December 26, 2019:

If I'd sought help earlier I might have been able to save my mom.

My knowledge of depression is post-treatment. From therapy and the wide research I conducted in parallel with it I learned the symptoms, the science, the statistics, and very many stories. I can recognize now, easily, her symptoms of major depression and anxiety. I understand better the long-term effects of childhood abuse and of trauma generally, and I can see the PTSD in her behaviors. I have far better communication skills and I know what recommendations to make. I have more emotional stamina, so that I would be better able to withstand her rudeness and rejection.

But this is pure speculation.

There's no reason to believe she'd have listened to me simply because I'm better informed. I might have been able to be more persistent but at some point I'd have still had to break contact from self-preservation, in fact post-therapy I'd be more likely to do it sooner.

She was what she was. She was an adult, she had insurance, she could have exercised responsibility toward herself, and toward me.

But she was a product of a time and a milieu and a history of experiences which precluded seeking help. In the Ozarks you sucked it up. There was no concept of mood disorder or PTSD. Why should there be? Everyone had them both. Literally everyone, without exception. That was the culture and the context. You survived it or you didn't.

She did, in her way. It eventually killed her but she made it through seventy-two-and-a-half years. A pretty good run, all things considered.