‘People choose to be depressed,’ said my father

by Logan, 13

trapped

Father.

A word that taunted me for years but seemed to give everyone around me an immense sense of joy.

I would ask myself constantly, “Why don’t I feel the same?” I knew why and I would remind myself what I had been taught about my feelings. They’re insignificant. My feelings and what I knew were just because I’m a teenager and “every teenager hates their parents.” But I didn’t hate my parents– at least not my Mother who had worked so hard to be OK.

Not only did I have depression, which made me feel like a sinking ship– falling deeper and deeper until no one who saw the wreckage could even begin to visualize its original form. I had anxiety and on top of that, and PTSD.

I had and currently have a toxic trio of mental illness after mental illness affecting me day, night, sleep, wake, and everything else in between that
makes my life a sort of living hell. However, I knew exactly who had brought this on and it was very clear to me and everyone who knew even the slightest piece of miniscule information about me who the culprit was.

“That never happened,” said my Dad.

A sentence that had been engraved in my head. A sentence that affects everything I do in life. A sentence that completely abolished my confidence. It wasn’t like I had an absurd amount of confidence I could easily hand out like free flyers promoting a new business that was thirsting for customers.

I hated my Father? No. Yes. Definitely. That same person who followed me constantly obstructing my forming of a new, adapted life was perfect in other people’s eyes.

“People choose to be depressed,” said my father.

I had put him on a god-like pedestal and he was saying this to me. Saying it directly to my face while doing something in the kitchen. I tried to convince him he was wrong. I thought that was the order in which to do things seeing as this is what I had seen on TV.

He didn’t care when all I could say was nothing and anxiously I laughed at his remark. He was too preoccupied–probably getting a beer seeing as he was and is still an alcoholic.

Beer.

My Father’s drink of choice.

Beer was what he always gravitated to but it wasn’t beneath him to indulge in the occasional glass of wine, whiskey, or anything that happened to show up in the house. When alcohol wasn’t available he knew all the locations from which he could easily retrieve it to pump back into his bloodstream.

Everyone knew he was an alcoholic but with that subject being too touchy for most, no one ever questioned.

“Mom,” I cry out. Mom, I’m sprawled on the floor. I can’t feel. Anything. I don’t feel anything. I’m trapped in my Father’s house and every time I try to escape, someone blocks me. There are no keys on the shelf. The keys to open the partial glass door at the front of my Father’s house aren’t on their usual shelf. Why?

They aren’t there because my Father had planned to lock me in the house. When I tried to leave again, this time going for their garage because I could easily open the door and run. I was blocked. I was blocked by this mammoth-like figure. I was being blocked by my Father.

On the walk to the garage door my Father’s wife alerted him about my attempted escape. She told him. Which felt exactly like I was in elementary school being told on by another child. This time the child’s acts weren’t forgivable. This child which had willingly married an alcoholic was telling him I was leaving only so she could get on his good side.

Get on his good side so maybe when he got drunk she wouldn’t be yelled at. So when he got drunk maybe she wouldn’t be pushed so hard.

I go to my plan B. the large glass sliding door at the back of the house I make my way over. I’m blocked yet again. Ok. That’s fine.

Window.

A window in the room they had for me. I go in the room they have so cleverly called my “cave” because they thought it was hilarious and close the door behind me. NOW. I tell myself I need to get out now. I feel as though I’m being suffocated. Wet. My face is wet with tears. I’ve been crying presumably this whole time. I don’t even feel it. All I can feel
is a heavy pain in my chest and the irritation coming from my eyes. I pull back the blinds.

Sun.

I pry open the window so a little over half of the mesh that leads directly outside is exposed. I’m about to kick it down, leave my belongings in the house and run.

Creak.

I hear the door open. Father is standing in the entrance for a little over two seconds before he pulls me away from the only place I haven’t run to. I let him. I stand there
and watch as he yells at me for ruining the blinds. Why do I feel bad? I’ve done nothing. I’m a prisoner. I feel an absurd remorse for my actions.

