The Ugly Truth About Being a Mother With Depression

Updated on March 6, 2017
Nancy Fisher profile image

Nancy is a high school English teacher and freelance writer. She has written about divorce, single parenting, trauma, and finances.

Yes, I Really Have Temper Tantrums

“Get out here now and pick up your laundry, or I’m throwing it out on the lawn! Don’t test me, you know I will do it. I am so tired of having to tell you not to leave your stuff all over the place at my house! It is disrespectful to me, and I’m sick of it. Maybe that’s okay at your father’s house because he’s a slob, too, but not here. I will not clean up after you like I did for him for fifteen years!”

That is a pretty close summary of my tantrums that occur almost every week that my kids are with me. There is also a version with sacrilegious swear words and a few f-bombs thrown in for good measure. That is my favorite word, by the way, when I’m frustrated, overwhelmed, angry, anxious, and down. I am clinically depressed, and I am a single mother. What a ride it has been for my kids.

Kids are Perceptive, They Know What's Going On

Julie is sixteen and Patrick is fourteen. They have been living with me every other week since I divorced their father in 2009. We have moved six times since then because rent keeps going up and I live on a teacher’s salary with minimal child support.

Keeping a home, paying the bills, parenting alone, and working with 128 kids every day has taken its toll on me. My mind is in a constant state of paradox: I am strong, independent, courageous, and smart—yet the darkness that comes over me almost three times a week seems to seep its way through the fissures of my mind, culminating in a state of anger, hopelessness, fear, and pity.

I used to be able to hide it from the kids when they were younger—I could take them out to eat or over to a friend’s house when I felt the darkness coming—but now they are too wise and perceptive. They see their mom go from confident and proud to hating herself and pretty much everyone else.

What Set Me Off

I have always been neat. Everything has a place and clutter is not tolerated. If something is out in the open and doesn’t have a place, it goes in the garbage. I can’t tell you how many bills, letters, random pieces of clothing, toiletries, and food I have discarded that I later needed. And then I would cuss myself out for being such an idiot.

When my depression hits, I start decluttering. It’s rampant and rage fueled in disproportionate measures. I have even cussed out my dog (sweet girl) for letting a few pieces of her food hit the floor instead of her bowl.

Alas, I have recently discovered the deep, psychological reason I do this. After fifteen years of therapy and countless trips down the warpath, it was described to me in this way, “You are obsessed with controlling your personal environment because you have no control over your inner self. You think that if you get rid of the clutter in your house you will get rid of the clutter in your mind. That’s how your depression manifests itself, not through sadness but through rage.” Nice. And what a great thing for my kids to have to bare.

Can I Control These Outbursts?

So my kids live a bit on edge, but tell me they are used to my breakdowns. They are still messy and they don’t cringe when I raise my voice about picking up their stuff—so maybe they have just accepted me with my faults. I am ashamed of this to the millionth degree, and I continue to work on controlling my emotions through therapy and medications.

What makes me sick is when I bring their father into it. It is not their fault he is a slob. They don’t need to hear that from me; they witness it themselves every other week. When I scream about him with hatred in my voice and in my eyes, they see it. And they no doubt feel a pang of insecurity as they realize that I am comparing them to him. What they must feel when they think about how much I hate him and then, by relation, think about how I must feel the same way about them is probably torture.

Being alone despite being around people constantly.
Being alone despite being around people constantly. | Source

What is Your Experience?

Do You Think Your Depression Effects Your Kids?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Nancy Fisher profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Fisher 

      19 months ago from Cape Coral

      Thank you for saying that. You probably know that a lot of guilt comes with this even though there is little we can do about it. I guess I just want other mom's to know that they are not alone, like you :)

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 

      19 months ago from Bend, OR

      Hey, Nancy, thanks for your honesty. I've dealt with depression since menarche. I don't rage but feel overwhelming sadness, have distorted thoughts, and want to be alone. That's not too conducive to family life! I took anti-depressants for many years and they helped. But I got tired of feeling nothing and living like a zombie. It's a struggle with no easy answers. That's why I appreciate your candor. I'm sure your kids see you trying your best and love you for it. Take care!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, healdove.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://healdove.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)