Wednesday, May 18, 2011

my motivation

Frankly I am sure that the world on the whole would be a happier place without me. The world has too many people as it is. My family of origin has never liked me (I was always told that they didn't want another child and that I was an unhappy mistake, and additionally I was told on many occasions as a child that everyone would be happier if I died in an accident. One parent went so far as to threaten on several occasions, "No jury would convict me if I killed you now"). Because I was thoroughly loathed by my very own family, I grew up as a result of that believing I must be loathsome by nature. Magically in my late teens and early twenties I morphed from despised child into a fine example of that particularly valued, welcome everywhere member of society, a Hot Chick, but those days are over. Now I'm a middle-aged former lawyer, not something anyone particularly thinks adds a lot of value, and no longer a femme fatale. On the bright side, no one is stalking me any more (my three former stalkers having presumably moved on to younger targets of freaky obsession). But! I feel like I'm holding the Sober Husband and children back: if they didn't have me, the Sober Husband (who is aging very well) could easily acquire a superior second wife who would fit in well at the children's private school, wouldn't bother everyone with her pesky vegetarianism and animal rights beliefs, and wouldn't fill the house up with messy, noisy rescue animals.

What keeps me going? This:
U.S. and Swedish investigators compared suicides, psychiatric hospitalizations and violent crime convictions over 30 years in more than 500,000 Swedish children, teens and young adults (under the age of 25) who lost a parent to suicide, illness or an accident, on one hand, and in nearly four million children, teens and young adults with living parents, on the other.

Those who lost a parent to suicide as children or teens were three times more likely to commit suicide than children and teenagers with living parents. However there was no difference in suicide risk when the researchers compared those 18 years and older. . . .

In addition, those who lost parents to suicide were nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized for depression as those with living parents. And those who lost parents to accidents or illness had 30 and 40 percent higher risk, respectively, for hospitalization.

Losing a parent, regardless of cause, increased a child’s risk of committing a violent crime, the researchers found.
My husband would arguably be better off without me, but not the children (and not my stupid parrot).

30 comments:

GodsKid said...

We would miss you too .....

Lanafactrix said...

Also, consider the havoc Iris would wreak on the world without your mediating influence. I'm sure "violent crime" doesn't even begin to cover it.

marketeer said...

Goodness knows my family or origin is nothing to write home about either, and I've struggle with depression at times. I hope that you're getting the help you need.

Claire M. Johnson said...

second wife who would fit in well at the children's private school, wouldn't bother everyone with her pesky vegetarianism and animal rights beliefs, and wouldn't fill the house up with messy, noisy rescue animals.

Interesting that you see these as failings while I see them as strengths. I see a woman with convictions, who is teaching her kids that passion has to have some cojones behind it, that it's more than just lip service. I live in the more elite neighborhoods in the Bay Area with children who are part of a school district that views itself as "private" as you can be in a public school. And I have never fit in with those parents and never played that game, and I know the isolation that comes with it. And I shudder to think of the type of woman who does. I KNOW these women. By and large they are relatively harmless. Except they are obsessed with status and things and living out their ambitions through their children. And their kids cut and drink because their parents are living their ambitions through their children. I see it as a strength. You scorn those people, why would you want to be like them?

And seriously, Iris sounds like I imagine you were as a child. Irrepressible and brilliant and demanding and full of love. And it's a fucking shame that you didn't get a mother just like you are to Iris. She's one lucky girl to have you as her mother.

J9 said...

Claire is on the money with her comment. I will only add that the WoW would suffer mightily, and we wouldn't have our ally in the war against Stepford Wifism

Carroll said...

Claire makes some great points (and I'm guessing lives relatively close to me :-) but you do too, DH. I have long advocated (only half in jest) that my own beloved husband might benefit from taking on a "Sports Wife" and a "Politically Conversant wife" and maybe even a "Pizza Wife" (because oh how he would love to eat that stuff every single day of the week if only I weren't so mean about his health!) Maybe the Mormons are onto something about not trying to be all things to one person.

