Me and My Girl

What is worse than living with depression? It’s trying to explain your depression to someone who truly doesn’t understand what it means. That has got to be the worst thing, right? Again, no. What is worse than explaining depression is having a daughter that experiences the same thing as you do and worse. As I was growing up, I had bits and pieces of rays of happiness, but they were overshadowed by dark clouds of sadness. I wanted to be invisible. I wanted to be wrapped up in the warmth of love. I didn’t feel as if I belonged anywhere or to anyone. I ran away at the first chance I got. I searched for belonging. Each place that I went, I wanted to belong to something or someone. I can see the same longing in my daughter. I see her seeking friends and relationships that have meaning and fulfill her. This is happening when she is only 13. I feel pain for her because I know how relationships turn out. They are never stable and people are selfish. She is going to get hurt.

I feel that have done a great disservice to her by moving her around so much. I haven’t allowed her to develop that root system that feeds the heart and soul. Maybe if we would have stayed in one place, she would have developed those friends that she needs. She is so sad. She is so sad all the time. She has some coping skills and therapy is helping her, but there are days when children and life are so cruel that it brings her to the point of questioning her life and how it will ever get better. Today, a young boy told her to go make the world a better place and kill herself. What kind of response does that elicit from a girl who is already on the brink of not wanting to exist anymore?

Talking about depression may give a little relief, but explaining depression is more frustrating than anything. I know what it feels like because I struggle with it every day of my life. I understand what my daughter is battling, but that isn’t good enough. It’s not okay to just say, “I understand.” Depression eats at your happiness and desire. Depression whispers to you that you are not good enough. You are ugly and no one wants to be around you. Depression makes you want to dig a hole and hide inside because it would be less painful than having to be around everyone that hates you. Suicide seems like a light in a cloud of black ink spit. It’s the soft, warm embrace of your mother after a nightmare. Depression makes you want to crawl away and rid the world of the ugliness that is you, and suicide tells you how you can accomplish that. How do I explain that I know how she feels, but she has to fight it?  How do I tell her that I fight for her…she has to fight for me?

I can’t help her cope because my coping skills are ridiculous for a child. I wanna teach her to love herself and her body. I want to teach her to run and sing and dance, but how do I get up off the floor to do the same for me?

“Hold on baby. I’ll hold on too.”

The Day of Peace

I had the best day ever! It was a day punctuated by laughter and filled with hope. I had never before experienced such a carefree time. I love being with both of my children and experiencing joy through their eyes. I think that’s what people gloss over when they become too busy or overwhelmed by their everyday lives.

We woke up early one morning and the three of us had breakfast at our tiny apartment. We spoke nicely to each other and enjoyed the food without any whining or moaning in reference to the meager amount that was given. We were smiling as we climbed into the car and immediately rolled down the windows. That car, with its heater always on, and its happy face paint job smoothly transported us toward the other side of the island. We were sweating before we made it out of town. (I wonder what that car would be like where we live now. Would it melt the snow without me having to sweep it off?) We were off on another free adventure (except for the expense of the gas), and we were excited for a blissful day in the sun and warm waters that surrounded our island home.

We got to Lanikai and met our friend that explained the rules of using the stand-up-paddle (SUP) boards.

1.We had to carry them a specific way.

2.We had to use the older ones. (Which I didn’t mind)

3. We had to make sure that we didn’t damage the older boards, even though they were already damaged. Oh, to live under the eye of constant criticism. I’m so glad that I’m not in that situation.

4. We had to make sure that the boards were returned to the exact position that they were in before we touched them.

But, then we got to the water and it was amazing. The sand on that beach draws you to it and invites you to lay down and never get back up. The water caresses your skin and washes all your cares completely away. There isn’t another place where I have been that happy. The kids and I laughed as we were instructed how to get up on the boards and start moving. I freaked out when I saw the reef under me, thinking that it was much closer than it was and wondering what would happen when I inevitably would fall off the board. When my son raised his strong body onto the board, he took off. It was as if he was a natural. I wish that he had shown more interest in water sports during the 4 years that we had been on this island. K was great too. When she finally got onto the board and started paddling, she moved as if she were silk gliding across skin. She had been like a fish since we moved to the island..of course she would be perfect on a board too. Anything water related, count her in. I was more hesitant, but I loved it once I got going. I felt that I could have paddled that board all day and watched the sun kiss the ocean that evening. As we glided across the water and enjoyed the day, I felt more close to my children than I had during the entire summer. I wish all days could have been that way. It’s heartbreaking to have your children fight against you when all you want is for them to smile and laugh with you.

