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I grew up with a mother who suffered from depression and was on medication, and this is what my childhood was like... though now I know better and wish she didn't have to suffer!
I grew up with a mother who suffered from depression and was on medication, and this is what my childhood was like… though now I know better and wish she didn’t have to suffer!
Trigger warning: This deals with descriptions of depression and may be triggering to survivors.
“I hate my mom!” the voice inside me used to say!
Teenagers with parents who’re Ok too utter these words in anguish at little incidents of disappointment. For me, I was growing up with my mom, who was suffering from depression.
Of course NO, I do not hate my mom at all, I LOVE her the most in this world! And why not? She’s the one who has given me rent-free space in her womb, endured all the difficulties and immense pain of childbirth. I’m indebted to her all my life, because of her I am!
It’s was just my ignorance as a child and then teenager, about how mental illness unfolds and plays havoc not only on the person suffering, but on their caregivers too.
In my case, the caregiver herself was fighting her own battles of the unknown.
It wasn’t with me to a certain extent. My mom has suffered from depression for over the past 40 years and she still has to take her pills daily, which has quite a few side effects. That’s almost since before my birth she’s been under treatment.
We are three siblings, an elder brother and two sisters, but unfortunately, I haven’t grown up with them. They both lived with my grandparents, while I lived with my parents. I’ve missed all the fun siblings have while growing up.
As my mom was on medication, she used to feel sleepy all day. She would finish her chores and sleep, couldn’t help it, side effects. It wasn’t like I would ask mom to cook my favourite dish and she would cook, rather it was like whatever was cooked I had to have it.
Specifically, on good occasions, her mood would be really bad. So birthdays, Holi, Dussehra, or Diwali wouldn’t be the way others used to celebrate.
It’s never happened that on my birthdays I’ve been happy and celebrated with family. Dad was too busy at work to be part of any of it. When I used to see my school friends throwing birthday parties, I too felt like having a similar birthday party, but it was not possible with mom’s condition. I did have one when I turned 13, I did most of the arrangements, made the dishes with the help of my mom, was a busy birthday!
In fact, when I got my first period, my mom gave me two pieces of cloth from an old cotton saree and that’s it. I learned most of the nitty-gritty from my friends. Even my first bra, I brought it myself! This makes me think today we are so close to our kids and are there for them at every such sensitive phase of their life.
All this environment made me grow up too soon, I matured pretty early for my age. Guess all this has made me the person I am today, like Sigmund Freud’s theory says, events in our childhood have a great influence on our adult lives, shaping our personality.
If I get to go back in past and change something, I want to change the fact that my mom EVER suffered from depression, I don’t want to see her suffer. I want to live with my siblings, we all growing up together. Want to spend fun-loving moments with my family. I too want to have normal celebrations.
The silver lining is, my mom is a totally changed person today, she has recovered to a great extent. She is happy to celebrate our and our children’s birthdays, Holi, Dussehra, and Diwali. Guess that’s life, it comes full circle, have to learn to live with the best we get.
Now that I understand why she had the mood swings and other issues, I feel extremely proud, despite her condition she has raised me just perfect! Also, feel ashamed of the way I used to think!
If you too have lived or live with someone suffering from depression, do write about your experience in the comment box.
First published here.
Image source: RyanKing999 Free for Canva Pro
Mother to a bubbly teenager and a student of psychology, Heena is also a travel enthusiast.
She loves to observe the happenings around her and weave them into beautiful stories.
A writer with a passion read more...
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