RAFairman's Blog

An RAF Airman's Blog

Larkin was right…

In the house of the depressives, the happy child is king. Or queen. Or something. It’s a crap misquote, but it’s sadly true. When the grown-ups are both under the cosh of depression and pain and hurt, the ruler of the house is the child who is the happy one. Oblivious to the pain going on inside the adult’s minds, unaware of the fact that what is going on around it ISN’T normal – hell if that’s all you’ve ever known…the madness and the crying and the arguing and the shouts and the over-reaction IS normal.

I feel sorry for my youngest daughter. Imagine growing up in a house where both your parents have depression. What message are we sending to her? What lessons are we teaching her, just ass her brain is soaking up all the messages we are giving out, consciously and subconsciously? When she is learning what and how to be herself and how to develop how she reacts and interacts with people the people who she is learning off are just the ones who shouldn’t be listening too.

And I see her reaction to things we say. I see that she is learning our bad ways. And then I blame her for sending me mental. Oh it’s the wrong way round. I am the one setting her up badly. I am the one to blame for her over-reactions and incorrect responses to things; because of the illness and the general fucked-up-ness of my brain (and god help her, my wife’s too), then my beautiful, clever, smart, fabulous, impressionable, blank slate of a daughter is being fucked-up too.

Philip Larkin was right. They fuck you up, your parents…they fill you with all their faults and add some extra just for you. God knows what the madnesses going round our brains are doing to her. But I feel for her. I feel for the way that she is learning all our mad, crazy, inappropriate responses to things and thinking that they are the right ways to deal with things, to deal with people and to deal with life.

It’s not fair what depression does to you. It’s not fair. It takes away your sense of self, your innate you-ness, and turns you into a uber-you, an alt-you, a you that you don’t even recognise, but you think is the real you when it’s not. And there is nothing you can do about it, until it’s too late…and then…and then you see all your mentalness appearing in the behaviour of one who know’s no difference…And it hurts all the more.

Not only is this fucking illness affecting you…it’s effecting the one person you want to keep it all from. Depression is not fair on the sufferer, but it’s even more unfair on the people who have to live with the sufferer. And it’s worse when that person is someone who doesn’t know, doesn’t understand, that it’s just an illness that is making you tackle the world in the wrong way. And it’s even worse when that person – a child – is thinking that your way is the right way, and is learning your madness as part of it’s sanity.

I’m sorry Lily. I am so sorry, but remember, it’s not your fault. It’s not even my fault. It’s years of misdirection, bad reaction, screwed-up bloody chemical imbalance that has left me this way, and I am sorry that you are growing up thinking that it’s right and normal. It isn’t. It isn’t. When I say I can’t cope with you; when your reaction to my directions and demands are not the ones I want – it’s not your fault. It’s my own. Who have you learnt them off? Me. And I know this. And the thing that makes it worse for me is that it’s not really you I can’t cope with.

It’s me.


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8 thoughts on “Larkin was right…

  1. I am truly sorry to read about your depression. Jesus Christ said ……’Come unto me all YOU who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest.’ If you have tried medication and not found relief you may want to speak to a sympathetic Christian who will spend time with you and lead you to God. I am not talking about organised religion but a relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ

  2. Louise on said:

    I’ve never wanted to reach into a screen and hug 2 people more.

    All patents have days where they over-react, say things they shouldn’t, snap or make bad judgements. Your daughter is growing up in a home knowing she us loved, she is a beautiful, happy well balanced little girl. You are both doing a great job and the odd few days where you are both overwhelmed by this very cruel illness will not shape her.

    You are clearly a close knit little family and its obvious that because you are so close you worry about her future, she will be just fine….

    Love to you both x

  3. I am writing this through eyes filled with tears. Tears actually are rolling down my cheeks. Have just just dropped a very much loved Grandson at nursery which was difficult to do this morning because he cried and held his hands out for us to bring him home again. I am not crying because of that but because my heart goes out to you. How I wish that I could help you. I feel I want to and that you need somebody to turn your life back to a pleasant place. A big hugX

  4. Ken Duerden on said:

    I am no practicing Christian although I do believe in the existence of something more powerful than us. If I was feeling the way you are then I would take Stuart Mitchell’s advice. You need someone to talk to who is going to listen rather than judge. I really hope you can find that person or thay they find you quickly. I have experienced similar but on a milder scale. Talking and walking is what clawed me back. The drugs did nothing for me.

  5. ribe6760 on said:

    Have you thought of getting some help for Lily or is that not necessary? When she goes to school, an educational psychologist would be available.

  6. John W on said:

    Thank you. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for putting so succinctly feelings that I used to have and on rare bad days still experience but have no words for. I truly hope you find this blog cathartic. I hope that it will help you know, maybe even feel, the admiration and support from readers who have similar experiences either directly or with someone close. Your words may yet help you heal, but I’m pretty sure they are helping others.

    Remember, per ardua.


  7. Jane Harding on said:

    Know the feeling, my mother’s got a lot to answer for so sending you a big cuddly hug xxx

  8. No matter what you are feeling, beating yourself up inside will not fix the problem, only talking will. Talk to someone you trust. A stranger. And even your daughter. She might be young but noone is ever too young to understand.
    My dad suffered from, and still does suffer, from depression. I found it a help knowing I could talk to someone about it. And I know he does too.
    I would look at my dad and use his actions and emotions to learn my life path. Knowing that as I grew up, I didn’t want to experience or do the things he did.
    Just remember this, depression isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of someone who has bottled everything up for too long. I hope that makes sense and helps.

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