The black dog

So, the black dog is here. For those that don’t know, black dog is a euphemism for depression. Ours has made itself at home for the winter, and seems content to snooze by the fireside. No amount of chasing has convinced it to go outside in the cold.

It’s become almost impossible to stay downstairs with P in the evenings. The overwhelming urge to be upstairs in bed hits us at about 8pm, and we can only fight it off for so long. By 9pm, we’re upstairs. We have a computer, telly and DVD player in the bedroom, so we’re quite cumfy up there, but we’re alone. P sleeps downstairs because of our pain issues and broken sleep patterns. So our bedroom is our safe haven, ours alone, quiet and peaceful and calming. No disturbances, unless it’s P bringing us a cup of tea and checking we’re ok. He’s really good like that. Or it’s Teenage Son coming in for a chat. Yes, we have a 15 year old son who still wants to chat with his Mum! So, maybe not completely alone, but not downstairs in the hub of family life. We miss that.

And we feel so guilty about buggering off upstairs and leaving P to look after Youngest Son. It makes us feel like a shite parent, and that’s something our Mum instilled in us from the moment TS was born. Everything we did was wrong, every decision we made was wrong, our routine was wrong, the clothes we put him in were wrong, the foods we fed him were wrong. And of course, she was right, and if we didn’t do everything her way, we were a crap parent. She did this for TS, for YS, and she still does it now. Subtle, and not-so-subtle, undermining of us at every turn. Intellectually, we know we’re a good parent. Our kids tell us we’re the best Mum in the world. P knows we’re a good parent, and doesn’t mind us going upstairs when we need to. But we still feel the guilt. Our Mum did a good job on us over the years *sigh*

Come to think of it, she’s undermined and dissed every choice we’ve made in our life. Nice.

Anyways, back to the depression. It’s sucking the life out of us. We just feel so blah all the time. Everything’s an effort, too much effort, can’t we just stay in bed and not have to think about stuff? No, we can’t. Nor do we really want to, we’d be missing out on so much life, time with the kids, time with P. But still, there’s the urge to hide away.

Did I mention, we have a kicking case of PTSD about being stuck in bed? Lovely contradiction of wants and needs and trauma and flashbacks. Sometimes we can’t win for losing.

*sigh*

Tony

Crying

Just had a blow-up with P. We’d left a pair of boots in the living room and he tripped over them. So he threw them across the room and cursed us out. Then, when we went to hug him, he pushed us away and said no hugs for us until we learn to do better and put stuff away.

I had to jump in and get us away before we broke down in sobs. I just said fine, and took us upstairs to bed. It’s only 6pm but who cares. We don’t cry in front of people, even our partner of 17 years. It’s too vulnerable, and we hate feeling vulnerable. Vulnerable always got us punished, or mocked, or told to stop being so silly. Or it was thrown back in our face. Showing weakness wasn’t allowed. It’s a very hard lesson to un-learn.

I can shut down my emotions in situations like this. That’s why it’s me writing. I’m angry, and numb. Others are sobbing their hearts out. Withholding of affection is one of our few remaining triggers, and it’s a big one. Being told we have to be better to be worthy of affection is a fast trip back to childhood. The closed throat, the choking feeling, the place inside where we feel worthless, it’s all there. Again.

I have to write, because the feelings need to be aired. Otherwise, they’ll fester.

I can feel the rising need to cry coming from Inside, so I’ll step back and let it happen now. People need the release of tears.

And yes, we still love him. We just can’t deal with things that most people wouldn’t bat an eyelid at. Thanks trauma for fucking us up.

Matthias