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.