"Hi, how are you?"
"How was your day?"
"A waste. An absolute waste. I did absolutely nothing today. I'm a bad wife, a bad mother, and I'm probably going to hell! Oh, and since I'm already hell-bound, I decided I don't want to go to the temple with you tomorrow after all. I don't want to do anything. I just want to go get in bed and go to sleep and never wake up."
My husband knows the signs of depression. We've been through this before. He knows that when I get like this, nothing he can say will make me feel better. He knows that when I get in my downward spiral, that I take anything he says and twist it into something bad. So he just came up behind me at the sink and put his arms around me, and held me while I cried.
But I knew what was bothering me.
"I have to kill some more chickens. At least two of the cockerels are crowing, and it needs to happen today. And I don't think I can do it."
"Do you want me to help you?"
So he changed his clothes and sharpened the hatchet and found a stump to stretch their necks on, and I wiped my tears and held their little bodies tight while he chopped the heads off of three of my cute little cockerels. Then we dipped and plucked them. Once they were done, my mood improved dramatically.
My big mistake was in letting those extra male birds live. I should have had Tom dispose of them as soon as they arrived, before the kids even knew about them. But they were soooo cute! And I figured I might as well raise them along with the others, and they'd add to the freezer when their time came.
But then the kids named them. And they got cuter. Really beautiful, some of them. And I felt differently about them than I did the dumb, ugly meat birds. I didn't take any enjoyment out of killing the meat birds, but there was no emotion invovled. Everyone knew they were destined for the freezer. But these cockerels had pretty feathers, and they were active and funny, and we'd get them out to do bug patrol in the yard, and they were so fun to watch. And I got attached.
I'm still sad that I had to kill my feathered friends. But I'm so glad my husband rescued me from my avoidance induced depression. And I'm relieved that is all it was about. I don't wanna go back to those dark days. Ever.