A few weeks ago I wrote about the constant noise in our house that comes from ‘talking to make noise so I can’t think about anything or you can’t ask me any questions’. There is constant talking until someone asks a question or wonders something and then there is silence.
I’ve been thinking this week though, that actually, I’m not really that good at talking. Things have been really hard here for the last few months but I’m not sure anybody would know because I find it so hard to talk about. When people ask how things are, I tend to shrug my shoulders, say ‘Oh, you know’ and then ask them something about them.
Because how do you say ‘Well, my eldest daughter has hurt me everyday for the last few months, the level of anxiety in our house is pretty much at maximum, Little is hurting herself due to the stress levels of living in a house where she still experiences violence on a daily basis, I haven’t really had a full night of sleep for over two years either because of the girls being up or my anxiety based insomnia, I try everyday to show love to Big but when I am constantly rejected, it becomes very hard and I can feel myself putting up barriers to protect myself (and I know I need to not do this but it’s hard), I have to make a decision about going back to work soon and I have no idea how to make it, and it’s now Christmas in school and that’s always fun.’
I find that I can’t say it to anyone. So I don’t and then I feel really isolated because I’m feeling all of this by myself. My husband and my parents are great but I really wish I could talk to someone else about it and for them to just listen. For it not to become a ‘oh all children do that’ conversation or for them to think I’m a terrible parent for feeling how I’m feeling or for them to just feel so far away from their comfort zone that they brush it off as a phase or a one off.
I think when you try and talk to someone and they try to minimise it, it then becomes so hard to talk about it again. I know that what we are living is not ‘normal’. But people are uncomfortable with the idea that there is currently no ‘happy ever after’, that trauma continues to impact our lives on a daily basis. I understand this, I wish more than anything that I could give her a bit of happy. That I could give her a way for her to not feel like this. That I could give Little a way to not continually experience her big sister’s trauma. But when people can’t see or won’t acknowledge the continuing impact of her early experiences, it becomes so hard to open up.
The way we live our lives already leaves us isolated. We go into school early, we don’t talk to anyone on the way up the road, we don’t go to busy places, we never get invited to play at someone’s house, we do things quietly and on our own to try to help Big feel safe and regulated. Because most of what we experience happens when no one else is there, the feeling of isolation increases, there is no one to offer a hand or even a supportive smile, it’s just us.
So I find myself really needing to talk to someone but not really knowing how. Really wanting to share what we’re going through so it’s not just us. Really wanting someone to just listen.
The best bits
I played in a netball match this week. I ummed and ahhed about going because it meant missing bedtime but I went. We lost by two but it was so nice to feel part of something else.
Little found it hard for me to go, she wouldn’t say bye and told me she was cross. At bedtime she said to my husband. ‘Can we go and watch mummy play netball one day? Will mummy get a medal? If not she can have my medal, I’ll share it with her.’
Big made a card this week for my mum and dad. She spent a long time colouring a picture, cutting it out and covering the card in kisses. We managed to go to the post office and buy a stamp and she had a little smile on her face when she posted it.