“I can’t do it anymore!” I said it. It was not easy but I needed to let emotions go and tell the truth. I didn’t know it but I had hit parental burnout. It did not come out of nowhere but I had kept the situation at a distance for some time. I did not want to show my weaknesses. I did not want people to see this side of me.
For months and months I kept repeating to myself that I could manage, that some other women had more than one kid, some had more issues, illness, parents to deal with and they could make it work at the end of the day. Therefore, I could too.
The breaking point Then, one day, I found myself locked in the bathroom, crying. Tears were heavy and on the other side of the door was my kid but I could not come out; I could not find the strength to make a step towards him; I could not get past my anger and pain—like I had many times in the past—and give him a hug.
I was not myself anymore. In addition, after every crisis, I hated myself. I was afraid of my violence, of the words, of what my own body and mind were able to do towards the most precious person of my life. I even asked myself at some stage if I really loved my son and if it would not be better to let him go live with other people. Home wasn’t safe. Family life felt like hell.
I remember. The first autumn. When you were in my belly, when I used to talk to you about the season, about my wishes for the ones to come.
I was happy in a way. Leaves were turning brown and I was drafting our future, the walks we would do hand in hand, the sound of the rain, the rustle around, the song of the wind, the warmth of a sunday afternoon by the sea.
Knowing you were there gave me the strenght to live through the dark hours ahead. I was not alone anymore and I could tell you about all the beauty, all the wonderful of life. I never doubted it. I never allowed anybody to come between you and me.
Autumn was tender when winter was harsh. I lose my mind many times. And yet I kept talking to you, like a madwoman most of the time. But I cared you know. I cared so much. I wanted the best for you and I took the chance, even if it came with chaos and violence, even if at a time I thought of giving you away. So somebody else could take care of you.
Year after year, autumn comes as a reminder of love shared, of love like the most powerful tool to overcome the worst. I knew I would not have left if it’s not for you. You were the green light on the road, that we took together, hand in hand. Always.