Today I cried, but I did it hiding in my room so that nobody saw me. I feel that up until now, I have been the strong one and have looked after everybody else while they have gone through hell. I feel that, now, after a few weeks have passed,without tears, I am not entitled to cry any more . I have been accepted as the strong one, the one able to cope, the one that will cook dinner, hand wash sweaters, distract Skye if someone else bursts into tears, clean up, hug and reassure others.
But, slowly, slowly, I have felt something building up in me. Mum hasn’t turned up at the door. She hasn’t sent me a text or email, or been sitting on her bed when I have walked into her room. I know that she is gone, but I can’t quite get my head around it. It still feels like she is away on a job abroad. But I am starting to feel the gap left by her, the only other female in the family. The other night I found myself emptying the tumble dryer of 5 mens worth of jumbled socks and underpants, baffled as to what belonged to who. In the end I lay them all out in a line in the hall, instructing everyone to help themselves.
What was it that set me off today? A small insignificant thing that wasn’t worth the tears: Dad took Skye out to play in a large muddy park. He put her new pink shoes on her feet, instead of her wellies. It was wet and muddy in the park. The shoes are ruined, but apparently it doesn’t matter, the mud will come off, he says. But if I had taken her to the park with those new shoes on, he would have scolded me like a naughty child. I would have turned to Mum for reassurance that I was right and she would have backed me up. But I am on my own now, there is no understanding female to turn to.
I probably shouldn’t be spilling my heart out here, but after a couple of glasses of wine, I feel more confident and care free. I acted like a child tonight, and refused to eat dinner. I went out for a drive in my pink fluffy slippers, without telling anyone, realising too late that there was nowhere I wanted to drive to. I came home, tail between my legs and flounced up to my room. I still felt like crying but then Dan phoned. I had promised him that I will always be there to look after him, so I chatted on the phone, promised to bake him a cake for Friday night and asked him about work. That made me feel a bit better, remembering that I have to be there for him. I,ll cope by taking care of others, I might have some bad moments, but as long as somebody asks me to cook dinner or wash or fix something fo them, I'll be OK.