I have pretty much accepted that I will be chronically depressed until the day I die, but recently I’ve noticed that my racing thoughts have been more about how to alleviate my guilt than what I can do about my depression. I suppose that since I’ve become apathetic about the idea that I could ever be free of depression, my ravaged, very pissed off gray matter refuses to stop torturing me and so now has turned to plaguing me with crippling thoughts of guilt for all my transgressions throughout my life. So as I drift off to sleep each night and slowly awaken each morning, guilt plagues me.
So what am I guilty of? Or about? And why? I. Do. Not. Know. But I’m beating myself up about everything, every single minute of every single day. I don’t have any specific acts of horribleness in my past or present. I don’t have a cache of any regrettable misdeeds. I don’t have any skeletons in any of my closets. There’s nothing nefarious going on behind my closed doors. But I am tortured by unanswered questions as to why I feel so damn guilty.
For the past several years, my mental health has deteriorated tremendously. People think negatively of me. I’m too needy, I’m over the top. I’m Too Much. My astonishing record of being ghosted by family and friends increases daily. I’ve lost my mojo, apparently, and I don’t know how or why or when that happened. And since I don’t have any definitive answers, I naturally cannot help but question myself constantly and carry around this burden of guilt. What have I done? What did I do? What is so bad about me?
Here are some possibilities:
Because I’m chronically depressed, I have not been a good and worthy person in the areas of wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, in-law, friend, employee.
I didn’t attend many of my kids’ sporting events because it was excruciatingly boring and always too cold, too hot, too far away.
I stopped cooking dinner somewhere along the way when my kids’ schedules became an obstacle to my trying to pull together a meal that everyone would be present for and also like what I was serving.
I don’t clean my house. I have a cleaning service who does everything, from vacuuming to laundry and everything in between.
My kids mostly took the bus to school over the years; I didn’t drive them unless I had to, depending on what various magnet schools they were attending. Speaking of which, I made my kids go to magnet schools, thereby forcing them to be separated from their neighborhood friends.
It appears that I was one lazy-ass wife and mother.
I wasn’t the dutiful daughter. I fought with my mom and still do to this very day.
I stopped sending cards and gifts to my myriad of stepmothers, stepfathers, half-siblings, step-siblings, long lost biological father; there were just too many.
I left my job of 15 years because I wanted to spend more time with my children. (Oh, and also, the constant sexual harassment from my boss just became untenable. I did not want to have sex with him, ever, and therefore he made my work life a living hell.) As it turned out I continued working for that boss, from home for ten more years, and I was never forgiven for disallowing him the daily pleasure of ogling my live-and-in-person-self any longer. But he paid me well, and I needed the income so one could argue that I prostituted myself for 25 years even though I never, ever, went along with what he wanted and apparently thought he deserved.
Bottom line: no matter what I do and did, it’s just not ever going to be good enough. I did so many things wrong. Now I could conclude this missive with a perfectly good and acceptable list of reasons for why I was such a miserable bitch who did all those terrible things, but that wouldn’t be any fun would it? Why ruin a perfectly good essay about a useless, unworthy, lazy woman who is getting exactly what she deserves? Karma’s a bitch, right?
You’re probably wondering how I can live with myself, having done such a shitty job of being a human being who lured people into my life only to treat them like shit, allowing myself to have them tend to my every need whilst I lay in my bed, unable to get up due to the black of the blackest monster living in my brain, my closest ally, Depression. Yes, I am guilty of all these things, and many others. Yes, I indeed do have to live with myself, accompanied by Guilt, residing cozily alongside Depression, and also, let’s throw in some PTSD (due to traumatic events in my life, not the least of which is the hideous sexual harassment during my career), to the mix, resulting in a recipe gone terribly wrong, in my gray-but-ever-darkening-matter, the massive mess of miswired milieu inside my head.
I respectfully thank you, reader, for indulging me, and helping me to make some sense out of this wretched guilt. It’s much clearer to me now. I deserve to be judged, convicted and found guilty, and it has earned me a life sentence. I would have rather gotten a death sentence.