In less than a week (6 days to be precise), it will mark a year since I caused a whole lot of pain. In an attempt to escape my own agony I simply added to it by causing a lot of hurt to those close to me. One thing that was said to me soon after I left hospital, was that by trying to escape my own pain, I was just passing it to my children to deal with. That comment struck home and has stayed with me since. Hindsight is a wonderful thing eh?
Leaving the house early in morning, as my breath billows out in puffs of steam before me, I trudge to the car and like a slap in the face, the ghosts of Xmas past flood into my brain. They are shit ghosts, they taunt. A song on Spotify; the cold on my face; the drive to work in the dark; walking into the toilets at work; hearing the beeps of the machines in Resus; memories of the cold, trolley mattress under my head as I came around and the concerned words of the doctor I knew asking me what happened, why did I do it?
So little has changed since then and yet so much. There is a solidity. I am still a mother to 3; a nurse; having financial issues; insecurities etc but I now have a foundation that stops me from running. I don’t need to fuel my own ego by trying to save a person who doesn’t recognise who I am, let alone really love or want me. I don’t berate myself for the mistakes I have made and make. Slowly, those little messages I have been sending out for 44 years have started to change. They no longer spell so much neediness, anger, pain. I have, finally, managed to grow a little plant of esteem from within.. it uncoils and unfurls from my base and its tendrils are finding their way to every part of my being. The roots grounding me into the earth and into the universe.
The journey doesn’t stop here. Daily I am reminded of just how much a dickhead I can still be. Ego and fear are such a large part of my psyche but I am learning to accept them and in that, they are slowly taming down like flames of a fire dying.
This is our Christmas. Presents are stacked under the beautiful tree that we chose last week. A most ridiculous enterprise involving all sorts of inappropriate puns. The kids have told me how festive and christmassy it feels here. I have been planning with Mia what to cook on Xmas day and I have been given the day off by my manager due to last year. I have the most, fucking wonderful, second chance to have a proper Xmas with my beautiful, funny children. I feel guilt daily at how close I was to ruining their lives in order to save myself from pain but I don’t, I can’t regret it. Because without having reached such a dark place, I couldn’t have arrived here. Now.
My three children have been inordinately brave. I fear for the damage that has been caused but I can only hope that through the events of Xmas 2019, I have put a stop to the ongoing years of destruction that could have been caused and instead, I can grow with them.
Happy Xmas All x