A story about a girl who struggles to cope with her mum who suffers with depression.
Definition: 1. Severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
2. A condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.
As I read those words, I was struck by how well they described my mother. It hurt, to the point of tears, that in so few words someone could be described to me the exact nature of my own relative, someone who to me was easy to understand and read. I re-read the words. Despondency and dejection rang true, but when the words hopelessness and inadequacy came through, that was where I began to feel pain. Yes, my mother often felt like this, and yes, it was annoying to see her lying there feeling as though she couldn't do anything right. But reading those words through a second time made me realise how much I impressed on her this feeling of worthlessness. My anger at her state of mind surfaced when something hadn't been done for me, when things weren't about me. And then a statement about her being 'useless' or 'stupid' would follow. Things that in the heat of arguement seemed to slip out so easily.
But I wish I could scoop them all back in. Every time I've put her down using only words; I wish they had never been said. What if my selfishness, laziness, had contributed to her illness? It probably had not helped at least, and I felt devastated at the very thought that I could have contributed to the state she was in now.
I really began thinking about the whole situation when I came home for the holidays in easter. It struck me when suddenly, out of nowhere, she bursts in to tears. And when I sit there and talk, my brother having disappeared upstairs, too upset to deal with it, she tells me something that breaks my heart. When I ask whether my brother has seen her like this before, she says:
"No. I don't usually cry at weekends. It's normally during the week, while he's at school. Then I just sit and cry."
This pitiful image of my mother, curling in to a ball and crying, it hurts me. It rips my chest out and throws it to the floor and I stamp on it myself, because I don't help her enough. Because I've let her be like this.
I feel compelled to be the strong one. To be the one who pats her on the back and tells her everything is going to be ok. And she notices, and it makes her worse.
"I'm supposed to be the strong one!" She bawls, and I haven't the heart to tell her what I know is true. You're not strong enough to be the strong one right now.
And that means it's down to me. Because no matter what, she can't lose herself. Because where would I be without my mother?
Where would anyone be without their mother?