I’m trying to reason with them which means I’m crying and yelling at them to let me out because there is no reasoning with them.

Tired.

I’m so tired. So exhausted. I want to just pretend none of this happened and go to sleep. I’m lying down in the room they have for me when I hear the door open. He starts talking. Someone else is talking. They are having a conversation at the doorstep. Is it my Mom. My dad. The voice is too foreign for it to be someone. I know. It’s the police. They’ve come to help me! They’ve seen all the text messages I’ve sent to my Mom. I can get out!

Slam.

The door shuts with such force it shakes the house.

It’s almost as if he thought the more force he used to close the door, the harder it would be for people to hear my cries. I wait for a moment and realize no one’s coming for me. No one cares. I’m still trapped and there’s no way to get out now. I’ve been trapped both physically and mentally. I don’t have it me again to try just to fail. I get up.

Go to the medicine cabinet without anyone seeing, grab as many bottles as I can and bring them back to the bed that lay damp with tears.

Salty.

The tears coming down my face aren’t countable. They stream so rapidly down my face I was afraid when I laid down I would end up drowning in an ocean.

Nevertheless, I cry myself to sleep.

I awaken to a cold pillow. It occurs to me that I’m still confined to the space of their house and my chest hurts yet again. Stumbling, I get up and go to the stash of pill containers I hid earlier out of sight if anyone were to come in and look around.

Gulp.

The sound of me tossing water down my throat as to not choke on the copious amount of pills I had just ingested.  I walk out of the room. My body was unable to move normally. My body felt strained. I imagined I looked similar to the Hollywood zombies that pull themselves everywhere due to lack of strength. My feet dragged and my eyes were in excruciating pain.

Pain.

Severe stomach pain

It takes me a moment to realize. I hadn’t eaten anything but pills.

Father and his wife suggest going to eat.

Click.

They get into the car and I follow. I’m confused when I realize their kid isn’t there. It’s name is Lily and I don’t remember when she was born. Before they had her I was asked how I felt about it. But I knew they didn’t care about my opinion anyway.

I knew his wife wanted a baby because I wasn’t her blood. Her parents disapproved of him enough to hate me so it only makes sense to have another kid to balance things out. It was because they planned it out that the child wasn’t there. I forgot.

A teriyaki place was where we ended up.

Yelling.

For the first time in a surprising amount of months no yelling was heard on the drive. No hateful words directed towards Amanda were seen coming out of his mouth. I was caught off guard by this observation as I deliberated how long it would last whilst getting out of his wife’s car. My guess– not very long.

Terrible.

The food was terrible but not to the point of being so repulsive I wouldn’t eat.

I tell them about the pills. They respond with an OK nonchalantly or something to that nature.

We’re at the mall. Amanda cleverly suggests calling poison control to her husband.

I’m relieved.

I at least know she has some level of common sense. Clearly not enough to realize marrying him was a mistake though. It’s a shame because she could have done a lot with her life. She was a young, attractive, smart girl and I felt sorry that she wasted that.

Still happy. I’m smiling while shuffling through shirts when he comes back to tell Amanda that they should probably take me to hospital.

A familiar yet foreign click sound followed by a rush to get in the car and driving. He’s doing it again. Yelling at me. Making me feel bad for taking the pills. I’m sorry. I think to myself as he continues verbally assaulting me. Criticizing my decision.

Cold.

The air coming from the hospital was cold. I was taken in the emergency room which shocked me. “I’m not priority enough to be an emergency,” I thought while answering the doctor’s questions.

I’m being admitted to hospital. Drug test. Scrubs. I barely have enough time to ask the doctors and nurses questions. No one is telling me anything. I only know I don’t have to get my stomach pumped. Where’s my mom? Where’s my dad? I don’t know where my family is. I don’t even know if they’ve been told I’m at a hospital. It’s not like I could call them since the hospital took all my belongings. I’m confused.

Mom. Dad. They entered the room in such a panicked manner I questioned myself as to why they were so worried. Oh, right Hospital. I had somehow forgotten that I was in a hospital.

