It took me two days to compose this post. My little girl would come in and out while I wrote some parts. Helping me.
Depression can be serious. Any time of the year. For some, the holidays can be exceptionally depressing and difficult. Where especially stress, sadness, hopelessness and loneliness can loom large in one's heart. We tend to self evaluate and reflect on our past when we become depressed. Bringing up pain that extends into the next year. The current state of the economy and unemployment rates does not help either. If we are not careful depression can take over leading to a more serious nature. Suicide.
Having two traumatic events going on at the same time when I was around 8 or 9 has a lot to do with my emotions and behavior. The sexual abuse from my brother and dealing with the trauma of my parents divorcing. Sadness and depression became a big part of my life early on. Carrying over to my adult years. Bringing on a lot of crap of fears, guilt, condemnation, anger, worthiness, confusion, etc. Felt so empty and scared.
The sexual abuse brought a lot of confusion along with tremendous fear. The best I recall with coping what was being done to me was disassociating. I had a focal point while on my back, which was looking up at the clouds while my brother abused me. He would take me to the woods most of the time. Afterwards I found myself putting the pain under lock and key for many years. Going on about playing outside with friends like nothing ever happened. Only on occasion having a disturbing memory surface. Wondering, "what was that all about?" But the evidence was all there that I was abused. Relational fears with men later on was the biggest red flag. Let alone having trouble establishing any kind of relationship with anyone. Male or female. Living with self loathing and unhappiness.
If being sexually abused was not bad enough, and the emotional and physical pain it caused me, then I also I hated the whole idea of this "divorce" thing and the pain it caused ME! Yes me! I would never of admitted this a few years back. Now I see the affect it had on my little girl.
How can a young child mentally and emotionally understand the dynamics of a mother and father not loving one another anymore? You cannot. Then having a father who tells your mother, "I do not know what to do with her?" My mum was having her own guilt issues at the same time with breaking up the family and questioning herself about divorcing my father and remarrying right away thereafter. Her outlet was the bottle. I would come home from school see her in a drunken stupor and get so angry at her. That is all I knew was anger. Yelling and cursing at her. She would then slap me hard in the face. I would retreat in my bedroom as a safe haven for many years. Isolating myself. I felt I had no one! Not only feeling abandoned by my father, but my mother now but who later on used control to get at me. So, I ended up just stuffing all the anger, guilt, condemnation which then eroded what little self confidence I had.
I was ripped away literally without any understanding from my home, friends and family and expected to function normally in a new scary environment. To cope, I zoned out. I created a fantasy world where I would go off in my mind (La-la-land) and created a safe haven. A place where I was appreciated. I was a walking shell of depression, anger and sadness. I could not make friends. I did not know how to relate. I was in too much pain.
I was a poor student at school. Could not concentrate. Retain. I only know, as an escape from my emotional pain, that I excelled in sports at school. That was the only class I got an "A" in. I think now I let out a lot of frustration being active in sports. Otherwise I was looking at mainly D's and a few F's on my report card. D's believe it or not was a passable grade. But not great. To this day I have no idea how I received my High School Diploma. I know there was some last minute strings that were pulled from the Board of Education in order for me to graduate with my class. But, really, looking back now, I should not have.
The winter months from October to February are exceptionally more depressing for me. Maybe it has something to do with the finalized divorce of my parents and moving away in January. As well as I believe most of the sexual abuse happened in the winter months.
My mum blamed my bad behavior on defiance. She had no clue of my pain. When I was 15, I can only remember one adult ever noticing something was wrong with me. It was a Guidance Counselor from my High School. He asked me one day while in his office for some disciplinary reason, "if things were okay at home?" He saw the signs. Naturally I said everything was fine. Because I thought they were.
Depression for me, at least, has carried such a heaviness of hopelessness. A dark cloud. A constant reminder that something is missing.
Sadly, I come from a family line of suicides; a brother, uncle and a grandfather. My father was a very depressed man and I have that susceptibility as well.
After much prayer, I chose to share this article, taken from the Life Challenges website on this sensitive topic of suicide.
