Normal.

What I’d give for normal.

Today I sat in a cafe with my little girl, waiting for our order to arrive. In walked a group of people which is ascertained to be a couple with their newborn, the woman’s mother, aunt and grandmother. They cheerily chatted and ordered and seemed so very normal.

What I would give for that kind of life. A life where my mother can come out for lunch with us. A mother who remembers her only grandchild’s birthday. A mother who is not so all-consumed by depression that she disappears off the face of the planet for weeks on end. Who doesn’t answer calls, who ignores the door each time you knock and who gazes blankly into space on the rare occasion you are able to get into the house.

I am not strong enough to deal with this alone. I have been parenting my mother since the death of my father when I was a child.

There is literally no-one else to help shoulder the emotional toll. I always wished for a sibling as a child. Having the kind of childhood I experienced is not the sort of thing that is easily dealt with alone.

How can I keep everyone else afloat when I am sinking myself?

Never underestimate the power of normal.

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