I don't remember much of my mum. I don't have many memories of her while I was growing up. The only image I have of her is her current one. I know how she looks now, I know how she behaves now and how she loves her dog, Delilah, but I can't remember how she used to look like or act like ten years ago. Sometimes I try to think how she was before she got her job but I can't remember that either. The strongest memories I have of my mother is when it was Christmas and she was heavily pregnant with my brother. I remember her being in the kitchen wrapping mine and my sister's presents, with her huge belly being on the way. She told me to close my eyes when the turn of my gifts came and she told me not to look where she was hiding the presents. Of course I looked and I ran to my sister, gave away the hiding place and we went and peeped, tearing only slightly the wrapping paper. I don't remember what I got that year but I know that I was jealous of my sister's huge doll with long, elastic arms and legs, which you could wear and walk around with it.
The next memory is New Year's Day 2000. We used to have guests every New Year's day and it was right after our guests had left. We were in my brother's room and we were fighting. I don't remember why, but I remember I was yelling at her that she has no idea who I am. Pretty dramatic for an eight-year-old I have to admit. That night I witnessed my mum's first panic attack. Years later, she confessed to me that for at least six months after that day she was battling with
clinical depression, but I was too young to remember her being ill. I vaguely remember how scared I was every time she was having panic attacks, and how I was trying to be good because mum had 'sensitive nerves'.
Thinking back to it now, and after she had a relapse when I was much older I can't help but feel culpable. It comes from the fact that every time my mum had a panic attack it was because I said or did something. And the funny thing is that she has told me that her very first nervous breakdown was when she was pregnant to me. Coincidental? I don't think so. And when I was seventeen and she was taking all those antidepressants I felt so angry at her. I was a teenager, I had every right to be an idiot, aggressive, melodramatic and everything a teenager should be. But I couldn't because if I behaved like a teenager my mum would get sad and maybe kill herself. I felt she was selfish taking that away from me, not realising that the selfish one was me.
We talked about it a couple of years ago and she said that she got scared when she realised that she was so ill that she wasn't capable of caring about us. She said that she only wanted to sleep and she didn't want to deal with our lunch or our homework, if we brushed our teeth or anything. She just wanted to be left alone. Even today it scares me to think that my mum had all these thoughts, not so much about her not wanting to deal with us, more about the moment she realised she doesn't care about her children and how awful and guilty she must have felt.
My mum is alright now. She still takes her medication, she says that it doesn't hurt taking them as a precaution. I know she is probably addicted, but it's fine because she is better now, she has her job, she finally has friends and she loves doing her nails with awful kitsch colours that I hate, but I'll never admit that to her. She looks happier now.
I am not sure yet if I want to sing you or write you.
I lie at the backseats of your car with my eyes shut, half-conscious half-awake, while my mind is trying to guess how much of the road home we have done already. And then I open my eyes and I am disappointed that we only did this much. And for a fraction of a second I do not recognise this building and I believe that you are taking me somewhere else, somewhere where magic exists. You pull under your flat and I cry because the disappointment of not going somewhere else, broke my heart. You ask what is wrong now, and I say I don't know, I don't know why this keeps happening. You believe me but you keep pretending that you don't believe me. You are afraid. You don't trust me these days, you worry that I lie even when I'm saying the truth. Even though I do lie now.
What will happen now, when will we be free? I hate everything. I hate him and her, and the other one, and I hate mambo and sex. Your drugs are boring, and your dance moves are always the same and I hate you. I hate planes, English, ashtrays, plastic bags, I hate lies, but especially the truth. I hate New Years Eve and electric fireplaces and the fact that every tattoo should have an important meaning and I hate the book binding that is based more on glue rather than thread. Your high-school annoys me and your friends are stupid. Your fears are childish and your car is fat.