I felt the need to share some of my story with depression. Although many of you already know it.
The article also offers up much hope for any of you out there who suffer with depression and/or suicidal thoughts!! Do not let the title fool you.
I know that I know that I know, once I am totally set free from my past, this nasty deadly bondage of depression that satan uses on many of us will cease and be replaced by unspeakable joy!!!!
Written by Anonymous - Life Challenges
How to Die - Cultivating Thoughts of Suicide
Many people struggle with how to die when dealing with the issue of suicide. Perhaps you came across this article for that very reason. We hope to offer you some insight into dealing with the pressures of life which could contribute to the feelings you are experiencing.
Let me also state that I wrote this article from my personal experience and it is a depiction of what I have felt and dealt with over the past year. Again, my hope is that we can offer you some direction in dealing with the feelings you may be having now.
The last year of my life has been one long roller coaster of turmoil with many emotional low points and very few high points. Because of this, I have discovered how easily it is to slide from emotional collapse to spiritual disintegration, and maybe even cultivate thoughts of actual death. Let me tell you my story and then maybe you’ll understand.
How to Die - Emotional, Spiritual, and Physical
There are a lot of things in life which cause us consider how to die. Perhaps you are experiencing an emotional meltdown -- the death of a loved one, break up of a relationship, loss of a job, or some other emotional tragedy.
For me, these feelings of how to die came when three very difficult events occurred in my life within months of each other: The first was my son being involved in an accident that claimed the lives of two other people; the second was the death of a twenty-three-year-old girl who was like a daughter to me; and the third was the death of my mother. Add into the mix the death of a very close friend and you can see why I felt like I was in an emotional downfall.
These events led to questioning the reason for my own existence as well as the reality of God. Can you identify with these feelings?
When the tough events of this life start to pile up at your doorstep, you may start to question everything: your beliefs, your faith, even your reason for being. My emotional turmoil led me down a very dangerous road where I started to question the character of a loving God, or even the existence of God at all.
I asked myself all of the standard Why? questions -- “Why me?” “Why would God allow all this suffering in my life?” and so on. This led to being mad at God and turning my back on Him for awhile. When we die emotionally, it leads to a gradual extinction of our spirits, which then drives our questioning to why we even need to be here. In the end, this emptiness can spark our contemplation of physical death and we begin to wonder how to die.
Our sense of loss emotionally and spiritually can lead to such an overwhelming avalanche of feelings that we may consider anything to be rid of them -- even suicide.
I can identify with the sense of hopelessness you are feeling right now. Like me, maybe you're feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I am here to tell you that there is! There is hope!
How to Die - Discovering Hope
I needed to find hope. I wanted to stop cultivating thoughts on how to die and begin engaging thoughts on how to live!
The first thing I did was focus my energy on how to live. I wanted to stop pitying myself for events in my life that I have no control over anyway. I realized I couldn’t change what had happened. I could only change how I personally viewed calamities in my life.
Please don’t misunderstand, I am still having a tough time working my way through the circumstances of the last year. I fully recognize that the pain and hurt might always be there, but I will not, by the grace of God, let it drag me too far down.
The next thing I did was turn back to my one true friend -- Jesus Christ, my Savior. I know what you’re saying: “Oh great, he has turned this to a religion thing.” Well, all I can say is, I haven’t. Loving Jesus is not about religion. It is about having a best friend who understands better than we do what we are going through. Jesus knows personally our pains and sorrows and He knows how best to comfort us.
Next, I relied on God to comfort me. Sometimes this comfort comes directly through Him. Reading the Psalms and other Bible passage can be a source of comfort (read Psalm 34:18, Psalm 147:3, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Other times comfort comes through my friends who also know and love Jesus and who are there to guide.
I encourage you to turn over your emotions and pain to Jesus now. Speak to Him in prayer. Tell Him about your hurts and ask Him to comfort you. Don't hold anything in. Let Jesus have your sorrow. Cry, "God help me!" (Taken from Allaboutlifechallenges.org)