My dad is depressed. He is depressed because my mother is depressed. And both of them keep telling me how hard it is to have depression. That I don't understand what it is like, that it is so hard.
I tell them. Yeah, actually, I DO know what it is like. I've been dealing with it for the last twelve years.
But my words fall on deaf ears. They can't see past themselves. It doesn't matter that visiting them causes a panic attack. I tell my sister, I have to take an anxiety pill just to visit. And she replies, have you tried Not taking a pill? Why yes, sister dear, I have, and that causes me to have a panic attack and be unable to breath.
This isn't something you can will away. It is not something you 'tie a knot' in, as my dad likes to say.
I know everyone has their own problems, and yes, the situation my parents are in sucks. My mom has basically been sick for the last four years. My dad has had to take on the responsibilities of the household (wow, your mom does A LOT, he said).
The only reason I am still talking to them right now, after the guilt trips, the fighting, the terrible daughter rants, is for my son, who loves his grandparents.
And they would rather him not visit, because seeing him and being unable to play will only make my mom more depressed.
So, what is the point of continuing? I don't know. All I do know is that I'm sick of my dad treating depression like it is this new thing that just happened and that he and my mom have it and I don't understand.
Once upon a time there was a boy who met a girl. She was a very unique girl with hair like cotton candy and eyes that sparkled like sapphire. Her laugh sounded like the tinkling of bells and her voice was like warm honey.
When she met the boy she was worried for him. “I have this habit, that I can’t seem to break.” She said. “People tend to fall in love with me and I can’t help it. I can’t stop being me. I’ve tried and tried, but it happens anyway.” She sighed. “So you know. I don’t do it on purpose.”
Now the boy was sure he could resist whatever charms the girl had to throw at him. This wouldn’t happen to him. He was too experienced in the ways of the world; had met too many people to be taken in and entranced like a siren does a sailor. He decided he would play with her anyway.
He would talk to her every day and she would hang on his words. She would toss words back at him like a game of catch. And catch them he would, which surprised her. After a few days the girl let her guard down. She slowly lowered the ladder to her tree fort so he could see inside.
“Come on,” she said “I want to show you something.”
The boy slowly climbed up the rope ladder. The rungs were tricky to navigate, but he managed to reach the top. She pulled him through the trapdoor and to a corner where they both sat down, cris-cross applesauce. There was something in her hand. “I’ve kept this a long time. It keeps breaking, but I always manage to fix it back up. I like to hide it up here to keep it safe.”
He leaned over to peer at her hands. Whatever it was it must be very small, as her hands were quite tiny. Slowly she opened her porcelain fingers to reveal a twinkling star. It flashed and sparkled filling the entire room with light. And indeed it was cracked. It was covered with tape, spots of glue, and what looked like paint.
“What is it?” He asked.
“My heart, silly!” she said.
“No it isn’t, hearts don’t look like that, plus they are in your chest.”
“Well I took mine out to keep it safe.”
“You didn’t do a very good job, it is all cracked and broken.” He didn’t mean it to sound harsh, and the girl’s eyes started to fill with shining tears. “I’m sorry.” He said. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. It…it’s beautiful.” He meant it. It was beautiful, now that he looked again. He could see different colors shining like facets in a crystal.
The girl let her tears fall down her face and onto the object in her hands. It flared for a moment, and then died down to its original light.
“I.” She sniffed. “I trust you. I wanted to give you a piece of it.” Her fingers traced the object, running over the cracks, bending the light. “Really?” he said. “You really want to let me have a piece of your heart?”
“Yes. I think I can trust you with it.” And with that she broke off a piece and dropped it into his outstretched hand. “I’ll need a piece of yours, to fill the gap. That’s why it is all cracked.” She said.
He looked at the sparkling piece of, well, her heart. It was warm and soft, yet hard at the same time.
“I don’t know how to give you a piece of my heart.” He said looking at her confused.
“That’s alright, you don’t have to, I already have it.” His heart, what must be a piece of it lay in her hand, glowing like the ember from a hot fire.
“How did you—” He began.
“I told you. People fall in love with me. I don’t know how or why. But . . . they do.”
She folded her hands together and when she pulled them apart the little ember was stuck fast to the rest of her cobbled mess of a heart.
“There. All fixed.” She smiled and leaned toward him. “I did warn you, you know.”
“I know.” He said, leaning toward her in turn. And with that the boy, who was not going to fall in love, kissed her.