I’m taking the weekend off again.
It’s become a regular event… dropping my kids off, and running away for a day or two.
There’s a lingering guilt there (plenty of other mums do this, alone, all the time… why can’t I?) that’s overridden by an insatiable desire to get away.
I don’t worry about my kids when I’m gone, shamefully, I think of them only in abstract terms, love them from afar. But I don’t worry and fret, whether they miss me, if I have packed enough warm clothes for them, if they are doing OK.
I’m not supposed to confess to that, I know. But that’s the way it is. I can so easily disconnect from my kids. Just like I did, directly After.
It’s a matter of self preservation.
I have to do this, I have to decompress every now and then… or I will lose my mind.
I need a break from the constant wash of demands. The constant tug of physicality…. when I’m not with my kids, is it any wonder I just want to be alone, to not be touched?
My self esteem is shattered, and it seems to be getting worse.
The negatives, they are difficult to ignore.
It’s been years since that droning, grating voice in my head has been so persistent… Telling me I’m useless, I make people cry, I should really just give up on this writing thing and go get a job working checkouts. That I’m boring and weak and selfish (undeniable, I am selfish at the moment, and that may not be a bad thing, but I struggle to give it a positive connotation.)
That I killed my husband.
And, deepest,that I am a vessel for my children. The people left in my life, my only worth to them is a mother to my little ones. That no one really cares how I am, for the sake of if I am OK… just to make sure I will be able to take care of my kids properly.
After all, isn’t that the most important thing? That my children are OK?
This voice, it tells me I’m dispensable. That if my children didn’t need me, I really wouldn’t be needed at all. And it seems unfair to be kept here for the benefit of others.
I know none of that is true, of course.
It’s just that voice, it’s difficult not to listen to.
My son hasn’t mentioned his daddy for days now… maybe four or five days, a record of sorts.
Tonight, he is looking at Tony’s photo on the wall.
“Are you looking at Daddy?” I ask.
He turns to me, blue eyes full of the kind of childhood wonder reserved for fairy tales, and whispers…
“He was giant.”
I catch a sob in my throat.