Archive | October, 2013

Haves and Have Nots

21 Oct

When I was about 10 or so, I called my little sister an ingrate. We were washing our Barbie Dream House outside, scrubbing it with tooth brushes, and I called her an ingrate.  She whipped her cleaning toothbrush at me and it hit me square in the temple. I had what you could fairly call a mild stroke from the impact and my mom, you know, yelled at her. Quite a bit. By all this, what I mean to tell you is: in my family, being grateful is very important. We’re just lucky to have what we do (which, at times, isn’t very goddamn much) and it could all be ripped away at any moment. So be grateful. My parents were basically the original privilege shamers and checkers of Northern Michigan.

My dad doesn’t “believe” in “depression” because, to him, I have nothing to be depressed about. And, I mean, maybe I don’t? I was born in the First World. I’m white, sort of middle class, educated. I live in a safe neighborhood. I have a car. The longest I’ve gone without work since I was 13 is maybe 6 weeks. I’ve been to Europe and I can afford my birth control and anti-depressants. I have never been the victim of a violent crime. I have really good skin.  I have many, many riches. I also have the disease called depression which, I’ve come to accept, doesn’t care about my charming stupid life and all the things I have to celebrate.

I had a panic attack in the fitting room of a JC Penney today, but I made it out to the parking lot before I threw up. To me, that’s a win. I don’t know, you know? I wish that my depression and anxiety was somehow profitable for other people. Like if someone could get a $50 check every time I feel those dark and hopeless itches, I would feel better about mentioning it. This, sadly, is a non-profit situation. My bad and my good are my own. I have to take responsibility for them.

I’m okay, but I don’t always feel good. And right now, in this season, I do not feel good. It doesn’t make me less grateful. It just makes me more scared, lonely, tender, human.

The Day I Bought The Dahlias

4 Oct

It’s one thing, friends, to treat me poorly. It’s quite another to treat me poorly and ask me to make you feel good about it. That costs extra.

The only person in this world who worries about me is my mother, because she thinks I’m stupid. And in that situation, the joke is truly on her, because she thinks she raised a stupid woman. I can’t imagine a greater failure. So there, Mom.

Tonight my friend Nealy asked how I was doing and it was the first time in, like, two weeks that anyone had asked. And I mean, I talk to people. I go out in the world. I have friends and a phone and sisters. I’m just not the kind of person you care about, is all. I don’t know why.

I mean, I’m fine. I working 6 days a month instead of 6 days a week but my bills are paid and I have good teeth and all that. I want for nothing. I need for nothing.

Today, I feel like I don’t love anybody that I used to.

So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to clean this whole scrungy apartment and wash my damn hair. I’m going to bake a birthday cake for Nealy (just the kind of friend I am, folks.)  On Saturday morning, I will go to the market and buy some dahlias.

After my husband left me, I hid up north in my parent’s guest room for the first few weekends. During the week, my day job kept me busy enough but when I had a whole day? I couldn’t do it at first.

But then I did, or felt like I had to. I went to the farmer’s market for the first time a while and I bought some goddamn dahlias. It was the first nice, human thing I did for myself after he left. I put them on the sideboard in our  my dining room. For five days or so, they were a reminder that I just needed to do one thing at a time. So, once more, I’ll start with the dahlias and go from there.