I think we all pretty much know this, but, as a reminder, depression sucks!
It makes dealing with my life’s choices and circumstances really, freakin’ hard…especially because I’m doing it on my own.
I’m not “alone,” exactly. I have some friends I can call, some online groups I can reach out to, and two faith communities which offer spiritual support and help me reconnect to God’s presence when I’ve gotten overwhelmed and forgotten to let that divine presence in.
However, I AM doing it on my own.
I reside in an apartment with five members of my immediate family during the week, then I sleep on my ex’s couch on the weekends, so our daughter, who experiences the special needs of high functioning autism spectrum disorder, can be around her dad despite his weekend work schedule. The expense of child care, especially overnight, isn’t affordable.
I’m the support person for the family in my home, sort of: My 22 year old daughter, her 23 year old boyfriend/partner, and their two toddlers – my 2 year old granddaughter and her 1 year old brother. My youngest child is 7. My adult daughter works outside the home and the daddy takes care of the g-babes at home. Everyone’s stressed and relations are strained and we’re all in survival mode – mutual emotional support is in very limited supply.
At my ex’s things are a different kind of stress, as might be suspected. The atmosphere when we’re both there is tense and angry. My PTSD is triggered and I basically shut down, emotionally – except that the sadness, anger, and resentment tends to result in tears and irritability.
In the midst of it all, I’m trying to work through my emotional trauma recovery and learn how to manage the triggers and symptoms of Bipolar II Disorder and PTSD. Plus there’s the fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, and diabetes.
Parenting, learning how to parent, a child on the spectrum is painful and exhausting, despite the good parts, which can be overshadowed by almost daily meltdowns. The joy and love I get and feel from her and the grand babies is wonderful and keeps me from going too deep into the depression, but the physical and emotional exhaustion of sibling rivalry between the three of them and tantrums wears me down.
There’s no money, no time, and no space.
I don’t want a man because I need one to make me feel whole. I want a partner to help carry all of this. I want someone I can trust to do what needs to be done when I need the space and time to take care of myself. I want someone who will take the initiative to do the things that need to get done that I. Just. Can’t. I want to be able to hug and be hugged, just because. I want someone to have meaningful conversation with, to laugh with, to just be…with.
Except, I don’t have the wherewithal to be and do those things for him. Then there’s the whole issue of what sane, secure, stable, and capable man would willingly enter this chaos? What man wants a mentally and physically challenged, middle-aged, obese woman with the responsibilities and entourage I have?
Who has the time to “get out there” and look. Not I. Who has the energy and the confidence? Not I. Who has a broken picker and doesn’t trust herself to attract the kind of man with the character, integrity, and capacity to enter this world? Yep. That would be me.
Loneliness sucks about as much as depression. At least God loves me.