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  1. Thank you for reading Daisyrain, it does mean everything to know we are NOT alone!! So an update on me.... I am no longer on Abilify. The doctor put me on Zoloft (sertraline) and literally within 12 hours my mood lifted. I don't know HOW or WHY it worked so fast. I had been on it years ago and don't think it worked back then. But it's day 5 and still working. My mood lifted, I have mega energy...it's just AWESOME! I'll write a longer update soon! But please anyone reading this, do not lose hope. When you're down in that pit, you're not thinking clearly or rationally even though you think that you are. You can and will come out of the pit. just hang in there!!!
  2. Buy an RV, travel the country with no schedule, wake up in a new place as often as I like. But for now I'd settle for about a solid 8 hours of sleep which I cannot seem to get no matter what I try.
  3. SadPeacock, are you my long lost twin? Lol. I go 1...2....(possibly longer) weeks without a shower. I rationalize it too. Like listening to studies saying you don't need more than 1-2 showers a week. But the reality is, no I'm not a water conservationist or hippie, nor am I lazy. For me personally I've figured something out and I'm curious as to whether it applies to anyone else. I had this epiphany than the fact that I was molested as a child, is why I have some of the issues I do such as not showering, not keeping my house clean, etc.. Like I'm trying to make myself unattractive and unlovable. Hoarding to protect myself with "stuff". Or if could just be the depression itself. I've always been like this and I'm so ready to NOT be. I lack the energy too and you know simple tasks to most people like showering, washing dishing, cooking a meal, walking 20 feet to the mailbox, can be absolutely exhausting for some of us. And I think it's something you don't often see talked about a lot in the professional sense. I've seen "poor hygeine" as a symptom, but it never really goes into much detail. One thing I've started doing which is helping - is that I started small. I committed myself to brush my teeth every single night and so far I've done great. It's becoming a habit, a ritual. Just before bed I use the bathroom and brush my teeth. Most of the time that's all I have the energy or motivation for. Sometimes I wash my face and moisturize too lol. Small steps guys. We're doing just fine. And guess what else? Smelling bad is the least of my worries, lol. See...told ya I rationalize it. ?
  4. I posted a VERY long intro in the Depression Central forum, if anyone is interested in reading my full life story. I guess I have been suppressing so much for so long that when I started typing it just kept on coming. So the short version..... Hi! My name's Gummyworm and I have depression and anxiety. I have had it since I was 14 and I'm now 37. I am only just now getting treatment for it because it went undiagnosed for a very long time for various reasons. I'm a female, married, I work from home and I have two daughters who are 13 and 14. I have become so good at hiding my depression that I think I just hoped it would someday go away. It never did...and in fact has only worsened through the years. I believe I may also suffer from PTSD but this is something I have not spoken to my doctor about yet so no official diagnosis. My current treatment plan is medication based. I am taking 300mg Wellbutrin XL and have been since late October 2015. It worked great - helped me stop smoking after a 22 year pack-a-day habit BUT then it just stopped working right around the beginning of this year. My doctor put me on Brintellix which turned into my own personal nightmare and brought suicidal thoughts upon me - not the first time I've had them but the first time I've gone that far into researching things related to it. My doctor has now added Abilify 2mg once per day and it's only been one week but already I feel like it's beginning to work, slowly but surely. I can see the sun peeking through the clouds, whereas before it was just cloudy with a chance of sadness and despair. Throughout my ordeal and dealing with this disease, I have come to realize two things recently. #1 - I may never be completely 'cured' and this will probably be a lifelong struggle but *I AM STRONG* and I am capable of so much more than I've given myself credit for all these years. #2 - I have this strong desire to want to help people who suffer from mental illness. I feel like in many ways it has controlled my life and now I'm taking the control back and I'm going to do that by continuing treatment and also by helping other people who may be at the very beginning of their struggle and perhaps just need that extra word of encouragement to seek help. If you're reading this, and you think you're alone, you are SO not alone. I'm right here beside you, holding your hand and telling you that you matter, that you are a gift to this world and that you can and will feel joy again, despite what your mind is telling you. Gummyworm
