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Depression After Leaving Abusive Relationship: Spiraling


They say that depression after leaving an abusive relationship is normal. But before now, my mind’s acted pretty much stable. There have been emotions I’ve expected and those I haven’t. But now. . . I’m spiralling again.

In my brain, there’s a toilet. I flush the toilet and the water spins and spins, dropping down the pipes. When my brain works right, the spinning water ends up leaving my mind, exiting my thoughts, and removing the waste.

Depression After Leaving Abusive Relationship: It's not the end of the world, but I'm not living in the world I want. Imagining a better future is tough because living in the present is tougher.But now, the spinning water’s exit pipe refills the tank where the clean water goes. The toilet is flushing, but the spinning water returns again and again . . . the toilet doesn’t stop flushing, the water doesn’t stop spinning, and the waste is refilling the tank.

I am spiraling in my waste.

I feel the depression spinning me. Drowning me.

This depression comes from his voice telling me “You’re wasting your time”, “You can’t succeed”, and worst of all, “You like being miserable.” I overwhelming fear that I’m left here, alone, to wallow in my own shit.

I want to feel better, but I am afraid. I think that if I feel better, then I’ll be forced to make choices and sacrifices I don’t want to make. Choices like giving up on my dreams vs. pretending they’re possible.

Oh wait – that is not a choice between two different thoughts! That’s pretty much the same thought set up to seem like a choice. I am thinking that I will not live my dreams.

You know, if I hadn’t just written that, I wouldn’t have recognized it. Is it impossible to see clearly? Is this mind-set an illusion? Well, yeah. Depression is an illusion. Depression is a liar. Depression today has the same purpose as it had during my abusive relationship: to dull the good, feel the bad, and then try to fix me. But I’m not broken. My brain chemistry is broken. Domestic violence and abuse broke my brain.

This Depression After Leaving My Abusive Relationship Happened Because Almost Everything Is The SAME

Will still abuses. My children still feel the effects of the way we raised them. My brain still malfunctions. The money is still tight. I feel suffocated. On top of the negativity coursing through me, I feel guilty. I feel guilty because I seem incapable of sustaining meaningful relationships with my sons and my dear sister, Erin. But depression pulls me from the ones I need the most. That could be depression’s most cold-hearted symptom.

I feel myself putting up walls between those I love and my inner self. I feel myself pulling away to wallow.

Erin encourages me by saying this is only temporary and that anything I want is possible. Unfortunately, no sooner does she say kind things than my brain counteracts the statements with gloom and doom. I get pissy that she wants to cheer me up when “Can’t she see that this is the end of the world dammit ?!”


It’s not the end of the world, but I’m not living in the world in which I want to live either. Imagining a better future is tough because living in the present is tougher. The toilet in my brain is getting heavier, and my brain’s neurons are firing crap. I want to find a way to exchange the poop for fertilizer.

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