This story starts out very, very sad.
The day my son ran away to San Francisco found me sobbing on my bathroom floor.
Anyone who has suffered from depression knows that the commercial is right: Depression Hurts. It hurts you, it hurts the people you love. It hurts a lot.
Here I was.
I did not want my 19-year old daughter to get married. It didn’t matter that her betrothed was wonderful or that she was desperately in love; it wasn’t what I wanted for her or for me.
Several weeks after she was married I committed the ultimate new-mother-of-the-bride sin and I broke down in sobs on her couch because I missed her so much. It was awful and I felt awful even as it was happening. I know darn well that I was put on this earth to take care of her, not the other way around. I knew too well what it felt like to have my own mother-daughter role reversed and I HATED myself for falling apart on my daughter and being weak and needing so desperately for her to take care of me.
I hated my mother for her illness and for all her many weaknesses and failures. I tried and tried to forgive her, but I was never completely able to do so while she lived. Yes, I understood her; I knew why she was the way she was, and I loved her as best I could up until the end. But I was furious that she did not take care of herself and her life. Why couldn’t she ever be the strong one who took care of me? I do not have one memory as a child where I felt safe and cared for by either of my parents, ever.
That’s why my own family was so damned important to me, and now it felt like it was falling apart.
And my son? In the Spring of 2009, I was certain that him running off to San Francisco was absolute proof of my failure as a mother. (I now think it is actually a beautiful story about how an acorn doesn’t fall far from the oak, but that’s a tale for another day.)
Everything I thought I was living for had fallen apart. I couldn’t be a church leader anymore because I was too broken. My children, in a matter of months, were no longer living at home for me to mother 24/7. And my mother’s overwhelming financial and health problems threatened at every turn to comsume me alive. What was left? Everything that really mattered to me was gone.
Well, maybe not everything.
I met HIM late at night while my husband was at work. I swear to you I didn’t plan for it to happen. In fact, I’d planned to stay away from him. I knew better. I have no excuse.
I knew I should stay away.
But that night I couldn’t help myself. The pull was too strong. Like the salesman away at a convention who knows he shouldn’t go down to the bar for a nightcap, I knew I shouldn’t go looking for HIM. But I went looking for him just the same.
And so, under cover of darkness, late at night, while my husband was off at work, I googled and found Edward.
What an evil woman Stephanie Meyer is. The depths of her depravity cannot be plumbed. She put Edward right out there in front of me, for free, and like Eve in the Garden, I succumbed to temptation.
Reading there all alone in the dark about Edward and his insatiable appetite for Bella, something deep within me that I had thought long dead began to stir.
The next day I snuck out to the local bookstore.
Trust me, I wanted to go in like this:
But I can’t drive that way, so I had to go in like this:
I’m sure the lady thought I was nutso even without the bag over my head. I kept looking over my shoulder in case anyone I knew should see what I was doing. Honestly, in my little town, I would have been more comfortable buying goddess Tarot cards and a book on how to become a Wiccan than buying those Twilight books. I felt just naughty. And damn it if those books aren’t in the teen/children’s section.
So there I am, a full grown woman standing in the teen section trying to look nonchalant. I didn’t know where to put my eyes. Should I look at the evil fruit I wanted so desperately, Edward, or that other evil, Harry Potter?
All the while wondering, “How in the world did I find myself here??”
Usually I try to save the planet and refuse the bag at the bookstore, but if I couldn’t put one over my head, I for sure made the poor, baffled saleslady use one for this purchase.
(Come to think of it, Why is it I always have my existential crises in front of sales ladies?)
I ran immediately home with my secret and hid myself away with HIM.
And as I read about Bella and Edward, I remembered.
Once upon a time I wasn’t a mother. I wasn’t a church leader. I wasn’t Susie Homeschool mom. I wasn’t a nurse. I wasn’t a caretaker to a sick and needy mother. Once upon a time I’d been just a woman. And once upon a time I’d been a woman in love. And come to think of it, I was still a woman in love.
