After I returned from the pharmacy yesterday, OCP and Vitamin Z in my grubby hands, I made sure to skim all of the information they had given me (is it just me, or is that stuff almost impossible to read? Seriously, I felt like I needed a magnifying glass AND I AM NOT EVEN REMOTELY FARSIGHTED.), looked over the list of potential side effects (mainly for the Zoloft, which people have reported drowsiness AND wakefulness. Helpful when you are trying to figure out when to take it, eh?), and promptly hid this paper in the bottom of our paper recycling bin.

Then I took my first dose and hid the bottle.

Who the hell am I hiding this from?

Simple answer, that one: my mother. She comes each day and takes my big son to school while watching my ickle one for me so that I might catch up on some sleep.

Now, as open as I am about most things in my family (both of my parents were there for the birth of Ben and only missed watching Alex make his screamy decent because they were watching Ben for us. It is safe to say that they have seen the intimate parts of my delicate girl-hood AND I DIDN’T EVEN CARE.) I cannot admit that I have PPD to my mother.

It’s actually not about shame, as I am not ashamed of this problem (now that I have admitted I have a problem, I am just going to focus my energy on fixing it) in any way shape or form. Like everyone else, I am only human, and although I may have a not-so-secret desire to be a Transformer (more than meets the eye!), I have accepted and embraced my limitations.

I have a problem and I am working toward a solution.

But, if I were to make this omission to my mother, I can all but assure you that this would turn into something else entirely. I don’t know if you know this, or if this is a unique thing to my mother, but depressed people (even if they’re not currently depressed) are some of the most obnoxious egocentric assholes I’ve met (worse than BMW drivers, even), and as such, telling them anything like this would quickly be turned around to how it affects them. Even if it doesn’t remotely affect them.

I’ll give you an example: when I was a kid, I happened to be one of those annoyingly sickly ones, you know, I was always in and out of school due to massive illnesses. My immune system sucked ass, and I would literally fall ill about every third or fourth week. It was awful. Strep throat was typically what plagued me, and I always knew when I was about to get it because I would begin vomiting copiously (it’s a wonder I have any enamel left on my teeth).

Before I got my tonsils out when I was much older (turned out they were completely necrotic, which is WHY I was always sick), I would have to sound the alarm to call the doctor whenever I started praying to the toilet bowl gods. About every other time this happened, my mother (who had not gotten sick since she was a child) would start moaning about the house dramatically until she had to “go to bed” because she was worried that she would get it to (she never actually did).

In that manner, she would shift all of the attention that I might have gotten onto her.

Rinse, repeat. Second verse, same as the first.

So, I learned pretty early on that these sorts of things were better left unsaid to her, and even as an adult, I’m pretty sure if I were to say how I’ve been feeling, she’d turn it around onto herself, and then I would have to listen to her talk about how SHE felt after she’d had my brother and I. It would quickly turn into a pity party for her, and I would be the sole invitee and as such, be forced to sympathize and cluck at her plight (even though it was at the earliest, 27 years ago).

(Trust me, I don’t want a pity party for myself, EVEN if you were to bring whine and cheese. Get it, “whine?” Oh, SNAP!)

So, tell your Aunt Becky, since now she knows that at least SOME of you understand what it’s like growing up with a nut for a mother/father/whatever, is this pretty typical? If not, what do YOU hide from your parents, even now as a grown adult?

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22 thoughts on “The Secret Life Of Becky

  1. My mom never did anything like that. Instead, whenever there was something wrong with me, she’d tell me I was a hypocondriac. (I’m sure I butchered the spelling on that one.) When my gall bladder up and died, she told me it was growing pains. Then came the day that I had an attack while swimming during gym class and damned near drowned. That’s when she finally took me to the doctor. When they finally diagnosed what was going on, they told her that if we had waited another week to seek treatment, I’d have developed gangreen (again with the butchered spelling) and would’ve most likely died. Heh.

    I hide my drinking from my mom. I’m far from an alcoholic, but my step-dad is one and it runs on my bio-dad’s side of the family, so I know she worries about it. And, really, she doesn’t need something else to worry about.

  2. Oh, I so feel your pain. You grew up in my family didn’t you? We’re secretly sisters. I knew it. In other words, you are not alone.

  3. I cannot say that I am hiding something from them–9Other than I cannot spend more than a couple days in a row with them at a time)

    I am a total EVERYONE PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!!! person when I am sick… but when my mom is sick, I cannot stand having to tend to her- b/c she is just like me.

  4. I totally hide my messy bedroom from my mom. She’s made comments more than once about our clutter in the rest of the house, and I remember growing up how she’d totally freak on us if we left stuff around at all. The weird thing is, my house is no more cluttered than ANY of my friends’ houses, and I like to think of it as ‘lived in’. Also, back then, I think more moms had time to clean house than we busy people do now, with our crazy schedules. My dad was an alcoholic and passed away in July. More than once I had to borrow money from him for bills, so if we ever bought ANYTHING remotely fun, or went anywhere at all, even camping, I’d hide it from him. It’s kinda sad to me that I couldn’t ever just be me with both of my parents!

  5. Been there, totally. My diabetes was cause for my mom to seek comfort from her friends, calling me in tears and my having to console her that everything would be alright. Countless issues growing up were turned into pity parties for my mom.

