Writing openly about my life used to be like water off a duck’s back for me. I was Say-Anything Steph once-upon-a. So many battles, big and small, seems to have whittled me down from feeling large to little in a twitchy, embarrassed-for-no-reason kind of way. It aint purty! So I’ve been consciously pulling my s___ together for the sake of … pride? Yeah, maybe pride. Pride goeth, I know, but there’s something to be said for sparing the world from another simpering, twitching, ever-apologetic mess. I got down; I can get up. Me big girl now. *smile*
The point of this post is to share an experience I had yesterday and take solace here in the temple. Actually, the experience has been ongoing since April when I begin what was supposed to be a year long “crisis support” program at the local hospital. I brought them the crisis, but I’m still wondering when they’ll get to the support part.
At the end of 2006 when I had to leave the house I loved so much because I was being abused by one of my stepdaughters I began do slide into a depression that spiralled as the events following my departure went wildly out of control. Simply surreal, not to be believed, this is not happening to us, no way Jose kinda stuff. The depression absolutely buried me when we buried our beloved Seanna last August, and that’s why I turned to the community care centre at the hospital for help in April.
Every month that I have met the therapist and doctor since I started six months ago I have been asked the same questions about what it is I think is bringing me so down and why it is that I have no interest in life or plans or hope for happiness in my near future. They have focussed on the depression but offered no grief counselling whatsoever. In fact, they offer no “depression counselling” either; they just keep asking me over and over why I think I feel the way I do. The psychiatrist asked me each time for the last three months why I don’t return to my regular activities, my normal life, and why I am not content once again now that I am out of the depression. And every time…as I have for six months…I have to remind him that my home is gone, my gallery that was my beloved work is gone, my job as Dorian’s bookkeeper is gone because he is bankrupt, my one stepdaughter (abusive as she was) is gone, and my other child, the child of my heart, is DEAD! THERE IS NOTHING TO GO BACK TO! IT’S ALL GONE!
Barely controlling my feeling of insult – well, anger, really – that these basic facts of my life cannot be remembered, or least not gleaned from reading a simple chart or file before meeting with me again, I requested a different therapist, a switch that also comes with a different doctor. If I end up with no “crisis support” from the hospital at all and am not allowed to go back there, I surely won’t be able to discern a difference. Other than, perhaps, being free from the monthly insult.
I have been embarrassed to be enduring this nonsense in my quest for solace and really should have just come to the temple once a month instead…heck…you probably would even have let me weep here once a week! *smile* You all are so kind that way. LOL But for so many years I told myself the story that I was the one holding other people together, my family, my children. Yeah. Such fairytales I tell myself! And believed them because I needed to as a child needs to believe in Cinderella’s prince for a while.
Nonetheless, here I am, feeling much better though still without any great enthusiasm for living, but I am Alive enough to have regained my sense of the necessariness of bearing witness to the witlessness that We, many of us, have to bear at times in life. I bear necessary witness here in case someone else in Soul Food has or is being so sad and enduring the ridiculous dismissal of their entirely acceptable and understandable sadness, despondency, or simple exhaustion.
I am grateful for this wonderful temple and the solace of this place. A place where I know words and tears and fears and questions and weariness and wonder and wishes and women are welcome to wait for healing and love and better days to come.