I managed to get to work on Friday. Hard wasn't the word and by the end of the day I was exhausted.
I did a good job, I think, of being "ok". I laughed with the girls and I chatted. I caught up on my work, mostly. I did what was expected of me without complaint.
I came home and forced my way through a slumber party for Poppet and spent Saturday cleaning and cooking, being mum and wife.
Today I am functioning, just, Cooking and cleaning. Washing and ironing and playing nurse to the eldest who is not very well and of course running around after Poppet who is as demanding as ever.
All the while I am listening to the screams and shouts from the Asylum. Ellie wants control, to kick some butt, make me stand up for myself and tell the world to "Fuck the Hell off!" She doesn't understand why I allow others to put upon me. She is yelling at me for being weak, "Just walk away for gods sake.", she will never know what it is like to be in a relationship with anyone other than herself.
The Princess is feeling neglected and unloved. She demands attention, to be held and rocked, to be told everything is going to be ok and someone else is there to take care of her. She wants to run and play, have fun! She cries at me, says I don't let her out anymore. I don't provide her with laughter and games. I cannot get through to her that I don't have the strength.
It's the Shadow Child thats winning this fight. Her embrace brings the darkness, the silence is her gift. SC wants me to curl up and she will allow the shadows to hide me from reality. Her promises are lies and hide the truth - I know what lies within the shadows. She is trying to persuade me, with her in control, the physical being that I am will get the respite it requires. I will shut down and let exhaustion claim me. I, Nora, will then be locked in the Asylum. SC will tease me " I will surround you with the silence you crave. I offer you the chance to escape and build your own reality, away from the noise, distractions and demands put upon you. You will be able to sleep comfortably safe in the cocoon I will create for you. Let me nurture you and calm your soul and I will take you away from the edge, show you the delights of the darkness."
She is the one I need to fight today. Her temping words are hard to resist but I know her darkness having been trapped there before. The craving I have for silence can be satisfied only by her but at a price. The Shadow Child will torture me with the secrets she hides in her depths. Replaying the memories that have scarred my life until my resolve weakens and I am her prisoner again. She offers the fix to my addiction, oblivion, in addition to the pain she inflicts.
Last night a film was projected upon the back of my closed eyelids. The Shadow Child blinkers my eyes so my vision is focussed on the scene before me; A young girl, scarred and bewildered, staggers from a tent. There is laughter coming from inside. A cruel and viscous sound from two boys not much older than the girl. She rearranges her clothes and wipes the tears from her eyes, tries her best to look presentable, as she begins the walk home. She wont tell, she promised, too frightened by the boys threats to hurt her again. She can't tell. She shouldn't have been playing this far from home to begin with, especially with boys. She never tells. This will go with all her other dirty secrets. To be locked away in her mind, to try and forget. Walking home she feels the rage building but with no way of spending the excess energy she decides to lock it away also. This energy festers.
The scene is replayed again. Details become sharper, clearer. The scene lengthens, I do not want to watch but SC has me in a vice like grip as she laughs, revelling in my pain. Her laughter is drowned out by the voices on the screen. Two boys joking around - a young girl smitten, giggling, follows them to their den. I am fighting hard to wake, when awake I have the tools to view these memories as an objective bystander and not the victim. I am losing this battle and I began to scream out to the girl as the tent is zipped closed. Theres no chance of escape for both of us. I get to watch the scene over and over again throughout the night.
Upon waking I am shaken, exhuasted and emotional.
I start my day with a heavy heart and a cloud of shame. I hide my feelings away, put on my mask, its time to function.