When I was a teenager and having a crisis, or friend was having a crisis, we would “invoke a day of evil.” Basically this meant bunking off college and chain smoking cigarettes and eating our own body weight in pickled onion flavour corn snacks and chocolate buttons. Saying we were invoking a day of evil was just code to get past any sharp-eared parent who would simply dismiss the phrase as the general bollocks that teenagers ramble about. We would take ourselves to the park opposite my house and perch on benches talking our dramas out until we got cold and the cigarettes ran out. It was a way to take a break from the world, from what we thought were our responsibilities, a time to be utterly self indulgent.
Times have changed. Few of my friends live here any more, we’ve scattered to London and Brighton and Canada. I’m still here, as is my best friend, but she has her job and her daughter and her further education course and I have my kids. It’s hard to get time to brush my teeth never mind spend a whole day bitching.
I long for it though.
I know this is temporary but right now I feel so depressed. I’m only getting out of bed in the morning because I have to. I’m only getting dressed because I have to. I’m only speaking to people and walking around and cooking and cleaning because I absolutely have to. What I want to do is sit with a blanket over my head and not face the world. I want to run away and not have to deal with the demands of several other people for just a little while.
Maybe this is the heart of what being a mother is all about, putting yourself firmly at the bottom of a long list of priorities and accepting that when you’re falling apart… well you just can’t fall apart, there’s no one to look after you because you need to look after them.
I’ve barely had a moment to stop and process what is going on, there’s always something to be done, and there’s no point and saying damn it and leaving it there because I’ll only have to do it later along with a pile of other stuff. I’m feeling so sorry for myself right now. I want to have a huge grade A tantrum, show the toddlers how it’s done, and scream it’s not fair!
I haven’t just lost a baby, right now I’ve lost my sense of purpose and direction, along with my sense of humour. I’m not pregnant, but I’m still waiting for the actual miscarriage to happen.
I want a little day of evil to myself, but I don’t have the means to make it happen. I don’t have the babysitters or the money or even the people for company. I have nowhere to go.
So I guess I’ll follow the advice of the great philosopher Dory and just keep swimming, and hope I come out the other side.