2017 Day-By-Day

Day 112

Six Reasons Women Are Hit Harder With Depression

1. Genetic vulnerability

My mother doesn’t like to be hugged

Her mother shunned touch

I, too, do not like to be greeted with open arms

I tolerate it, because secretly I want to reach out

Hug you, spill out the contents of my mind, tell you how much I miss you

But I don’t

I close myself off

Like my mother

Like her mother

2. Fetal development

Nearing forty



Betrayed by a man who hid his family

Move home

Pace back and forth

With a tiny life growing inside

Will you be enough for this child?

3. Adolescence

A skirt over jeans

A lingering shyness

A mix of confusing emotions, impulses

I see no safe place to hide

I try self-medicating, prescribe a steady diet of razors and pills

The end seems so near and I don’t know that I’m strong enough to hang on

4. Pregnancy

Stomachs are expanding with life

Growing tiny fingers and toes

Everyone is growing up and I feel left behind

I worry I will be left alone, with no family of my own


I don’t know if I want to make the sacrifice



I’m just afraid

5. Transition to menopause

I watch my mother rub her tired bones

Hear her cry out in pain, lamenting her old age

She talks about funerals and burial plots

Where to find her papers and what dress to put her in

I can only think

What will I do when you’re gone?

6. Environmental influences

What to do when you are the brown speck in a sea of white?

The color of my skin never mattered, never stopped me before

Or maybe I never noticed

They treat me like a novelty

A Hispanic-Filipino-Jewish doll

Surrounded by a community and alone all at once

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