I learned something about myself this weekend. It could be that by talking about some of the issues that I struggle with through this blog, I am able to make room for some of the more profound truths that I must struggle with. Like any disease, these mental diseases cause a vast amount of struggle that destroys the natural energy our souls use to exist.
I am heading into a bad place. This isn’t necessarily anything to cause alarm, but I know that it is coming. I know because it happens around this time of year, I know because the ability to take my medicine is becoming harder and harder, and I know because the ability to come back from a cliff that I am nearing is getting harder and harder. Simple, easy tasks are becoming harder, and my ability to be able to function within them is once again taking more patience, and more strength than I sometimes know I have.
But I learned this weekend that I have a crutch. I, personally, have no problem with crutches. I think they are important to use when one has to be “normal” or when one has to work through an issue without the sheer luxury of breaking down. We all live in the real world, and despite the demons that ride us, we must do so with some semblance of balance and control. Despite the fact that those demons ride us hard, we have to show the world we are normal as many times as we can; it is unfair, it is not ethical or good, but it is our truth. And crutches allow us to do it.
My crutches, I realized, are my children. My children are five and two, they are innocent, and probably have no concept that their mother is anything but normal. I certainly will never let them know the ways and wheres of my dependence on them; I will never allow them to feel the burden of their mother. A mother should never be a burden on the shoulders of the innocent child, and I would never give my soul another reason to hate myself by allowing it to happen. Trust me when I say, I already despise myself. No need to add to it.
When I break, when I fall apart and it physically feels like I am in a dark as night room with no way to find a way out, I look for my children. I consciously look to find that innocent smile, that unwavering belief that love exists, and that small, smooth hand to fit so perfectly in my own. I look for the laughter that fills their eyes, and the slight turn of their head when they discover something new; the concentration of discovery, and the absolute conviction of bravery. My children are one hundred percent normal, and within that normalcy I can find my own way. There are many paths that I could travel in that dark room, it is almost beautiful the sheer number of ways that I could fall, but with my small child’s magical touch I simply fly.
It is a great burden to place upon my children. It is an unfair act of a mother that is supposed to be selfless. I am supposed to be the one who guides, the one who lights the path so that my children can find their own way, but it doesn’t work that way in my world. In my world the children are the light, and I am just a moth following the flame. In my world the children are the innocent souls that remind me that God does in fact exist, and that there is a possibility of true beauty. In my world my children carry a great burden, the burden of saving their mother.
It is a burden my husband can not carry, nor my mother or father. It is a burden that is placed on my children without care, without a semblance of gentility, without a full conscious direction. My son will have to be great, as will my daughter, because somehow in the unfairness of this world they were given something few children ever feel; a price. Love for our children should be without strings, they should feel free to grow and thrive in a world not free of fear or darkness, but with a tunnel that allows them to always find a way out. They should be able to hold onto their innocence for as long as God allows.
Part of my soul hates the Holy Mother and her Child for this burden they have placed on my children. I look at the realization that my child will never be as free as those he plays tag with and I simply want to weep. My soul, my burden has to be my own. But I have found in my truth that my burden rests of those who never asked for it, and absolutely deserve to simply shrug it off and continue on their way. I will never forgive myself if they do not find a way to do just that.