  5. *WARNING - this is VERY long and practically my life story. Once I started typing it just started spilling out and I guess I needed to get it out there. If you read it all, bless you. :) If not, I understand lol. TRIGGER warning as well due to suicidal thoughts and molestation.* Hi everyone and thank you for allowing me to join this forum! I have lurked on this site off and on for a while now. I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I was about 14 years old. I have a family history of bipolar depression, but as for myself - I have unipolar depression. My depression started after a traumatic event in my life triggered it. It's very clear to me, looking back now all these years later (I'm 37 now). At the time, I'm sure my mom thought it was just normal teen angst and moodiness. I didn't even know what depression was really, so I certainly didn't know what was going on or that I was even abnormal. That is until I was about 18 or 19 and moved out on my own. That's when I first realized I was depressed. I believe I was looking online for some answers about why I was feeling the way that I was, because by this time I knew I wasn't like everyone else. And what I read led me to the conclusion that I had depression. I put it in the back of my mind, assuming I could snap out of it (I was so clueless and ignorant really). Well about a year later I had a semi-breakdown I guess you could say. I remember crying and telling someone that I thought I was bipolar like my grandmother and sister. I had no job and no insurnace at the time, so I went to the local free clinic where I spoke with a therapist who was totally unhelpful. She just let me spill my life story out to her for an hour and then said we needed to make another appointment FOUR MONTHS from now. I was like.....what??? I couldn't believe it. I guess in my naivety, I assumed that since I was finally brave enough to ask for help for the problems I was having, that I would be HELPED right away...given medication....something. But no. I got discouraged and sunk even deeper into depression and never went to that appointment four months later. So after that, I ended up getting married...then divorced...married again....had two children...divorced again...and met my soulmate after that. Through those years it's clear to me that I was suffering from depression off and on. I had a brief episode of post partum depression after my second daughter was born, but the doctor I was seeing didn't medicate me for it...he just told me to let him know if things got any worse. Once again....the system failed me. :/ I was "okay" for a while...still depressed but functioning and I hid my depression oh so well, as many of you do too I'm sure. I put a smile on my face and pretended to have fun at what FEW social events I attended. I'd always had anxiety as well but never really knew what it was or that it was abnormal until I was older and the internet educated me. So in 2010 I had another semi-breakdown for no apparent reason. I was married to an amazing man (still am!), had two beautiful daughters (still do!), we made good money and lived in a nice house and everything was going GREAT in my life....so why was I barely able to get out of bed??? I didn't understand this. And this was a change from the depression I'd experienced in the past. I knew things were getting worse and I was afraid. At this point, NO ONE in my life other than 1 friend, knew I was depressed - or if they suspected it they never said so. I think my family was in denial. So after some coaxing by a long time friend, I finally got the nerve up again to seek help. This time a doctor prescribed me Zoloft. I was SO relieved! I thought OMG this is going to fix me! Yeah......naive. At this point, not only was my depression worse than ever, but the anxiety had kicked up a LOT to the point where I didn't want to leave the house at all. I had developed a major weather phobia and if the sky was even the slightest cloudy or rainy looking I wouldn't leave the house. I was terrified of storms and tornados and had many panic attacks over it. The Zoloft did absolutely nothing for my depression. It didn't make it worse...but didn't make it better either. Not even a little bit, and i was so discouraged by this. It DID however, help with my anxiety a lot. So in that way, it helped...but not the way I had hoped. The doctor ended up being a "not nice person" and I refused to ever go back there. She upset me so much I was in tears. I will take responsibility at this point and say yes....I did skip out on a few appointments, which led to the doctor being upset with me. I still don't think I deserved the things she said to me. No one seemed to understand that when you're depressed, sometimes you literally don't have the energy to get out of the bed, shower, get dressed, drive to an appointment and put a smile on your face for the general public. I might as well have been asked to climb Mount Everest. That's how it felt to me. So anyway, that was just a bad experience from the start. Oh and during this time I also experienced a miscarriage after my husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for 4 years with no success. And that is when things really started to go downhill.... The miscarriage sent me spiraling down into a dark, dark