The worst possible feeling in the world is watching your loved ones hurt while you can do absolutely nothing about it. To stand idly by, knowing that no matter what you do and what you say will make them feel better is a suffering of its own kind. This is the current state of mind as I watch my mom burst into tears in my dad’s arms as she struggles with her recent relapse of depression.
Her current bout of depression was caused by the deaths of my grandparents on my dad’s side in the last 9 months. Grandma was no surprise when we found out a year ago. With her it was sort of a relief that she wasn’t in pain anymore. Grandpa turned out to be the horrible surprise that would end the last final of my first semester of college with more tears than I expected. She also had some problems with a former member of the church she goes to who had been harassing her, the pastor, the pastor’s family, and other church members. On top of which, she was given almost near the final breakdown when my dad had to be hospitalized for a night due to something that turned out to be nothing (I don’t even remember the proper medical terms for it). I didn’t know that she had a relapse, or at least one so serious, until she came up to visit me at college in March. My strong mom, the person who is always chipper and so concerned about me, was facing her own battles that were far more serious than the one I was having with multivariable calculus. I thought it got better when I had come back for spring break. I thought that when she would pick me up to take me home from college for the summer, she would be better. But she was worse. She’s lost at least 25 pounds and it scares me everyday.
I’ve been doing what little I can to make her feel better. I’ve been forcing her to eat more, and I usually am able to do this if I cook or bake for her since she then feels obligated to eat it. I’ve been making her watch that favorite asshole of ours Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations to make her laugh and see all the delicious food that she was missing out on. But it doesn’t seem to be enough.
Although I’m probably agnostic in the most possible way, with an answer of “Neither Agree Nor Disagree” to the question “I believe in God”, my mom is fairly Lutheran, but now she doesn’t even want to go to church anymore. For her, this is where all her friends are, where she laughs and is with people from her Danish culture, a place that she loves. It’s like she’s tired of even trying to make herself happy and it makes me feel like a bystander in my own mother’s internal war.
I’m supposed to be the strong one now, or at least stronger than I was before. But I don’t think I am. My own weakness to succumb to my emotions is bearing down on me and I don’t know if I can handle it. The iron wall that’s been cast on my heart since last September is rusting and becoming hard and there’s no one to break it down altogether. How can I be the person that I need to be for my mom when I can’t even seem to be the person I need to be for myself? How can I be the strong one for both of us when my own susceptibility is in the way? Whose arms can I run into with my own tears if there’s no one around? If no one wants to be around?
I have discovered that my personal life and my academic life have an inverse relationship. Every time that my personal life is going well, it seems that I suffer in academics, which I guess makes in a way because this is when I’m trying to be social (shocker, I know) and so I have less time for academics. However, a personal family problem has risen (which I will only go into detail about if asked because this actually is pretty serious) and so of course, somehow I got an A on my art history midterm. I would really really like it if my worlds, academic and personal, could be in balance with each other. That would be really splendid.
So it turns out that you’re not just the sweet, docile, shy girl who blushes at the mention of her friends having sex. No. You’re also the girl who wants a whip and a riding crop in her closet. Who knew?
So I started off the day with chocolate pancakes. Now in my book, any day that starts off with anything chocolate is a good day. But no, not today.
I’m about 98% sure that I failed my math quiz today which really sucks because I’m minoring in math and I want to prove to all those engineers that I’m not just another stupid liberal arts major.
I go to my Psych lecture, which I am still waitlisted for (I’m #1) but it’s a pain in the ass and is causing me way more anxiety than it should.
Then I get back to my dorm from lunch. Check my email, Twitter, and other social networking sites, including Facebook. On my feed pops up something by my ex in correspondence to one of his friends and I don’t really pay any attention to it until the word “relationship” occurs. The full sentence reads: “I tried a relationship, and well, it was boring…” In other words, the most indirect “fuck you” to me happened. And I should be furious at him. I should be mad and call him up and yell at him saying that I’m sorry for being such a big fat fucking waste of time. But I didn’t and I won’t. Instead, I’m feeling awful about myself which is new since I got back to Berkeley, and I’m trying my best not to spiral down like I did last semester.
What’s bothering me most about this was that I thought we were fine. I thought the relationship had been great and I thought he thought so too. And that tiny little sentence that just happened to pop on my Facebook News Feed has caused me to feel like the biggest waste of time and another piece of evidence that I sincerely was not worth it.
Sometimes, I just don’t understand how I can still feel hurt by the same person after all this time.