I sat in for a therapy session with R. It was supposed to just be five minutes. Enough to tell her counselor that we’d be starting the process to get her on antidepressants. It is time.
It was not a decision that I came to lightly. There were a multitude of factors. Mostly it was that she was getting so much more explosive, and to me, that meant her pain and hurting were at its max. Unfortunately the only factor that really stuck out for my girl was that her behavior was scarring her brother and his trauma was my highest priority and that’s why I finally agreed to the medication.
This turned a five minute conversation into an hour and a half session.
She hurts. I know this. I never know just how much. And it always catches me off guard. The one person who it would be helpful to be privy to said information doesn’t get to know. It’s just part of the mom deal, I suppose.
Being a parent is hard. Knowing all the logical psychology doesn’t really help much. I mean, sure, in the long run sorta. The short run is a different beast.
The long run tells me that she can lash out at me because she feels safe with me. The long run tells me that she will viciously push me away over and over in order to see if I’ll abandon her.
Depression runs her short game.
It requires her to believe she is nothing and not worth sticking around for. Pushing me away and me following suit gives the depression its validation.
Depression begets depression. We feel like things are shit. That we are shit. We feel worthless so we seek all the ways we’re unworthy. And because we get what we look for, all she sees are examples of her nothingness. The cycle feels impossible to break.
Depression is a big fat liar and not even this strong, badass mama can contend with it.
I can show up. Over and over. No matter how much it hurts. No matter how it can bring excruciating heartache and practically break me.
But it can not change her perspective. I learned that today.
It hurt a lot.
I have always known that she is hard on herself. I have always known that she has ridiculous expectations of herself. Expectations that no one could ever meet. I know she thinks in black and white and that she truly believes perfection does, in fact, exist.
I know I have always been the first to say “you did great!” and “what do you mean a B on your chem test isn’t good enough?!” and “of course I’ll be at your musical!” I have supported her through countless endeavors. Providing moral support and transportation and peptalks and space when she asks.
Despite her spending so much time trying to convince me she’s nothing, I haven’t faltered in being her biggest cheerleader.
This is my lens. This is how I see it.
No, I don’t notice every single thing that happens. Yes, there are things she’s told me about that I’ve forgotten. Yes, sometimes I’m annoyed that she needed to be picked up at 5 and she still isn’t ready at 5:40. I’m human. I’m fallible. I make mistakes. I don’t always show up how she prefers, nor do I show up 100% of the time. But I show up. I show up often and to the best of my ability.
And then today, the short run played its game. She tells me that I make her feel worthless. That I make her feel like nothing. That she feels like a nothing because of me. That I have instilled this in her.
No amount of logical psychology could have kept my feet firmly planted. The short run won.
Her lens is so much different than mine.
I never knew–I never understood–that the voice in her head feeding her all that bullshit is my voice.
It is a devastating blow.
Not all hope is lost. I’m silver lining girl after all. Navigation is required. A whole fuckton of navigation. As well as extra reinforcements for this sad mama’s heart.
Above all else, I show up. I may not be able to contend with her depression through her lens, but I won’t go down without a fight. Especially when it’s my daughter’s life at stake.
I don’t know what that looks like yet. I don’t quite know yet what I need to do. I know that whatever it is, I can do it. I will do it.
First tho, I will cry and grieve.