I’ve typed this sentence a thousand times and then erased it because the words aren’t perfect. I can’t spell. I don’t really understand when to use commas or full stops. I don’t have a wide vocabulary. I think the word ‘thus’ is a fancy word and I try to use it wherever I can. My granny used to read the dictionary. How can such a book be read? I wonder do many people read the dictionary. Just read it from a to z. I might read the dictionary.
My medication has been upped from 25mg to 50mg. I take one a day. A few months ago I went to see my doctor to review where I was with things. I told him, “I feel like the sky. Either my head is cloudy, or else things seem bright and hopeful and I feel warm and fuzzy. Other times it’s a bit in-between.” I said, “I’m like the UK weather. You never know what it’s gonna do, and I never know what my heads gonna do.” My doctor laughed at me like I had made a joke. People do that a lot, they say I’m funny but don’t realise it. I don’t really know what that means.
It’s quite sunny today and I’m feeling partly cloudy with a chance of rain. I set my alarm every day to remind me to take my pill. 08:04am. I set it for that time because that’s when I have my breakfast. My mum freaks out over numbers like that. When the TV volume is on 17, she has to change it to 20. She’s always been obsessive about that kind of thing, so I’ve decided to be the opposite. Uneven numbers are my thing. My mum thinks I’m weird, but I think she’s weird too.
I like to write poems and draw cartoon characters. I’m not very good and people say to me that I should give up, but I’m not doing it for anyone else so I don’t see what’s wrong. My mum sings in the shower and is very out of tune but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t sing does it? I’m not trying to be famous. I wouldn’t like to be famous. I feel quite sorry for famous people. Everyone comments on how they look and what they do. I wouldn’t like people judging me so much; it’s not very nice. I don’t like not nice people.
I walk to school every day and then walk home. I’m not very smart, but I like school. I have to go to extra help classes sometimes, but that’s ok. Some people pick on me and call me the weird or special kid. I usually just ignore it but sometimes it makes me feel sad and I go home and hide under my bed. I usually just lie there and cry. I try not to do that anymore because it makes my mum sad. But it’s better for me to cry than to throw chairs at the bullies- that made my mum even sadder.
My mum is sad quite a lot. She doesn’t like the cuts and scars on my arms and legs. If my sleeve slips up and she sees the lines then she goes all quiet. I know to make my own dinner and do my own washing when that happens. But usually I just go under my bed and count my scars and my pills. When I’m ready to come out I change the volume of the TV to 20 and make sure every picture in the house is even and make sure there is no sign of dirt or dust anywhere and that everything in the house is proportioned just to make my mum happy. I think sometimes she feels cloudy with a few showers but she doesn’t talk about it, so neither do I.
I got home from school today and shouted hello but got no response so I went into the kitchen to get a snack, I felt like prawn cocktail crisps. I walked through the door only to find my Mum slouched at the table with her mouth wide open and her eyes tightly shut. In front of her was a bottle that was half empty, or half full depending on how you like to look at it. The stench of alcohol was strong. My stomach grumbled and I wondered whether I should eat my crisps or wake my Mum up first. I decided I would get the crisps out from the cupboard but wake my Mum up before I ate them. So I reached up to the cupboard and opened it.
My Mum organises everything in the kitchen in a certain way. Sometimes it’s in alphabetical order; sometimes it’s by size. She changes her mind and it’s hard for me to keep up. The crisps were usually on the first shelf, but she had moved them to the third shelf and put them in a box. I could barely touch the box with my fingertips even when I stood on my tippytoes and stretched as far as I could. I managed to move it a millimetre with each touch and eventually I managed to grab hold of it. Pulling it towards me I knocked a tin of beans to the floor. It thumped against the counter denting the tin and landed on the ground with a whack and rolled noisily towards where my Mum was sitting. I stood as still as a statue closing my eyes tightly afraid of the noise I had created. It was enough to wake her up. In a panic I tried to put the box back only to knock more tins down. I whispered ‘No no no’ before my Mum slurred loudly “Look what you’ve done!” I told her I was sorry over and over again backing away as she came closer swinging the half empty or half full bottle of alcohol. “I never wanted you and I STILL don’t want you.” I tried not to cry because I know she doesn’t mean it, she’s just sad. Sometimes when your sad it’s easy to be angry at everyone else and say things you don’t mean. I hope she knows I understand that.
My Mum drinks a lot usually. I think she uses it as her medication. She’s thrown many bottles at me that smash around me and it’s like raining glass. Sometimes I clean it up straight away, sometimes I run and hide under my bed, and sometimes I take a sharp piece of glass and use it to help relieve how I feel. It’s weird that hurting yourself can make you feel better. When I get the urge I try to stop it by drawing red lines on my arm, or snapping an elastic band on my wrist, or I write a poem, or draw a comic strip. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
After today I think my medication dosage will go up. I don’t know what the top dosage is, but it feels like I’m climbing a ladder each time my medication is increased. Not in a making progress kind of way, but in a kind of stepping further away from normality. I’m getting higher up the ladder and I’m afraid of heights and I’m slowly losing sight of life below. I don’t like this ladder. I’m hiding under my bed now, counting my scars and my pills. There’s too many and I’m losing count and if it was my Mum she would freak out over the uneven numbers.
Sometimes I think it would be easier for my Mum if I weren’t here. I’ve written a note many times that I’m going to leave, but usually she’s too drunk to read it and I change my mind and decide to clean up after her and make sure everything is perfectly neat and tidy instead.
Looking at the cupboards in the kitchen I couldn’t understand how my Mum was currently organising everything. I’m too stupid to know. She was sleeping on the sofa but she came into the kitchen and looked a bit rough. She just ignored me and tidied up by herself. The silence hurt. After a while she closed the cupboard door and turned to look at me and simply said, “I love you.” She burst into tears and left the room, I just stood there. I didn’t do anything.
Sitting in my room I wrote my mum a note- ‘Dear Mum, I love you too.’ It was simple and maybe I should have said more but I didn’t want to make her sad if my grammar or spelling or wording was all wrong. I posted the note under her bedroom door and went back to my room and lay under my bed. A few minutes later she came in and I crawled out and stood in front of her. She didn’t say anything and neither did I, she just hugged me tightly and that was it. Sometimes words don’t say as much as a hug.
There will be days that I’ll still hide under my bed, and I’ll sometimes go up the ladder and I’ll sometimes go down, sometimes I’ll be partly cloudy with a chance of rain and other times I’ll be sunshine. Just because you’re happy one day it doesn’t mean you’re cured, and just because you’re sad doesn’t mean you just need a cup of tea to make it better. It’s complicated, we’re complicated, life is complicated and to uncomplicate it I’m going to make things easier for my Mum. She knows I love her, and it’s time for me to go.