Mental Illness in my conservative family

I want to address depression…

Specifically about the “don’t ask, don’t tell” way my family has handled the illness.

Depression is an illness that runs on both sides of my family. It’s also a topic that is never discussed intimately in my family. It’s taboo, unspeakable, unutterable.

My first clear memory of early childhood depression was when I was 8 years old and put into a private elementary school. I had gab teeth, a speech issue, I dressed like a boy, had a roller backpack and odd shoes. I didn’t fit in. I remember dreading waking up for school and crying myself to sleep. I had this overwhelming anxiety for every little thing. I was EIGHT YEARS OLD.

In my family, if you wanted to speak to a therapist they’d compare you to someone who needed to be institutionalized or something dramatic. It was never “I just need to talk to someone” it was “you have a roof over your head, why are you being so dramatic, get over it”.

My moms side of the family is slowly, but surely adapting to the modern world, whereas my dad’s side of the family remain silent. When I came out about my sexual assaults my father was silent and has remained silent. So has that side of my family.

It’s “taboo” to address things that mentally fuck a person up. Talk about personal feelings or even express any other emotion besides “normal”.

I haven’t been ok in years – or maybe I’m just going through the motions. I’ve been struggling. I’ve learned a lot about myself last year. I accepted that I’ve been manipulative with people that have cared about me. I’ve been wrong many times. I chose to take toxic people out of my life and I had highs and lows in my relationship.  I did a lot of things for myself. I suffered a lot lost year. I’ve suffered a lot for the past 5 years.

Maybe my posts are a cry out for help and no ones truly listening. I struggle everyday.
I’m not sure.

Figuring that out as well.

I live across the country from my entire family. They don’t know what I’m going through. I don’t know what they’re going through.

It’s hard not to feel completely alone.

I don’t feel good about myself or wanted. I’m tired and I’m not sure what to do.

Being a college graduate means nothing. I have no one to talk to about these things. I don’t know what I’m going to do anymore. Fuck it.

If I ever have children, I don’t want them to feel the way I feel or go things the things I have gone through.

I can’t do this anymore. It’s overwhelming. I don’t have half of this months rent and I don’t know where my next meal is going to come from. I don’t know what else to do. Every job interview I go into goes great. Most of the time I get another interview or two until they fill it with someone else.

I’ve remained silent about my job hunt because I’ve been hopeful. I’m going on month 7 since I’ve been out of school. I owe several people money and all of my credit cards are maxed out. Since my work cut my hours, I’m trying to find somewhere else, but it’s still a challenge. I’ll figure it out, I always do, but its hard not to lose hope, to be depressed.

All people can say is “Your beautiful, you got this” like beauty has anything to do with my survival. I’m writing this on my extremely broken cell phone that has a screen so shattered I have cuts on all my hands. I’m still blessed to be able to have this phone though. It will most likely be the next thing to go even though I need it for job interviews.

I envy the people my age that have parents that still help them out with everything, but again it’s taught me so much working my way through school. It divided my friends and I because I grew angry over the fact that they had help and I had to beg family for it.

I don’t care if I receive backlash on this, I was blessed to be able to go to college, I was blessed to be able to have the opportunity to live in this city. It’s too expensive and every day it grows harder.

I turned off social media for the day, I can’t take the coverup, the masking of it all. It’s too hard. I’m tired of doing this, owing people things, not eating for days. Fucking crying.

I know this has strayed from the title, but at the same time who the hell cares.

I’m falling apart.

xx

 

2 Comments

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  1. Mental health is still so taboo in so many families, so many cultures… I think it’ll get better though, especially since more things are being brought out into the open. Talking about this, like you’re doing, really helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I grew up with an alcoholic dad, a co-depebdent mom, but both were hard workers. However, I think I was born with depression and anxiety as they both suffered from both as well. I believe one of my brothers suffered from anxiety until he committed suicide last year. My other brother has suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. However, I am the only one who ever sought counseling and got on medication. Eventually, my parents understood, but the worst thing they ever did was “help” all of us financially way too much. I have had many jobs and been married now for almost 25 years. Our two kids know they will never be able to get bailed out of anything or be given big chunks of money for anything, because we simply can’t afford to help them.
    I only share all of this to hopefully encourage you to look for help in other people who understand depression, because your family may never get it. I hope things get better for you.
    It is a tough road to travel, but depression doesn’t have to define you.
    Blogging has helped me a lot in the last five years. I have made some special friends here. I hope you will, too. 😊

    Like

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