Category Archives: Depression

What I Learned: When People in Power Abuse Their Authority

I was scrolling through twitter looking at #WalterScott. Out of the millions of tweets I saw, one resonated with me. I don’t have an image of the tweet, just the words they said. 

  “How do I explain to my nephew that the same people who are here to protect you maybe the ones to actually kill you. #WalterScott”  

 If that doesn’t make you think, I don’t think you have a brain to use.

I want to tell you a quick story about myself before I get to my response. 

 Between the ages of 11 and 12, I remember it being such a difficult time for me, from 9/11, to a big move (RI to TN), my father suffering from heart issues, other family matters, and then the start of my (still) ongoing struggle with depression, I was having a hard time.  I wasn’t violent or nasty. I was just sad, alone, and confused. There were those in authority that acted deceitful in response to my mental health.

I can’t talk about too many of the specifics just yet; it is still difficult to even mention this much. It had become known to all in my class that I was suffering from depression, and some events and words of mine were highly exaggerated. 

Word got back to some influential and wealthy parents. A Principal and their assistant, possibly concerned with losing money, decided that I was to be the sacrifice that must be made. The situation was constructed where I was made to look like the bad guy and I was basically blackmailed to leave (unbeknownst to the classmates. I had found out from a friend who was in that class that they were never told that I was forced to leave. They thought it’d been my choice). Even though I went to see a therapist like they’d requested of me, I was still rejected and they saw me as a problem. Either I leave or they would make me look mentally unstable/violent and to be watched at all times. 

I felt betrayed and confused. How can someone who espoused Christian views, have treated me in this way?  I wasn’t a danger to anyone (my therapist told them that herself). The reason, my disillusioned self would soon learn, was because there was (and still is) a stigma around mental health, and the fact that there were generous benefactors for the school who didn’t like my presence. It didn’t help either that I wasn’t the best student at the time and my grades were suffering as a result of my depression, so it was no loss for them to get rid of me. It was more trouble to keep me there. My parents, wanting to spare me of the whole thing (the emotional impact had already been great) and not being able to afford a lawyer, couldn’t and didn’t fight to disprove the allegation.

I couldn’t understand it for the longest time. 

Over time I began to not trust all those in authority; to be honest I still don’t. I hear stories of ministers and priests abusing children, politicians being bribed, teachers raping students, and now more and more we hear of people being killed by cops and God only knows how many were actually telling the truth. So many abuses of the authority and power given. Why? I constantly asked myself. Why?

I, at the age of 12 learned this hard lesson and this is what I would say to my child if I had one.


So what do you tell your child? 

Authority and power dont automatically make you a good person. On the contrary, those who are not of good character tend to have those bad qualities exacerbated as a result of the authority and power that is given to them. The sad truth is, there are many people of poor/bad character out there, many who are in positions of power and authority.

There are those in authority and power who are racists. There are those in authority and power who are sexists. There are those in authority and power who are bigoted. They have poor character and the power and authority they have only make things worse. Sadly, you will hear more about these people than you ever will of those who do the right thing. 

Why were they given power and authority?

The reason they were given power and authority is because a majority of people today value what someone can do for them over the actual character of the individual. They don’t care if a person is sexist or racist, just can they get the job done. As long as it doesn’t affect their work, they don’t care. 

But it does affect their work. It can somewhere along the line. 

Well that’s the thing about it; many people don’t think that far ahead. Most don’t believe that good character and good work ethic are valuable. They only see good character as a bonus, or they automatically assume that because you have good work ethic, you have good character. Or it could be they are sociable and make people feel so good about themselves that their bad character is either hidden by that, or the people that meet them overlook their bad character, excusing it.

Many times, people of bad character can also be very sociable and relatable.

How can one survive all this? Will I be safe?

You live day by day. You can only do so much to protect yourself from the dangers of the world. At the end of the day though no matter what happens to you, don’t give up hope. Fight. Fight for what is right and what you believe in. Fight with your every breath. Being safe is not nearly as important as being free and treated with respect. To be treated as someone with rights. I can’t promise you won’t get hurt, frankly I would be lying to you if I said you are safe from all harm.

What I can promise you is this, I will fight for you. You must fight for you, and you must inspire others to fight for each other. Call out those that abuse their authority and power. Call out those of poor character. Show and tell others that character matters far more than good work ethic or being pleasant. No matter who it is, no matter what side they are on. Right is right and wrong is wrong. 

Will I die?