    No one knows I’m on medication. I mentioned it to my husband, but frankly, I’m not even sure he really got it. I don’t discuss it. With anyone IRL. That is partly b/c my mom took pills to an extreme. With my mom the pill was to make everything better. No therapy. Every pill was THE magic pill. And she took many of them at many different times. Together. With vodka. With random other things that would alter her mood. And so, I don’t want people to think i’ll end up a pill popping addict who sleeps all day. I suppose I need to get over that.

    If I were you I’d keep it from my parents as well. My mom would be the LAST person who I would tell i’m on anti depressants because she would surely find a way to cry and make a whole deal about how it was her fault and she was so sad sad sad and how it was horrible that her daughter was depressed.

    but my mom and i don’t talk. ever. that’s a whole other story…

  6. My mother would over-react to the point of humiliation, hers and mine. I kept everything to myself so as to not upset her. It actually made me quite independant and self reliant. I also had frequent pukes, mine due to undiagnosed asthma and allergies. By age 5, I was complimented on the neatness of the nightly emissions, no mess. I cause no one any trouble, flew below the radar.

  7. I tell my mother only good things because everything is a calamity in her world. Sounds really awful, but I learned this early. When it’s bad it’s horrendous, and when it’s good, she’s waiting for the bad to come. Pleasant, no? Took me a lot of years to figure out that the sky wasn’t going to fall because she said so.

  8. I don’t hide much from my dad – except the fact that I dated a black guy. I feared a real life enactment of that scene from Jungle Fever if he found out.

    But I can see your choice to hide pills. Parents can be judgemntal – and you just have to know you won’t be the kind of parent your kids will have to hide things from.

  9. Ha! Imagine my surprise to find out (long after the fact) that my Mom was on anti-depressants and has been since my Dad died! I was a little ticked off that she told my sister but not me, especially considering that I’m the daughter who worked in a behavioral health facility for four years and also that I’m the daughter she’s supposedly closer to.

    But I don’t think I would tell her if I were taking anti-depressants. I think it would just give her one more thing to be upset about.

    I hide all sorts of things from her. And when I do tell her things after the fact, she in essence puts her hands over her ears and says “lalalalalalalalalalalala”.

    But I did love your post yesterday about how we’re obviously not screwing up our kids more than we’ve been screwed up by our parents. I even went and unchained the baby from the radiator! He says thanks. 🙂

  10. Wow. Not surprised you don’t want to tell your mom if it will become all about her.

    I used to not tell my mom all kinds of things for one reason or another, often for the same reason. But now I don’t really have time for any such cr*p and have made that clear, so I don’t have to worry about what I say and what I don’t way anymore. Rather a relief.

  11. Ahh, I could go on about my Mother. Married my Dad, but decided after 2 kids that she was a lesbian. My sister & I were too naive to understand until High School. Add a string of loser girlfriends for her and too much beer and cigarettes. Talk about trying to figure out how to be a good Mother after that! I live in the Chicago suburbs too-is it something in the water??

  12. I wish I had something profound to say today but alas, I do not. (I’m sure that’s a shock, huh?)

    I read the fine print on those things too and YEAH it’s always printed ridiculously close together in a tiny font size.

    I don’t particularly hide anything from my mom. But I don’t tell her anything at all about me unless she asks. Which is almost never. So, I somewhat get it.

  13. Hmm. Mother-one-uppance. Must be epidemic, because mine has it, too. I’ve had a headache/she’s been holed up in a dark room vomiting hers is so bad; I only got 5 hours of sleep/she only had 1, and so on. The only thing I’m hiding from her these days is myself :). Hide the pills, hide the pills!

  14. I don’t tell my mother everything. But I’m not specifically hiding anything from her either…I never told her I thought I had PPD. But I’m pretty sure she knew.

  15. Oh dear lawd, is this post like a magic mirror into my life. I never told my mom when I took antidepressants because I didn’t want her to make it into some weird competition where she has to be sicker than me..

    Case in point…when my son dropped dead suddenly and I was having a hard time coping she told me to suck it up because as hard as it was on me, it was harder for her…(because you know, she was sad that Bug died and that her daughter was sad.)

    Or again, how I couldn’t possibly be hurting as bad as she did when her mother died after a two year battle with cancer at the age of 80. Cuz losing a parent is worse than losing a child.

    Ya.

    It’s a fucking wonder I’m not in a padded cell.

    And I hide the pills when my mom comes over too….

  16. Huh. I could have written that post. My mother and sister BOTH take Vitamin Z and I’ve never told either one of them. And my mother? Is always pulling that “I’ve got it worse than you” shite. Years after my wedding, the priest, who is a friend, said to me “the saddest thing about your wedding was that your mother was jealous”. Yup.

  17. I was blessed with some incredible parents, so no complaints there. My fiance, however, has the most selfish mother–she’s got both the depression and the extreme religiousness about her, and when it comes down to it, every little thing we do or decision we make it somehow about her and how it impacts her life. I can’t even imagine having to be the “child” in a relationship with someone like her–I mean, doesn’t that inherently screw you up???

  18. I hid everything from crazy Alice aka mumsy. I even made up “good” stuff in my life to create the illusion that everything was always hunky dory so as not to upset her.

    Six years and strong, I am still praying to the Paxil gods.

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