So here's the truth. Depression is an odd beast that you an only shut away, not get rid of. I can tell myself that I am a "high functioning depressive" (like that means anything) and that the majority of the time I am excellent at controlling it all, but that really just means I shut it away more convincingly than most. I've managed to keep it in check enough that I haven't sought medication, my brain chemicals are problematic but I get through life ok and don't cause trouble for those around me...
But now I'm a parent.
So right now, I am a mess. I'm locked into a hate/shame cycle that is kicking my butt, and all because I left $10 worth of yogurts in the shopping trolly at the store. I can tell myself the usual stuff; that is was busy, that I was juggling a toddler, that they were on the bottom of the trolly underneath and it was easy to miss them, that when it comes down to it the shopping trip was all on a credit card and we can afford to lose stuff now and then - call it a parenting tax (I write things off as parenting tax all the time, the things you break, lose or have to spend because you're too busy/tired/confused to stay focussed.) But the truth is that once I noticed that the yogurts weren't there I had this sickening heavy feeling in the pit of my tummy, and as I checked and realized what had happened that blossomed into a full blown rage at myself, combined with a sense of terrible guilt and shame.
Here are some bullet points:
- How on earth could you not notice them? It was a big box!
- How stupid do you have to be to lose that? you put the trolly away, did you not notice there was shopping still in it?
- don't you try and blame this on the kid, he was already safely in the car.
- You're an idiot.
- This is just like that time you left a brand new $50 trash can in the EXACT SAME PLACE on a trolly. (It doesn't matter that was two years ago, you did it damnit.)
- You're a parent, what kind of role model will you be for him if you forget basic stuff like this?
- What must the next person to use that trolly have thought? I bet they thought "what moron left this here?"
- Like we can afford to waste money like that. Way to go, what are you going to not buy to make up for it? There goes your next take out. In fact maybe you should skip the next two so you can make up for the next time you're a dumbass and forget something.
- Oh look, you're getting depressed, when you're supposed to be parenting, well that's just perfect isn't it. How are you going to not mess this up? Huh?
The last one, that's the real killer. Because now I'm not just in a normal depressive pit, I have to keep moving, keep smiling. I absolutely CANNOT allow myself a second to sit and cry, because then I'd not only be an idiot, I'd be a terrible parent as well.
I did, initially, collapse. pitiful as the image is I was sitting on my son's bed while he played next door. I put my head in my hands and started to cry a little. But hearing his feet patter into the room, and his innocent "'s ok?" was enough to get me up and moving. So then I'm doing what I call "the empty person." I'm smiling and I'm doing everything I need to do, but inside I'm just hollow. The massive boiling horribleness that was filling me just a minute ago is bottled up, ready to explode the moment I let it. But until I let it out I'm not allowed any other emotion. It's not gone, it's just on hold.
For my little one it's nap time, I took him to his room and closed the curtains. Normally I would stay in, calmly patting him and putting him back in his bed. But this time I just didn't have the wilpower. So i can hear him playing on his trampoline when he should be in bed napping. I am sat on the couch writing this and I just don't have it in me to do what needs to be done. What a responsible parent would do. and there is the shame again. Here it comes.