My mother abandoned me and my life was forever changed #Tough Stuff#depression#mental illness#teens April 10 | Guest post by Anonymous Take Everything : 8.5"x11" art print by Tommy Kovac Related Post Why parenting and relationships are hard: happiness doesn't mean feeling good Our habitual pleasure-seeking keeps us from being able to be truly and deeply committed to our endeavors in life. Our idea that we deserve to... Read more I was just a regular teenage girl one moment and then a wreck the next. All I had to worry about in life was what outfit I would have to wear to school the next day and what grades I got in my classes. But that all changed in just one day. My mom had been going through a rough patch and her depression had gotten the worst of her. One day she just vanished into thin air. The moment we all realized something was up was at about 7:00 pm when my mom had been gone for quite a while. This had never happened before and I immediately called the police. Frantically, I dialed the number and couldn't even make out a full sentence because I had realized that from this moment, my life would never be the cookie-cutter kind of perfect anymore. I just didn't want to come to the realization that my mom just flat-out left without even thinking twice. I waited and waited for her to show up, couldn't handle school, cried every time I saw a mother walking with her child, and even just saying the word "mom" triggered me. People were feeling sympathetic for me left to right, which let me say, I hated! People would always ask if I was alright. Obviously, I wasn't — my mom was missing and I had no idea what was going on. In order to calm me down, I would come up with a million scenarios of what could have happened. Maybe it wasn't just abandonment — it was probably just her depression and she wasn't thinking straight. She could have been taken. I just didn't want to come to the realization that my mom just flat-out left without even thinking twice. School, adulting, life, hormones, and on top of all of that, a missing mom. Days passed into months. I just hoped for her to finally snap out of the depressive world she was in and return back home. Thanksgiving, Christmas, my dad's birthday… and nothing. She still didn't come back. I felt a huge emptiness. I didn't know what to think anymore — the situation was just so much for a teenager to handle. How is an 18-year-old supposed to deal with all of this stress? School, adulting, life, hormones, and on top of all of that, a missing mom. It's really easy for some to say, "It's not that hard, just let it go," "You can't just throw your whole life away because of this," or "You're a strong girl, you can handle this." It's easier said than done. My brain was about to explode because of how much stress I was under. But months have passed now and it's still hard. It may even be a little bit harder because there used to be more hope. Now I realize that my mother abandoned me. The ghost of her will be seen at my graduation, marriage, and life. I hope she comes back, but I lost hope and now I just have to be strong. This experience has truly been a roller coaster of events and I guess everything happens for a reason. Like they say, everyone around you is going through something. I have come out stronger and more aware of what can happen in anyone's life. This is just my own story. Want something better than 13 Reasons Why? Here's the show that wins in portraying mental illness 13 Reasons Why was problematic when it came to dramatizing suicidal ideation and execution -- in all it's heavy and highly dramatized detail. I want to call out an alternative.… Read More Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Anonymous Just a young girl who has been through a lot of shit. PREVIOUS 19 super easy meal ideas from readers' go-to recipe files NEXT My area is going plastic bag free. How do I dispose of this cat poop? Show/Hide comments [ 8 ] Sending you lots of love. This is a terrible thing for anyone to have to go through. I wish there were words I could type that would make things even kind of okay. I wish I could yell from the rooftops that you're more than your strength and that you're important. You deserve better, and I hope moving forward even with that ghost, you find family and comfort in others around you. 11 agree Reply I'm so sorry you've had to go through this! 6 agree Reply I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. I'm also appalled at some of the platitudes people have thrown at you, especially the one about "throwing your whole life away." I mean, WTF??? As if any of this was somehow your fault. 13 agree Reply thank you that means a lot to me 2 agree Reply What an impossibly painful thing to have to struggle with! But I want to tell you something that may help you with it: your mom didn’t abandon you. Full stop. Say it with me: your mom (my mom) didn’t abandon you (me). No, your mom was stolen from her life, from her home and her family and you, by her disease. Depression did this. Depression stole her from you, without warning. There may come a day when she is able to find treatment for her disease and come back to you, or she may be so hurt and humiliated and embarrassed by what the disease did that she can’t face you, because we as a society don’t treat mental illness with the same patience and grace that we would if your mom was in a hospital room with stage 4 cancer, fighting for her life, or if she was in a nursing home with dementia and couldn’t recognize you. But if you frame it around what her disease did, if you think about it and speak about it and breathe it into the air that depression stole your mom away, and you miss her and love her and hope she can get treatment and come home, then. Maybe. There are no promises in mental illness, and maybe all it will do is help someone else who’s struggling with this disease, or has a family member or friend who’s suffering, but that’s something too. Depression lies. It says things like “your existence is hurting your family, it would be better for them if you left,” and it says it in a voice that sounds so real and true that you believe it. It lies, and it lied to your mother and it stole her away from you as completely as if it had clapped a hand over her mouth and shoved her in a trunk and locked her in a basement in rural Kansas. Your mother was stolen by depression. Robin Williams (and so many others) died from his depression. Depression steals and it kills and it hurts and then it turns around and says “This person did it to themselves,” and it doesn’t make it true. I hope, with all your school and adulting and life, you’re also seeing a good therapist who can help you deal with your own very valid feelings about what has happened to you, and to your mother, because that’s going to be an important piece of your own healing. It’s also impossibly hard to hear now, but eventually your mother won’t haunt you every minute of every day. There will be days when she’s all you can think about, but there will be hours and then days and weeks and months where you live your beautiful life and think of her in passing, if at all. It’s what she would want for you. I’m so sorry your mother is so terribly ill. 22 agree Reply >>Depression lies.<< Thank you for the reminder. It is so easy to forget. That whole paragraph needs to be embroidered and framed. Reply Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can't believe anyone would tell you "It's not that hard". I find that the "buck-up and deal" or "just put your big-girl pants on" mentality has serious ramifications. Like you said, your life has changed significantly. I agree with what others have said about making sure you find a really good therapist. Vet your therapist, too to make sure it's a good fit. You probably already know this, but depression can be hereditary. Make sure you're getting the help you need. Also, make sure you go easy on yourself – you are a worthwhile person! Just know that this offbeat community is here for you, and you're in our thoughts. Reply Sending you love. What an incredibly difficult experience you are going through. Rake in all the love you can, from everyone, even us internet strangers. Grief is not bearable alone; it is too big for any one person to carry. We survive by being carried with love by others. You are loved by this offbeat community. I love you. <3 Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.