place. I had my first 'real' thoughts of suicide during that time, and I was beginning to lose hope in everything. I had up until that point been pretty religious, and I was so angry with God for giving me the miracle I had been praying for (a baby) only to snatch it away so cruely. I managed to make it through though, and then my husband had some health problems so I was focused on that and I seemed to be alright - well back to my "normally depressed" self. I would say it was mild depression with dips into the moderate territory that lasted 2-3 days at a time. I never had mania...never have...which is how I know there's no bipolar involved. Fast forward again to October 2015. My husband and I had decided we both wanted to quit smoking. I had been smoking for 22 years at this point and I knew it was going to be a challenge. We both started taking Zyban, which we got from a relative overseas and we were both successful after a few weeks. November 21, 2015 to be exact. That's my quite date. Haven't had a single cigarette since then, and it's still unreal to me. And yes I still have cravings almost daily. :( After being on the Zyban for a while, I began to notice my depression lifting. What I'm about to say is embarrassing but I know you guys have probably heard it all. When depressed, I tend to be very lax about my hygeine and cleaning my home. That's all I'm going to say but basically it's been an enormous problem. I've always assumed (and been told by my mother (another whole can of worms there)) that this is due to laziness. That I'm just a slob. So when I started being concerned with my hygeine and started feeling motivated to clean the house and decorate for the holidays and just feel ALIVE for the first time in forever, I thought what on earth is going on?? I then discovered online that Zyban is the exact same drug as Wellbutrin (Bupropion) and that they just market it separately. So here I was taking an antidepressant and didn't even know it. I do not go to the doctor...ever. Very rarely, despite having insurance. But I decided to go and just tell her about the Zyban and how it was helping me. She evaluated me for depression and anxiety (my numbers were severe of course) and wrote me an official Wellbutrin prescription on December 1, 2015. I'm telling you that the entire month of December was the best month of my whole life. I had motivation, energy, my house was getting clean, I wasn't terrified when someone would come to the door, I wasn't embarrassed for my family to come over and in fact they spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas at my house for the first time in a long time. I was cooking and baking (things I usually loathe), I had no laundry pile-ups, no ring around the bathtub, my bed was made everyday, and since we had some warm weather I was even opening the windows and enjoying the fresh air and sunlight. Trust me when I tell you this was a complete 180 from the person I usually am and have been for most of my life with only brief periods of time like the above. Normally I'm shut up in my bedroom...in bed...curtains drawn, hiding from the world, not answering the phone, dodging texts, and showering once a week if even that (sorry...why am I apologizing? lol...anyway...). So I thought OMG this drug is a miracle. This is what it is like to feel "normal". I was so happy, I was saying to my kids "now that mommy's feeling better we can do this and that". Even my precious furbaby (a Jack Russell Terrier) was following me around the house, watching me clean and I remember thinking "he must be wondering what the hell is happening because this is so unlike me". So things were freaking fabulous - you get the picture. Normal. Wonderful. Heaven. And then New Year's Day came. I was down for the first time in just over a month. I brushed it off, thinking I was just exhausted from the holidays. I remember even thinking to myself "Gummyworm, you have to give yourself a break. You quite smoking which is huge. You have been cleaning and doing all this stuff - no wonder you're exhausted. Don't be so hard on yourself". But then as the days went on, I started to realize...uh oh...something isn't right. I had planned to go back to the doctor to address my concerns, but then some circumstances changed for us and we ended up moving, abruptly on February 1st so I was packing and whatnot the whole month of Janaury and although I was pretty down, my energy level wasn't too bad. For the whole month of February and most of March, I was not doing terribly bad. I went on three weekend getaways, a one week trip to Disney World and a two week camping trip. So I was staying busy and when I'm traveling I'm usually in a decent mood because I absolutely love to travel. So I guess I was distracted a lot, you could say. Just before the camping excursion (mid-march) I finally went to the doctor because my refills were running out. I addressed my concerns about my mood being lower than before and my energy being ok but not like it was in December. My anxiety at this point had REALLY kicked up for some reason as well. She changed me from 150mg twice a day to the 300mg XL version. I thought that was odd but I'm not