Strength of One
I used to think being strong meant not feeling anything at all. But being strong means having the strength to feel everything and still be able to carry on.
The day is coming to an end. She breaths in deep as her head pounds and her smile fades. Those little eyes look up at her and she knows she has to keep going. She’s exhausted from thinking all day but still a long way to go.
Dinner time: “What should I make her for dinner? should I do veggies? will she eat veggies? what is the point, she won’t eat it, can I be bothered arguing with her? am I a bad mum? how do I keep her healthy? how I do cook? how much should she be eating? why can’t I get it right, why can’t I be consistent.”
Her mind floods with thoughts as she stands in the kitchen trying her best, just like the night before, and the night before that. Constant. Repetitive. Hounding.
Dinner is over. “Should I wash up now or later? I can’t be bothered, should she get desert? Did she eat enough? I still have to bath her, I still have to shower my self and clean and put her to bed, tell her stories, talk about her day, the house is a mess why didn’t I clean yesterday? I’ll just clean tomorrow, you’re so lazy, why are you like this, you are useless, you are on your own, you aren’t doing a good job, you can do better.”
Bath time. “Is she cleaning her self properly, should I wash her hair, am I washing her hair too much, should I have more bath toys for her? Am I using the right body wash, I haven’t washed the towels in a while, I am a bad mother, washing isn’t done, does she have pyjamas, why didn’t you do it yesterday, why don’t you have energy, why are you useless, why can’t you just be perfect.”
She reaches in and pulls out the plug as the suction noice echoes through her head. She wraps the towel around her daughter and rubs her dry making noises with her mouth “brrrrrr” and the house echoes with laughs. “I’m going to get you” She Chases her to her room and they jump on the bed while the girl looks at her mother like she’s her own personal superhero.
Time to get her dressed: “will these pyjamas keep her warm, are they comfy, does she like them? She needs more pairs and options, she needs a better wardrobe, does she wear undies to bed? Does she not? Do I put socks on her? When was the last time I washed her sheets? Did we wash the soap of properly, I should dry her more, she’s dry, she’s not dry you need to dry her more, is she relaxed, is she happy.”
Her daughter reaches out and grabs her mums face as she senses her worries. She looks in her eyes and the voices stop for a moment. They smile at each other and continue to talk about the life of a seven year old.
Bed Time: She kisses her on the head and tucks her in tight. As she walks away her body floods. She walks towards her room, down the long empty hallway and with every step further from her daughter the waves rush in. The waves of emotion. “Another day as a failure, she didn’t brush her teeth, I didn’t brush her hair, another day closer to her hating me, did I pay her enough attention, she was bored today, what else could I have done, am I doing the right thing, where is her dad, why doesn’t he help, why can’t he call, why can’t he tell me I’m doing a good job, why do I have to do it all, why can’t she see her sister, why doesn’t her dad grow up. How do I fix her pain.”
She reaches her room and collapses. Legs crossed on the floor, hunched over as her head rests in her hands. She cries and she begs her head to stop. “I am doing a good job, the cleaning can wait she is smart, she is healthy, she is happy” wondering why she needs constant validation for her actions and her choices. She rises, and undresses and lets the water run on her face and down her body as she attempts to drown it all out. “You are doing a good job, you are doing a good job, you are doing a god job”
Time to try to catch her thoughts and change them. Every day working on her mental health. Every day committing to changing her life. But everyday she wishes someone would hold her hand and help her understand her self. But unfortunately this a job she must do alone. Her worst fear. One step at a time down the lonely path she WILL be strong she WILL feel everything and she WILL conquer her metal health.
We are all in this together.