I often wonder if maybe I bring my depression on myself.
I can say that I know my depression started when I was 15. I know exactly what event in my life triggered it. I remember exactly where I was the very first time I wanted to die.
I was a freshman in high school. My parents has a rule that I was not allowed to date yet. I was still too young. I had previously mentioned in a post that my mother had put me on a 100% green diet the summer before I had started high school. I guess this paid off because that was the first year boys noticed me. That’s when I had met Mike. He just dropped right in and swept me off my feet. I know now, after all these years, that Mike genuinely cared about me (I’ll get to that later). He always kept me safe, said the sweetest things to me and told me he loved me. As a 15 year old, naive kid, I completely fell head over heels for him. We used to talk about getting married as soon as we were done with high school. There was no separating us. He used to sneak over to my house after my parents went to bed for the night and we’d just make out in front of my house for what seemed like hours. He was my whole world. My complete happiness. I’d never felt so loved before in my short 15 years. I’d never really known love outside the love one’s family has for another. So, this was new, exciting, intoxicating, enchanting. I really want to say I was actually in love, but in retrospect, Mike was not my first love. Looking back, it was infatuation. What did I know, though?
When my mother discovered that I was not only seeing a boy, but that I was also insanely crazy for him, she absolutely had to cut that off at the knees. She felt Mike was a bad influence on me. It’s true, to a certain point. I was this naive Christian girl who was very much shielded from secular music and TV. I wasn’t even allowed to see PG-13 movies without my mother or father approving the movie first. I wasn’t allowed to go to the mall by myself (with friends, that is) or really do anything without some kind of supervision. Mike introduced me to metal. Metallica was the first metal band I had ever heard. I took to it immediately. They became my favorite band. He got me my first Metallica CD and t-shirt. He went on to introduce me to other metal bands like Slayer and Pantera and so on. To this day, I can’t listen to a Metallica song without thinking about him. My mother tried very hard to break us up. I would tell her that we broke up but we’d try to be more careful about seeing each other. After the 2nd or 3rd time of trying to force us to split, we went so far as to not have him come by the house at all. That had worked for a while but eventually they caught on when they’d catch me on the phone with him. So, my mother took it to the next level. She contacted Mike’s parents and told them that they did not approve of me seeing him and would appreciate them having a talk with Mike, requesting that he no longer see me at all. The following Monday at school, Mike dumped me and did everything he could to stay away from me. He refused to answer why he would leave me so abruptly after he swore he would never leave.
That was the event that triggered me. I came home and I wept and wept and wept. I hurt so badly. I felt like everything I knew was crumbling around me. I can’t remember a single moment of comfort or caring from either of my parents. They didn’t address it with me. They simply pretended the whole thing never happened. My mother’s way of addressing it was to pull me out of public school on the grounds that she didn’t like the public school system and I was to be home schooled for the rest of my high school years. My mother did, later on down the road, tell me that Mike was absolutely the reason why she pulled me out. She didn’t want a repeat of that with another boy. I digress though. Before I was yanked out of public school, all I did was mope. My grades dropped. I started comfort eating. I hardly slept. I cried in my bedroom almost every single day. About a month after the break up, I remember begging God to let me die. I didn’t want to live anymore. The only love I ever truly believed I had in this life was gone. It got so much more worse for me then. I had heard from a friend who heard from a friend who heard from a friend (and so on…) that Mike was seeing the new girl. Only a month after he had last confessed his undying love for ME. My sadness was then divided into sadness and anger. Was I really worth that little to him? I think I lost what sense I should have had. I was nasty to his girlfriend. I was nasty to him. I was learning to drive then and I had saw him walking down the road one time that my mother had let me drive. I swerved to hit him and missed him by inches. My mother was completely freaking out. While I kept apologizing, I was legitimately mad on the inside that I had missed. What’s worse is that through all these years, I only felt apologetic once. More on that later.
I continued to spiral into deeper, darker thoughts as time went on. It took me a year of time to get over Mike. I think what helped the most was my friend, Alice. She taught me to throw my anger into angsty teenage poetry. I think I still have the first poem I ever wrote on my Google Drive. I stopped writing to look. I sure do.
with you on my mind
I want to die!
i cry for deliverance
from this pain
stones so cold
my heart endures
on your floor
i cry for salvation
I want to die!
deliver me unto
do not pardon me
where is justice?
my heart yours
lying below this
pile of socks
Let me stay
Let me go
i beg for freedom
Yeah, angsty me. Anyway, ridiculous “poetry” aside. It really was a turning point for me. My emotions became seriously out of control. My relationship with my mother continued to degrade even more over the years. I blamed my mother and my father 100% for taking away the only love I ever knew. I discovered Alanis Morissette and basically said fuck what my parents wanted, I dived completely into music to express how I felt. When 1996 came around and I had discovered Garbage, their song “Only Happy When It Rains” became my anthem in life. It still kind of is, now.
MySpace was dominating the social media platforms with Facebook rising rapidly. I got a random friend request from none other than Mike. We hadn’t spoken to each other in 12 years. I was in this odd time in my life where I was actually having a moment of happiness and was a pretty carefree 27 year old woman. I had put the pen down and was no longer writing. Hoping to get some questions answered, I accepted his friend request. We chatted through MySpace and swapped phone numbers. He called me on my cell (my very first cell, I might add) and we chatted while I waited to catch a bus to work. I asked him why he left all those years ago and he gave me the story of a lifetime.
The weekend before he dumped me, he had come by my house to talk to my parents after his parents had talked with him about my mother’s call. He told me my mother answered the door and called for my father. I was at some youth group meeting that day which is why I wasn’t home. My father came to the door, rifle in hand. My father told him very firmly that if he came anywhere near me again, he would not hesitate to use his gun on him. Mike said he didn’t even try to plead his case with my parents. He said he simply told my dad “Yes, sir.” and turned around and left. He dumped me that Monday at school. I was completely shocked. My dad? Gun in my boyfriend’s face?! That only happens in movies, right?!? As soon as Mike and I finished our phone call, I immediately called my dad at work. I told him that I had reconnected with Mike and he had told me this insane story! It couldn’t be true, right? My dad 100% confirmed this story! My dad took it a step further and told me he had done the same thing with my (actual) first love after my mother shared with my father that he and I had sex. Only difference was that he told Scott that if he wanted to live, he wasn’t to touch me again in such a manner. That didn’t work on Scott though. I, again, digress…
When Mike and I reconnected thanks to MySpace, he was a newlywed. In fact, I knew his wife. We were all in high school together. Back then, she and I didn’t like each other at all. When she found out that Mike and I were talking, she demanded that he never speak to me again. He unfriended me and I didn’t hear from him again until about 2015. Right after my divorce. He and his wife had split and he added me on Facebook. We actually went out on a date and 20 years after we broke up, we slept together. He said that was the best 20 year wait he’d ever had. I still laugh to myself when I remember that conversation.
I’d like to say that I learned a lot from that time in my life. I didn’t though. I think that relationship with Mike in 1995 shaped me into the person I became today. I’ve spent all my life looking for someone who wanted me as much as Mike always seemed to. Hell, Mike and I still are in contact to this day. He still asks me out on dates. I keep turning him down. I can’t handle children anymore and he’s got 4 of them. All younger than 12. I just can’t do the step-mother thing again. I can’t even handle my nephews and niece longer than a few hours at a time. So, that’s why I keep turning him down. But in my heart, I can’t tell you how much it means to me that he’s still carried a piece of me with him after 22 years.