the doctor, so I went with it. Started the new version of it the day we left for our two week camping trip. During the trip I felt like my moods were stablizing. I wasn't bouncing between low and super low. It was more like good and ok with a lot of anxiety but not so much low mood. And my energy was still pretty decent too, though I hurt my back on the first day of the trip so I started becoming limited with my mobility. I had at this point been experiencing pretty mild insomnia off and on for several months (even before the Zyban), but it was becoming worse too. We came back right at the beginning of April and things have steadily declined from there. I had another doctor appointment in April and my depression/anxiety screening (forms I have to fill out at each visit) showed my anxiety and depression were both severe. And here is where it gets interesting and my nightmare begins..... The doctor said she wanted to add Brintellix (vortioxetine) to the Wellbutrin. I am not 100% sure of this but I think it was 5mg, and it was just once per day. I was very hopeful that THIS is what would "re-activate" the Wellbutrin and soon "my December" would be back. The first week was pretty uneventful. My mood started very slowly, gradually declining. I knew this was a possibility when starting a new medication and I was committed to giving the drug plenty of time to do its thing. I was not feeling better by any means...I was feeling worse. But not enough for concern. The second week is when things got bad. I guess it was day 9 or so of taking it when I began to feel very unstable. My mood was at an all time low. I was crying almost non-stop. NO joy, no happiness, not a smile could be found on my face. I was sleeping off and on 12-15 hours a day in 3-4 hour increments. Still not sleeping at night though, only in the day and this is partially due to my anxiety being really bad. My husband works from 4am to 3pm so he leaves the house at like 3am...I get freaked out by every little noise and just cannot relax. Anyway...so my thoughts were just really, really dark. I started looking up things online about suicide. Researched methods. In detail. I was beginning to scare myself, but at the same time I was rationalizing it. I was telling myself the typical things depressed people convince themselves of: I'm worthless, I'm a burden to my husband and children, they would be better off without me because I just drag them down, I'm not fun or pleasant to be around, I'm just a waste of space, I don't deserve to live, I have done bad things in the past, I was abused and I probably deserved it due to some past life karma or something (I was having some really weird notions), I am in so much emotional pain that I just want to end it, I can't spend the rest of my life like this, I'm better off dead, I am miserable and making everyone else miserable. So yeah, those were the thoughts I was having. And those were the mild ones. I was thinking about notes I would write and preparations I would need to make. I didn't have "a plan" but I was in the process of thinking up a plan for sure. I guess this is what suicidal ideations is? I'm going to take a moment to say this...I have a great life. My husband is THE MOST wonderful man in the universe. We have a very loving, supportive relationship. We're solid. My children are beautiful, healthy and intelligent and they are the best things that have ever happened to me. My husband and I don't have any major financial problems, legal problems or anything that would make our "situation" bad. We go on frequent vacations as mentioned previously, because I love to travel so much. In essence, life is going great for me. As many other people with depression say, "there is no *reason* why I should feel this way". Other people have it so much worse and logically I know this. I feel guilty about my depression, and about being a not great wife or mother. *sigh* So things were very bad. I felt like I was in the deepest, darkest pit of despair. You might remember that movie "What Dreams May Come" with Robin Williams, where his kids are killed in an accident and then he is, and he goes to heaven and then his wife in her despair kills herself and goes to "hell". IF you have seen that movie, you know that depression feels very much like hell looked for this woman. Dark, dank, empty, haunted, sad, just complete and utter despair. You can't see light, you can't feel joy, you can't see beyond the darkness. