Down the Rabbit Hole

No, this is not a post about Alice in Wonderland. Tonight I was watching The Bachelor and I suddenly felt depressed. It surprised me as well. Normally a show like that wouldn't make me sad. But there I was laying in bed and just suddenly felt like crying. Now depression is nothing new to me. As my readers know, I have been battling depression for quite some time now. While it is common knowledge that I have been in a depression thanks to my physical health problems, I have actually had issues with depression for most of my life.

When I was little, I don't think people knew I was depressed since it was actually normal for me to be quiet and to want to just sit and read. When I was in high school, I was involved in practically every club or organization imaginable so no one really thought anything was wrong. By that point, I had become very good at hiding what my true feelings were. Up until junior high school, no one had even paid attention. In junior high, my mother finally noticed something was wrong and called the county. She never asked me what was wrong - she just decided to let someone else figure out what it was. I have news for her, they never did.

So now you know I have spent the vast majority of my life in some kind of depressive state. Some days I'm better at hiding it than others. These days, I'm not really able to hide it. So what was it tonight that set me off? I know it sounds dumb, but watching the folks on the show go on their "hometown" dates made me very depressed. They have something I might never have - the ability to be truly happy to see their family. When they showed up to their family's home, they were greeted by loving, excited people. When I go home, I'm greeted by "hi" and not much more. About the only thing to look forward to when going home for me is to see my grandmother. Other than that, going home is depressing in itself.

Seeing these happy people made me think back. Was there ever a time when I was truly happy to be at home with my family? I honestly cannot think of a time. Sure there were times when I laughed or thought I was happy. Thinking back on it, I was just going through the motions. When I left, did I really miss anyone there? I missed my grandmother but honestly, I don't think I ever missed the rest of my family. Well, one of my cousins I missed. I spent a week up in NY before Christmas this past December. I couldn't wait to leave.

Sometimes I wish I was part of a "cookie cutter" type family. You know - one of those perfect looking and loving families. One you always compared your own to, even though you knew you couldn't. I won't go into the long details, but at times I felt like an outsider in my own home. My dad never really talked to us, my brother is someone I would rather eat elephant dung than talk to and my mom was usually too self-absorbed or drunk to think about anyone else. Thinking about my cousins' lives gives me a headache. Even sometimes it's hard to have a conversation with my grandmother - and trust me, she means the world to me.

So tonight there I was depressed thinking about my own family. If I was on one of these shows that has a "homecoming" of sorts, what would I get as my homecoming? Now I know I am blessed to have a loving partner - one whose family somewhat accepts me. Usually that is enough for me but sometimes I need more. I hate that I need more but not ever having had it, sometimes that need just lingers there unfulfilled.

So why the title? Sometimes I feel like going down into that rabbit hole just to see whats at the other end. But when I do, I get stuck between what I have and what I wish I had. I can see what I wish I had but I can't escape what I have.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 and is filed under . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


I would venture to say that the warm family greetings you see on these TV shows are not typical for any of those families. I think having a camera crew following you may make people think they have to act like a picture perfect family... take away the camera crew and the welcome home is probably a lot like yours (and mine)...don't let it get to you...

I sort of feel like there are a lot more depressed people out there than are willing to admit it. I think it has to do with our upbrining where we're told to "stop it". I find myself doing it to my own children. When they cry because they're upset or angry about it I tell them they need to "stop it before..." You know, "you need to stop crying before you can join us for dinner", etc. It's our parents fault, really. It's MY fault. I'm sorry.

I completely agree with Kelly.
I'd be willing to bet that what you're seeing on TV ('Reality' shows or not) is NOT real life. I'd be willing to bet you're more 'normal' than you think. :-)

Well it kind of scares me to think of my family life as "normal". I know that things probably aren't as cookie cutter in real life as in those shows. But even as I see friends now and friends throughout the years interact with their families, it leaves that whole as well. But thank you :)

Hey there Dave! I have to applaud you for your openess about your depression and your not so rosey Family Life ... I always knew growing up with you that things at home pretty much sucked ... and for that I am truly sorry! I also know that the person you became stemmed from your childhood and though you may have thought many of us didn't care about you I cared about you deeply ... just think, we've known each other since kindergarten! You were a wonderful friend throughout my childhood and teens ... and I am glad to have finally 'found' you again! Pleae know that you can overcome so much - you already have ... and your family will never understand what they are missing!!!

Love you - Rebekah