i won’t be like her

Dear Eddie and Charlie,

When I was little I had a friend whose house I went to quite a few times.  I remember I loved spending the night at her house because she had a cool older sister and brother and she had all the Gem dolls.  Her parents let us watch PG movies which was AWESOME (except that time we watched Jaws.  I may have called your Grandpa in the night claiming to be sick so that  he would come pick me up because really I was too scared to stay).

And maybe the movie Splash gave me bad dreams too.  That mermaid tail was way too creepy for my 8 year old mind.

Whatever.  I felt cool for watching those movies.

Anyway, her dad was really nice.  He was always the one to pick me up or bring me home.  He brought us places like her older brother’s wrestling matches.  And he was funny.

But her mom?  I didn’t see much of her.

No matter what time I got there, her mom was in her room with the lights dimmed and a humidifier on.

We were not allowed to play in the kitchen area near her parents’ room.

We were not allowed to go in the bedroom and ask questions.

If we needed anything, we went through my friend’s dad.  He even made all our meals.

In fact, I can’t even tell you what her mom looked like.

It always made me feel a little scared.

I didn’t know if her mom was sick or what.  I remember someone at sometime talking about her not being sick, but alluding to the fact that she was not well in the head.

No one ever talked about it…but after all these years I know that my friend’s mom was depressed (at the least).

Boys, your mom suffers with depression too.

I know what it’s like to not be able to deal with anyone.

To want to lock myself in a room and sleep my life away.

I understand feeling like the world is too much.

I have been told I am loved and prayed for and felt none of it.

I have been completely numb and hollow.

But I didn’t stay in a locked room.

I didn’t turn out the light and turn off my life.

I don’t know what happened to my friend’s mom.  I hope she got help.

I did.

Today, as I write this, I do not feel the cold grip of depression.

But I know from experience that it still hangs around.  Waiting for a vulnerability when it can reach in and grasp me by the heart.

Waiting.

But I know this evil.

I have stared it down and won…many times.

And I will always win.

Do you know why?

Because I never want you to be afraid to play around me.

I never EVER want you to feel like you have tip toe around me in order to be a kid.  to have fun. to enjoy your life.

I want you to have a momma who sings and dances and bakes and makes memories with you.

I want to have family nights with you guys and your dad.  game nights and movie nights.

I want jokes only our family gets and chatty family dinners and silliness.

I want to be part of your lives.

Because you are my whole life.

But depression will be there from time to time.

But it won’t be a secret.

We will talk about what momma is feeling and we will fight it together.

Because the more we fight?  The smaller this depression feels and looser it’s hold on me is.

And when it passes?

We will celebrate.

Every time.

Until depression goes away for good.

Because it has to.

It’s not welcome to our family game nights.

I love you both,
Momma

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