Saturday, March 8, 2008


I just had a strange conversation with my Mother. (how suprising is that). But I mentioned in the context of something else that "I have fought depression all my life even as a child." and she countered with "I never noticed you being depressed as a child.". I wish I had been rendered speechless but of course "Do you think I just woke up, hit puberty and tried to kill myself one day?"

For some reason, Mom and Dad were very much in to "we had it tough and the younger generation is wrong" mode today. I wasn't quite sure what they needed to hear from me, but I didn't feel like denying or rewriting the story of my life to suit what they wanted to hear.

So I just sighed and said "depression is a physical illness that responds to chemicals and is usually a long term and lifelong thing. I've always had it, and I always will, I just need to learn to handle it." Mom spoke up "actually, it's a mental illness, that's what it IS" and I agreed but added, "it has it's roots in the physical chemistry of the brain"...she ammended-"Body and brain are related.".

I took that opportunity to change the subject. Whew.

Mom talks a lot and bitterly about her father and how awful he was. Again I'm not sure how I'm supposed to respond. Do I need to say I'm sorry or that I'm glad my parents weren't that awful? It's one of those conversations I'm just not sure of. Maybe, as awful as he was he did the best he could. But somehow, some way, a man long dead is still creating anger that, while not directed at me, I feel. And I think the only way to end it is not to get angry myself.

Long ago acts of cruelty have no power of me. I will not react to their echos.


Mim said...

I have somewhat of the opposite problem in that my folks talk about long dead people with praise usually reserved for Saints. And I have learned that some of those so called saints were just as human as you or I and in some cases, downright cantankerous! Do I say anything? Burst their bubble? I don't do that but wonder what is the need to sanctify a normal human.

Forever Young said...

'They fuck you up, your mum and dad..........
But they were fucked up in their turn.........'
Philip Larkin

Debra Kay said...

Older people don't seem to want anything to shake their world view-they cling to it desperately. But, when it comes to sharing and agreeing with that world view, I fall short and in many cases, I outright reject it.

What I am here to learn for ME is to not feel bad about that. What I am here to do for THEM, I have no clear idea, but I keep trying anyway.

Fern said...

ok, this may seem random, but after reading this post I looked deep into your lioness avatar pic with her nose jammed up against her net-like cage and felt really sad...time for a new image? release that big cat energy?

Anonymous said...

Well spoken! Your Mum sounds just like mine and have always had a hard time trying to understand how she "thinks". Best to just keep thinking the way I do and be strong and proud about it :) My kids might reject that HAHA.

Debra Kay said...

Fern, you are the first person that's ever gotten it about that picture-it's not a picture of a lion, it's a picture of a cage. I sometimes feel a little bad because the actual place I took the photo is a rescue place and very humane, but they would be the first to say that the lions belong on the plains. I'll look for a happier avatar.

ANON, I'm working to deflect the negative energy and try to reflect back positive energy. Works with dogs, might work with parents.

Mim said...

I thought the lion was a collage, where you chopped it up and then reassembled it. Agree with Fern, you are a much more positive person and if anyone isn't caged it's you my friend. Whether you believe it or not.