeps through most of the sermon.  But still…  I understand why my dad goes there.  It just fits him.  That church shaped him into who he is now.  It shaped him in to the person that thinks that he is the only one right, and everyone else is wrong.  His way or the high way.  That’s how it was growing up.  A steady string of threats to us.  Do this or else… do that or else.  But I like my husband haven’t figured out why my grandfather.  I love my grandfather to death, but I can’t accept his religion.  I might go and sit in silence, being indifferent, out of respect for him, but I can’t embrace that church’s teachings. 

a year alone

I was in ninth grade that year.  A new school- freshmen were in the high school.  The county I lived in was poor.  I went to public schools. I was a minority.  Blacks complain about how whites treat them.  We’re supposed to feel badly that they had to go through so much history.  No one cares about how I was treated by blacks though.  After all, I’m a white, and therefore I deserve it. 

I was the only white in my freshman science class.  It started off with about five whites, including the teacher.  Then down to me until the end of the school year when they found another teacher to teach the class. 

Until then, and even after the new teacher, I was an outcast.  I was solely responsible for all that ailed everyone in that class.  Some one made an F on a test, it was my fault.  Don’t ask me how.  It’s not like I could study for them and dump all my knowledge in to their head.  The whole year, I got to hear them complain about me and “my ancestors” (even though I tried to explain to them that most of my family wasn’t over here until after the Civil War). 

There were several gang members in that class.  One of the guys took a liking to me for some reason.  The people in the class would make a circle around me, standing up, blocking the view of the teacher.  He would run his hand up my legs, in my shorts, in …  The only hope I had was he skip class. 

I never told anyone at that school.  I was too afraid to.  Too ashamed. 

It still hurts so badly.  I can hear them yelling at me.  I can feel him …  I live it every day. 

the two psychiatrists

So the first one I went to was right after I had graduated from grad school.  My counselor in grad school had pretty much told me all throughout that I needed a psychiatrist, but I was too afraid.  Finally I conjured up enough courage to go see one.  She started me on Lamictal.  Said I had treatment resistant depression (no, really…  I could have told her that!).  After several months, she finally deduced that my fatigue was associated with eating too many carbs (I had a bagel that morning for breakfast, the week before I had yogurt, go figure), and that I should go on the Atkins Diet.  She said that she couldn’t help me anymore, so that was the end of that psychiatrist.

It took me a while to work up the nerve to go to another psychiatrist, but I finally did.  I was hoping for better luck with this one.  I went in to see her, and before she prescribed me anything, she wanted me to have a psychological assessment.  So I did.  I spent an afternoon doing all these neat tests.  I really liked the patterns I got to work with, but I’m weird 😉  So the psychologist said that I was definitely not bipolar.  He felt that my brain was too complex to understand something as simple as being happy.  Nice.  So I go to see the psychiatrist a couple of days later.  She hasn’t had a chance to read the psychological assessment report, but figures I’m bipolar 2.   Puts me on symbyax.  Month later I’m a bit better, mainly because I just got engaged and closed on a house.  I’ve gained 10 lbs from the symbyax, so she puts me on Prozac.  Tells me to come back six *months* later.  Claims I’m stable.  I tell her I’m worried that it’s not the meds, but just being a little better because I just got engaged and closed on house.  She claims it’s the meds.  When the euphoria from engagement and new house wears off, back to depression. 

Haven’t been back to psychiatrist since. I’m working with a really good counselor.  It is hard for me to open up to him, but it’s my fault.  It’s just hard for me to talk to anyone, just saying the stuff out loud is hard. 

another hard confession

I’ve not been having good days lately.  Things just seem like they keep crashing.  I’m so overwhelmed at work.  Overwhelmed at home.  Overwhelmed with the depression.  What do you do when your life feels like it is falling apart?  How do you keep hanging on?  Why do you keep hanging on.  It’s not like I haven’t been in this same place for 16 years.  I should be used to it, but I’m not.  The depression is my fault, if I worked harder at it, then I could make it go away.  But apparently I’m not trying hard enough because I am still depressed, even after all the counseling, I still don’t feel better.  I feel like a failure.  I can’t even be happy right.  I guess I have another hard confession to make.  I know people won’t understand it, but I have to say it anyway.  I cut.  I know I’ve said that before, but I cut in a certain place, a private part inside of me.  I don’t know why I do it.  I have a ritual that I usually do, but I’m too embarassed to tell it here right now.  It is one of the few places I can hurt myself and my husband not know about.  But I think it goes deeper than that.  I think I think I deserve to be hurt there.  My husband will be out all next week.  It means it will be harder for me to keep composure over my emotions.  Really no friends to help me through it.  I’ll be alone with no help.  It’s scary facing that fact.  It’s also scary facing the fact that no one may ever care if I die. 

the rage inside

Simple things set me off. I don’t go into an anger rage. More like a rage of depression. A you mean I didn’t do this right… oh my gosh I don’t want to live rage. It’s like a Stargate that takes you from one world to the other with no in between. A free fall that all you remember is being on the plane or top of cliff and then waking up hurt and confused on the ground. It’s not a rage against someone else, only me. In those times of the rage though, it almost seems like I am someone else, like the rage is targeted at me, who isn’t me.

 A rage that I can’t remember, but know that it is there. A rage that brings about blood, my own blood. A climax of feelings that ends with the feeling of knowing that I deserved what I got. As punishment for all the times I’ve lost control. For all the times I lived when I should have killed myself. To be able to feel the pain I can’t put into words. As if watching a physical wound heal will help the emotional ones inside. The wounds inside I don’t know about, I can’t remember, I can’t talk about.Long before this I have started to cry. The blood is blurry in between tears. Dizziness took over long ago. I’m me but I’m not me. I’m there but I’m not there. I’m inside my body but also outside looking in.

I watch as the knife cuts into me, but I can’t stop it. This time in the arm, maybe next time in another place. I’m so exhausted and so tired I just want to sleep. Eventually I do, the knife stops cutting. I wake up and the past events are like a dream, until I see the cuts. Things are better now, at least until the next thing that triggers the rage.