No help from here on the depression stuff, but heart-felt hopes that it passes swiftly this time so you can get on with being your own wonderful self again!

Amy said...

What makes you so sure he wouldn't immediately take up with someone even worse? Who would be secretly cruel to the animals and children?

(You don't sound in the mood for happer thoughts, so I'm trying the reverse psychology of "no matter how awful things are...")

Anonymous said...

Dear DH-
I concur with Claire. I am also concerned that if you are casting about to find reasons to live that you may need some extra help from a shrink.
I'm sorry that your parents were too broken to raise you lovingly but you must realize the problem lies with them. So please get the help you need to get through this so you can enjoy your children and your husband for a long time.
Best W2

Ellen Spertus said...

Carole, how terrible that your birth family treated you that way! While I'm sure you know intellectually that it was them, not you, I know one doesn't get over such things easily. Please know that you are seriously underestimating how you improve the lives of everyone around you, including the sober husband, who chose you and to stay with you, and your two wonderful but unappreciative daughters.

Anonymous said...

Carole, my dear, the world would be much worse (not better) off without you. I say this as an infrequent reader of your blog, but one has nevertheless learned wondrous skills from you, such as how to make homemade croutons. (For that gift alone, you certainly deserve to live.)
Be strong, honey. You're awesome, and we all know it, or we wouldn't be hanging around reading your stuff.

Emma-Louise said...

I read so much of myself in Iris, but in this post, I read a lot of my family of origin in yours.
I've been fortunate enough to acquire a lovely lovely man, who I am undoubtedly holding back with my anxiety, depression, and general neediness, and have often considered killing myself - I have a lovely house we own, a gorgeous dog who thinks shes human, a garden, great food, great inlaws, time to do whatever I like - and I don't consider myself worthy of it. That said, the thought of David feeling he failed to make me happy or provide for me, or just failed me in general when I feel the opposite is true - it makes me feel sick to the stomach.
You are so strong to post so honestly. I feel like you validate my feelings, and even though we've never met, I feel less alone in the world (me, David, his parents and a dog do not exactly make a social life) and have done since the first time I read your blog from start to finish nearly 3 years ago. Which, not terribly coincidentally, was when I first started to try to pull my life back together, mostly because you wrote about feeling the way I felt and still raised some kickass kids, which gave me hope that maybe I wouldnt fail my kids the way I was led to believe I would; that I might have hope yet at the tender age of 19; that there might be a future worth not only staying alive but awake for.
I've always credited you for that first push out of bed. I love you and as corny as this whole post is, its honest, its heartfelt, and I hope you find the clarity I'm looking for - to wake up feeling worthy of your life and family.

Tracy said...

I understand this completely. I am struggling with this right now. I am nodding and smiling and trying to carry on as normal.

Ellen Spertus said...

Something else to ask yourself is whether the people you like would like you or a stereotypical corporate lawyer or aerobics instructor more. I think the answer is clear.

Anonymous said...

I saw the posts you deleted. Just know you are important and are loved. ~ Erika

ishouldhavebeenachef said...

I've been reading your blog for almost two years now (love it btw) and I've never had the guts to comment. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I've been very depressed the last couple weeks and reading this tonight put a bit of light back into my heart.
As awful as life seems right now, I have three beautiful children that are more important than I. Reading those statistics put that fact into better focus. Tomorrow I'm going to stop crying, make buttermilk pancakes for breakfast, and watch my purposes in life play outside in the muggy afternoon. Take care DH (((((hugs)))))

His and Hers said...

Please allow yourself to get some outside help. You are worth it. Your children need you. Those people, they were projecting their own feelings of shame and uselessness onto you. Your value is not in your looks, nor does it hinge on the opinions of other people who obviously had mental issues of their own that they were not working through in a healthy way. Look at what they did to you- don't do worse to yourself. Don't let them run your life, don't let them poison the hearts of your children through your actions. Please reach out to a professional. It seems like such a hard thing to do but I promise that when you come out on the other side you will feel 100lbs lighter- the weight on your heart will be lifted. If I lived near you I would invite you to come hang out and let our children trash the playroom while we pet the cats and drink organic tea.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but I've read and loved your blog for a couple of years. I second what His and Hers said, and I hope you are feeling better.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that I, though I mean nothing to you, would miss you. I, too, am a former lawyer, now a stay at home mom & you've entertained me for years with your witty writing.

