06.59am, Sunday morning. A simple Sunday morning just like every other. The sun is just peeking through the crack of my cheap velour Ikea curtains. Through the damp haze which blurs the usually sharp outline I can tell there is a chill in the air. The kind of chill that signals the start of September, a change is a foot.
Yet today I don’t welcome the morning. I feel heavy. So, so heavy. I glance across at my Albie. My beautiful precious baby boy. He’s still. Not his usual babbling self, climbing and grabbing at me in an effort to wake me from my blissful slumber. He feels the weight. The pressure of the day that is to come. He lies still, watching me. His ever evolving eyes bearing deep inside me. Eyes that have so much soul, so deep for a baby not yet 12 months old, too deep for one so young.
Our eyes connect and I feel his sadness, my sadness reflected. My glance is distracted by a black mark on the silk pillow. The evidence of what transpired last night. The mark of my turmoil. The stains of my tears leaving a physical mark for all to see, unlike the ones hidden; buried deep inside me, locked away for eternity. Those tears, all those heavy heartfelt tears, the tears I cried for him and his betrayal. The tears I cried for a love lost, a life forgotten and memories never made. Now stained, no – tattooed deep on to my core. But these tear stains are not for him. I won’t cry any more tears for him. I can’t.
Those stains were made crying for another heart, a hurting heart, an angry heart. The broken heart of my innocent Oliver. Too old to be sheltered too young to understand, nevertheless he feels the pain, the grief, he mourns a life that will never be. All those emotions too complicated to express a vocab not yet mature enough to articulate the complexities of thoughts rolling around his mind. As if puberty wasn’t enough to handle he now has a whole new life to navigate. A life he didn’t ask for, a life he doesn’t want, but yet this is the life he has.
So it’s not surprising, I guess, that today I wake to the aftermath of his wroth. An anger derived from hurt, a burden carried for so long that it finally exploded like a disturbed volcano. Molten larva sprayed all over me, yet I’m frozen to the spot. All I can do is watch as my freckled-face boy breaks his heart. His tears gushing like burst dams down his face. Teeth clenched and fists balled as his shouts and screams that this is all my fault. I’m ruining his life. I’ve ruined his life!! After all I married that man, so by default I did this, I caused it. I’m the root of his turmoil.
In the heat of the moment, the rawness of emotion over comes me and so we stand, fighting fire with fire. Words are spoken, words that will never be forgotten, words that can never be undone. Another line in the tattoo permanently left deep on the soul. This time his soul. An innocent soul. The real victim in all this.
He goads me to hit him as I stand holding Albie, his physical touch shocks me. Shoving me and pushing me, a sight I thought I would never see. That’s not him. That’s not my sweet gentle boy. I’m scared, angry and ashamed. Ashamed that I failed him. I failed him on every level. I failed to teach him how to express himself without violence, I failed to teach him right from wrong, I failed to make him feel safe. Surely that’s every basic human’s right.; to feel safe? To know you’re loved? Yet standing here right now reflecting on what has been, I know he doesn’t. He feels let down, disappointed in me. The one person in the world a boy should be able to rely on is his mother. I failed to protect him from the harsh reality of life, from the cruelness this world has to offer.
Eventually we go to our corners, him crying in his solitude, me in mine. I can’t stand it. The echo of his sobs consume the house. A house not yet a home. Sure it has our “stuff” in it. But there’s no joy – no laughter -no memories to recall in times of need. Only sadness and fear fills this house.
Despite my anger, my tears, I go to him. To my baby boy. I hold him. I make him feel my love. He doesn’t want it. I feel his resistance, his defences are up. He bristles as I touch him. But I am stronger in my embrace. Eventually he weakens and he holds me back. It’s a small gesture. It’s my apology it’s my silent way of saying, “I’ll do better tomorrow”. ” I’ll try again to steal away your pain”. Then to sleep.
Now here, in the mist of daybreak I’ll collect myself. Try to gather some strength, some words of comfort, someway to heal the wounds of a mindless senseless war in which my child is the victim and I pray for peace. Not quiet peace but peace of mind for my baby boy. My boo.
Until then I will carry your hurting heart. x