Last year I knew there was a mouse in the house. It kept itself fairly scarce, so I set a token snap trap but wasn’t overly upset when the bait disappeared & the trap didn’t go off.
However, 2 weeks ago everything changed.
I live in the maids quarters in my late grandparents’ house. The main house is uninhabited except for my use of the kitchen. To reach the kitchen I must leave my room, walk down a short hallway, go through the laundry room past the workshop, walk through a long family room, & then enter a small foyer which connects to the kitchen on the left & my grandmother’s deserted study on the right. It’s a small trek.
One night, as I entered the kitchen, something zoomed past my feet & hid behind the stove. I waited. It zoomed back out, past me, into the study. I followed, turned on the light, & waited. I listened to it move furtively behind a filing cabinet. I stood there & just waited. Suddenly, it popped out on top of the desk & just stared at me. We stared at each other. It was a moment.
I think I’ve been depressed, although not severely, for almost all of my life. Even my childhood memories are mostly dark, dreary, or fearful. Certainly there was love & beauty & fascination, but it was all ever over a backdrop of gloom.
Still, I honestly think I am lucky, & have always been.
In 2005 I got out of a relationship that had progressively chipped away at my self esteem, break up by break up (he just kept coming back), until finally there was nothing left. I’d started out quite strong & capable, but my Achilles heel was that I just really liked the guy. We were utterly compatible, & I didn’t think there was any danger in that, but there was. I believed every criticism, took to heart every disapproval, & every time he came back I changed inside. For him. That was the wrong way to do it but I couldn’t perceive it any other way. In retrospect, the only way to save myself would have been to never take him back, beginning with the first time. It wasn’t his fault; he wasn’t trying to hurt me. I destroyed myself by making excuses & following false hopes.
But I want to talk about the 2 years that followed.