We all die someday, the thing is though, we never know when. Do not let yourself become so scared of death it paralyzes you from living, for it will happen one way or another. The question is what are you going to do in the meantime? Will you live in fear of those in authority? Will you fear those who abuse their power?  Will you stand by as this continues? Or will you fight for those who are victims of the abuser?  Will you let the fear paralyze you? Or will you stand up for what is right?

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Dear Doctor,

I wish you were real, for right now I could use a trip in the Tardis.

A relative has come to live with us since her house was bought out from under her since she only rented it. I lost a chuck of financial aid that helps pay for college. My brother has been having trouble in school. I got a kidney infection, we just put my dog down a few days ago, and yesterday I was given notice at my current job. They are waiting till I can find another job, still, it doesn’t feel good.

I have missed doctor appointments because due to the stress and becoming forgetful with everything that has been going on. I have to make up class work already due to being sick and in bed for a week. One professor scares me and another professor didn’t find the one paper I turned in. Hopefully he will accept it. I haven’t felt this depressed since pre-medication. I’m still nowhere near the level of unhappiness I was at before, still, this past month hasn’t been easy.

I’m tired of having obstacles thrown in my way. I just want my family to catch a break.

I just want to go on an adventure. I want to get away from here. I want to be able to be outside of time and just be able to look at life.

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In all honesty I need a miracle.

I don’t know how I will pay for tuition this year. I already miss seeing my dog Amber around the house. I don’t know how my family will be able to afford another person in a house previously filled with 6 people (now it being 7). I just don’t know what is going to happen. I know things will work out. It’s just right now, a visit from the Doctor would be a nice thing.

I would love to wake up one morning and see the Tardis outside of my house with the Doctor asking me if I would like to go on an adventure. I would love for him to appear on campus and tell me to “Run.” Heck, I’m cool with just talking to him for hours and explore the Tardis only to come out and it be just minutes later in our world.  I would love it if the Doctor was real.

Wishing You Were Real,

Christine

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What a Month

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This past months things have been topsy turvy. It started a week after classes started at the University of Tennessee.

My boyfriend got laid off, another relative is now living with us due to some awkward circumstances, I lost some financial aid, I got a kidney infection, and my dog is dying. There is a lot more, but since it mostly involves family, I’m respecting their wishes and not going into the details of it all on here.

Despite all this, only now is it all starting to bother me a little bit.

Two weeks ago I went to see my therapist and I told him everything that was going on (minus Kidney Infection- that was from this past week) and he says I was handling things amazingly well.

As I told my therapist,  Pre-medicine and pre-therapy I would have been “a puddle on the floor.” I have cried a couple of times, but I can actually live my life and not be trapped in the wall of anxiety and depression.

Even though I have been doing well, I am starting to feel it get to me. It is also one of the reasons why I have been away from writing. From writing in my journals to writing on my blog. A lot has been happening in my life.

My boyfriend is amazed at all that is happening. Between my family issues, my finical issues, my families financial issues, my families family issues, and me being in college he is impressed at how well I am handling it.

A lot is going on, just thinking abut it is making my head spin.

I hope you all are doing well.

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Please, Stop the Music

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While waiting in the waiting room for my appointment with my therapist, there were these two young women across from me.

After 5 minutes of talking about their messed up love life, where the guy was being disrespectful and not dealing with his issues. They started playing music really loud on their phones. No headphones, no consideration for those around them; just loud music.

I saw so many people sitting near them soon leave. Others were looking at them from across the room and shaking their heads. I didn’t leave myself because I put my headphones in to listen to my music.

If you find no problem with playing music loud in public without headphones: whether it is a coffee shop, a bookstore, etc. You are rude and inconsiderate.

Just because you want to listen to music doesn’t mean I want to or anyone else in the office wants to listen to music. Not everyone wants to listen to whatever genre of music you are listening to.

What makes this situation even more disrespectful is that this is a mental health clinic; therapy and rehabilitation focus. There are people coming in here dealing with issues ranging from anxiety to substance abuse withdrawal. As a result people could possibly be on the edge, people could have panic attacks, suffer from ultra sensitivity due to autism, etc. The list goes on. There were also children (ages 4-6 years old) around and some of the songs had graphic language in it. There was a teenage girl who was rubbing her temples as though she was dealing with a major headache/migraine, no doubt that loud music was not helping.

So for these two women no older than 40 to play music in a mental health clinic with young children was not only inconsiderate but irresponsible.

The biggest disappointment was that there were multiple receptionist that were working and they did nothing.

Could I have done and said something? Probably. I was actually thinking of talking to the receptionist and mention that I noticed others were uncomfortable with the loud music that they were playing. Right as I thought that though, they left.

