I often get really depressed in the middle of the summer. It wasn’t until I did some work in therapy that I began to relate events from my earliest years to who am I today.
My brother was born in the summer and for the content 2-year old girl that I was, it meant the beginning of the end.
The end of my mother’s love and care for me.
Some of my earliest memories involve me holding a turquoise-colored plastic or rubber bowl filled with urine-soaked diapers. I remember the smell. I remember the heat. I remember the crying of my new little brother.
I remember being yelled at for something having to do with my brother and then going away.
That’s what my depression was: going away because the reality of my life was too painful. That’s what happens when it’s too painful now, as well. Yet, I had to exist. The pull to survive was very strong. So I pushed away all my 2-year old neediness and became helpful and quiet instead.
Now you may wonder, wasn’t there a father here to balance the mother’s consuming need to care for her newborn?
Well, at that point in time, my mother and father were separating. My father stayed around to help out, but his help consisted of molesting me.
I know these things, so when I become depressed in the heat of the summer now, I let it wash over me and try to calmly observe the connection. Sometimes an event triggers it.In my hormonal youth, a summer occurrence of PMS would always overwhelm me with grief. Most lately it has had to with travel and dislocation; the loss of personal space while we've had visitors and work has been done on the house.
But it's August. I can see autumn on the horizon, and a return to myself.