Do I have to, from now on because my sister bailed, always be the good daughter, the dependable one, the responsible, the respectable one? … The one who is there for my parents all the time? The one who has to help get my mother out of her brutal angry depression, answer her every call and be sensitive around her, although when every word could and will be taken against me, because the daughter she actually wants to lash out at is not here and doesn’t care to listen. The one who has to call my father up every now and then to remind him that he still has a daughter, because after he has denounced my sister, he decided to disappear from mine as well; probably in hope to try not to be reminded that she exists and how much he fucked up. It is damn draining…. plus how can I do all that, when although I am a parent, inside I’m still this little girl, who deep down still needs her parents? I’m still a little girl who wants to enjoy her mom and dad, before it’s too late. A girl who still needs their love and honesty and encouragement… who needs their wisdom and advice… and most of all, who needs her support system. However, they now only have one focus… her, although because of her they fell weak and frail and sad.
I am and will forever more be a mother. Although I sometimes feel that having kids has somehow ruined my life, they also unquestionably give me a reason to live when life tries to ruin me. But children are noisy and demanding and cranky and moody and require attention, and it is not just the easy kind of attention that we can do while watching a game or scrolling through social media although that can be done, noooo; they need the attentive kind of attention. They need the kind that requires us to actually listen to what they say and do and to be vigilant to their emotions. The need us to concentrate on the tone we use when we talk to them, whatever we say and regardless how we ourselves are feeling. They need us to always pay attention to what we are feeding their tiny minds and aware of how that will affect their behaviour later on… and it’s not just the existential questions, but every question. Part of being a parent also entails repetition… lots of it, every day each day, a million times a day… lots of lets go and hurry up and we’re late along with well done and overreacted waaaws and you’re amazing just the way you are and singing a stupid nursery rhyme over and over again until it become your ear worm. The older they get, I feel my life is on repeat every day, with lesser moments to document.
Nevertheless, I am so damn grateful they are coming to me for their questions now and require my attention now, because as they grow older they’ll either figure it out on their own or find it elsewhere. I am also continuously hunted with this innate scream that makes have to be nothing but a responsible mother who is there for her girls. A mother who helps them with homework, play board games, talk to them about their day at school, watch their faces light up when they have a play date, religiously take them to training and trying be cheerful when I put them to sleep.
But I also so fucking miss being free of this weight bearing responsibility, where I can travel all the trips I missed out on and have the fun I did not have the freedom to have, before I am too old and tired to enjoy them. I also want to go back to work, pursue a career, start a project and maybe do my PhD… I want to be something and make a difference. A bachelor’s in science and two masters degrees and I am doing nothing but babysit and it is driving me insane.
I am still a wife, but do I have to stay the loyal behaved wife? For 15 years I was nothing but loyal, nothing but a good wife, who buries her own desires and needs to be that person I should be, until I lost whomever I was supposed to be. A wife, to a person, who abused my every emotion and stepped on all my toes and was never my support nor ever had my back. A wife!… something I consciously have to remind myself. Nevertheless, I am still this teenager inside, who feels that I grew up too fast and life passed me by… a teenager, from whom it could be acceptable, to be irresponsible at times and maybe a little bit rash every now and then. A teenager, who wants to explore lots of my missed-out sexuality that I never dared to probe… one who wants to host gatherings my way, go to parties that I want to go to, dance like no one is looking and get irresponsibly drunk every now and then… one who wants to flirt with strangers, experiment my bisexuality, enjoy one-night stands and experience all kinds of threesomes… A person who wants to once again believe in romanticism and love and passion and intimacy. A woman who wants more desire and lust in her life and most certainly does not want to settle. Someone who can open the door naked every time and walk the street bra-less and be lusted over whenever I feel like it. I need my irresponsible, experimental years back, because my choice in contrast to that, was an unsatisfactory unloving unworthy marriage.
However, I am tormented by the fear of ever slipping into my fantasy or wannabe world. This family cannot take another scandal, it will not withstand one… so very careful and closed up I should remain. I need to somehow remain the responsible, respectable one and in someway maintain that socially conditioned image, because we already have one loose cannon in the family that blew us up with shame and humiliation and neither my parents, my kids nor my marriage deserve a scandal.
But it hurts to always have to be the good one… because I am not! I do not want to be the dependable daughter, nor the faithful wife, nor the respectable person, nor the responsible mother all the fucking time and right now not at all!