Thank God they did.

So please if you are going to be playing music, put your headphones in. If you don’t have headphones, than don’t play music. Play a game on your phone instead, but keep the music from the game off.

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Dear Zelda Williams,

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I want to say I am sorry.

I am sorry you lost your father to suicide. I am sorry that you have had to live through this in the eyes of the public. Most of all, I’m sorry there are imbeciles out there that were harassing you and making matters worse.

To learn that society is becoming increasingly asinine and honestly believe that posting (to be frank) shit like that is okay, disgusts me.

I know this is not the first time social media have responded to people like this on the internet. The internet seems to help people feel braver since they are behind a screen and are overall anonymous. For if people said most of this stuff in person they would probably get slapped or punched in the face. Others aren’t brave enough to say their asinine thoughts to another human being.

I hope that during this time the support from people who loved your father and appreciated his talent will outshine all the jerks and idiots that are trolling the internet as we speak.

I just hope you and your family are doing well. And remember, they are just jealous cause you got to have an awesome dad and you have an awesome name too.

Take care Zelda.

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Dear Robin Williams,

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You don’t know me. You don’t know a lot of the lives you have touched. Right now a lot of people are mourning your loss.

I’m having a hard time with this letter. I know I wanted to write to you, heck I feel a little silly writing to you because you will never read it. I still feel that I should anyway.

I knew you suffered from depression, most of the really great comedians tend to suffer from it. That is why they are so good at coming up with jokes. That is why they have a great sense of humor.  Comedians with depression tend to see the darkest in life and try to put the brightest smile on for others and try to helps others not feel like crap.

I should know, I live with depression as well. However, I am not gifted comedian such as yourself. I can only appreciate the humor and the truth in that humor.

I didn’t know about your addiction though nor the fact that you recently had heart surgery. My father has a heart diseas and I remember him going through depression soon after so I can sympathize and empathize with that. Although I’m glad you were able to undergo the surgery, I’m sorry the need was there. And I’m really sorry that you suffer with addiction as well. I know that must not have helped when it came to your depression.

I have heard of a lot of celebrities dying over the years. Your death though seems to have really hit a nerve, not only with me, but with everyone it seems. The movies and TV Shows that you were on were trending on Twitter. It threw me off when I first saw it because I didn’t know you had passed away and led me to discover that you had.

They say you died as a result of suicide. I hope they are wrong, but the probability is high. I hope they are wrong simply because I don’t want to believe it and it hurts me to think that the world has lost a talented man such as you.

I’m sorry for the amount of pain you were in that led to that decision. I’m sorry you weren’t able to get the help that you needed to be able to overcome the depression (and I use that loosely, for you never really seem to overcome depression). I’m sorry that to this day people still treat depression as taboo and look at it like you have the plague when you talk about it. I’m sorry you constantly struggled with your addiction brought on by depression and stress.

I’m sorry you felt alone, felt like a failure, and felt unworthy.

I’m sorry we weren’t able to help you laugh.

I wish you could have realized that you we thought you were wonderful and we didn’t consider you a failure. I wish we were able to tell you that we thought you were worthy and wonderful.

I wish you had failed at your suicide.

I grew up watching you. A lot of people did. I think this is the first celebrity death where I have actually cried. The other ones shocked me, but this rattles me. This strikes me to my core.

I hope you finally are at peace and feel content. Living with depression I know for a fact that the idea of being at peace and content is a blessing; a far away concept. I hope you are finally free of the pain.

Although I never knew you personally, I will miss you. I want to say more. I feel like I should, but I can’t find the words to say.

I will try to honor your memory. I will try to Seize the Day. I will live life free. I will try to think Happy Thoughts.

Thank you for making so many people laugh. I only wish we could have helped you laugh as well.

R.I.P Robin Williams.

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I Don’t Need to Be Perfect

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This past year I have been working really hard on improving myself. Between going on medication, going to therapy, and constantly challenging myself I realized that no matter how hard I work, no matter what I do I won’t be perfect.

On top of being most likely OCD & ADD I know that I have a problem with being a perfectionist. I can’t tell you how I feel every time I look at my blog. Every time I look at it there are so many things I see wrong with it and it drives me nuts to say the least.

Whether it came to my grades, my room, or just trying to being an adult I would constantly criticize myself and try to see how I can be better.

It was difficult at times and still can be. Before I went on medication I used to wish on a daily basis that things would just go perfectly. I would get upset with myself and berate myself if things didn’t turn out the way I wish I had planned.

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