As a sort of an afterthought to my earlier post mentioning my sister I decided to look her up on facebook and ask how she's doing, oddly enough I got more of a reply back then I expected. She tells me she isn't doing well at all, the stress from school and finances and handling two jobs has been getting to her and has been tying her stomach in knots to the point where she can't hold down food and when she's not puking she's crying. This is something I can picture only because in the last few years I've started to be able to understand people fairly well.
You see, most people who know my sister would think that she's the happiest person they'd ever met. She always has a smile and even her most dire complaints are coated in an optimism that everything will turn out if she laughs it off. But me, I see something different, I know her smile is a defense mechanism and she is very much afraid to let it down. I grew up with her, I know our childhood. Our mom managed her own bouts of bipolarity, and for some reason my sister always ended up being the target of her venting frustrations. I suffered verbal abuse and as a result my nerves are shot, but little sis got the brunt of it. Since we've moved out things are much better and we love our mother, but there are certain scars that are left that I as a brother see while others might not.
She's asked me not to let mom and dad know her troubles so I'm going to look to help her out in my own way, I know she's still fighting to keep from drowning financially, and I've been doing fairly well lately so I think I can help out there, but for all my understanding of human nature I'm not very good with depression… my heart goes out to her, but I'm not sure what else I can do.
So for those in my neighborhood who understand depression and what can be done to ease it… please give me a shout. I'd appreciate it. Also, I'm thinking there might be a touch of Post Traumatic Stress disorder there as well…