I walk in the rain. After some time I realise that the drips reaching my lips are actually salty tears. Silent screams for help. I didn’t even realise I’m crying.
The thing is, I think I’m loosing it. It could be post-natal depression, I’m not sure, but life feels like a grind. I’m so tired. I feel claustrophobic but can’t find the freedom or space that I’m craving.
Whilst I try hard to appreciate what I have, I feel numb. I’m aware of things, but not engaged with them. I get through the day by a series of chores and tasks, which give me slight satisfaction for the achievement, but with it comes the knowledge that it’s not enough and there are still a hundred more things to be done. The most important task of course is to look after our children, and I think the fact it’s listed in my brain as another task suggests that things aren’t right. The enjoyment has gone. And Meg isn’t shy to confirm that whatever I do for her is also not enough. A constant stream of demands to play with this, eat that, go here, make some space there. I’m not sure who was first to start the nagging as I find myself reflecting similar demands on her.
My baby girl used to sit content on my hip and share the daily rhythm with me. Big blue eyes. Happy eyes. Giggles, dance and play fell into the day without even realising. There was time to just look at each other or simply cuddle on the sofa with a soft blanket, touching fingers together or tickling peeping toes. Other than getting a bit bigger and a bit noisier, I don’t think she has changed. It’s me. I’m not really there any more. Or here any more. I’m always trying to do something else.
Now I carry Kit on my shoulder sharing the daily chaos with me. Big blue eyes. I struggle to lift Meg now, let alone carry her, so Meg watches on at hip height, trying to find the best way to get my attention – from angelic to awful she’ll find a way. I’m not proud of my parenting any more, and I miss my daughter. My affection ranges from overcompensation to being totally unavailable; it’s all wrong. She deserves consistent love and attention, and I’m sure I’d receive the same in return. I need to find the energy to make amends.
So where has my energy gone? Where has my spirit gone? Whilst I miss my daughter I also miss me. I feel like an empty shell. When did I last wear some makeup? When did I last feel sexy or attractive? When did I last feel proud of myself? Am I happy? I don’t know the answers. I feel numb. Everything I do is for practicality, and let’s face it, practical is rarely fun. It’s as if I’m scared I won’t make it through the day unless everything is as efficient as possible. I’m missing out on fun with my family for an empty washing basket. Worse than that, I’m missing out on love with my family for an empty washing basket. It is little surprise that my spirit has deserted me. I’m lucky my family hasn’t.
No one else is responsible to make me happy, but I think I can learn from them. I’m still aware of the little things which would bring me a smile and yet I deny myself. I look at Meg laying in a huge nest swing with her beautiful smile watching the clouds overhead rush across the sky. I long to curl up and nest with her, gently swaying back and forth. I watch Kit smile and giggle below his slowly twisting mobile, feathers and paper decorations. I long to lay along side him and take some time to rest and absorb his wonderful noises. Longing, I realise, is no good. I’m going to look for my spirit in these things and invite her home.
This time I must nurture her. Listen to her. Honour her. Walk barefoot through the sand, the pebbles and the grass with her; feel connected and grounded again. I want to dance in the rain with her and watch the world sparkle through the raindrops on my eyelashes. I want my family to know her again.
I stand in the rain. I take off my hat and hood and lift my face to the sky. Tongue out I taste the rain. Cold speckles. Water runs down my face, my hair and my neck. I come to the now and oddly I’m flooded with memories of careless times, fun times, active times, times with family, times with friends. I remember cycling out of Bristol with Rob in rain and floods so heavy that we were drenched instantly. Too in love to care. | just wanted to be there with him. I remember sitting with my sister on rocks at high tide with storm waves crashing over our heads. Reckless, but oh so fun! Perhaps too naive to realise the danger, or just too absorbed in this anticipation and entertainment provided by Nature. From camping to festivals, walking, riding, running, surfing, boat trips or simply hiding away snug indoors from the rain, there have been many good times during ‘bad’ conditions.
I dance in the rain.