A/N: Although I'm currently working on another ELR fic, this one just kind of poured out of me. I was planning on writing a darker story anyways. Originally this was going to be an entire story, but now I'm thinking it makes a nice one-shot. But I'd like to continue, so I guess it all depends on the feedback.

Also, I would like to say that I realize this isn't going to be true to the show's theme, but that's why I'm writing it purely as a fanfic and nothing more. I'm taking the characteristics we see in Debra and shaping them into an alternate story.

I hope you guys like it, and if you want me to continue it into a story, please tell me so! I appreciate any reviews!


Depressed Debra

My name is Debra Barone and I am selfish. Well, I don't like to think of myself that way, but I have to. It's the only thing that covers what I really am: depressed.

I suppose I've been this way for as long as I can remember. But somehow, I thought that maybe starting my own family would somehow cure it. For a while, it did. At first, all I had to do or think about was loving Ray. That was enough then. But after a while, that wasn't it. It became loving Ray, plus our three kids. Loving my best friend, Amy. And loving Ray's crazy family.

Don't get me wrong, I love Ray's family. I love all those people. But the thing about the Barone's is that they're always so carefree, so fun-loving and happy, so... detached. Everything I wanted, but could not achieve.

So over the years, I had to mold myself into the shell of a person who could withstand the situation I was in. Aggressive and defensive against Marie and her every criticism of my many flaws that I already recognized all too well. And then there was Frank. Probably the only person who could truly read me, and yet the only person who didn't care enough to try. So I turned on the charm with my father-in-law to prevent him from seeing my pain that I know he could see if he looked har enough. A busy-body, I was with Amy. Constantly pushing us into social situations and activities that would prevent us from connecting as best friends should. With my kids I became just a stoic figure. Providing them with everything they need in order to keep them from asking questions and getting involved.

Of course, with my husband Ray, I was the worst. I loved Ray more than anyone, and for that, we had to suffer. I loved him so much, in fact, that it hurt. Hurt in a way I could not bear. So I nagged and complained and picked apart every aspect of our marriage that I wanted to make better--all because on the inside, I was pushing him away.

In my situation, I became selfish. At least, that's how I saw it and how I figured others saw it as well. Becoming this way is what I saw as my last resort, my only option. The mannerism I had to take on in order to survive my lifestyle. Sometimes the only thing you can do is hold on to what you have for yourself and hope that it's enough to get by...