Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hi, My Name is Tenille

That's me. Back when Caroline did my hair. I have 0 hair skills.


I am...

A wife of 1.
A mother of 3.
A diet coke addict.
A daughter of God.

No, I do not "suffer" from depression. I am depressed. I am not sad, overwhelmed, or having a bad day. I am depressed. Depression isn't feeling sad. It means you don't feel anything. I take a depression medication and an anti anxiety medication. (Anyone who dares call them happy pills will be promptly slapped.)

Why? Who knows. My best guess is that while I am currently living the life I always thought I wanted, it isn't what I thought it would be.

Now, if at this point you feel the need to tell me how strong and great I am, don't. Caroline will never post that comment. Because, honestly, I don't want to hear it. Not when I can't agree with you. Not even a little bit.

I have never talked of this before because people are stupid. They like to inform me that I do not have the RIGHT to be depressed.

I am not allowed to be depressed because I have 2 autistic kids that need me so I need to pop a xanax and suck it up. I pop plently of xanax, but I refuse to suck it up any longer.

I am not allowed to be depressed about special needs because:
-My kids are "not that disabled" Yep, people tell me this.
-There are people out there who would like to have any child. Even an autistic one.

Bite me.

The last one actually ties into the reasons why I am not allowed to be depressed about having a hysterectomy at age 26. Yep, 26.

While in recovery, a nurse came in to check on me and saw my age on my wrist band. She gasped when she saw how young I was and said, "oh, you poor thing. did you even have a chance to have kids?"
I explained that I had 3 and my youngest was a mere 4 months old. 2 boys and a girl.
"Oh, well then you're good."

I beg your pardon? How do you know I'm "good"?? How about the fact that my daughter will never have a sister? I am one of 5 girls. I understand and respect the bond of sisterhood. My baby will never have that.

People like to throw out adoption as if it is actually an easy and viable option. Do you know how hard and expensive adoption is?

However, it still comes back to the fact that I have had 3 children when there are people out there who can't have any. They are allowed to be depressed. Maybe.

This is true. There are women that cannot have children. I am related to a few. I feel for these women. What is harder? Never having children or carrying 3 little people inside you and then having that very vital part of your womanhood ripped out of you at age 26? Guess it depends on which side of the line you are on.

I know exactly what I am missing. And it hurts. I smile and laugh and joke, but I am genuinely devestated over the loss of my uterus. I see pregnant people and new babies and I ache. But I can't tell anyone, because I don't have the right.

I think the hardest thing is all the people that tell me how special I must be. How strong I must be. How much they admire me.

Why? I am nobody special. I feel like I have something to live up to when people say this. Like people are watching me because I have special kids so I must be some super fantastic person.

I feel like I am drowning. I feel like God has made a mistake. I feel grossly unqualified to be the mother of these undoubtedly special children.

I feel inadequate. Nothing you can say will change that.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss


~j. said...

I'm cheering for you. I'm so glad to know you -- every aspect of you.

One Cluttered Brain said...

I love that Dr. Suess quote at the end. Wow.

I think you have submitted this to MMB. Yeah, it is that good. Wow.
Are you a contributor to MMB?

This post is good, and I'm not just saying that either.

I'm not sure if this will get published or not, it sounds like you are being awfully protective of this post.

And that is totally understandable. What you are talking about is very true and raw. Well maybe not raw but vulnerable.

But very honest.
and honest posts usually get good response.
Bloggers in particular like it when you are honest with them.
Thanks for taking the time and writing this post.
Can I tweet this post to the masses?
I think it is good. :)
And your hair looks great!
Caroline did a good job!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

K that picture is so great of you! So natural and captures your beauty.

Everything I feel and would have said you told me not to :), but I do want to say thank you for sharing how you feel and for allowing us to read it.

Love ya! :)

alexis said...

sorry i didn't get to really meet you at cbc. you are kind of intimidating because you are so pretty and you're always surrounded by people. but i saw you, and thought, "she looks interesting." and surprise! you are.

thanks for writing. i don't ever feel brave when i write about depression, i just feel like if i don't talk about it i might explode and get negativity all over my family. so i blog and force my emotions on my poor blog readers. but it's always good to read the words of someone else, words i feel like i could have said and they would have been true.

Lee said...

One cluttered brain sent me over...I'm not going to say you'll feel better, or you are so strong. One, I don't know you and two, I get it. I don't have special needs kids, but I did have the uterus and ovaries yanked. I do have depression, and I do take an anti depressant and an anti anxiety med daily. And, yes, sometimes I want to lock my door and never come out again. All I can say is...hang in there.

Monica said...

Did you see my "coming out" post about my depression and anxiety? (the post on May 30 It was one of the hardest posts I've ever written and it wouldn't have come into existence without CBC. I think there were things at that conference that some of us needed and had no idea were going to be part of the experience.

People who think you shouldn't grieve losses (of children of uteri, etc.) because of what you do have don't understand grief. My daughter was diagnosed with condition where 90% of kids die by 2 years old. She lived until four and for that I'm incredibly grateful, but it doesn't lessen the grief over that five (6, 17, 30)year old daughter I'll never have a chance to know. Grief doesn't work like that. You have permission to grieve your losses, in spite of what you have.