I wish I could go back and have 60 more days just like that. Pictures don’t do that day justice. My memory will fade with time, I’m sure. So, I write something that no one will read so I can relive the most wonderful day of peace that I had on my beautiful island home.

Wednesday moaning

“Oh, please, would you just shut up! There is way too much sharing happening right now”. That’s what I wanna say. Instead, I think I’ll have to start wearing ear plugs. There is a point where I would assume that the fire exploding from the intense stares that I give would be enough for people to get that it is directed toward them and they should just shut the fuck up!

The white stuff falling from the sky has either affected my mood or it has developed a chameleon like skill in order to match it exactly. “Oh! There is more snow predicted for this week. This weekend, the snow will start on Sunday and continue into the weekday. Our school may have another snow day!”

“Perfect.” (My tone is punctuated by rolling my eyes along with the drawn-out sigh of the word escaping my lips). Another snow day means prolonging my torture another few days in June. I just wanna get away from these moronic people who think I cannot see that they throw daggers toward me when I turn my back! Has there ever been a time when life was not a competition with someone for popularity? Because even though we are no longer in grade school and have become adults responsible for our own lives, some of us are still acting as if we are in high school. Mature, grown-up, back-stabbing, two-faced, high school kids. Nice. Smile to my face and then whisper and point. Yep, that! Just there…perfect. You got it. A perfect picture of a damn high school kid. I feel like I’ve come out of the bathroom with my skirt turned around and the zipper in the front. The loveless smiles and empty stares are really getting on my nerves. There is too much snow. I need the sun to lighten my mood and darken my pale skin. Go away, snow! Just leave me.

Bits and Pieces

Her name was China. She broke as easy as a doll by the same name. She hit the floor and fell apart, she opened her eyes and would see the world through cracked lenses, she walked through crumbling hallways watching with wary eyes the pieces that came crashing toward her. There was never a guaranteed way of keeping her whole.

At times, there would be bubbling laughter that would burst uncontrollably from her throat or anger would rise and spill through her like hot lava, and then there were times when there was nothing. Those times she was just the china doll on the shelf, sitting there not making a sound, taking in all that surrounded her.  Never was there was consistency to her, or within her. One moment she was furious and the next she was laughing. The cracks crawled along her skin like a dry sponge soaking up water. She understood, for the most part, what was happening when she fell apart. She knew it was unavoidable, and she knew now how to mend herself. She could hide under the covers, or maybe lose herself in a silly new book; perhaps she would create a picture today. Whatever she did, she could carve out some comfort for herself. Piece after piece would fall away, and the glue would come, sparingly, but expertly placed.

Now, she was being forced to be more than what she felt she could be. There were days upon days where she tried to glue herself back together and she failed. The glue wasn’t sticking. She couldn’t hide. She couldn’t keep herself together. She would put one piece back and another would fall. She was a mess of jagged pieces and sloppy glue and it was becoming more and more difficult to keep her fingers from getting caught in the sticky mess. She needed help. She needed a reset button that she could slam her broken hands into and make everything okay for a minute.

There was a tiny bit of hope that she could see and she shakily reached out for it.  “Grab it and hold on tight!”, she thought to herself. “Make sure that your grip is strong enough to lift yourself up and out. Wrap yourself in that light and comfort enough so that you’re strong again. Get out of this place that makes you fall apart everyday. Take those bits and pieces and make yourself whole!”

What Happens on the Inside.

The things I hear and the things that I see, within this environment for the Deaf, make me chuckle. There are so many times when I catch someone signing something incorrectly, or when I hear something that hasn’t been interpreted. I have already been called a condescending bitch, so I dare not correct the person. I’m doomed to sit back and not say what should be said, not interpret that which should be interpreted. I shouldn’t chuckle, really, but I do. I think it’ a way of coping with the fact that I’m missing being within a competent environment.

Yesterday, we had a meeting where the interpreter left out relevant information and she was paid for that. The clients were sadly missing a lot of the info, but I couldn’t relay that. The reason? I started signing and explaining to my student and I was given a “go dig a hole and get buried” look. Yes, I have learned that sometimes it is best to keep my mouth shut. Maybe I should take my own advice more often. I think I piss people off too often. This morning, I told someone that I appreciate their given me a days notice that something which is due in April has to be turned in next week. “Thank you for letting me know that tomorrow is the last day which I will be able to get my shit together.” That superpower of knowing what others are thinking would be so handy right now. I think I’d really get a kick out of it. My skin has finally gotten thick enough.