And the man I was in love with was very sad, too.
He was doing everything he could do to rescue me, but in my grief and self-absorption, I’d made myself unrescuable.
I really thought I was living my life for God, and I still mostly think I was. But life hadn’t worked out the way I’d planned. Frankly, I don’t know why God runs His universe the way He does. They say it is for His own glory, but I must admit that seems very egotistical to me.
How dare God use my pain for His glory anyway? (Don’t worry. He and I have had this discussion many a time, so Him reading about it here in my blog is no big surprise for Him.)
But the many ways God confounds me is a post for another day.
Today it’s about Edward and how he turned my mourning into dancing.
I hid Twilight from my husband for day, but finally I had to admit to him that I was reading it.
We rented the first movie. (Which, by the way, I must admit was terrible. Pattinson looks like he’s going to throw up the first time he sniffs Bella in Biology Class, which is hardly how I envisioned him when I read Midnight Sun.)
I began to remember that I had my very own Edward and he was waiting for me to come back from the undead. And unlike the Edward in the story, my lover has warm feet to warm my bed, warm hands to hold me safe, and a warm heart to cherish me always.
And just like that, I began to walk out of the grave of unhappiness I’d dug.
|Our Very Own Meadow|
I could tell you all the ways that Edward saved me, but I think it is best if I let my husband tell you himself. Here is the letter he posted, in its entirety, on the Sonlight Forums on April 27, 2009. His name on the forums was The Tick after his personal favorite superhero.
An open letter about ‘Twilight’
So I sat with the ever young and lovely Chloe o’the Mountain a short time back and actually watched Twilight, which had caught her interest due to [a} thread on the subject.
Now….while I am pretty good at chick flicks….watch them with Chloe…watch them with Princess Sweetie Pea…even by myself if it looks like I’ll enjoy it (the latest was ‘Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day’…I really liked it) I just couldn’t take ‘Twilight’…..it was just a little much for me….but the thing that truly set me off was the whole change in the vampire mythos….I tend to be picky about my monsters.
Poor Chloe had to sit through it with me while I squirmed and coughed and made little side comments (I didn’t think I was making that much noise but she says I was……must have been involuntary on my part as I was trying very hard to keep my opinions to myself) and I think I ruined her first viewing. Not to worry though….she watched it again without me and proclaimed it to be much superior in a Tick-less environment
Next thing I know….she’s got the book…which she admitted she was trying to hide from me….out of shame I’m sure….but I was frankly thrilled to see her reading an actual fictional novel (Chloe tends towards textbooks in her “light” reading) and I told her as much.
Now on to the reason for this thread……I have noticed since the whole Twilight thing began in our home a certain lighter air…..a new twinkle in my lovely wife’s eye….more laughter…..more banter….an increase in playfulness…..which I did attribute to the “mental vacation” that nothing but a good (if not necessarily extremely well written….her words not mine) mind-candy novel can provide……..BUT………..
Imagine the shock…..the surprise……the delight……when I went into shower today…..hit play on the bathroom stereo…..hopped into the shower expecting Earth Wind and Fire………and out comes…….
KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND!!!!
(Your reading enjoyment will be enhanced if you click on the video and listen to the song as you read the rest)
I therefore must admit that ‘Twilight’ has actually been GOOD for my lovely wife……and I thought I would admit it here so as to bolster up the ladies who may be reading these books with a flashlight under the covers and to throw out a word of encouragement to the men who now not only have to share there wives with Sonlight in general, but now also have to share them with Edward.
There are rewards gentlemen, at least at my house.
And yes, I shall buy her all the other books and the movies as well if she requires them……they make her happy….and that’s all that counts with me.
I may have to write that author a thank you note.
|Do a Little Dance, Make a Little Love|
Have you every suffered from depression?
I’d love to hear how you cope with depression?