Roundabouts and rollercoasters
She hates you.
A phrase I have heard before and thought many times myself. I remember screaming it at my parents when I was young, probably more times than I would like to remember. Over petty things like not being able to go out, not being given the money I wanted, not being given what I wanted for my birthday. Screaming at my parents ‘I hate you.’ I’ve heard children do it as well. Exasperated parents of teenagers listening to their own flesh and blood say ‘I hate you’ with malice in their eyes. I was once one of them, I joined the ranks of parent haters all around the world and now in some cruel twist of fate I am that parent.
Martha has been on edge all weekend, we have both been up and down, round and round it feels like at any moment I could be flung from a roundabout on to a roller coaster plummeting towards earth with no end in sight. Tonight we hit a tipping point, as I showered, brushed my teeth and moisturized Martha’s brain was devising a story about me. As I emerged bright eyed from the bathroom and into the laundry I got two paces before realizing I was stuck. A door that opens towards me and has no lock was not opening.
‘Ah, Martha, can you let me out?’
A defiant ‘NO’, I began to pull on the door and managed to get it slightly open. My hand now between the door; and Martha pulling harder towards her. Both of us fighting the war of the door.
‘I hate you’ she screams, ‘I hate you, you need to get out of my house, you don’t belong here’
My brain races, ‘yeah well, I hate you too’ I think.
I finally get outside the door and she storms the five paces to her own room, I am right behind her and manage to stand between the door and the frame before she can slam it.
‘I’ll scream the house down, get out, GET OUT’
At this moment I feel lost. My brain is going a hundred miles an hour;
- If I leave her alone will she be more agitated?
- If I stay will she get more agitated?
- Should I call the crisis line?
- Should I call an ambulance?
- Would more medication calm her?
- Is she sick?
- Is she tired?
- Will she hurt herself if I leave her alone?
- Will she hurt me?
- Is she safe?
- Am I safe?
‘I’m waiting for my Shaany and my Kyrin.’
Tears start to stream and she shows no empathy for me, she is annoyed I am sitting in her room, on her bed.
My voice is calm but shaky as I fight my way through emotions bubbling on the surface, ‘Martha, do you want to tell me about Shaan and Kyrin?’
She closes her eyes and I don’t know if she is pretending to sleep or not but I am grateful eitherway. I stand up and turn off the lights and as I leave the room I whisper; ‘Goodnight Mum, I love you.’ I hear her murmur ‘love you too’ and I step into darkness.