You've made a difference in my life & I desperately hope you stay with us all.

Jane said...

I'm worried about you. I saw the two posts you deleted, and I'm worried. **hugs**

Anonymous said...

The things you mention are the only reasons I don't commit suicide as well. What I gather from this is that I just need to wait until they are grown and out of the house. I've been suicidal for years and no one notices. What's another seven years, right? :(

Love Bites said...

It's funny how no matter how strong, attractive, accomplished and interesting we become, abused little kids are still abused little kids on the inside. We never really get over feeling like we are bad and unwanted.

DH: I appreciate you sharing your very real feelings with us, in such a raw way. You need to be sharing them with someone who can help you integrate that broken child into your adult life. She should not be driving the train, and she is.

Interesting synchronicity, my word verification is maslow (as in hierarchy of needs). I think that some of yours aren't being met adequately.

the Drunken Housewife said...

For everyone who left a comment: I wish I could have you come over, meet the stove, and have some tapas & a cocktail with me. For everyone who commented for the first time: please comment again. I really value what each of you has to say. And big, commiserative hugs to each of the others who has this dark temptation as well.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see you here! I don't get the sense that you are a hugger, but I'm sending you virtual hugs nonetheless!!!

I commented earlier, Anonymous 6:40am, and I am just thrilled to see you posting. (I realize that it doesn't mean you are actually doing well, but I'm just so glad to see you.)

If I weren't the entire country away from you, I'd adore coming over to see the stove & chat with you. I'd even make you a nice pot of tea.

Thank you for your blog, thank you for staying with us, and thank you for being you.

Anonymous said...

I'm in for tapas & cocktails. :) ~ Erika (commenting for the 2nd time... at some point, I'll figure out how to do it non-anonymously...)

GodsKid said...

Indeed -- I'm glad to hear from you again. I was worried.

And note that even some of us who project "even keel" can have thoughts about I'd rather not be here; I'd rather be in heaven; no one would miss me; it'd be easier. I've not gone as far as to want to do it, but I've sure wanted it to happen.

Carroll said...

Like "Anonymous 5:15" said, I haven't had the guts to send you a
hug" because I just wasn't sure (enough) that you were (are!) <--(and yay for that!!) a "huggy" kind of person, but now that I see you're sending some yourself, well hey then here's a (((((HUGE one)))))

I'm really glad you're keepin' on, Carole! Really!!

Jen in OR said...

You are fucking brilliant and your daughter's are fucking brilliant, as well. I don't mean that in a strictly intellectual sense (although obviously that applies!) Even one less of you would be a travesty to all of us. Seriously.

Heather said...

Just count me in as one more stranger saying that you have touched my life and that I would most definitely miss you.

Susan Leiby said...

Okay girl, so I am WAY behind in reading your blog (life has been SO hectic lately).... but you are super valuable to me! I'm definitely NOT one of those "private school moms", but we both know I'm on the more conservative/traditional side of the spectrum.

You know what? I think it is SO cool to hear about some of the things you do. Like BM last summer. Dying your hair and all. I get to live my wild side vicariously through you! (Yep, it's there, I used to dye my hair blue and green in high school.)

So you keep on being the ROCKIN chicka that you are!

Love ya girl!

Anonymous said...

Sober Husband might NOT be better off with a newer version-younger-second-wife. My ex-husband's new younger model wife (she's 20 years younger than he) is nice, but.. a tad dramatic, manipulative, a little crazy, lives in a different state and visits him until she can't stand it anymore and vacillates between loving him and hating him (oh and did I mention, she just changed her name because her Jyotish astrologers told her to?). Sometimes, I catch him looking at me and I can tell (I believe) he's thinking; "geez, you weren't nearly as much trouble as she is". And that is true. I wasn't. I also left him.