There are a couple of therapists in the growth group as well as others who are wise. Several responded to my mention of depression, telling me to honor the depression. They said depression is a time for grieving, in my case, grieving the abuse I experienced as a child and grieving the fact that I never had a father with whom I could feel safe. With him there was always the risk of being beaten or ridiculed or both.
I had never before heard that depression was something to honor. I had been told and had read that depression is "anger turned inward." I recognize that anger is an appropriate emotion to have toward at my father for abusing me (as well as my mother). (Of course, that anger has to be handled carefully, not destructively, and not transferred to others who had nothing to do with my father's abuse.) I assumed that my depression over the years was anger turned inward since this is what the experts had said about depression.
But I appreciate the new insight my growth group friends gave me last night, that depression is something to honor. I know it is appropriate to continue to grieve that I did not have the kind of father every child deserves. Having been through child abuse, then therapy for it, I am better equipped to be that kind of a father and grandfather.