Depression isn’t a joke. Unless you have experienced it, you can’t understand it. Depression can be caused for all sorts of reasons, job dissatisfaction, miserable home life, destructive relationships divorce and many more and for some for no reason at all, or should I say there is a reason you just can’t pin point it. However, one thing I have learnt through my journey of depression do not isolate yourself.
Believe it or not you all have one friend out there who will provide solace and for some lucky few, you may have more than one friend who will pick you up, even for those few hours.
I know, before you say it or think it, who wants to listen to your moans and who wants to see you looking depressed. It is not about pouring your heart out to them. It is about companionship, learning to laugh again. Isolating yourself in your home really is not the answer.
I found myself divorced at 43 years old and a single mother of one. I felt old and alone, I couldn’t bring myself to look in the mirror. I was empty, a shell of my former self. So many things in my life had gone wrong and it was easy to blame others.
After about a year I met a woman who was to become my best friend and slowly my sense of loneliness dissipated. I had a friend and a person I knew would always try and keep my spirits up, a person who would never judge me, a person I would always call friend and I hoped she would feel the same. I suddenly became WE.
Now, this friend thought it would be a good idea for me to start dating again.It’s interesting that some women feel the need to be in a relationship to feel whole. Why do we feel the need to be in a relationship to be happy? Is it about having a Man? Is it sex? Firstly, Ladies Ann Summers was founded for a reason and I assure you they have wide varieties of toys, that in part could satisfy those needs at least for a short time, this should hopefully help you refrain from jumping into bed with the first man you meet.
Or is it simply about wanting companionship? Whatever form that takes. Do we feel less desirable if we are not hanging off a man’s arm? Are we so insecure with ourselves that we need affirmation from others? Has society made the word single taboo? Are we less of a person because we are single? These are all questions I wanted an answer to.
That night I decided to manipulate a man into asking me out. Indeed he had asked me on a number of occasions and I had turned him down umpteen times and he had given up. Yes, I’m using the word manipulate, manipulation can take many forms. The words you use, your body language and indeed the way you dress etc. The question was simple, after years of marriage and being with one man was I able to attract another man?
The following morning I woke to a 6am alarm and started to get ready. I was going to ensnare a man, how cold that sounded and quite frankly bitchy. I finally arrived at work and he wasn’t there, I couldn’t believe it. I looked like a dark haired Barbie doll. I had spent so much time on my makeup and choosing the right outfit and he was not in the office. Yes ladies all the courage I had mustered to get to this stage had left me.
Before I knew it the day was over. I packed my things and left the office as I was exiting the building, there he was, I looked down at the floor, look up Rani, look up. As our eyes locked I smiled at him and he looked a little shocked as I would normally roll my eyes when I saw him. My god was I really doing this. Well it didn’t take much he instantly stopped and asked me out for that drink. Seriously! I had turned this man down so many times and he was still interested.
My god that was far too easy and men are unbelievably easy to manipulate, clearly not much had changed. I’m sure if he had thought about it, he would not have asked me as I had ignored him for months but he was clearly thinking with his pecker and not his brain.
Would this date answer all these questions for me? Of course it wouldn’t, you could live a lifetime and never understand the opposite sex. However it may give me an insight and indeed I wouldn’t say no to a little fun along the way.
Interestingly, by agreeing to go out on this date, did give me a sense of reclamation of my life. Not entirely but in part. So do we need to be in a relationship to feel whole? Well let’s see.
I feel the need to talk about conflict. Why do some people thrive on it? My best friend was on the phone in tears after spending an evening with her partner. She had been away for some three weeks on holiday with her parents in Newcastle. His behaviour while she was away was appalling. She is a single mother of two and this break was away for her to be with her children but not have to look after them 24/7. Surely he must have understood this. Instead he sent nasty, hurtful messages like ‘well spend another week or even an extra month there’ this continued until she got back and his excuse was, he was missing her and that was a good thing. He even went as far as to dump her on text. He had no intention of leaving her, he just wanted her to feel bad, to miss him and beg him not to leave her.
I write this article for all, why some people feel the need to hurt others for no reason other than they are lonely or having a bad day. I realised that this is not the only reason. Some people feel the need for affirmation, feeling so insecure that it makes them feel better bringing someone else down or making someone else beg them, feeling the need to be wanted .Some are so depressed that seeing others happy bothers them.
My friend’s partner said at the beginning of their relationship that he is opinionated. She understood this to mean he may have strong opinions on various matters. How wrong she was. He used the word opinionated, what he actually meant, he was critical. He criticised her on her parental skills, her makeup, her shopping practices and everything about her life. He dictated what she should do? In every aspect of her life. He wore her down until she couldn’t breath and indeed broke down crying. He would do this all with a smile on his face, surely that is sadism.
So what is a sadist? The tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.
Some of you may think this is not that bad but mental abuse is just as bad as physical abuse and when the recipient cannot walk away, it is torture.
If you have something to say and you go on and on about it knowing that the person you are talking to is getting upset, why don’t you just stop? Are you so sadistic that you thrive on the other person’s misery? This cannot be normal? Let’s take a very simple mundane example. Imagine being asked to buy milk on the way home and you forget. The person who had asked you do this goes on and on and on about your forgetfulness. You are trapped between four walls and this expression of his or her ‘opinion’ is no longer about the bottle of milk, it leads into your so called other failings. How would you feel? The human brain can take just so much. This is mental abuse and in this example because of a bottle of milk.
The next day they spoke and she forgave him, though he felt he had done nothing wrong. Indeed he said to her she was at fault. When she tried to explain what he had done, giving him examples he said she was attacking him. So interestingly when he expresses himself, it is an ‘Opinion’. When she does it, it is a personal attack. He thinks he is perfect and told her as much. He even said one day she would look back and realised she had let the perfect guy go. Was he interested in her because he thought she would never leave due to her circumstances? Failed marriages and two children may make her grateful for him. No, she was not going to go through this again. In fact it made her think what was wrong with her? Did she cause this? Is it something about her that makes men behave in such a manner? Why do we blame ourselves first?
Is this a mental condition? This type of behaviour cannot be prevalent to the majority. I just don’t believe it; I don’t want to believe it. However, I also experienced such behaviour twice in my life and hear the same stories from friends over and over again.
So has this become the norm? Have changes in society made people more sadistic. Do we need to humiliate others to make us feel better or are we so arrogant that we just don’t care what we say or do? Has the lines between good and evil blurred?
I have previously talked about why I was simply not honest with this man I had dated, albeit one date. Maybe this is the reason. Maybe fear makes us hold back. Fear of what they will say or do. How they would react to being told the truth, at least the truth accordingly to my perspective.
I think there is a very fine line between stress, depression and sadism. You might think I’m crazy but think about it? How many times have we heard people say during or after an argument, ‘I’m sorry, I’m just stressed’ or ‘I’m just depressed’ and we are supposed to understand it. Think about it, depression varies between individuals. Some people will hide away and others will behave badly towards people closest to them. Behaving badly to make the other person feel as miserable as they are. Is this not sadistic? The same can be said about being stressed. Our behaviour changes to the extent that one could argue we are behaving in a sadistic manner. Is this not a mental condition that needs to be treated?
Or is it simply enjoying conflict?