I was asked this question on my FormSpring quite a while back. I thought I’d blog the answer- it seemed to require too much of an explanation for a tiny FormSpring box.
Of all the things people have accused you of since Tony’s death, what has been the most painful to you? What has played on your mind the most? And has there been anything that while harsh you’re happy someone said it because it helped you?
I have to wonder where this question comes from… someone’s guilty conscious? Whatever, I don’t suppose it matters.
There have been so, so many things that have been hurtful. Being accused of causing Tony’s death, of being such a horrible person that he caused him to kill himself.. being accused of that by someone very close to him? That hurt. Unforgivably.
But I think, all along, it’s been any insinuation that I haven’t been caring for my children properly. Any suggestion that their welfare was not my main concern. Because, while I was trying to protect them, people were accusing me of hurting them, ignoring them… and I guess that hurt so much because I was doing those things too-hurting them, and ignoring them. But I was just trying to get myself back into some kind of normal place, before I went back to them.
A weak excuse, hey? I know it sounds like one. But I guess it’s not so much about me, it’s about a lot of us- isn’t our worth as mothers, when our children are small, worth more than that of our own? My children’s short term happiness and mental health was put before my own long term mental health.
But that seems to be just what we expect mums to do. Sacrifice, until there’s not much left to parent with, at all.
The other consideration, that was not so much hurtful as downright annoying, was- and is- patronising advice on what I should be doing, how I should be feeling, from people who haven’t experienced any kind of grief, trauma, or that awesome combination of both that eventually molds into PTSD. There are no words to describe how soul crushing it is, trying to survive, and having people patronise you.There were quite a few times I really felt the need to punch people in the face, but didn’t have the freaking energy to do so.
So.. that’s that.