Thursday, June 17, 2010

To give it a name

So, what does it mean to live and cope with the big D-word? Well, I wouldn't have a clue. I have been so good at keeping it manageable by building tall walls around myself that the term denial would be an understatement. Instead, you would have to ask my family. Kate would look at you and say:
- Mommy sees someone who is helping her be happy. So she won't get angry all the time.

- Tell your daughter exactly what it is, said my therapist. But don't give it a name. Names are scary.
She's telling me??? - Giving it a name means I will be able to find at least fifty books on the topic on Amazon. Not giving it a name means that I can pretend it's part of my quirky, slightly cynical personality.

But we have given it a name. That's the bottom line. Kate is still happily unaware of this, but the name is there, looking right in to our eyes. And by giving it a name, I am being forced to deal. I am having to confront it head first, and I am having to admit that it is tearing us, our family apart.
- I hate this, I complained to my husband. We are actually giving in to it. Why can't it be like before, I was doing well. I had it under control.
- Well, you did OK, but the rest of us didn't, says my husband in earnest. And we're not giving in to it. We're taking charge of it.

I know he's right. It was shit before. It will still be shit, at least for a while yet. But at least we have decided to not let it take over our family. Because that would be giving in to it!


  1. thats a good way to go,keep it up.........

  2. Would The Name really be scary to your daughter? I agree it's scary to us grown-ups because we know the connotations, but a child doesn;t so to her it would only be a word? Or is there something I'm missing about naming things in general?

  3. I think she meant that the Word is being mis/used on a day to day basis, so she doesn't need to enter the world of when it is right and when it is wrong to use it, if that makes sense.
    I mean, you hear it on programs like Hannah Montana, or a friend can say: oh, I feel so depressed today, and there is no point in having to talk about the distinctions right now, I think that was what she was getting at.

  4. OH, the d-word, that is for my another word with another meaning. I am sorry to hear about your D-word (hadn't been here for a while), but it is better to have a diagnoses. Depression can be a horrible monster but when you know what it is, you can also do something about it, with help from others.
    And it is my belief that it is worse trying to hide something from children, it is better to be straight with them, listen to their questions and explain.
    You can do this.