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. As far as you know, the tunnel is never ending and there's nothing and no one waiting for you at the end. That's depression. For me anyway. I was also beginning to have slight hallucinations. I would think I could hear voices, music, etc. when there was none. I would see things out of the corner of my eyes. So either my house is haunted, or I was hallucinating. :/ Given my mental state, I'm gonna go with hallucinating - something I've never done before. I also began to feel those same 'detached' feelings like I have felt in the past which a friend told me sounded like depersonalization disorder? Like you aren't connected to people...that's for another day though. Whew. That was a lot. If you're still reading this, thank you and I'm sorry for spilling it all out here but I just needed a place to say these things out loud. Okay so despite feeling as awful as I did, I didn't call the doctor. This was for two reasons. Somewhere in my mind I still had enough sanity to know that I should give the medication the full two weeks. I was determined darnit. Yet I also didn't really have the energy or motivation to call, muchless go to the doctor. Until I had to. I held it together through the nurse intake stuff, and then she handed me the forms and she left the room. I started filling them out and as I was doing so, the tears started flowing. I couldn't believe how bad I'd let things get. I knew this was not going to be pleasant. When the doctor came in, I was bawling as I was telling her about how the past week had been. I got the feeling that she maybe doesn't deal with this level of depression too often, as she seemed rattled. She left the room and another lady came in - turns out she's a therapist they have on staff. She talked to me for a few minutes too and she said "I really don't want to have to hospitalize you, but I'm very concerned". I was like oh no...I did NOT want to be hospitalized. I was terrified of that, and for the stupidest reason - because my husband would miss work, kids wouldn't have anyone to take care of them, it would disrupt everyone's lives, not to mention I'd be embarrassed, mortified. What would I tell my kids?? So I quickly reassured this lady that although yes, I was extremely depressed and yes, I had looked up some things about suicide, I did not have any plans to carry them out. I'm here in this office because I need help. I am asking for help. That means I clearly do not 'actually' want to die, right? She ended up making me promise to discuss my depression with my husband (it's the elephant in the room. Surely he "knows" but we've never really discussed it and I had not told him my diagnosis or WHY I was taking the medication other than for anxiety - he did know about that part at least. She also made me promise to tell him about looking up the suicide stuff. I was then supposed to come back the next day to have a session with her, and then in one week to see my doctor who obviously took me off the Brintellix immediately. I know meds affect people differently and I'm sure this drug works beautifully for a lot of people but for me, it caused a very unexpected reaction, obviously. :( So when I came out of the doctor's office my husband could tell how shaken up I was. My face was red from crying. I was silent the whole way home. When he asked if I was ok I just said I would talk to him when we got home. My poor husband - he must have been thinking I had cancer or something. So we got home and I - while bawling hysterically - told him everything that I promised the therapist I would. He was of course supportive. I never thought he would be anything but. It's just that I have embarrassment issues with mental illness (again, another story for another time). I know logically I shouldn't...but I do. The next day the doctor's office called me to say that due to some insurance snafu's with the deductible and the therapist being out of network, I would have to pay out of pocket for the therapy and I just couldn't do that at the time, so I had to cancel that appointment. I hate insurance companies with a passion (and I used to work for one so I know what slimeballs they can be). To the therapist's credit, she called me to make sure I was okay and to make sure I was feeling non-suicidal, which I was. Over the next few days my mood began to improve. My anxiety became much less. I was still suffering with insomnia but I could tell that things were improving. I had a doctor appointment again (one week ago) and the depression and anxiety numbers were much improved. Well the depression was still severe but not AS severe and the suicidal thoughts were gone (and I couldn't believe I was even considering it), and the anxiet numbers were actually in the "normal" range - so that was excellent. The doctor actually wanted to keep me off any new meds (just staying with the Wellbutrin) for a month. I was like WHAT? I told her I wasn't happy with that idea because I'm feeling better and I REALLY want to move forward. I said that I realize this is trial and error. I'm a well-educated person when it comes to this because of my google obsession. I research things extensively. Obsessively some might say. I told her that I was ready to move on and try a new med. I assured her though that IF things started to become serious like they were before, I would call immediately or go to the ER. I also told her that now that my husband knows the truth, he would be able to look for those tell-tale signs that I'm really low and in need of serious help. So she said ok..and left the room..came back with a prescription for Abilify (aripiprazole). I had seen the commercials for this, but didn't know much about it (until later when I looked it up). I'm taking 2mg once per day (in addition to the 300mg Wellbutrin XL). As of tomorrrow I have been taking it for one week. So far, so good. I