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In case you missed it, my world was well and truly rocked by BlissChick’s incredible post on depression, and some of her subsequent posts

So here’s sort of an abridged version of her post (in italics), and my replies…

…People on anti-depressants are, from my own experience of them, still sad. Why? …Because they are putting a band aid on a broken limb…

I’ve never considered medication seriously, and the question has only been put to me once.

I understand there may be short term relief, but like you, I think it’s not something that ever fixes anything. So, I’m not interested in that path. Sure, it means things might be a little rougher for me, but I’m willing to tough it out.

our souls are made of stories… They must be integrated into your essence or they will always be there. No amount of positive thinking will get rid of them. No amount of medication, eating “right,” supplements, herbals, or exercise… you will react because of them; you will be their slave…

I can see the truth this statement. Oh yes.

When I started writing my blog, I thought I was just writing about being assaulted. But what I learned along the way is, I’m actually writing about everything in my life that led up to that one fateful night.

Fateful, because it was a turning point, even if I didn’t start doing anything about it for almost three years.

( (Honesty + Witness) + (Compassion + Patience) ) x Commitment

The hardest part of this formula is the first variable: Honesty about our stories.

We do everything we can to avoid this. We try to gloss over our stories… The first question to ask yourself is this: Who are you trying to protect by not being honest and why are you going to such lengths to protect them?

I was protecting both my parents, trying so hard to be who they needed me to be …a parent or both parents are exactly who most people are trying to protect…

I’ve really, really shied away from looking at my parents as neglectful. The physical abuse came from my brother, but it was ignored. And my parents were, and remain busy with their own emotional issues. It’s been that way for pretty much my whole life.

I haven’t wanted to admit these things so openly. I’ve wanted to accept them as they are and do what I can to compensate, because it’s cleaner, simpler. Because I know they won’t change. And because there’s nothing to be gained from blaming them for how they are.

…Regardless of someone else’s past, they were cruel to you. YOU were the child. YOU had the right to be the child. Your parents were not and are not your responsibility…

The crucial part, the part I’ve protected the most, has been to avoid admitting my parents were kind of shitty at their parenting job. I still have trouble with that.

I feel like, as a grown up, I should just take responsibility for myself and be done with it.

But perhaps that’s the point – how can the adult truly take responsibility when their inner child is having trouble being heard?

…Trying to understand your abuser is a classic psychological survival method… Your mind has to try to understand why this person is treating you this way, so you start to feel badly for them…

I recognise this. I do. My brother. My mother. My father. I never understood. I still don’t. And I feel bad I can’t be part of the “let’s all be close and loving” fantasy family relationship. I can’t be the “friend” my mother wants, either, especially considering she’s still self-centred and not interested in whatever I might be going through…

Every time my dad loudly has a conversation in front of me with my brother-in-law, about the importance of family (the same one on repeat), I want to be sick. Because he says those things and I KNOW he’s really chastising me indirectly for not being in touch a lot.

But heck, here I am on the brink of bankruptcy and where are they? NOWHERE.

When I was assaulted and hurting and hiding for years… THEY DID NOTHING.

What did they do when I complained again and again and again about my brother hitting me? MADE HIM APOLOGISE EACH TIME BUT NEVER STOPPED IT.

There’s more, much more. YES, they were neglectful and unsupportive parents. YES THEY WERE!!

And YES! I DO feel badly for them. I know they both had unhappy childhoods. I know my mother’s father was an alcoholic and her mother was controlling and manipulative. And that my father’s mother was the most self-centred person I’ve ever met. And my father’s father was adopted and emotionally vacant.

I expect less from them as a result. And yet, if ever I am blessed with children, I know I’d do whatever I can to make sure they feel loved and adored.

…You must be heard and seen… As an adult going through your stories and trying to order them and integrate them, a witness is the person who will give you that “real” feeling…

My witness, of course, has been Marcy. But I have also been graced with others…

Unfortunately I don’t have a ‘Marcy’ in my life. Instead, I write. And write, and write, so I can breathe.

But, those stories are slowly coming out on my blog. Which makes my blog readers my witnesses, I guess (hope you folks don’t mind!).

So witness this: I feel crappy about writing this stuff, like I’m betraying my family. Making a mountain out of a mole hill. It feels wrong and childish to sit here and write about things that have hurt my feelings over so many years and that, truth be told, still hurts my feelings.

And I’m not even half-way done yet! Not even close… however, I don’t know if it’s all for public consumption. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…

Read part 2…