Big hugs and high fives - way to let it be real!

Melissa Bastow said...

Hi Tenille. Nice to meet you. Let's build a fort in my backyard and hang out. Unless you have a tree in your backyard, because then we'll build a treehouse instead. And Mombabe can come do our hair in our fort/treehouse while we eat rootbeer popsicles.

I really like your post.

greta said...

it's so crazy to think that we are sister in laws and yet we haven't had this conversation. why is that? i feel like i can't talk about this stuff in the avery family or mine for that matter simply because of what you said. i feel like i don't deserve to be depressed. yet i have been depressed my whole life. i've never truly felt happy. i have been in 5 mental hospitals, the last time i was in for 4 months. and every time i go in, i feel like people don't take me seriously. they look at me, my life and they don't understand how i could be depressed. it makes me second guess myself like i should just suck it up and get over it because people have it worse than me but i just can't. i can't be happy, i literally don't know how. i don't know how to love myself or think that i'm important or worth enough to be able to raise these amazing children i have. i understand what you're saying tenille, and your right in feeling how you do. i've learned you just can't compare yourself to others. this is what YOU are going through and that is how YOU are going to feel. same as that i feel how i feel with what is going on with my life. we should have talked more when we lived closer, and we should talk more now even though we live so far away.

Matt and Stephanie said...

I love you Tenille, because you are honest and pretty, and sassy. Most of all because you are you and you are not afraid to speak the truth. You are a beautiful person.

Mark and Jessica said...

I've listened to my sister, who has 7 children BTW, complain she no longer has the option to have children because she has lukemia. She may have made the choice to not have any more on her own, but now it is no longer her choice.

We made the choice to do tie my tubes because we would be endangering any future babies during pregnancy.

Both of these were choices that were basically made for us, but that doesn't take away the wish we had more control and choice still.

There is nothing wrong with the way you are feeling we all grieve for what we had taken from us. Thank you for your frank words - they mean alot.

Amy said...

All I want to say is thank you and I'm listening.

Judi said...

Well said Tenille! I ♥ you!

imbritney said...

I hate it when people say "so-and-so has it so much worse than you. You should be glad..." like it magically lessens the pain. And like they really know the story in the first place. No one has the right to belittle another's pain. It's mine and mine alone and it hurts like a dagger through the heart.

I don't know what cbc is, but it sounds like it helped? I couldn't open myself up publicly like that, so points for you! If that's the process for healing then I guess I'll always be broken...

I can't imagine the pain you are going through, so I'll just do what I know -- pray that God gives you the strength that you need when you need it.


Anonymous said...

First of all- I love that Dr. Suess quote.

Second- Well said.

I'm not going to say "feel better" or "be happy with what you have". But what I AM going to say, is thank you. I have been fighting that "nothing feeling" for the past month or so. I'm not on any medication and as you know I don't have children or a hysterectomy. But I have been "sucking it up" the whole time- and I'm tired of it.

Please don't feel like you need to live up to this, but I DO admire you and you are very strong in my eyes. Not because you're this monumental superwoman... but because you're human! You have challenges in your life. You make mistakes, you long for things to be better and you love your family and friends with all your heart and soul.

I love you for who you are- happy or sad. Strong or weak. You're Tenille... Honest and Sassy :)

Maxine Conrad said...

You absolutely ROCK and I love you ! xx

Matt and Brianna said...

Oh Tenille! Who would have thought? You and I sitting in Young Womens together with not a care in the world (except maybe who's kissing so and so) But really. We have found ourselves to have almost the exact same life! I love this post. You ARE amazing! I know I hate when people say that to me too. I hate most when people say "he doesn't look like he has anything wrong with him" REALLY?? People, whether well-meaning or pure ignorance, it doesn't matter. It's all the same.

I had a friend tell me the other night who also has a special child. When I told her I didn't know why Heavenly Father thought I could handle this cause he was wrong.
She then preceded to tell me he doesn't make them this way for US. That would be giving our sins to our children. He DOES give us things we CANT handle!! He really does! He just hopes we will ask him for some help. Then we can *handle* what ever comes our way.

I love you Tenille!! Thank heavens for Diet coke!!!

Sara said...

Hi Tenille =) my name is Sara, and we share quite a few things in common (fun times)... I myself had a hysterectomy at age 26 and my son, Benjamin, age 3, also has Autism. Hearing your story in the hospital brings back memories and still to this day hurts, to also realize, there won't be anymore baby bump. I'm with you there sister.

Jeanie said...

Tenille, We dont know each other but I was sent to your blog by a mutual friend. I have special needs children and some things in common. A little about me: 1 boy with PDD thats mild, 1 girl with a personality disorder, Tubes tied because pregnancy was a danger to both me and my children, and bipolar with severe depression and anxiety. We are not the same but if there are anything I can help with please dont hessitate to post on my facebook or send a message. Jeanie Shank I have some suggestions for dealing with autism. Its hard to be on all the time. Its impossible accually. Im working on disability which was a hard decision that I still feel ashamed of. I can relate. I dont judge (well as much as I am humanly capable of) and I really want to help even if its just a stranger listening. Keep going you will be stronger than you think. I am... I hope. Your in my thoughts.