So here I am writing, coming out of (I hope) a slight two month or so long depression. So a couple things for context. I donít write for sympathy, or empathy-whatever; mainly its about getting thoughts that are bugging me out of my head- which has been so therapeutic. When I read my writing after a few months, Iím generally not in the same place. Situations change, I change, and hopefully for the better.
So back to the depression thing. Its generally a part of my life that comes and goes. Its just now that Iím older Iím starting to get it. What happens to ďtriggerĒ these episodes, if you will. Other times, especially if Iím down and out; I think it never leaves I just manage it better. But today I feel better sorta. Hereís the thing. In past blogs it was about the past, dealing with past issues- child abuse, abandonment, adoption, the list goes on. Which for me was super helpful in atleast identifying why I feel bad, whats the root. Getting better.
This time was different. A combination of events happened and bam! There I was sinking into a depressed state, which I also think is suppressed rage to some extent. But what triggered it? Well a couple things. I really believe there are cycles of abuse in our communities, I have faith that each new generation that will change and stop abuse in its many forms. I donít think thats too rose colored glasses to set as a goal- or rather for me just to think and hope for. But I do think sometimes that I have those pretty rosey shades on and the slam back to reality can be so unkind sometimes.
So heres the thing, an incident happened with some of my family members awhile back. It reminded me of two things. One how I still have hope for the future and believe so strongly that we, our generation, has a responsibility to our little relatives- brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews- to ensure they are protected and brought up better than we are. But saying and doing that are two different things. How many people do I know in my life that would do something about abuse they witnessed regardless of who is the abuser? It becomes a moral question of whether or not to get involved, stand up and say something, do something. Help. Whatever.
Or in those situations where one wouldnít say abuser but a child is in need. Would you do something regardless of the outcomes or someone hating you, or resenting you for a lifetime. My closest friend and mother of four said, ďIts not about that person but about the child, they are more important in the situation.Ē I have to agree.
I just wonder though how many times and how many people in our communities see, witness or fully know something is wrong but do nothing? I know in chatting with one of my relatives, they fear child and family or social services, they fear the backlash of the family. Which are really good fears considering how over worked the child welfare system is and how we know it has failed our people. But what options are there when there is something wrong and our families canít problem solve deep, dark issues like this on our own? Who can help intervene when there isnít support systems or the systems have failed.
The whole thing, the thoughts, hopes, and even moral questions I asked myself brought on rage, which of course how I handle things ended up in a depression. What for? Well its this thought. If we donít do something to help who does? In my life, particularly looking back as a teenager, I always wondered why no one noticed that we were abused? That something wasnít right. To the outside world, my sister and I were model behaved kids. There were so many people in our lives that knew our family. I donít know if anyone knew we were model behaved due to fear, due to not wanting to rock the boat, and to keep ourselves safe. I know the feeling of fearing your caregivers, your parents, the people that are supposed to have your well-being in mind. I know a big part of our lives was surviving, making sure we could anticipate our parents moods and act according to remain safe. We lived constantly on edge, doing the delicate balancing act while planning an escape for years down the road. Survival of the fittest, and we did. But I think its that loss. The deep mistrust and betrayal of being abused by the people that are supposed to love you that really triggered this depression. The rage of knowing that no one in our lives cared or was willing to stand up for us.
I really donít want to be like those people around us growing up. I know its never easy to do the right thing. Sometimes the right thing seems like the wrong thing.
I think the toughest part of all of this is understanding the not too distant past. Being okay with it. Even though like my situation, I get the fun times of reliving an experience Iíd sooner forget.
In light of all these goings on, I found out about the past. Not my past but one my relatives. It broke my heart mainly because I see the outcomes of the decision one of my relatives made to cover up abuse in our family rather than stand up to the abuser who was also a relative. Yes, it was a long-time ago but I know how that feels to question why didnít anyone believe me, why didnít anyone care? It brings on the rage.
I know its not my place to judge anyone for the decisions theyíve made since god knows Iíve made some really bad ones. But it just reminds me change is standing up for our relatives, taking care of them and making sure they know someone cares for them. Maybe weíll fail, make mistakes, hurt each other but at the end of the day this new generation is more important than hurt feelings and resentments.