AND IGNORE THIS POST!
I've been depressed since November. I've delved within myself and had a few revelations. I need to purge some issiues. A lot of my purge is pathetic drivel. Consider yourself warned!
I need to free myself from the heaviness of my soul. I've seen every single member of my family, and several of L's family members, through severe depressions. In MY time of need, the only one who has been there for me, is SME. Thank you sweetie, I LOVE YOU!
My guys ask me "What's wrong?". I tell them I'm depressed. They say "Oh.", and walk away. I don't expect Z to deal with my issues. He's a kid, and has issues of his own. I do think that he needs to know that Mom gets depressed too; he needs to know that he's not alone in his occassional feelings of hopelessness.
I DO expect my husband to take up some of the slack around here. Over the last 30 years, I've helped him through numerous depressions resulting from job losses and the gradual loss of our friends and social life. I've spent many months taking up his slack and doing the things that he was incapable of doing at the time. Some of my depression (OK, maybe a LOT) is a direct result of menopause. I warned him of this several years ago, when my symptoms started. I printed out lists of symptoms, so he knew what to expect. I begged him to be my "soft place to fall" during this rough time of my life. My pleas fell on deaf ears. L tends to pull into himself during hard times in our marriage. I'm certain that this is a defense mechanism he used to survive his unloved childhood. I understand, but it doesn't help me ONE DAMNED BIT! I need an outlet for my feelings, and right now my blog is all that I have. Sorry; remember, you've been warned!
This depression started in November. Looking back, I think it started as a result of my parent's sale of their cabin and my upcoming 51st birthday. I suddenly realized that all the things that I'd hoped for our life were NEVER going to happen. Let's start at the beginning....
L, SME and I moved back to my hometown in 1979. L had just graduated, with honors, from the MN School of Business, with a degree in Business Management, and a minor in Accounting. We discussed our options, and agreed that we didn't want to live in the Twin Cities. We're not city people, and we didn't want to live that close to his family and all their dysfunctions. L had received several promising offers for jobs in rural southern MN. Before L accepted one of these positions, he answered an ad for a management position in my hometown. L really wanted to move back here, so SME would be able to grow up with grandparents in her life. Family is everything to L, and he wanted his children to have all the advantages he'd missed in his childhood.
We had our ups and downs, but we managed to put down roots here. We worked hard, built up our credit rating, and slowly acquired a home of our own. About this time my co-worker bought our place of employment from our former boss. We always had a verbal agreement that L and I would buy the business from her when she retired. I put in a LOT of unpaid hours, helping my Boss build up the business.
In 1988, one of the two factories we have here, closed down. 500 people were unemployed. Our economy has been slowly sliding downhill ever since. Our community leaders kept promising that things would turn around. They've created several organizations that actively promote our area to lure businesses here. L and I believed our leaders. We enjoyed our lifestyle here. We had "our"(which is how my parents used to refer to the cabin) cabin for fall and winter recreation, and our pop-up camper for summer excursions to nearby campgrounds. We had an affordable lifestyle here that totally fit our needs. In addition, our daughter had grandparents that adored her and spent much quality time with her.
In 1992, Z was born, and L became the night kitchen manager at his place of employment. My parents moved a block away from us in 1988. My Dad retired in 1994 and they were ecstatic about spending more time with their grandchildren. Life was good!
In 2002, the restaurant L had worked at for 14 years, closed its doors. There just weren't enough people in town to patronize all of our restaurants. After a year of working a series of part-time jobs, L managed to land the night cook position at the restaurant I worked at. My Boss can't afford to pay L what he had been making, so his income dropped by 25% and he no longer gets paid vacations. This was quite a low blow to our finances and lifestyle. Fortunately, we were 4 years away from having ALL our debts paid. I re-worked our budget, cut out unneccessary expenses, and we survived.
About this time, my parents began to withdraw into their own little world. Suddenly EVERYTHING had to fit into their rigid routine. Z couldn't spend the night at their house anymore as they went to bed at 8, and their house had to be totally dark and quiet so they could sleep. Z couldn't read in bed, listen to the radio, or watch TV. What fun is that? L and I couldn't handle spending more than a few weekends a year at the cabin with them. Their new cabin schedule was brutal; there was no time left for FUN! My parents never approved of my marriage to L. They had their own choice of husband for me, but that's another story. I'll post that story another day. They now became increasingly snarky to him, and I refused to have my husband treated this way. We could only handle a couple of weekends a year at the cabin now. At this time my parents planned on handing the cabin over to us and a young couple, who are close friends of the family. My parents said they wanted us all to have a place to enjoy our incredible northern MN outdoors. Our young friends were as close to us as family, so we didn't have a problem with this.
The past year everything has been disintegrating. My Dad always promised to take Z fishing, but he sold his boat without giving us a chance to buy it. THEN, they announced that they'd sold the cabin, without giving us the option to buy it! They told all their friends that we don't have enough time to spend out there. The last 2 months, my mother has been gleefully telling me that she's sooooo happy that 2 FAMILIES have bought the cabin together. It's soooo wonderful that FAMILIES will be able to enjoy all that the cabin has to offer. What are WE, a herd of turtles?! With the exception of the rafters and roof, my Dad and I single-handedly built that cabin! We built it in sections in the garage and hauled the sections by sled and assembled them on-site in -30F weather!! I'd just as soon burn the fucker down, as have a strange FAMILY enjoying the fruits of my labors!!
Despite my parent's behavior, I don't want to create a family feud over this issue. I've sucked it up, shut my mouth, and I'm waiting for the whole issue to die down. I don't want to destroy my family's relations with my parents. They won't be with us forever, and I want to hold the family together...if I can. I'm an only child and my kids are my parent's only grandchildren. Why are they treating us like strangers?
Now, at the age of 51, I realize that the dreams we built our life around have all vanished. We live in a beautiful area, but we no longer have the means to enjoy it. Recreational property, in our area, has been snatched up by well-to-do out of towners. They've driven the price of recreational property up, so that those of us who live here can't afford to enjoy our area anymore. We still have our camper, but many of the state campgrounds we enjoy, are in danger of closing. Another of the casualties of our state's budget. We've struggled to survive in this town for 28 years because we enjoyed the outdoor recreation of the area. We've had that ripped out from under us. My Boss can't afford to retire, so we'll never get to buy the business. We don't have the resources to uproot to another area. We're stuck here, without our dreams.
I know what I need to do to pull myself out of my funk. L and I need to rework our dreams for the future. We need something to look forward to. We need to have the possibility of fun in our lives. We need to find a new way to enjoy the outdoors that we can afford. I need to believe that we have a future that has a few bright spots amongst the drudgery. I can't do this by myself. I need my husband. I need a dream to strive for. I need a soft place to fall.