Bitch on the Blog

January 6, 2010

The pits

Filed under: Uncategorized — bitchontheblog @ 14:52

TO RAMANA

You, Ramana, reply to my comments on your blog headed ” Humour”  with  the following:

No 1

“No, Ursula, I am not my devastating self when I am with clinically depressed people. Any way, I do not have them in my life as they keep a safe distance away from me and my ilk. They don’t understand us!” 

No, Ramana, YOU don’t understand THEM.

No 2

“Ah, sensitivity around people with clinical depression! Those in my circle of friends, family and acquaintances, do not have anything to do with me!”  Frankly, I am not surprised.

What you are saying is breathtaking, Ramana, absolutely breathtaking. I can’t believe I am hearing this from a man your age.

Am I to understand that, as not to interfere with your peculiar brand of “humour” and enjoyment of life, you would dump a friend, disown your own child, indeed send yourself into the desert if that black cloud of depression descended upon any of you?

I am shocked, I really am. I think you are taking flippancy, frivolity, light heartedness a little too far. There is such a thing as good taste.

U

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12 Comments »

  1. Two days ago Ramana got a U-Tube video from me that was so outrageous I had to cut my email list down. It probably shouldn’t have been sent but was funny.

    I’ll quote his response to use here. “Prudence suggests that I do not offer a comment!”

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 6, 2010 @ 15:57 | Reply

  2. O.K. Here’s my comment. Everybody experiences depression at some time, to some degree. It doesn’t work to tell a person “Snap out of it”. Listening to them supplies comfort that the person cares. It doesn’t help the depression. A doctor is needed.

    Yesterday on Dr. Oz -TV was a segment about depression. (I’m behind on my listening.) He said that the way a doctor can tell if a patient is clinically depressed is if the doctor is depressed after talking to them.

    Be kind & understanding. It could & most likey has to some extent, happened to you.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 6, 2010 @ 16:13 | Reply

    • Bike Hike Babe, in your unobtrusive way you have made that very important distinction between being “clinicially depressed” and “depressed”. The latter now being used with abandon, colloquially, when down in the mouth for five minutes because your car has blown a tyre on the way to the supermarket.

      On a side note: Did you know that doctors, dentists, vets and journalists share the highest suicide rate amongst all professions? I am sure few of then will be clinically depressed just cracking under the strains of the ills of the world, and to soften the knocks often reduced to drowning their sorrows in alcohol. It just shows you that peering down other people’s cavities all day, whilst making you a lot of money, is not the road to contentment.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 6, 2010 @ 17:31 | Reply

  3. Because my mother was depressed when I was a kid, and because I went through a period of it myself then, I tend to be a sympathetic listener to people who are depressed. My experience with my mother taught me that the best thing I could do was not get pulled down myself, so I take active measures to keep my spirits up. Hence Cheerful Monk was born.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — January 6, 2010 @ 18:02 | Reply

    • Jean, I am sorry to hear about your mother; I wouldn’t be surprised her depression being induced by circumstances outside her control (one of the many variants of the condition). It is not surprising that you were affected by it since children are like a mirror to their parents’ moods and soak them up (particularly those of their mother) like blotting paper does ink. You can’t fool a child. In your case the antidote in the shape of “Cheerful Monk” metamorphosed.

      Judging by some of your recent accounts it didn’t stop her from laughing (and giggling) with you. Which touches on another popular and maddening misunderstanding: That of the depressed walking around with hunched shoulders, looking at the floor and crying all the time. If only it were as easy as that to recognize a depressive we’d all be laughing our way to the next pharmacy. Some of the funniest, most wonderful, creative people in any profession, now and in the past, are known to be gripped, on and off, by what Churchill called “his black dog”. Find me a comedian who doesn’t suffer – to some degree – from the condition and I show you the exception from the rule. Van Gogh cut his ear off; not that that stopped him from painting all my beloved sunflowers. Beat that if you can, Ramana.

      Yes, Jean, I know that that last remark was not exactly nice but the ‘bitch’ is tearing at her leash. Don’t let her run.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 6, 2010 @ 21:19 | Reply

  4. She felt trapped. My sister has this story that she was abused because my mother wouldn’t talk to her for days. My recollection was my mother was hardworking and did a lot for us, but she was depressed and it tore me apart. So I figured out a way of connecting with her.

    When I was about 13 she found a job (after a long time of trying to pass a typing test while my father said, “You’ll never get a job!”) and saved enough money to buy her own home. Things changed a lot once she had more personal power.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — January 7, 2010 @ 01:04 | Reply

  5. Oh, Jean, I don’t know where some of our married mothers took the patience from. Good for her that she fought her way back.

