and giving, and giving. I think it gives too much. I have been diagnosed with many maladies through my life: Narcissism, Depression, Multiple-Personality Disorder (oh, please!). My current diagnosis is "Severe Depression with Psychotic Episodes." No I don't go crazy and think people are following me or anything like that. I see things out of the corner of my eye, or hear people say my name when no one is there. Am I crazy? I hope not. But the one thing that I know for sure is that I am clinically, chemically depressed. The doctors have finally gotten my medication correct, and it does help to control the depression. I still get depressed, but not so much so that I can't even remember how to turn on the shower anymore.
There is no actual Psychiatrist in our little town. I was seeing one in Lubbock who really didn't give a damn about much except getting his $75 dollars every month. I was just one in a long line of "crazies" who supported the doctor's trips to exotic places. But at the college I teach there is an instructor who is liscenced in Psychiatry, although he is a practicing professor and not a doctor. My mother, who has lived through my struggles for the last 35 years, has been consulting with him about me. It is now suggested that I not only suffer from depression, but from something called "Quick Change Bipolar Disorder." This disorder is a subset of the "Manic-Depressive" disorder, but the ups and downs are much quicker and more short-lived than the typical manic-depressive's. That would explain the very quick mood swings, irritability, irrationality, and all the other unpleasant personality traits I have.
Today, and the last few days, I have been very depressed. I'm not depressed because I suffer from depression, but because of putting my family through Hell for almost 35 years. My parents did their best, but while I was growing up depression was not seen as a serious disorder. I "wanted attention," I felt "like my parents gave too much time to everything but me," I was "selfish and immature." None of which was true, and just made me even more depressed. My parents have seen me through several suicide attempts, two month-long stays in the hospital, alcohol and drug abuse, and every other thing that goes along with this disorder. My daughter Alyssa is old enough to know that Mommy is "sick," and I can't stand to think that I am letting her down. The last time I tried to commit suicide was when I was 3 weeks pregnant with Aislin, but I didn't know it. That I will hold heavy in my heart until the day I die.
What's most depressing is that Dr. "S" at school is concerned that I am a danger to my children. Who cares if some guy has his 5 year old son's little battery-powered jeep tethered to the back of his pickup, dragging him down our dirt road at 20 mph. Let's worry about Sandy, whose life revolves around her girls and would kill for them. We should worry that she might harm her children, like that woman in Texas or Susan Smith. The only person that Sandy is a danger to is Sandy. Which is probably the most selfish thing I can do, considering that I would be leaving my children without a mother. But wouldn't they be better off without a mother like me, someone who is normal, without mood swings, without migraines, without having to worry if Mommy going to be alive for another day? I am selfish, because in a depressed state I don't consider how much they need me, but how much I need them. They are the blood running through my veins, the sunny bright spots in the dark shadows of my life. They give me warmth and my heart beats when I am near them. Their smell is like ambrosia to me, and I thrive on it.
They give me so much, but what do I give them, my beloved girls, my family, my dear Justin. Not much I'm afraid. Just a bunch of heartache and regret...
And they don't even have a receipt to make an exchange.