Friday 2nd August
It’s midnight and I am lying in Donna’s conservatory, crying quietly. I don’t want anyone to hear me. My mum died earlier this week. If we are a pack of lions, she is the alpha male. When she roars, everyone stops and listens. But she’s not here.
Tonight, it started with a phone call. I spent 20 minutes too long on the phone and all hell broke loose. My Dad went berserk: how dare I! I dared because it was the first time this week I’d been able to talk about my mum, and feel like I’d lost her. It was the first time I’d talked about her without feeling numb. My Dad yelled that if my mum could see me now, she’d be disgusted; she’d be turning in her grave, so disappointed. I threw a water bottle down the stairs. The argument escalated fast, and my older sister attempted to assume the role of mum. But she’s not my mum. I roared at my sister, and when she wouldn’t let me through, I pushed past her and ran out of the house. As I walked down the street, I could still hear my Dad’s shouts. He was furious, and I was frightened.
It was dark and I couldn’t go home. I rang Donna, unable to keep my voice from breaking as I asked if I could stay with her for the night. She picked me up and we drove around for a while, talking.
I felt so angry at my Dad for trampling on my grief; I have spent so long this week, acknowledging his. I even let him have my Baloo bear, the one my mum died holding, because he asked. I ranted about my Dad to Donna, I was not only upset by his anger that night, but by his manipulating behaviour before my mum’s death. How he felt he needed to control everything, including me, and because of his grief, I had stepped back and let him.
As I talked with Donna, I realised that the intense relationship I had had with my father before my mother’s first diagnosis, was beginning to resurface. The argument forgotten, I began to panic. For as long as I lived with my Dad, the relationship would always be on his terms. He would make me into my mother. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my mum and very much want to be like her, but not in the married-to-my-Dad sense. I do not wish to be his wife.
I have to move out. The arguments will come to a natural end eventually; they are not a great concern. Everyone is high strung and emotional; arguments are to be expected at present. But for me to salvage this relationship with my Dad, it needs to be on my terms. And for our relationship to be on my terms, I cannot live in his house. It will break both of our hearts when I move out.
I lay here and cry; 4 days ago, where I am going to live was not a problem. If my mum was still here, I would not be considering moving out. I would be enjoying time with my parents. Now I’m wondering how I can move out and cause the least amount of pain.
I miss my mum. If she was here, she’d know just what to do.