Dear mothers and fathers,
You did nothing wrong. Depression is not your fault. Your child’s depression is not your fault. The darkness that overtakes them, you, your family.
You did nothing wrong.
There’s an inability for you right now. You cannot connect how your sweet, loving daughter or once varsity athlete son is suddenly alone, crying, angry, sleeping, cutting. They have the perfect life, you think to yourself. But depression is not about what we have or don’t have. Depression is deeper than the money in the bank, the roof over our heads. Depression is the deeply seeded component to our lives that we cannot control with a credit card or praise.
Depression is not your fault.
You did nothing wrong.
I want to grab you by your shoulders and shake some sense into you. This is not about you, I promise. This is not because you did not love enough, or give enough. This is not because you work, or don’t work, or didn’t go to Disney World, or because you said no to those shorts that were a bit too short. This is not because of you. This is not your fault. You did nothing wrong.
Now is the time that your child needs you to be the parent. The time when you need to find them that help- and they will fight you. They will tell you they won’t cut again. That they didn’t mean to take those pills. But they are crying out for you. Even from behind dead eyes that you think hold no emotion. They’re crying.
I hate you.
They will say it. Your flesh and blood. Your child who knows the difference between right and wrong. Love and hate. They will tell you they hate you. And it will feel true. Right now, it is. But you did nothing wrong. You are saving their life. You are saving your own. That is your heart, slowing walking outside your body, dying, reaching for you.
This is your time to parent and their time to child. Just for today, you need to adult. Don’t worry about tomorrow, yet. Today is here and now. And adulting is hard. It’s more than waking up and putting your feet in your shoes, it’s putting your mask on first, and then fighting like hell to get your child to put theirs on. It’s not going to be easy. But this is not your fault. Depression is not your fault. You did nothing wrong.
If you’re reading this, I hope you know, I’ve been there too. I wanted to die. I hated my mom. She let them restrain me. She let me sedate me. She let them sign me in.
She saved me.
And I will save you from the thought that you cannot do this. You can. You did nothing wrong, and you’re doing so much right. There is help and love and light. There. Is. Light.