Tonight, I’m going to go home and drown myself in wine and Chinese food.

Don’t Take Candy From That Strange Man

That phrase that your parents or elders always say, “don’t take candy from that strange man!” sometimes resonates so loudly though in completely different situations. Those strange men come in such friendly dress now. 

Meeting someone from a dating site is a ridiculous task filled with dread, wonder, and excitement. Really, the mix of feelings is enough to make someone nauseous even if they are really smitten with the idea of the person. Pictures, text messages, and phone calls do nothing to prepare a person for the experience of being face to face with someone you know that has the end goal of getting into your pants. After all, dating sites are just a modern day match-maker, right? Isn’t that the point of the whole thing? Love and happiness for the rest of your days would be awesome, but realistically, most people start out on this journey in the hopes of getting laid. Loneliness can cause even the smartest person to do something they would typically balk at. That person that shrinks against the wall and doesn’t want to go anywhere near that attractive guy or girl in a bar can get up enough nerve to develop an online profile and attract a suitor. I wonder though…what happens when that time comes that they have to meet? Does the wallflower suddenly feel better, or do they freak out and their insides bubble and then they hide under the covers?

The horror that has been online dating is both amusing, and a good reason to become a nun. A man claims he is single and looking for a “relationship” so you give him a chance. You meet in a public place and things go so nicely that you decide to meet him again, but this time he drives you to a park. What follows is an hour of small talk and little kisses. When he drops you off though, he shoves his tongue into your throat and suddenly you are running away. But, maybe you shouldn’t have reacted that way. So, you give him another chance. But this time, you are lured to his house by the promise of swimming in his heated pool. A small town girl that grew up swimming in a muddy river would jump at the chance of swimming in a heated pool! What southern girl would not jump at the chance of swimming in a heated pool? Of course you go.  After enjoying a lovely swim, you take a tour of his house where you see some strappy sandals. “Hey…do you enjoy dressing up with sandals?” “No..those belong to my wife. I mean, my ex-wife.” “Oh, why do you have them here, and is that your lipstick on that wine glass?” “Oh, I had a party.” You walk through the very richly decorated house and are shown the master bedroom that has a view of the ocean. A bra is nicely thrown on the floor in plain view of the door.  “Oh, so you do enjoy dressing up like a woman?” “Oh, no. That is my ex-wifes” “Seriously? Wow…when did she leave and why haven’t you cleaned up yet?” When all of that was over, who should pull into the driveway but a nicely dressed woman. “So, there is a woman here.” “Oh! Shit! That’s my wife! You have to leave the back way.” But, see there is a problem. Where is the car in which you are to make your escape? Outside, next to the wife’s car. Then, shortly after he realizes that, there is a scene in which he introduces you to his wife…(WTF!?) and then she follows you to your car and threatens you.

“Well, that was amusing.”, you think. Certainly, now you have learned that you should not take candy from that strange man right? try it again.

This time, you think you are gonna be smarter than you were before. This time though, timing really is a bitch. Your depression is so great that you allow someone to bring you a bottle of wine..TO YOUR HOUSE! Seriously? (SMH) You had just received really bad news and were supposed to meet this guy at a restaurant, but when you call and cancel and explain why, he proposes that he brings you a bottle of wine. The resulting conversation is part manipulation and part guilt. He says that he just wants to play with an idea and says that he wants to show how his seduction would go. (Oh please…you aren’t this dumb are you? Yes. You are.) He goes much further than what you are comfortable with and when you finally are able to pull away from him, you run into the other room. Where are you gonna go? It’s a house. Your house…He knows where you live now! Suddenly, you start freaking out and stand with your back against the wall and beg him to just leave you alone. He says perhaps the funniest line you have heard so far and says, “You aren’t even going to let me feel it?” Screaming, you reply, “FEEL IT!? NO!” As you are crying your eyes out, he finally leaves and you lock the door behind him. You think to yourself, “How stupid can you possibly be? You really are a moron!”  Then you text a friend that is searching for a man on an online dating site. You say, “You don’t need a man. You are perfect in who you are. I know it’s hard when you are lonely, but I love you.” and then you realize…that’s exactly what you need to hear. Don’t take candy from that strange man!