One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

November 16, 2009

happiness budget

Why is it so hard? Why do things have to get so vicious and personal before he will just talk to me? He tells me that he is suicidally depressed – but he can’t say so before first picking a giant fight with his sister, villainizing me for failing to see and prevent whatever must have caused the depression, making death threats, initiating some close calls with physical violence and delivering a lecture about all the ways in which every one of us has let him down.

When they are being really monstrous to me, I think about how I spend my days getting up and going to work an hour early, so I can leave an hour early, so I can spend two hours weathering the vitriol until Ian comes home. The after-school program at their school has openings, and I think about how much it would cost and whether I could find room in our budget. But then things are monstrous monstrous, like they were today, and I remember that my handling their after-school time isn’t about the money. It’s because daycares, teachers and after-school programs can’t be trusted to deal with my son when he’s this depressed. Because, before he makes it apparent that he’s in need, first he will blame and punish the world for allowing him to get that depressed. and then the world will blame and punish him back.

At ten (hell, at thirty) it’s impossible to believe that something that feels that awful could be causeless. Something, someone must be at fault, right? And the question is, how do I introduce to him the idea that it might not be our fault, without seeming to invalidate his feelings of having been wronged?

Oh well, if I have an imaginary child-care budget, then surely I must have a counseling budget.

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  1. scheherezhade

     /  2009-11-17

    So what did precipitate it, do you know? When I was over on Sunday, I thought he seemed happier than usual, choosing to go with Ian rather than play on the computer, and talking to people in a semi-polite fashion. He’s never full-on polite, of course.
    … but then I remember when I was a teenager, it got so I didn’t like being in a good mood, because it always seemed to precede a bad mood. It probably didn’t precipitate the bad moods, maybe it was just that the contrast between good and bad moods were painful. But I remember consciously steering clear of being happy about things, because it only seemed to lead to depression.
    A long time ago, when I had a decent income, I offered to pay for Ken to get counselling, mostly because I thought it would make a world of difference to his children. Now I have a semi decent income again, I think maybe I’ll offer to help you pay for Ethan’s counselling? I forget how much you said his counsellor charges, but I’m pretty sure that I could help a bit and if it means that I can spend less time worrying about him (and the rest of you in relation to him), it would be well worth it.


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