You’re always there for me, aren’t you? Looming in the back of my mind; ready to rear your ugly head when the opportunity arises. You know your statements are justified; you know people would understand if I said aloud, what you say in a whisper.
This is so unfair
I shouldn’t have to do this alone
This is such bullshit
I did not sign up for this
You greet me in the morning when I have no choice but to get up. You tell me to stay in bed and ignore the kids; you tell me that I deserve more sleep, and that it’s not my fault I’m a single parent. I did not sign up for this.
You wait until I’m ridiculously tired, or a bit dusty from the night before; when I’ve been up half the night while the kids, one by one make their way into my bed because they need to be near me, to feel safe and secure, until there’s only a tiny space left for me and I can’t get back to sleep. This is bullshit.
You tap me on the shoulder as I’m looking around my messy house, the kids are fighting, while I have a mammoth to-do list to get through. I shouldn’t have to do this on my own.
You see me lying alone in bed at night with no one to wrap their warm arms around me and kiss me on the head and tell me I’m doing a great job and that I’m such a good Mama and that even though the kids were a massive pain today, they are so lucky to have me. This is so unfair.
Sometimes you sneak up on me, like the crafty bastard you are, and silently sit next to me. Open a bottle of wine. You deserve it.
You deserve a bit of happiness in your life.
Chocolate? Sure! Have some of that too. You won’t regret it. I promise.
And sure, sometimes you win. In those lonely nights where the house is quiet and I’m done fighting you for the day. I let you sit next to me for a while. I let you in like a bad ex-boyfriend who I know is no good for me, but is better than being alone.
You make sure that I barely recognise the reflection in the mirror some days. The woman staring back at me is middle-aged, overweight, tired and defeated.
But you know what, self pity? I have my village, and that’s why you, mostly, stay in the back of my thoughts where you belong. Sure, I know that if I let you take over, it would be understandable, but I worry that it would be a long, hard road back. So my village keeps you at bay. Yes, I still hear your whisper, but it will never become a roar with my family, friends and community doing their thing. And they do so bloody much.
Thank you village.
And ? self-pity.