Monday, May 24, 2010

Depression: a Cure and a Cause?

I love my husband...he gently reminds me that I haven't written on my blog in a while. So glad that he is supportive and encouraging of my writing!

Well, update from my last post.... I had thought that was all there was to my little breakdown, but apparently that wasn't it. If you remember my blog from last year, I was finally on some antidepressants that actually helped with no weird side effects or personality changes. But, I lost my insurance and wasn't able to afford them or my doctor anymore. I had hoped that my depression was situational and that once my situation had improved, I would be fine. However, even after I thought I had things figured out and Scott and I had talked about my feelings, I didn't feel better. I would start crying while fixing dinner, for no apparent reason. I felt paranoid and desperate. I have felt sadness too much of my life and I certainly didn't want to waste any more of my life like that. I felt guilty for feeling depressed when I have everything I ever wanted and in all respects, am happy and blessed and content. Maybe my depression is chemical, genetic, or clinical, not just situational. So, I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago and he gave me a new prescription for my old antidepressants. I am feeling more normal now. The paranoia and desperation are gone, I haven't cried since, and I am enjoying my life much more now. Guess it will be a fact of my life--may have to take the meds for the rest of my life. If that's what it takes to avoid feeling that way...then that's what I will do.

On another note, the kids have been struggling with the selfishness of their dad. He hadn't called or showed up for visitation in over a month. His mother had spoken to me and told me that he had taken off on his girlfriend Mandy that he said he was going to marry last month and that he was with another girlfriend Sarah. He had been telling me that he had been paying child support, but that for some reason it wasn't reaching me. His mom confirmed he was lying and paid a fraction of it (along with his bike payment) to keep him out of jail and collections a while longer. Well, tonight, he finally called the kids. Apparently, he married Sarah and now wants to resume seeing the kids.

I am frustrated on so many levels. It disturbs me that the kids so easily accept that he was going to marry Mandy in April, but married Sarah in May. It is appalling to learn that the kids knew about her and other girlfriends while their dad was living with Mandy. What kind of example does this set for them? How do I combat all of the things they have seen and know and continue to learn at his hands?

There's a deeper ache at how he can blow them off for a month, not so much as a phone call and doesn't bother to give us his phone number so his kids could call him, that they twice expectantly went to the meeting place believing that their dad would show up to pick them up yet leave angry that he cares so little that he not only doesn't show up, but doesn't even have the decency to call and tell them that he can't come this time. And yet, when he calls, all that seems to fade away from their memories and they get excited and exclaim, "Daddy!" or "I love you!" It hurts me (selfish jealousy, I am sure) to be the parent that is always there, doing everything for them, loving them day in and day out, not just when it suits, but to hear on a regular basis that I am a mean mom or "I hate you" or "You are ruining my life," yet he gets, "I love you, daddy! When are you coming to pick me up?" If I feel that way, I wonder how my husband feels, who is daily much more of a dad to my kids than their biological father is. He hugs them at bedtime and tells them he loves them; he provides for their every need (without the help of child support) and many of their wants; he spends his days off eating lunch with them at school, helping out on field trips, or helping me finish decorating their new room; he is there to pick up the pieces when their dad doesn't show up, scooping them into his lap and turning their anger to laughter. I once read a book that had a line in it so profound that I wrote it down: "Kids chase the love that eludes them...Why do kids assume so much from one parent and hold the other to a lower or looser standard? Maybe it's like my old man said, 'You can be a mommy's boy or a daddy's boy, but you can't be both.' So you cling to the one you think you might lose." I believe that was from "For One More Day" by Mitch Albom. I know my kids are smart and that eventually they will see which parent they can trust. But that brings me to my deeper pain. I can deal with the wounds of being mom, but what hurts my heart the most is when they are hurt. I am sure that this will not be the last time that their dad is selfish or blows them off. So, I have to watch them be hurt over and over again and I can't do anything to stop it. A mom's instinct is to protect her children, but when courts get involved, they dictate what is right and wrong for your children. And for courts, it is a black and white, antiseptic, across-the-board decision. Keep on subjecting the abused to the abuser and the children to being rejected by their own father. Oh yes, that's certainly going to be better for their self-esteem than to never have contact with their birth father. The court system has a long way to go before it can claim it operates under "justice".

So, as mom, all I can do is accept the situation and be there for the kids when they need me. Truly, isn't that what all mothers do anyway?

No comments: