“True Stories” is a new series of guest blogs I am running. Too often, lawyers don’t know the burdens other lawyers carry both outside and inside the office. Here’s an unvarnished and anonymous account by one BigLaw lawyer who shares his powerful story.
I am an attorney with major depression. Understanding this recovery story from mental disease requires a trip back to my childhood, where depression first took root.
When I was nine months old, my mother left me alone with my father, an unpredictable, violent alcoholic. She returned to find a pile of blankets on the living room floor. Underneath, she found me, covered with welts. My father told her that I wouldn’t stop crying, so he hit me until I stopped crying. The physical (and later verbal) abuse continued for several years, as did my ability to accept it without responsive emotion.
At the age of four, I began going to the next-door neighbor’s house for before and after school care. There, the neighbor’s oldest son repeatedly sexually abused me. He warned me not to tell anyone, so I didn’t.
Growing up in constant fear, I learned to hide all feelings, both good and bad, and keep secrets.