Your mind is a rare gem. I’m glad you didn’t die.
Leah Stella Stephens
62

Thank you so much for such a heartfelt response. There’s something truly wonderful about connecting across the web through this medium — feeling like we’re able to peer into a little segment of each other’s minds, and offering empathy and compassion for the pieces of us that we choose to share.

You’ve offered this deeply delicate piece of myself a great amount of compassion and I’m incredibly grateful.

I had an interesting childhood, and apart from one summer when I was about eight where I was used sexually by an older male, I wouldn’t say I was abused in a traditional sense. My parents separated and I didn’t spend much time at all with my father, so for all intents and purposes, despite him reaching out a hand to me while I was young and giving me the option of being with him, I spent all of my time with my mother.

My mother was a wonderful mother, but she was a horribly depressed, manic, and went on binges of drinking herself stupid and taking many pills like non-prescription antidepressants and anti-anxiety medicine to calm herself — eventually taking many at a time alongside the alcohol in bouts of not wanting to live. She would be so insanely out of it, beyond fucked up, and one time I had to call an ambulance when she tried to drive us shortly after taking all of the above.

When she was fucked up and in despair, I tried my best to console her, but for days on end, several times a month, when she was this far gone… All I would get was crying, “it’s all my fault”, “shut up”, and “fuck off” if I tried to help. In her sobriety, she would apologize profusely and tell me how I was her only reason for living, and this went on for as long as I can remember, back to when we lost our home when I was about seven.

As far as my own darkness’ arrival, I started feeling like something was wrong when I was about 15, and the onset took years to culminate into this recent experience at 25. Having her around and her to take care of certainly put the symptoms off until I was on my own and she finally did the deed and left the picture, when I was 19. I guess I didn’t have the freedom to freak out when my survival as a dependent hinged on her getting through the next moment and me keeping face. So it’s been a decade in the making, this darkness.

I’m very grateful for you reaching out. It truly brought tears to my eyes, and I am deeply touched. It reminds me that we can reach out and hold hands in all the various ways when it feels only dark; I’ll be sure to reach out, and you can feel free to reach out to me as well.

I’m happy to be your friend throughout that darkness. You’re very right about sewing ourselves up, it feels like life is all about that. What a beautiful mind you have, as well, the comparisons and your writings are wonderful; I look forward to reading your pieces in depth and share ideas and thoughts and feelings!