On healing wounds...


I hate wounds. I hate having to deal with my own shit. It feels so hard. To delve deep into what is really behind your dissatisfaction, your anger, your sadness, your frustration. Right now, I am currently dealing with two sides of the same thing: the need for space and the need for people. Both co-exist in me and yet fight within me. It is doing my head in.

With three small kids aged 6 and under constantly needing me to wipe their bums, look at their latest cartwheel, listen to their reading, help them make a paper aeroplane, assist them in learning to tie a shoe lace, watch them cycle with one hand, witness their first drawing, I am constantly in demand. And usually all three want me at the same time. The minute I decide I will try to be 'present' and spend some quality time with one of them, the others start fighting or disturbing the 'chosen one' so that it all ends in fighting and me screaming.

So I crave time to myself. Peace. Quiet. A breath. In and out. Shoulders dropping. Chest opening. A time when I am no longer 'responsible' for someone else, for their safety, their behaviour, the person they might become if I let them continue in this vein without punishment or correction. Why? Because to try and be in control of all of these balls (not to mention the housework, the provision of healthy, home-cooked meals, my own career path, my businesses and self-care) = OVERWHELM. Sometimes I can cope and feel very grateful for my life and my beautiful, healthy children and sometimes I feel I have made one huge mistake: that I am not cut out to be a mother. It was all a big mistake. I should just quit whilst I am 'ahead' and confess I am actually really bad at all of this.

But on the rare occasions when I do get the time to myself, I crave being with my kids, their exuberance, their life force because I get panicked by the very silence that I craved. The endless time stretching out ahead of me. It's almost as though I am so unused to it that when it is there, I no longer know how to be in it. So I swing from one extreme to another: desperate for time alone, and then rudderless and scared when I have it.

I know that these are both a need for me to find the comfort I need from within. But it just feels so hard. I can't do it right now. I can't yet be the person who both notices the pattern and soothes the inner child who is panicked. For now, it will have to do just to notice it. To watch as I fall into the familiar pattern of self-criticism, berating myself for wanting not to have kids, wishing I was one of those single people that could do whatever they want whenever they want; observing as I fill my time with needless, small tasks when I finally do have time to myself, desperate to fill the void that suddenly feels too huge for me to occupy.

So for now, I am just going to sit with this feeling of being shit. I don't like it. But I don't yet have the strength or wisdom to heal this wound. Instead I opted for quite a lot of white wine, pasta and lashings of garlic (no idea why but garlic seems to provides bottomless comfort) followed by one (OK, two) chocolate brownies and some more chocolate on top of that. Plus a good cry and a soul session with my ever-committed partner. And that is ok. Because healing takes time. And you can't force it. And if any of you are struggling right now, I am here with you - feeling the pain to release it. After all, if you notice your pattern, then that means you are more than half way to letting it go. It's not great to admit defeat but it's all I can do. And that's ok. Here's to being in spiritual limbo.....

Art by Christian Schloe

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