The anonymity on the boards actually gives me the courage to tell my whole story. I never have, not even to either therapist. I couldn't, because I was ashamed of certain things or afraid word might somehow get back to the people involved in a bad way.
I had always had really high grades and protected my two younger sisters (I was the eldest) from th fury of my father and my mother's pain.
Dad had always enjoyed alcohol, and cetain species would turn him into a mean drunk looking to vent. Rather than giving him reason to vent, I tried to be the perfect child: do all the chores I could, perfect grades, watch my sisters and help them as necessary, be quiet , calm, and stand down rather than make his ire worse.
My mother had depression and only within the past few years has it been diagnosed. Her way to take care of it was to run off for periods of time (usually 2-6 hours) and not tell anyone where she was going, so she could get away from everything. She had just become friends with her now best friend andbecause of her depression, my mom kept trying to renege on the friendship, saying that she deserve such a person as said friend. I was always the one who had to try and locate mom via phone. I caught her with the kitchen knife one time and ended up having to talk her out of suicide. Another time I had to help talk her off the bridge. My solution: make everything perfect and be perfect so mom can't get depressed.
In high school was when my mothers depression and my fathers alcoholism took a turn for the worse, I think those may have been linked.
I became my fathers favorite toy when he was drunk. Clean this, do this, you did this wrong *smack*... you get the idea. I distinctly remember dad coming home once and raging that the bedroom floor wasn't clean ( there was a solitary barbie in the floor and that was it) and he pulled out the belt. It was/ is a wide leather one with a Texas- size buckle. He was going to use the buckle end. Thankfully, Iwas able to herd my sisters over by the closet. He couldn't get in that area because the bunkbed post and dresser were too close together (He's a rather large man). He still did his darnedest to get at us. I was trying to protect my sisters with myself, because they were younger and would hurt more. I got a couple of bruises, but thankfully, that was all.
Between trying to be perfect, trying to find my way in religion, and not being able to talk to anyone, one day I snapped. I huddled in an area I'd cordoned off as mine and cried for hours on end. I then wrote The Letter to my mother, delineating everything wrong. My father intercepted it and gave it back to me, unopened, saying it'd be best not to give it to Mom as it's just make things worse. That was the cycle in high school: take it, be perfect, take it, be perfect... SNAP, crying, hysterics (away from my father, who was of the school "I'll give you something to cry about, and my mother, for fear of making her run away), repeat ad nauseum. There was one time I comtemplated doing something stupid, but I caught myself and called my (now) water brother. My happiest memories of that time involved academic competitions on Saturdays.
I then went to college. I was fine, even went into remission for a while. Then college got difficult and i started having problems in my first long term relationship. went to the quack shack and got diagnosed with depression for the first time. I took it as my mind waging war against me and refused medication, accepting only therapy. It evetually went dormant until my next boyfriend. This boy was the epitome of verbal and emotional abuse. Nothing was good enough, he had a temper to rival my father'f and a tendency to throw things when mad.The closest he ever came to kissing me in our 8 months together was gramma- like kisses on the cheek. I went to meet his parents and was given a list of clothing not to wear or bring with me. He took me to try and learn to drive in his vehicle and got pissed when I couldn't make a 3 point turn on a country road, even after I'd told him I'd never done a 3 point before. He berated me the entire time back. He berated me if when I was choppingveggies, some fell off the ridiculously small cutting board. Another water brother of mine kept trying to help me see the light. I didn't until he dumped me via text message, email, and facebook. I was devastated. That led to a major relapse. No desire to do anything stupid, but people had to fight to get me to do anything. It took the threat of the hospital to get me willing to help myself. Depression was still my mind waging war on me.
I went back to school that next semester and met my now fiancee. During a single weeks span I found out a) my gramma's cancer had come back and was more aggressive, B)my sister was engaged to a fleabag twice her age, and C) I wouldn't be able to take an absolutely crucial summer class, which would've pushed back my graduation date. I tried and tried to get it out of my system every way I knew how, but every time I dealt with one, two more were piled on. Finally, there was a day up at work ( I worked IT) when I had a stupid professor who thought he knew my job and royally screwed up what should've been a 5 minute process, turning it into essentiallya required boot and nuke. I flipped. I tried calling my fiancee, my friends, everyone I could. I got no one. I called the school quackshack, head shrinker division, and went in to vent. I came kissing cousin to having a breakdown. They said that, given my answers to the questionairre, I could voluntarily set up free shrink appointments with them and consider getting medicated, or they could have me referred to the local hospital psych ward. I got a decent therapist, and he finally got me to come around to chemical imbalance rather than personal weakness. I tried Citalopram. BIG mistake. It made it infinitely worse. i cried at the drop of a hat and could do nothing without being forced or forcing myself. I went off the drug and the shack reccomended Prozac. my mom's reaction to Prozac is what mine was to citalopram. I said hell no and went ahead and graduated. I came here with my fiancee and got a job with a bureaucratic organization I din't want to work for and a patronizing, my way or the highway boss. i relapsed and had to wait for my company insurance to kick in before I could see a doc. I saw one, got on welbutrin and life is livable again. Unless I'm under extreme stress or someone's a real biscuit eating son of man to me, I can handle it.
Thank you for letting me share my story. That was rather cathartic, actually.