I moved in to my step fathers home when I was around four years of old. I don’t really remember life before four years old. Most of my memories begin at the front door. The memories of my childhood before that age have been clouded by me entering the threshold of a new house. A new beginning.For this post to work, I will need to fill you in on my step dad first. He grew up in a very strict household in the U.K., but spent many years in and around Africa. When he moved to South Africa he needed to make some money to start a business so he started working for his uncle, who at the time owned a very successful billboard company. My step dad would clean the bins which had the company’s clients artwork on them. From there he worked his own portable advertising company. RIGHT STUFF. He started by himself and one other worker in a 2 bedroom apartment in Durban, South Africa. Fast forward a few years, he purchased a hilltop home and operated the business from the third floor. I moved in several years later, when I was four years old. Before immigrating to South Africa he was in the army (U.K.) which he has many cool stories about. We spent most of our Childhood at tennis lessons and watching Hannah Montana on Disney.Now I cannot state whether the next few things were caused from the upbringing or the army but I for one despise war and understand why one would be negatively affected by its outcome.This post isn’t to bash my stepfather as he will always be in my heart. I hold a huge amount of guilt on my shoulders. This post is to bring awareness to depression and bipolar.If we weren’t in front of the T.V or on the tennis court we were hiding behind the couch. We weren’t playing hiding and go seek. We were genuinely afraid of the “monster”. You see being a kid, we dramatised everything. Yes my step dad would get physical (more later) but I must admit that we drew things out.Whenever he entered the room we would hide behind the couch so he wouldn’t hit us or even find us. If we ever did something wrong we would always try and make something up just in time so we wouldn’t get hit. The worst we got was caned.The most traumatising event occurred around 2008/2009 when my stepdad and I were home alone waiting for my sister and mom to arrive from Port Elizabeth (from tennis tour). He would meditate in the evening to calm himself down. My sister, mother and I were so deep in to our weekly soapy that I forgot to fetch his meditation CD from the car for him when he requested it.He got so angry that he came down stairs (by then I was scared so I ran to the next room), he dragged me back to the T.V Room, pulled my pants down and back handed me several times.Throughout the years, his abuse became more mental and emotional than physical. Although there were a few exceptions (slapping me across my face for not listening from the other side of our house). As a result, the torment lead me (my opinion) to depression and I developed rebellious behaviour.If we take another giant leap forward to 2016, we can continue.After about two years of ups and downs in behaviour as well as going off his medication, In January 2016, my step dad took his own life. Without going in to too many personal details I will add this: he made sure I was at school so when he was found, it wouldn’t be me. NOW I always eavesdrop on people’s conversations so I know about three days prior he told my mom (then separated and divorced) that he wasn’t feeling well again and that he was very tired. Somehow none of us used our brains to realise that was the first sign.My mother picked me up from school that day. Her opulent white Opel corsa drove down the school avenue and within an instant I knew something was wrong.
There were so many signs. There are so many unanswered questions. There is still so much guilt. My depression has since been increasing rapidly sometimes on a daily basis. I, on occasion, am afraid to be alone because of what I might do. You may think I’m blaming my current situation and depression on my step father. I’m not: I’m merely sharing my life. The life of a teenager with depression and a step dad who had bipolar, skitsofrenia, anxiety and many more illnesses. Let’s just say that the energy in my home throughout the years was very heavy. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what we BOTH went through. But I wouldn’t trade my story for a new life. Every situation I went through lead me to this point and for that I’m grateful.
I blame myself. I used to complain to my mom on instant messenger that I’m done with him many times. His mental abuse was too much to handle. I would rather have him have me on the floor like 2014 all over again one last time than have a lifetime of torture. What I didn’t realize is that he was only doing this because he’s had a lifetime of torture he couldn’t control. Over the years my step father lost himself to his worst enemy. His brain. I’m not forgiving him for what he did. I’m just merely saying that we all go through things. I can’t bring him back, I can’t change the economy. I will always have the guilt on my back for the way I treated him. I had to chance to take a selfie with him in December 2015 on holiday in the drakensburg. I’m not saying that selfie would have not made him take his own life a month later, in just saying that if I spent more time with him than on my phone pleasing everyone ok instagram I could have possibly (with stretch) saved someone’s life. Yes, this is one of the only times taking a selfie can be helpful. I’m deplorable. I hate myself. I want to kill myself right now. But after writing this post I came to the conclusion that killing myself would only land me in the same place he is and I wouldn’t want that. Living with depression whilst living with a bipolar individual is chaotic. If there is anyone out there with those or in these / similar conditions know that you are not alone. If I come out of this alive I win. I’ve learnt a lot from this “experience”.. it’s been a long journey. This is one of my stories and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thanks for reading x