After I got situated in my scrubs I was told a stretcher was on the way. I tried to convince the doctor that was unnecessary but all he would say was, “Sorry, it’s procedure.” Okay I guess that’s fine.

As soon the stretcher wheeled its way into the hospital it seemed as if it’s presence transformed the once bland hospital into a now extravagant amusement park attraction. It felt as if everyone was watching my every move. It felt as if I was just some sort of prey that didn’t have the means to fight so I would tread lightly as to not wake my predator.

Stretchers. Are. Amazing.  Something about being carried. I think that’s what made me like it so much.

Creak.

The sound of the stretcher being lowered so I could be put into the bed. The bed was decently comfortable after I asked the watcher who sat next to me in a less comfortable wooden chair if I could rearrange the couple of pillows the bed had already been furnished with.

Boring. Simple.

Is how I would describe my next few days I spent with my family in the perpetually consistent room I inhabited. My father, the person who admitted me to hospital
spent less than three hours in the room where I spent three whole days in. He did however provide me with a plate of strawberries because he’s ever so gracious.

Observe.

Whenever I took showers, went to the bathroom, washed my, face brushed my teeth, breathed, I was watched. Constantly. They were called watchers and their job premise was essentially to stalk me until I left. I was on twenty-four hour watch and it
left me no time to accept what had happened.

Other than my family, who actually slept in my room, the doctors and therapists that came in once were my only guests. They would ask questions and I answered. When I was asked what happened my response was always my Father.

Time up.

I was leaving the hospital today which I assumed would be a momentous occasion but I could not have been more wrong. To prepare leaving, a nurse came in to take out the plastic tube that had been placed in my arm the day I got there. I was given a wheelchair the moment I stepped out of my room and a plastic bag to house my belongings.

As soon as I was wheeled out, the workers directed me to a small bus in pitch black darkness. The bus was eerily cold and no one was on the vehicle except me. The driver and another person who I assumed assisted the driver when more people were present.

On the bus ride to the destination that had not been disclosed to me, I realized a lot of things.

Things like who really cared for me. And a lot of questions came about.

Questions like, Why did I let him do this? What was I going to do after this? Why didn’t I fight back? Not only when I was trapped but also on other occasions.

I ended up at a mental institution. I didn’t let my “Father” visit. I was happy I realized I could get away from him. I was happy I had accepted some of what he did. I knew he didn’t feel sorry because he never once felt anything towards me.

I was content.

Knowing he would have to live with some amount of guilt. Or maybe he felt no guilt. What if he felt nothing like he always has? I learned to be content with that too.

Family Matters – a rap by Charles Aubrey Rogers

6 thoughts on “‘People choose to be depressed,’ said my father”

  1. You are brave to tell your story and I know people will believe you. Everyone wants to be believed and validated. Please don’t ever believe the untruths you were told. No one chooses to be depressed anymore than they would choose to have cancer! You deserve much better and it is obvious you have many people pulling for you.

  2. Logan, there are many people out there who will believe your story and want to help you. You are very brave and you will be better. I will think about you a lot and hope that Anne Moss (or you) will let us know how you are doing in the days to come. You make me feel grateful for my loving family. After all the loss I have had, I still have family who love me. I have a feeling you will do something very good in the world…..in fact, you already have…..

  3. Logan, thank you for sharing your experience with us. You write so beautifully, even as you describe such pain. I’m so thankful you are still with us. Much love to you, your mom, your dad and Ryan. ❤️❤️❤️

    Anne Moss, thank you for sharing Logan’s words, her heart…

  4. Painful to read. Felt it as I read. That ‘alone’ feeling . More than loneliness. ‘Alone’
    I’ve struggled with that feeling my whole life. Never truly goes away. ….. Except Jesus ( for me ). Thank you for sharing Logan .

  5. Logan, that was very a heartwrencing narrative. You suffered tremendous anguish and torment. You have courage to announced this life story of yours. I hope we can be helpful here for you. Don’t ever give up Logan!

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