All the written and unwritten rules and opinions and expectations of motherhood, womanhood, modern families, modern society; all the said and unsaid guilt, failures and struggles fill my head.
The pushing and pulling of instinct, need, duty, emotional sacrifice.
Why should daily life feel like a sacrifice?
Why are there so many different versions of me that they just don’t fit?
They simply don’t fit.
Yet there isn’t one I want to leave behind.
One day one gives. Another day another one gives. The housewife returns again and again: “Back by popular demand…”
Some versions leave for months or years at a time.
The reader puts her book away. The musician ceases playing – the sensitive types that think they won’t be missed.
There’s one I couldn’t leave behind if I tried – and I have tried – she’s the one that causes the most trouble: the solitary, quiet, thinking version.
Her need for quiet is deafening. Shhhh… Her withdrawal is suffocating.
She doesn’t give. She takes me with her.
“Not when all is said and done,” she says. “Now,” she says. “The time is now.”
She rips me away from the other versions of myself until I scream and let go.
I can’t help it.
But then I’m up, I’m breathing; I’m gasping for air!
She’s the only one that saw I was drowning.