I’ve talked to people who love people with depression and listened to how they know it in no way defines their love for that human.
I’ve watched family members and friends go through phases of depression, be loved through it all, and love while combating it.
I’ve heard stories of my father loving my mother through her postpartum depression and thinking that just made her a stronger mother.
I’ve seen the aftermath of parents, siblings, spouses and kids after someone dies by suicide.
I’ve seen my family and friends love me so hard when I went public with this battle in my head.
I have even recently seen the most amazing man’s heart break because I can’t give him the relationship he longs for and most of all deserves.1
My little brother has held and prayed over me for peace as I cry for no reason.
My older brother has never missed a 3-a.m. call from me just to ask a silly question that in the end has so much more hiding behind it. He never resents me for that because that’s what cops do — they listen, protect and provide the comfort and strength when it’s needed.
My parents went through hell watching their daughter wired up to machines in a hospital room to make sure the overdose didn’t cause any damage and then continued to walk through the same hell when I continued lying about being OK.
They love me. They never once told me I was too much.
They never asked for this, but they also never asked that any of it would go away.
The world’s most amazing humans, building me up and letting me know how much they absolutely adore me, constantly surround me. It has always been that way.
Jaimie, surrounded by love, hates herself.
I have very little hate towards anyone else in this world, and it is because I have so much hate for myself.
When I was younger I hated my face (like most 12-year-olds because puberty sucks).Then in high school I hated my brain because I just wasn’t smart enough to do anything right (besides get into every college I applied to with scholarships, but other than that).
But in college, I hated myself for no reason. I didn’t suck to look at, I was doing well in my classes, I volunteered and worked with campus organizations, and was even an award-winning radio journalist.
But what really made me hate myself is when I met someone who continued to choose to love me.
For months and months he had a way out, and I even tried to force him to take that out more than most.
But he chose to stay.
That made my hate myself the most.
My family is stuck with me because of blood, but they would run if they could, right?
So why the hell is this amazing human staying when I can’t give him a “normal” or remotely healthy relationship?
I knew I loved him from just a month into the relationship, but I didn’t want to say it because then he would be stuck with me in a way. It is easier to leave before that L-word is thrown out.
Now that it is, I love him more, all while hating myself more.
He and my mother talk and share strategies on how to love me through it.
They share strategies I will never understand. They follow maps through my brain; they only know how to navigate by learning each one trial by error.
They see the scars — mental, emotional and physical — and love on.
While I can barely live on, they love on.
What is loving Jaimie like?
I never ask what they love about me because I don’t want to hear it. There is no way I will see it like they do, and it just frustrates me. They give me their all — emotionally, spiritually, financially, and even physically when I can’t handle life myself.
They love a human who hates herself more than anything on this planet.
They continue to support the potential of someone who can’t see the potential or the future for that matter.
They love the world’s best liar who continues to lie every single time anyone says, “How are you?”
They love someone who continues to add to the pain and hate of themselves.
There are such drastic feelings in my life, and I can’t get rid of the feelings or the people who constantly have them.
These people spend their lives constantly saving mine when I don’t want to be saved.
Without fail, they are at my door.
They put a Band-Aid on my wound and continue loving Jaimie.
They will continue loving Jaimie and seeing the beauty in her head.
I just wish I could love Jaimie like that.
This story was published on The Mighty, a platform for people facing health challenges to share their stories and connect.