didn't feel any different really the first few days, which is to be expected. However just in the past 2 days, my mood is definitely improved. I still have very low energy and my insomnia is a bit worse than before. I'm experiencing some agitation as well. But definitely this is giving me hope that things will continue to improve. I go back to the doctor one week from tomorrow. As of today, I sent her an email to ask about possibly doubling my dosage of the Abilify by taking 2mg in the morning and 2mg in the evening. Reason being, I have noticed that after I take it, I feel better for a few hours and then that's when the mood goes downhill, energy decreases and I become agitated. So I'm just waiting to hear her opinion on that. I don't really know how all this works - whether she can authorize this without me coming in for a visit or what. I really think making this change will 'stablize' the unbalanced mood and make me feel even better for the full day and not just the morning and early afternoon. WOW that was seriously a novel huh? There are of course a lot of things ya don't know about me. I will touch on those briefly and if anyone wants to know more I (obviously) don't mind sharing so please just ask. These are just some random facts that may explain the enigma that is me. My maternal grandmother was bipolar - severely - and it was probably 80% depression and 20% mania for her. My half sister (paternal so she's not related to grandma) is also bipolar, though hers is more like 80% mania and 20% depression. So it's possible I have inherited depression from BOTH sides of my family. Although I'm no doctor, I do NOT believe I am bipolar because I definitely don't have manic episodes - ever - never have. My mother is not bipolar and has never battled depression other than situational/grief/etc. Speaking of my mother, we have a very strained relationship. I do believe based on my online research (lol) that she is narcissistic and probably has borderline personality disorder. As such, she will likely never admit it or seek help for it. She would be horrified if she knew I thought this. It has taken me 37 years to realize nothing I ever do or say will meet her approval. I have to stop trying to win it. I also have to understand that she loves me. She's just sick...like me...and it's not her fault. Having a bipolar parent was not easy for her growing up, and for the majority of her life she thought her mother hated her because my grandmother didn't get her diagnoses until her late 50's and she passed away at 66. I feel like I blame my mother for a lot of my issues, but at the same time I forgive her and can't really blame her for all of it. For example, I was molested by a family member (older half brother). I found out years later that she KNEW he had molested several other kids in the family and yet she allowed him not only to LIVE with us, but to babysit me, my brother and sister. I was 4 and 5 when the molestation took place (unless things happened that I've blocked) and he was 17 or 18. My sister was 10 and my other brother was 12. They were also molested. This is a big family secret that everyone knows but no one talks about. I sometimes blame my mother for this happening to us because she already knew he was doing this to kids. Yet at the same time, she was a single mother - my dad had ran off with her best friend and left her holding the bag (a trailer, a truck payment with no truck, one daughter (me), and three half siblings (including my molester). By half siblings I mean they were my dad's kids...my mom didn't have to take care of them - he left them with her though, what was she meant to do? She had to be a single mom - I'm sure it wasn't easy. I just have mixed feelings there. To further complicate things, I never told her about my molestation for many years. What happened was, when I was 13, in 7th grade social studies class, our teacher was talking to us about such things as child abuse. She said "if any of you have secrets like this and want to unburden yourselves, need someone to talk to, etc, you can come to me anytime". I liked and trusted this teacher, and so one day I stayed after class and told her what had happened to me. Other than my best friend, this was the ONLY person I'd ever told. The adult me is in awe of that little girl and how amazingly brave she was. The adult me wants to go back in time and cry and hug her and comfort her. In fact I'd like to go back in time and save her from this ever happening to her. So the kind teacher promptly took me to the guidance counselor's office. I had a good, established relationship with the counseler already thanks to middle school girl drama. So I then relayed everything to her. She called in the principal (a man) and I had to relay everything to him - VERY UNCOMFORTABLE!!! They told me that whenever something like this is reported, even though my molester (oldest half brother) did not live with me anymore and I hadn't seen him but every so often, that they have to report it to the police. Greeeeaaaaat, I thought, wishing I had never spoken up. I dreaded telling my mother but I knew I needed to. That very night, I said "you might get a call