Seasons, Hiking, Fall, Trails, Backpacking

Be Here Now

Stephanie's Journal

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Something I Know Too Well
Seasons, Hiking, Fall, Trails, Backpacking
My mom has depression and in my opinion, ineffective ways of handling her problems. I've noticed, that whenever I ask her a question, she treats me like I'm the last thing she ever wanted to talk to her on the planet and she answers defensively. She jumps way to far ahead and gives too much information when a simple and direct yes, no, I don't know or any other extremely easy answer would be the perfect thing to say. She stomps around the house saying with a forked tongue that she hates everyone and everything constantly. Sometimes she throws things and breaks them. She cusses I would say way worse than a sailor. It's gross and it's irresponsible and it's disrespectful to herself and to others. She's the only one with the power to change her life. The same power she gives to her thoughts and emotions in this direction she can just turn them right around. But she won't make that choice. She was molested as a child and has always been that victim. Whenever I tell this to people, friends, they commonly say two things, she could try anti-depressants and that she could get some therapy. She's taken every anti-depressant, anti-anxiety type drug out there at one point or another. And she works in the mental health field, has a Masters degree in it, her boyfriend has a Doctorate in Psychology, her friends work in the same profession and she's seen therapist sometimes consistently, sometimes not. Which reminds me of someone who has a 'weight problem' and is trying to lose weight. You'll often hear them say that they've tried every diet with little or varying results in weight loss. And these people never learn to lose the weight until they learn that they've got to apply themselves to doing so. They've got to do the work, seek the assistance and leave behind whatever was holding them back.

My mom is familiar with methods of help, but her choices reflect her defeatist attitude. She try's to apply reason to her state of mind but she always gives the cause as being from something outside of herself, by saying that it's menopause, or that it's just present circumstances that are making her feel this way, be it a separation from a boyfriend, financial situations, problems with the house, the yard, the car, a friend, a daughter. Her therapist that she's seen for the longest period of time, I've been to before a few times so I know how she works and this lady is a friend of my mom's and just let's my mom talk, occasionally offering guidance that my mom readily expresses that she grasps intellectually but can't ever seem to take it to heart. Obviously this form of free expression therapy, or whatever technical name it has is not effective. Or at least it's not showing me or anyone else, in the family, or to her friends, any sign of change in behavior, which would indicate a change of mind. She's part of a 12 step Al-Anon program, her ex was an alcoholic for part of their relationship and in AA 'recovering alcoholic' for the rest of it. She has been going to meetings for a few years now. They seem to give her a sense of peace at times but her old ingrained habits always gain strength and overshadow any progress that she's made. I have no bicker with her in Al Anon though. Nothing bad has come from it. Though I once wrote something as if I were her saying, "I know I told you I was happy through my frown but, guess what I lied, but I don't know when I'm lying to myself and when I'm practicing my Al-Anon 12 step principles." I was angry at her at the time.

My mother is of course a kind person. I see her be gentle with certain people and situations. She's sweet and charming and really has an eye for fashion and decor. She always tries to make people laugh and looks to laugh for herself. She doesn't drink or smoke. She likes to dance. She has an intelligence and certainly an intuition. But all of this is buried when she's depressed, which is most often than not. The good traits only come out sometimes like a ray of sunshine through ominous cloud cover.

This stuff that one can't avoid, family. If my mom were a lover, I'd probably leave her or just never engage in anything with her in the first place. But, she's my mom for a reason and I am bound to her in this connection. I often think that she will never change for as long as she lives. And that makes me sad. I just don't see it in her to make a radical change. But it's her life, I'm not omnipotent and I don't know. Anyway, it just sucks. The only conclusion I've come to is that I've just got to work hard for myself (which in turn means applying effort to being generous and stewardship) and this will help everybody, including her. The healing of someones heart and soul can take years, lifetimes even, and the choice is up to her. Though she is never alone.


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