Someone asked me recently, "why did you have two kids if you need to take medicine to deal with them?" I didn’t reply because, well the reply would have taken hours. The first thing is my kids are absolutely not the reason I am taking medication. The demons in my head are. Long before I had kids I had these demons. Demons that made me go to sleep on the couch in my living room with the front door wide open, while I lived alone because I didn’t care what could happen. Demons who could squash my overwhelming fear of the dark and make me go out at midnight walks never fearing what could happen. Demons that would make me pull out pictures of my dead grandma and look at them until I cried. Demons that made me go to the coroners office and ask for my dads autopsy report just so I could cry over it all.
Before children were even in my future, before my husband, I was crazy. I have books and books of poetry to prove it. I would be up and then suddenly I was in my room with sad music on repeat writing in a journal trying to make my self more sad, because during those times sadness was the only emotion I could understand. It was these feelings that would make me pour vodka in my snapple before math class my Junior year. These feelings that made me drink around the corner from school on my break before English.
I am notorious for picking fights. Ask my husband how many times I will just pop off and be a jerk to him. Pick a fight, make something bigger then it needs to be. I do it because then I’m comfortable. I’m okay when there is tension, I’m okay crying because to me it feels normal. When I met Rob I played all of my old games. The poor me’s, the feel sorry for me and the, you have no idea what it’s like to be me. My husband basically told me to stuff it up my ass, suck it up and be a man. He was the first person who flat out refused to get down with me. Every guy I’d ever dated before him had no problem wallowing in a depression with me. I had a friend like me. If we were down at the same time it was like a drug to us. How drunk and sad could we get? How much wine could we drink in the drive from my house to the Verdi exit?
Then I had Brandon. But I didn’t stop. The last straw was on a forth of July when I got trashed with my husband and his friend, and, since my parents were watching Brandon we piled in the car, with me driving and went speeding around the block looking for a beer pong table my husband thought he had seen. The next morning I realized what I had done, realized what my son could have lost and straightened up. Up until the second Codi was born, I was a great mom. I never yelled, Brandon and I had a great bond and I thought I was succeeding at parenting. I think honestly that after Codi I did have some post partum depression, which might have stemmed from having my tubes tied. Whatever the reason, immediately after Codi I snapped. I became a yeller. Not even a yeller but a screamer. I screamed and screamed at Brandon. Never when anyone was there, because I wanted to still appear to be mom of the year.
However, deep inside I knew it had to stop. I began running, getting healthy and working on myself. However, during this time after a long string of events I’m not ready to go into my husband and I decided, after much thought that we would have to file bankruptcy. Yes. We are filing bankruptcy. I am 27 and my credit is gone. It is trashed. My husbands credit that was always above 760 is gone. Then the remodel on the house started. I stopped eating right, there was no time to run, my life was chaos, my house was broken into and I had to face the humiliation of knowing we were filing bankruptcy. Everything spiraled. I was done and I knew it. I counted the days until I could wean. This time I knew I wasn’t coming out of this.
Are there times my kids make me so crazy I want a valium or an Ativan? YES! But not because of them. I am rational enough to know that they are normal 3 and 15 month old kids. What isn’t normal is my reaction. It isn’t normal that I still scream at Brandon. That I cover my ears, put my head down and cry because I feel like I’m not doing this right. Times when I want to grab Brandon and throw him through a wall simply because he won’t put his socks on fast enough. These are not NORMAL reactions. None of these things have to do with having kids. They have to do with the demons in my head.
Some people muse that my sperm donor father killing himself is what triggered my down fall. I honestly don’t know. I feel like I was born with the monsters in my head, and they were waiting to come out. Losing my grandma was the worst spiral of all. I have never, EVER EVER admitted this to my mom, but the day my grandma died I drove to her house, walked in, grabbed her pack of Marlboro Reds and started smoking. Shanna encouraged it and before I knew it her and I were getting drunk and lighting up menthol cigarettes. I smoked for 9 months. Until I met Rob. On our trip to Monterey he told me he wanted me to stop. He didn’t want a girlfriend who smoked. So, I did. A few people knew, my cousin, Katie, Shanna, and Ginger. In fact, Ginger learned the day she met me at the hospital when my grandma died, and I sat out front of Saint Mary’s ER on the red curb and lit up a cigarette. She didn’t say a word. She knew better. She knew I was out of my fucking mind and nothing was bringing me back. Every time I drive or walk by there now I think of that moment. I think of smoking the same pack of cigarettes my grandma was smoking the moment she died. My uncle knew too. On the way from my cousins wedding to her reception, he and I shared a cigarette and I thought, this is okay, because it’s in my legacy to be the fuck up of the family.