from a detective tomorrow" and she pracctically wrecked the car. Our trip to the mall was cancelled and we went home where she prodded me for details that I wasn't ready to give her. I basically told her WHO (like she didn't know) and WHEN and that's about it. Do you know what her reaction was to all of this? She scolded me for telling "a complete stranger" rather than telling her. She was actually ANGRY with me. She didn't want to hear from any detective. This was a private family matter and should have been kept as such. I had no business "airing our dirty laundry". I'm sure now you can understand where the root of my strained relationship with her began. As it turned out, the detective never called her. Nothing ever came of it. I did have to relay everything to the detective that next day and I don't really remember what all happened around then because I guess I was just traumatized by it all. But in the end, nothing else happened. He didn't go to jail (though I know they spoke to him). He has 4 children...one of which is a girl who would be about 13 now. Yeah..... This moment in time (above) is when my depression was triggered. In hindsight, there was probably some PTSD there (and may still be). That event really set things into motion for the rest of my life. However it wasn't until the following year (8th grade) that I had my first major episode. I didn't realize it at the time - and I guess my mom assumed it was just normal teen depression stuff, but basically I skipped school for an entire week...for no other reason than I didn't feel like going and I wanted to sleep. I stayed home and watched TV...pigged out...slept...and I knew I would be caught eventually but I didn't care anymore. After missing school for a week, the school called my mom at work and she came home in the middle of the day to find me sitting on the sofa watching TV with a pile of candy next to me. She was very angry...VERY. However she believed my excuse which was a total lie. I told her that I was ashamed of my clothes and thought they were ugly (totally ridiculous because I had nice, name brand clothes). She believed it though, probably because she wanted to think it was that simple. And she took me to the mall and bought me a whole new wardrobe. By this time, I was an only child. My older half sister and brother were young adults now and had long since moved out years earlier to live with my dad. So that was my first 'episode' and I don't think things ever went back to normal after that. I started smoking right after that, at age 14. I started drinking the following year. I've never have an alcohol or drug problem, thankfully - but I was drinking when I was 15 so that's not good either. I ended up quitting high school when I was 17 because I had yet another 'episode' where I skipped school for over a week and between that and all the other days I had skipped, I fell so far behind that it would have been next to impossible for me to catch up. So I quit halfway through 12th grade - I was 5 months from graduating. NO ONE SAW THIS AS A BIG DEAL!?!?! No one stepped in to help me, to realize I had a serious problem. NO ONE. In hindsight I guess depression wasn't as 'talked about' as it is now. That's my only guess. Plus this was the 1990's and the internet in homes was brand new and I don't even think we had search engines to look things up back then. So how was anyone to know unless they were professional?? I think about these things far too much... After high school I met a boy...married him the following year...then divorced...then met another man and had two children with him and I hated him actually...long story there...left him and met my current (wonderful) husband who has been helping me raise the two children (girls) from my previous relationship. We have been trying to have a baby together since we got married in 2007 to no avail. I did have a miscarriage in 2011 which was understandable VERY difficult for me and I think I nearly lost my mind - as if I wasn't mentally unstable enough. I've had periods of 'being ok' throughout the years, obviously. I've had joy and happiness at times. But as a whole, I've been depressed since I was about 14 and it's only getting worse. I have struggled to hold down a job. My longest stretch was about a year and a half and that was during the time I met my current husband. I now work from home as a freelancer. I don't have to communicate with people in person, I hide behind my computer and no one knows what I am really like because I have never met any of my clients in person. All they know is my shiny, smiley, happy, professional nature that I present to them. :) :/ And I've already mentioned about the hygeine thing and the cleaning thing. Both have been present for as long as I can remember, starting when the depression started, if not before. At varying times I have had to deal with the molestation trauma by telling certain people about it (friends...which I only have 3 btw and they are all 'online' friends but I've known them for years. I have NO 'in real life' friends that I am in contact with anymore and haven't been for many years). Going back to my relationship with my mother...she's