Bitter Lemons

Sometimes I just want to write and write and write. But I can’t because too many people know me and I have to censor what is written. I don’t want to drop any huge bombshells or go on a rant about friends or colleagues, I just want that freedom to share some of the things that lay hidden and buried, like an unfermented piece of lemon at the bottom of the compost- too bitter for the worms to swallow. I can’t talk my words if that makes sense. The moment my mouth opens, the words sound whiny and empty or maybe that’s just because they are linked to my face. Maybe it’s my expression as I speak, which nullifies the true depth of what I am trying to express. I think it harks to childhood. The desperation to be accepted and the anger at feeling pushed away. The strong entities in my life that I hated and adored at the same time. Their ability to turn (in my mind) totally justifiable protestations into mere whinges or at best, petulant tantrums. That feeling of never being quite good enough.

The EO is living this currently. She, too, has the luxury of these same figures advancing upon her self-esteem with the ferocity of the Queen or Bishop on the chessboard. Don’t look away, they have crept up closer. She, too, is battling with the horrors of rejection and I see her sink lower each day. I don my armour and stand her ground but I am invisible, to her and to everyone else. ‘Not my battle Chloe’, I remind myself, ‘not my battle’.

What I am trying to teach her is that these are lessons. Really shitty, shitty lessons. We both have the tendency to over-dramatise. I think it is probably one of the crappier legacies she and I have been left.. fed down from my grandmother if not before her. Strong women but harbouring a fontanelle the size of a fucking lake. Knowing what, but not knowing how. How can she reset this so that she doesn’t follow this same self-destructive path? How can I guide her without leading? How can I teach her that the views of others are not worth a lack of self respect? She sees the changes I have made but like a missile on a preset route, she continues on her way.

The one thing that (almost completely) giving up alcohol has done, is forced me to really scrutinise why I drank. In the last few months, flashbacks of memories long suppressed, jump in my view as I turn the corner on my way home. A sharp intake of breath and panic as I see a scenario play out before me and I quickly swot it aside so that I don’t crash. Encounters I can never, ever take back.

I think back to being 16, living in a student flat share and drinking at some ridiculous time in the day because one of my college mates had witnessed shocking behaviour the night before and laid into me about it. I remained on my own in the flat, polishing off half a litre bottle of vodka, cider, wine.. anything that remained. I took about 14, apparently harmless, tablets and I passed out for nearly 2 days. I woke up in my own urine, fading in and out of consciousness. I wish that sort of story was a one off but it isn’t. There are so many painful and heart-rending, not to mention fucking stupid, situations that I put myself into. Situations I refused to believe were bad at the time. That I argued were ‘my choice’. And now, like a proper pissed off lioness, I prowl the maze of my daughter’s mind, trying to do what I know cannot be done.

Alcohol has not been good for me. If I think back, I can attribute pretty much every stupid thing I have done, down to alcohol and a lack of self esteem. A false sense of bravado. Fun at times maybe.. but also so full of danger, for me and others I have been with. I can’t and don’t want to stop anyone from drinking, unless they have that tiny little inkling… that they too can link alcohol to a large percentage of errors in their lives. If that’s the case.. comment below. The more people that admit there is an issue, the stronger we can be.

To stop myself from going completely insane, I am practising mindfulness meditation using this book. in the hope that I can create enough space between my thoughts and my actions. I’m basically hoping that a sense of serenity will pervade our house (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) and that in time, I will no longer need feet because I will simply glide…….. yeah.. wish me luck on that one 🙂

One thought on “Bitter Lemons

  1. “…………like a proper pissed off lioness, I prowl the maze of my daughter’s mind” brilliant metaphor.
    You have a wonderful way with words, so graphic and evocative.
    Keep writing. I’m sure it must be cathartic if it does nothing else, but I’m sure it’s a help to others too

    Liked by 1 person

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