“Be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl…”
— Alice Walker
The contradictions of my life include walking around on a daily basis wearing a mask. Today I was in Pinterest and I found a quote by the Joker that states “Give a man a mask and he’ll become his true self.” I was diagnosed with depression a few years ago while being stationed in Georgia. I wore (and wear) that mask to this day ~ there are days where I just don’t want to deal with life, people, myself so I put on my mask and run on autopilot. I smile when I have to, say the right thing, do the right thing, take care my kids, do the dishes, etc when all I want to do is hide in my bed and sleep under my covers all day or better yet lay in the lap of my momma or my Grams and have on them rub my temples as we watch tv and eat tea cakes and drink milk.
I am not sure that if I ever had postpartum depression or not as I was completely happy being pregnant and I was fine after they born even though I was home alone after each birth since he had go fight overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. Don’t get me wrong I knew that when I met him and he was in the Army what I was signing up for, but I never wanted kids at that point. It wasn’t until moving on post and living on Ft. Hood and seeing all those women with kids and babies after a year or so that I got hit with the baby bug. Then once he was home on leave I told him I wanted a baby. The funny thing is that is around the time my MIL said that we should not have kids our own (he has two already) and frankly I was so out down from comment I just walked out their house called my bestie in Austin to vent!
Well, anyway we tried for a year the old fashion way and nothing was happening and I cried every single day. I so many pregnancy test under my bathroom cabinet and each time it came back negative the more my spirit was crushed. That is when we went to the doctor to get tested and it was determined that the reason we were not getting pregnant was because of me. Could you imagine how I felt? As a woman that I can do the ONE thing I was put on this Earth to do I can’t!
I am guessing that is when I started to wear my mask. I had to start taking pills and stomach injections (TriCare does not pay for other infertility methods) and then we went on leave to visit his family here in Louisiana and we visited our church Zion Hill. It was then that Pastor Joshua Joy Dara Sr. preached a sermon about Hannah and her need to have a son. About how she was mad fun of by her sister wife who many children. And how her husband who loved her more than anything; yet the one thing he could not give her was a child. Then one day she took her desire to the alter and the minister saw her talking to God, but he thought she was drunk because there were no words coming from her mouth. So he told her stop drinking and go home and sober up.. she told him she was not drunk but pouring out her heart to God and he told her continue. (1 Samuel 1:9-28New Living Translation (NLT) After we got back on base I prayed that prayer word for word and year and half later I got pregnant with our daughter! I still had to use science, but God was the one that blessed us not once but twice! Because I prayed that prayer again and two years later I pregnant with twin boys!
It wasn’t until we moved to GA that I started wearing the mask, because he was always gone either in the field training, deployed, doing things at church (he is also a ordained minister) it was like he would find things to stay away from home. Work was something he had no control over, but the rest he could say no too, but he chose not too. Granted, he would ask if he could go do something and if it looked like I was going to form my lips to say no I could see his mood change. So I would say go ahead and have fun. Most time he would not even ask he would not come home he just go after work to whatever thing was happening then come home afterwards. I raised our kids alone so that changed me alot, my guard went up, the mask went on, and things changed. In GA I had a few friends, but only one that would come over and hang out with me and we could goof off and chill out. She would bring her kids and my kids would play while we talked and did played on the Wii LOL…
My saving grace was when he invited my mother to move in with us. It was his downfall and that I do believe was when it really caused my depression to deepen, because he would put me in the middle of their arguments and want me to put her out on the streets and I refused to do so. He would quote the Bible about “husband and wife becoming one” and I would tell him how the Word saying “children are supposed to take care of their parents in their old age.” and that would just set off and only cause me to retreat more inside myself.
This caused me to reach out to psychologist and my on post pcm for help. Talking to someone helped and my pcm put me pills that helped for a while, but now they not really helping at all. Of course now that he is retired I have to talk my new pcm because now I am tired all the time no matter what time I go bed, I live on automatic, I have constant migraines that my neurologist can’t diagnosis, I wake up with neck pain. I stay in prayer not for just for me, but others. Despite that I hate this town because it’s small, has not life, so closed off, my family and friends are not here, no jobs and the only bright light is my church Zion Hill.
Oh did I mention that the house we rent the roof leaks and we have told the owner I don’t know many times and each person she has sent over has either lied to her said nothing is wrong and did not go on the roof (none stayed and talked to us) or they did go up for five seconds said they could not find anything. Did you look? Nope you didn’t!I sent her pictures and she asked me what was it I sent her… I said these are buckets in my office catching rain leaking from roof… no reply back…..Therefore, we just gave up on getting it fixed. I am waiting for it cave and fall in ruin all my shoes, both laptops, tv, clothes, etc so that she replace it all. It will cost her a lot mula, cash, dinero, duckets, dolla dolla bills ya’ll!
Through it all the mask is on… and rarely comes off!