    As to your sister – she has my sympathy: To me there is nothing worse than the “silent” treatment that your mother appears to have applied. Can’t stand it. It’s enough to drive one close to the edge. Verbal communication is my life. It’s not about being right or wrong; and I couldn’t care less whether someone agrees with me or not. It’s about staying in touch with the other person even if the odd toe gets trodden on in the process. Toes will heal, silence makes wounds fester.

    U

    Comment by Ursula — January 7, 2010 @ 02:59 | Reply

  6. Of course what my sister doesn’t remember was how the whole family would walk on eggshells around her to try to avoid one of her rages. When she finally blew she would say we had been looking for a fight all day and finally got it. Then she would be happy because she had let off steam but the rest of us didn’t feel quite so good. It’s interesting how different personalities interact. And how different our memories are.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — January 7, 2010 @ 03:49 | Reply

    • Yes, Jean, ‘memories’ and rewriting history: Big sigh. It is the one thing about my mother which upsets me big time though I am careful not to argue with her because there is no point to shatter her illusions.

      Since she and I both love stories, and obviously the two of us go a long way back, we often reminisce about the past, our huge extended family. Most of the time it’s like sitting close to a cosy fire. And we both love it. But when there is an UNpleasant memory rearing its unhappy head I can virtually guarantee she’ll tell me it wasn’t like that, even if she wasn’t present when it happened. She won’t let it stand if it doesn’t fit into her picture. The most powerful example of which occurred some 17 years ago when she disputed a vivid and very very important memory of mine (to do with my grandmother’s death, and remember she was my “first” mother). Her disputing what I so very clearly remember floored me big time. It literally pulled the rug from under my life’s feet. Took me ages to recover. Probably still haven’t and would never ever touch the subject with my mother again. As a side note, and maybe of interest to you in your professional capacity (and a mother yourself): It’s one of the most devastating and damaging things a parent can do to their grown up child to deny their [the child’s] memory. Cue Ursula: That’s where it comes in handy to be as strong as your recently mentioned rock defying plants.

      As to your sister, eggshells and anger: There is a well worn, possibly true, theory that family dynamics not only assign us different roles but that, occasionally, one member will be that safety valve through which all the others can let off steam. It’s not as idiotic as it sounds. Best observed in large families.

      Of course, Jean, and please forgive me for laughing as I am writing this: There is nothing more maddening to someone angry than those who remain calm, “walk on eggshells” “tiptoeing” around them. One of my sisters is eggshell disaster. You trod on them [the eggshells] at your peril. If you question anything about her she’ll go ballistic (it’s become a bit of a family joke led by her husband who loves her very much and freely admits to his weakness of keeping quiet in order to keep the peace). I am also reminded of a boyfried (in my late teens) who, for reasons still not clear to me, got so mad he sent the whole breakfast table flying across the room. He went even madder when I left the room without saying anything, leaving him to pick up the broken crockery.

      How is your relationship with your sister now? One of the most telling and striking things you mentioned her not standing up during your mother’s funeral service. Just sitting there. That is one hell of a powerful statement. I dearly hope she did it for the right reasons. And if she did then good on her. She must have felt very lonely and unhappy that moment.

      U

      Comment by Ursula — January 7, 2010 @ 11:54 | Reply

  7. “One of the most telling and striking things you mentioned her not standing up during your mother’s funeral service. Just sitting there. That is one hell of a powerful statement. I dearly hope she did it for the right reasons. And if she did then good on her. She must have felt very lonely and unhappy that moment.”

    It sounds as if that’s the way you would have felt. I think you’re reading too much into it. Anyway, there’s no telling. She was cheerful enough before and after the ceremony.

    About her acting as a safety valve for the family. My impression was she had a lot of anger/strong emotions and didn’t get any guidance on how to handle them. My folks reinforced the behavior because they didn’t know how to handle her and would pacify her as much as possible. I figure we were all struggling the best we could.

    She and I are on good terms now. One of the highlights of Kaitlin’s wedding for me was that my sister and brother-in-law came and had a good time. That was in May, ’08 and we still treasure the memories.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — January 7, 2010 @ 19:30 | Reply

  8. “It’s one of the most devastating and damaging things a parent can do to their grown up child to deny their [the child’s] memory.” You’re assuming the child’s memory is completely accurate. I don’t assume my childhood memories are. One of my mottoes is, “Don’t believe everything you think. Don’t believe everything you feel.” Get curious, I say. Question, question, question.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — January 7, 2010 @ 21:46 | Reply

    • No, Jean, I am not assuming anything. In the particular example I gave I KNOW. Anyway, I’d rather not talk about it any more. In fact, it was most foolish of me to have mentioned it at all.

      U

      Comment by Ursula — January 8, 2010 @ 01:01 | Reply


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