Why does my mom not know this? Because I lied. I lied because that is what I used to do. Lie until I believed it was all true. I’m filing bankruptcy because I lied and hid things from my parents and didn’t let them know I was drowning financially. I lied, because I was young and stupid and I was never smart enough to realize my mom could be my best friend if I just told the truth and gave her the chance. I lied, and lied until I didn’t know what was real and what was fake. I lied, because I was afraid to admit who I was. Afraid to admit I was this fucked up little person who wasn’t right in the head.
You see. I’m fucked up in the head. There is more too, more that I won’t talk about yet, because it isn’t time. But you should know I have made stupid mistakes. Done stupid things because in my mind I felt like my dad left a legacy that I was destine to follow. That my mistakes were okay because i was his daughter, and everyone expected me to fail anyway. My grandma (not the one who died, another one) expected me to be barefoot and pregnant before I graduated high school. And if I did, it would have been excused, because I was Ricks daughter, and Rick was an idiot. Some day, I hope I can feel comfortable enough to really open up on here. For now, I’m already going to get in enough trouble for admitting I smoked.
So. No, having kids is not why I’m on medication. Well, no that isn’t true. Having them, is, because they are the reason I want to be normal. I want to see the light. I want to be okay and happy. I want to be the best mom I can for them. I want them to look back on every second of their lives and remember that they had the best mom ALL the time, not just when other people were looking. I want to break the legacy. I want to do a good job and raise two amazing boys and leave this earth with everyone wondering how on earth Shannon pulled it all off. I want to be the one who changes it. Who breaks the mold. Who deals with the demons face on and says FUCK off monsters in my head I’m going to be happy. I’m going to do this. I’m going to be strong.
So there you have it. The nitty gritty. Why I’m taking Zoloft. Why I can’t wait to finally get in to see a doctor so I can get a valium or Atavan prescription. Because this monster isn’t taking me down with it!
EDITED TO ADD: My mom wanted to leave a comment on this. However since some of you read me only via readers, you don’t get a chance to see some really good comments I get. So, here is my moms comment which gives you more insite into me!
"Shannon one time when you were at Girl Scout camp your dad tried to take his life by cutting his wrist. It landed him in a hospital for a long time. He promised you he would never try that again.
It was around midnight when you were only 12 that I got the call he had killed him self with a bag over his head. I was up all night wondering how to tell you when you got up to go to school Kirk and I came into you room sat down on your bed to tell you, when we did you got up went to your closet to get you clothes. I asked you want you were doing and you said going to school. We told you that you didn’t have to but you wanted to see your friends. It’s seemed from then on you never really talked about it you just kept it inside. I always felt since a parent let you down you just never trusted adults any more. You also found out that he had pictures of his kids next to him but not one of you. I don’t know why he loved you so much but at the time I think he was trying to put the jab to his wife and make her suffer and he was not thinking of you.
I remember going to his funeral and coming home to find the neighbors dog in your rabbit pin and your bunny dead it was just so much for one little girl to deal with in one day.
Then you turned 18 and moved out and went down and got his autopsy report and that did it. I don’t know if any of your readers have ever read one but it told what drugs he was on, how much he weighed, it even told you how long his little thing was all kinds of stuff I didn’t think you should read but you did.
Then came the death of your grandma at 19 and I think that is what put you in the dark place your in.
You found out last year where your brother and sisters are and contacted them only to be turned away.
Then there is my family and I can’t even go it to all their shit they pulled on you last year.
You have 2 boys that are like fucking Tarzan and his son if Tarzan had a son
You have taken on baby-sitting your best friends son whom you could only wish some of him would rub off on your two boys.
Then there is your money trouble that you’re not alone with. Times are hard when you were in school learning about recession I’m sure you never thought you would live through one.
So for all that I’m sure you have more then one Demon in your head. You just have to say strong. I remember when I put you in Kick Boxing and you would come home with you knuckles’ bleeding from hitting the bag so hard. You put so much into your work outs it was like you was looking at that bag and seeing every Demon that ever fucked with you. Maybe you just need to go back to it so you have something to take it all out on. Something you can just hit really hard and someone to push you to hit harder. Always know Kirk and I are here for you and there isn’t any you could tell us that would sock us or you would be in trouble for. Like I said after your dad you just quit talking to us. If any thing I’m glad you can trust me even if in your own way you talk to me on this bolg.
Love you with all my heart mom
P.S. I’m glad you have Rob and I’m glad I have Rob too. I’m also glad you have your 2 very best friends Ginger and Katie who I know will always be by your side."