I've never posted anything of my own in this thread before. From time to time I've offered hugs to those who've seemed down, or small encouragements when I felt it wouldn't do any harm. I've never been able (willing; comfortable; whatever) to offer anything...personal. At least, not in any place where it would be in danger of being read. But this evening, I've been in a rather unusual frame of mind, and this is where it's led me.
I've never been to a therapist, or any other psychiatric professional. So I've never actually been diagnosed with depression. I don't know what I may have, if indeed I have any sort of mental disorder at all. All I know is, I experience cycles of what I consider highs and lows. I suppose I could be called manic-depressive 'lite', for anyone who likes labelling such things.
For the last week or so, I've been feeling miserable. More than usual, anyway. I discussed with a couple of people the idea of writing another rant and exorcising some of this pain, but I've had so much trouble putting it all into words. There's just...so much of it. Every time I opened a Notepad document and tried to start getting it all out, it felt like I was trying to level a mountain with a spoon. Then the other day, I read lollipop's latest excellent blog post, and something clicked. I realized something that I believe might be somewhat profound, and possibly a little heartbreaking.
I have been in mourning for the last 20 years.
There's so much I would have to tell, so much I'd have to explain, to make anyone really understand that. And I just don't think I can do that here, in so public a place. But looking back over my life this far, I've only very recently begun to realize the true scope of everything that I've lost, that I've sacrificed, that I've had torn away, and yes, that I've thrown away. Many of the choices that have shaped my life proved themselves not mine to make, but some of them were, and I know I made enough mistakes that I can't claim to be wholly innocent.
I've been grieving for the loss of my childhood. It ended when I was 7, the first time one of my half-siblings tried to kill me. I've been grieving for the loss of my family. They faded away when I was 10, after my father abandoned us; my father's side disowned me outright, while most on my mother's side took the opportunity to forget I exist. I've been grieving for the loss of my potential. I had to bury it when I was 13, turning down the chance to attend a school for gifted students in order to take care of my mother. I've been grieving for the loss of my future. I shut the door on it when I wasted seven years of my life working a dead-end job and earning two useless degrees. I've been grieving for the loss of my grandparents. I lost them just five years apart, both just as I was beginning to know them as adults. I've been grieving for the loss of my sanity. Seven years without a single friend has left my thoughts withered, my heart empty, and my mind cluttered with dark figments of imagination. I've been grieving for the loss of my mother. I've watched her inch closer and closer to death every day for the last 12 years, and I don't know how much longer I can help her hang on.
Huh. Guess I wound up explaining a little of it, after all.
It was close to 1 AM when I started writing this. Time flies, I guess. Maybe what I'm trying to describe is normal. Maybe this sense of loss, of grief, maybe this pain is just what everyone goes through. Maybe this is just a part of me, finally becoming a 'real' adult. Whatever the hell that is. I don't know. I haven't had stable contact with another healthy, normal human being in so long, I don't know what normal
is supposed to look like.
But I really, really hope that this isn't it.