Thursday, March 20, 2008

wow, part 2

I cannot remember a time when I haven't been depressed. It is my status quo, my point of equilibrium. My problems reach way back into my childhood. I remember going to a child psychologist for a little while when I was about 11 years old, all I really remember is playing cards and that he/she (I can't remember which) had a neat machine for shuffling them.)

The wow that started this was the quote from Tuesday. The reason for wow has to do with almost a year of therapy that I thought didn't do me any good. This was about 10 years go, and the therapist's conclusion was that my depression was rooted in my relationship with my father. I had not received the love/support/attention/whatever from my dad that I needed. The problem I had with this conclusion was that I didn't believe it. I love my dad and respect him for who he is and what he's accomplished in his life. I just couldn't reconcile what I felt for my dad and what my therapist told me was the problem.

And then I read the wow passage and it slapped me in the face. I didn't have to defend my feelings for my dad by denying what the therapist told me. It wouldn't be a betrayal to acknowledge his role in my emotional state.

I don't know if I agree with my therapist, even with this realization. But I really wish I could have read this back then, I might have been able to get something out of therapy other than a huge bill.

I have a lot to think about.

20 deeply creased, dogeared comment(s):

liv said...

i think that no matter how much we love our parents there are things that lurk beneath the surface. we all do the best we can with the tools that we have. sometimes our tools are not enough.

Franki said...

it was a big day in my world when i realized that my parents were just fucked up humans with a buncha fucked up baggage who were stumbling along in life and messing up, just like me. it was then that i realized they never meant to hurt me and it was then that i started to love them without judgment and unconditionally.

urban-urchin said...

you're on your way Bob. It's huge to be able to realize that your parents just did they best they could with what they had.... Good for you.

Jason Dittle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Susanne said...

I know I'm nosy but are you "on medication" depressed or just "wandering under my own black cloud most of the time" depressed? And does it affect your family? (Dumb question, of course it does.)

I'm curious because I'm struggling with where my own brand of depression or bipolar disorder falls.

Your "wow"-moments sure sound exciting.

Bob said...

liv - I guess I need a new set of tools.

franki - it isn't easy to change the way we see our parents. while I certainly don't see them as I did growing up, I guess I don't have an unbiased view of them now either. with this realization maybe I can change that.

uu - I'm trying. it'll take time.

susanne - I don't mind the question - I'm not on meds, tried in the past and had no effect. I haven't tried them in combination with therapy, though.

I might give that another shot. maybe.

Glamourpuss said...

I'm with Franki. But as an aside, have you read any of Dorothy Rowe's work? She is amazing on depression - really helped me to come to terms with it.

Puss

Em said...

We're all human, parents included. You can love them even though they were imperfect.

Franki said...

ahhh, so that's what you meant by Puss is with me. ;)

i was bery confused cuz i woulda thought i woulda noticed her if she were here!

dem peeps are too cute!

Bob said...

puss - no I haven't. I'll look for it.

em - especially if they aren't.

franki - I'm such a moron sometimes.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Might I suggest that your greater loyalty is to yourself as you are the one who will be with you your entire life?

It's not only ok to acknowledge mistakes our parents made, perhaps it even makes our love for them more meaningful because it is not based on their nonexistent perfection.

Jocelyn said...

I hope you can keep readjusting yourself according to the revelation in that quote. My sister could use that quote, frankly, but she's not ready to let it in. So she remains estranged from my mom, who did her very, very best, but who was not at all the mother my sister needed.

Strange, that.

I feel privileged to have visited your blog, Bob.

Bob said...

hearts - I thought I had made the transition from the child-parent relationship I had with them growing up into a peer-to-peer relationship. I'm thinking that I haven't completed that journey yet, and the rockiest bits are ahead.

Bob said...

jocelyn - the funny thing is that I have a great relationship with my parents, one that I don't want to ruin. hence my hesitation to assign to them the source of my problems.

I hope your sister can be reconciled with your mother before time runs out.

believe me, if you have found something of value here, the privilege is mine.

flutter said...

When we accept our parents as flawed creatures, we accept ourselves as the same.

You can admit your dad made mistakes without hating him.

Kate said...

I've been in therapy for seven years and am just now getting to the part where I become a peer with my parents. And I'm the one that has to do all the work. They don't WANT to change it. It works for them just the way it is.

Hang in there. Depression is a demon. But it can be handled!

Bob said...

flutter - sounds so simple.....

kate - I'm hangin'! Thanks. my folks aren't in a hurry to change either.

Anonymous said...

I was visiting with a friend about these types of issues the other day and how my brother thinks it's time for me to "get over" whatever went down in childhood, and that somehow I don't seem to be able to let go of it. And my friend, my brilliant friend, pointed out that I am still living my childhood. I am the one who is still geographically close, I am the one who provides support of all kinds, evidently including being here to be continually kicked some more, 'cuzz, well, they just must not be done with that yet. My brother, on the other hand, lives in a different country and basically writes a couple of times a year in the years that he can work that into his schedule. Yeah, I'm with you wondering about this happiness thing. I'm not even sure that I believe in it anymore. Some of what I have seen that other people call "happy" wouldn't work for me anyway, so maybe I should just strive for functioning and see if I can accomplish that before going all wild and stuff and thinking about happiness.

Christine said...

flutter took the words right out of my mouth. it has only been very recently that i can understand my mom and dad and accept their faults and still love them for it. in a way, i am accepting their humanity which i never did before. they were always above that somehow, supernatural. but seeing them as people, as dumb as that may sound, helped me love them even more.

Bob said...

anon - it's easy to put it behind you when you're thousands of miles away and stay there.

Christine - I have to work on that. I had thought that I was able to see them as equals - but I think maybe I haven't yet. thanks for stopping by.