said some horrible things and done some horrible things to me over the years. In my teens, she had somehow reconnected with my molester. I don't even remember how or why. He was beginning to have kids and so when he invited her to their birthday parties, she made me go even though I protested. And before you even ask, YES THIS WAS AFTER SHE KNEW WHAT HE DID TO ME. He never touched me again, but I have always wondered about his little girl. It's always been a source of guilt and anxiety for me. When my daughters were little (3 and 4) she and my molester had reconnected yet again and once again "we" were invited to one of his kids' birthday parties, and although he had lived far away from us for a while, now he was 30 minutes from us (and still is). At this time I was between husbands (lol) - so it was just me and my little girls living with my mom. When she told me about how she wanted to take my daughters to this party, I flipped out. I literally LOST MY EVER LOVING MIND. We had the biggest argument and even my sister who was visiting us at the time was DEFENDING my mom's position on it, which was that it was "a long time ago" and that she would be watching the girls and he wouldn't have a chance to do anything to them. Is this absolute insanity to ANYONE other than me??? I flat out refused to go or to let her take my daughters but honestly I was weak...I was living in her house...she's always been able to manipulate me into doing whatever she wants (and still does) by guilt tripping, threatening, etc. And so somehow....I agreed to letting her take the girls, very reluctantly. As it turned out, my 4 year old was sick and couldn't go thank goodness. But my mother did indeed go and took my 3 year old daughter. To this day I don't know if anything happened to her. I hope not of course, but I don't KNOW because I wasn't there. I didn't protect her. I feel so guilty over this and I hate myself for being so weak. I hate my mother for asking such a thing of me. I'm just....very bitter about this and I have expressed this to her not long ago. In fact I said "if this happened today, there is no way - absolutely NO WAY that you would take my kids around him". Fast forward a few years. She has never went to another birthday party of his. But when the era of Facebook began - everyone started joining it including me, my mother, my siblings, and....my molester and his wife. They both friend requested me and I didn't accept. However every other single person in my family is FB friends with this man. And his wife. And his kids. The wife and kids of course I hold no animosity toward. Only him. And you guessed it.....MY OWN MOTHER is FB friends with him. Yep. A few years ago I pointed it out to her, how absolutely horrifying it was to me that she was FB friends with him. her reasoning was that she never talks to him, so why does it bother me? She doesn't get it. He's on her friend list as we speak and he probably sent her a Happy Mother's Day message too. It makes me want to vomit, literally. Even my sister and brother who were also molested by him....and their kids....I mean???? I just don't get it. My dad has a relationship with him too. I have no relationship with my dad. I don't love or hate him - I don't really know him. The most recent absolutely horrible thing my mother has said to me was about 3 years ago she developed a heart condition. I had to practically FORCE the woman to go to the ER. She (like me) doesn't like going to the doctor unless it becomes a necessity. When she was to the point of near death she finally let me take her to the ER where she was diagnosed with heart failure. The moment when they were doing the...sorry I don't know what it's called EEG? EKG? Where they look at her heart in detail with a machine...and the doctor said to her "you have heart failure" - I fell into a bit of shock. I didn't know what to do or say and I just felt numb. I didn't know what this meant. As soon as he left the room, she looked me square in the face and said "You did this to me". And that my friends....is where I will leave it for now. Other than to say that my mother is ok now...medicated and her heart is much improved. Meanwhile I feel like a complete trainwreck and just typing all this stuff out above....I'm actually a little bit amazed that I have not already gone off the deep end. :/ Thank you for reading, and I welcome any comments or questions whether public or private. It's my hope that my story helps someone who is struggling to know they are NOT alone. Depression carries such a stigma. It's hard to talk about and so is molestation. But it needs to be talked about. I'm tired of keeping it all to myself - I physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually cannot do that anymore. It's just reached a point where I can't control or contain it. It's out there on the internet now...forever...and that makes me feel better just knowing that someone else knows. It's not all bottled up now. Finally, I will leave you with a quote I read today that stood out to me. "You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have." - Bob Marley Gummyworm
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