When Depression Hits Your Parents

Photo by Ao Kim Ngân a.k.a. Yatender

Photo by Ao Kim Ngân a.k.a. Yatender

I grew up in a generally happy family. The kind that was average – you felt nothing more than just a little bit of family warmth, and that seemed enough to suffice for your entire childhood. But after a while, depression struck us a family – now we are even more distant than ever, my heart torn into shreds, knowing that I can’t do anything to make things better. It started with my mom – she became more sensitive, more insecure, more unreasonable and slowly as I grew up I realised that she was being overwhelmed by that darkness within. I did everything I could.

Suggesting therapy, being there for her, but it was already too late and she had already succumbed to the darkness. Every day is a challenge for me now – I wake up knowing that she will throw something at me, that she will attempt to hurt herself in order to make me stay at home with her. I know that she will cry uncontrollably, and that I will always have to be there to help her when something happened. She felt so alone. But my presence never helped, it made her feel worse. And slowly, I got used to being irrelevant, unloved, and unappreciated. Yet I continued to hope she would be happy.

Then came my dad – the man who took on the burden of working because she stopped work. Every day was a struggle for him too, being wronged by my mum, having to see her break down yet refuse to seek help. Dad was in pain as well, but he tried to be strong. He always tried to be my role model – always smiling, making sure that I was doing fine with my work. He always took some of that sadness in me away. But that didn’t last forever. Soon after that, he started becoming like my mom. It was exactly the same – the extreme mood swings, the insecurities. It’s not as bad as my mom but… it hurts like shit and it pains me to see him like this. Both of them refuse treatment, and I know that there is nothing I can do if they don’t want help themselves.

I struggle from anxiety and severe depression. But I chose to seek help. Perhaps my parents didn’t want to believe that they were not well, perhaps they just wanted to be themselves. I don’t know. I still don’t. And I probably never will know. But living with them is tiring – it takes a toll on my own health. But in the end, they are my parents. And despite the things that they say, despite the harm they inflict on me, I wake up every day, still glad that they are alive.

This is a story of not a child suffering with her own demons – she suffers because of the demons in her own parents. And she is powerless against it. Yet she refuses to give in and continues to fight.

Anonymously submitted to ArtParasites