The next two days passed uneventfully though Laura cherished having the house to herself. Her mum returned on the 29th and all returned to normal. She went downstairs one evening and angered by her aunt and grandmother’s words and inwardly begging Roseanna to forgive her for breaking her promise, seized the knife and slit her wrist once more. As usual she held it under the mixer tap, in warm water and then cold before selecting a selection of creams, powders and sprays from her make up bag so as to camouflage it.
Her Drama coursework in the spring Laura fully enjoyed though being two years older she wished she could perform something more challenging in a more interesting devised piece than one that dealt with mother-daughter relationships.
During the Easter, Laura felt slightly uncomfortable, knowing that it was the first time she would see her aunt and grandmother face to face since her unsuccessful admission of her depressive illness during Christmas.
She was however delighted to find that her aunt was to stay with her husband and Gabriel and that her mum was to take her grandmother out for day trips while Laura stayed with her great grandmother at home. Laura was quite used to her great grandmother and actually her ability to secretly relate to her great grandmother’s desire to die and the very fact that their personalities were similar gave Laura an advantage over people like her grandmother who became stressed out when dealing with her and her mum and aunt who only mocked her.
Laura noticed with pleasure that her mum and mum’s family were often cynical about her ability to study her subjects or deal with people whereas her stepmother and to some extent her dad and stepsister as well were not and actually had confidence in her.
The year came to an end and Laura remained home during the summer, knowing that it was the following summer she was due to see her dad and stepfamily once more. She rang Michelle for the second time since their meeting a year ago. She had last rang in February though now as she rang once more she felt she should make it once a year rather than once every 6 months. Laura was determined to leave Michelle completely alone and not interfere in her life.
“I know Oliver will look after her for me just as my stepsister’s dad looked after my stepmother until it was time for dad to be with her”.
They made pleasant conversation and then Laura put down the receiver awkwardly. Just hearing Michelle’s voice gave her that deep feeling of fulfilment and love and she felt as romantically drawn to her as ever. Yet, angered by her mum’s continued belief that she was in love with an image of Michelle rather than the actual person, Laura made an effort to know and love her as she was now. True, she had loved Michelle as she was years ago but now she longed to have a more recent photo of her and to love her as she was at the moment. Her dad told her Michelle had written and Laura had eagerly asked how she was and felt glad though she never mentioned her own love for Michelle to her dad.
Time passed. Her grades came out in the summer. EAE for Drama, ECC for Psychology and CEU for Politics. As the modules were so fluctuated, Laura knew she would have to resit one module from each subject to lift the overall grades. After a while, she stopped idealising Michelle not only because her doing so had led her dad and her stepmother to mistakenly believe her obsessed with her best friend which though she suppressed it offended her, but also because her role model, Sonya Rostova in War and Peace did not idealise her cousin Nickolai. Laura, despite being nineteen was as convinced as ever that in the short term people would be unhappy though in the long term it was for the best if she died. Now, if her belief in life after death faltered or if her mum were to criticise the A levels selected or anything she would feel a little indignant that her dad had not waited for her stepmother if she could wait all her life for Michelle,, just as Sonya felt that Natasha should have waited for Andrei if she could for Nickolai.
Usually her deep spiritual beliefs remained unshaken and she had no problem linking it to her sexuality of asexual lesbian. Yet because she was full aware society stopped her being honest with her stepfamily and that since she had pledged her undying love to Michelle and it was more practical if she remained single and because she did not want to lie about being in a relationship, she allowed her stepfamily to believe her heterosexual, only saying that she was not interested in boyfriends and passing her soulmate off as her best friend.
“One thing is certain, no matter what happens I will always love Michelle and though I may change my mind about wanting to die, it is unlikely and I will always have the desire, will and inclination to die even if I never act on it and am content to wait patiently till old age” Laura decided resolutely.
She went through the UCAS process and applied for university. Laura continued to cut intermittently, though she knew this was not a good coping mechanism. She used the same method of rubbing creams and powder or spraying perfume onto her wrist and arm in order to conceal the scars and marks. Emma saw it beneath her dressing gown sleeve once.
“What is that on your arm?”
Laura looked. “Just a rash” she shrugged. Inventing cover stories was now second nature to her. Yet determined to stop, she took ice cubes from the freezer and began to rub them on her wrist and arm instead. This didn’t work, as Laura discovered because in the summer they melted away. A part of her was obstinately determined to prove that she was telling the truth about the depression despite her determination so many years ago to make sure they disbelieved it in order to keep safe. Her universities replied making four conditional offers. Laura had by now bought an eternity ring and though irritated that it fitted her middle finger rather than her ring finer she slipped it onto her right hand and renewed her pledge of eternal love and loyalty to her soulmate.
In April, after her Drama practical exam was over, Emma confided in her that she had depression and was consulting a therapist about it. Though slightly sorry, Laura couldn’t help feeling angered when she considered how her mum
had not noticed her own depression over the last 6 years. True, she had never told her all that happened from the time she had lied to the GP up till now, yet she had allowed such revealed hints to drop that it was obvious or should be obvious to anyone. She refused to alter her own opinion on the medical route and pointed out all the symptoms of depression and that her mum had none of them. Emma quoted Linda’s words right back to Laura hat it could be seen in subtle ways and Laura considered ho ironic that was.
“The pot calling the kettle back eh” she said to herself.
“Well better you than me.” She replied aloud. “Though I would never go near a psychiatrist again if anyone were to pay me”. She returned away towards the window and drummed her fingers impatiently.
“Point taken” her mum replied coolly.
“A friend of mine has depression” her mum remarked after a while.
“Does he self injure?” asked Laura without turning.
Laura glanced at her own self injury marks and pulled her new bracelet over them. The old black one she had been given by her grandmother on her 16th birthday had got broken during another row with her mum. It had been at breaking point anyway but when the depression had been triggered off as usual, Laura had in her anger broken it and then thrown it away.
“Is your depression there all the time or does it come and go?” Laura asked cautiously.
“I don’t know. Why?”
“Because I’ve heard of one” Laura hesitated and then continued “I read of it in my Psychology textbook. Dysthimia – look, I’ll show you”.
Laura led the way to the computer and typed it into the Google search engine. Her mum read the site about it.
“Yes but that means you have a continuous low mood for many years.”
“Not necessarily continuous” Laura argued. “I read on another site that it can be episodical as well. In order for it to be diagnosed you would have had to have it for five years or longer” Laura gave her mum a sidelong glance but her mum didn’t notice.
“Well I don’t think I have it”.
Laura stood for a while, reflecting a few days later. She herself had chosen to b in this situation. She had tried disastrously to tell the truth, then told a white lie and covered it up, knowing she alone would know the truth and have to put up with cynicism, mockery and disbelief. She had been prepared to accept that. Yet now she felt she couldn’t stand this.
“After all becoming diagnosed doesn’t mean I have to be treated and even if the depression is lifted that doesn’t mean the door to death is not still open. I will always leave it open. Louis Trevelyan in Trollope’s He Knew He Was Right and Emily Bronte’s Catherine Earnshaw both got the job done and they were not depressives”.
She pondered. “Well I’ll wait till I go to uni so that family is out of the way and then decide.”
👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!
Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.get help with your assignment