The Walnut under the Mountain

I'm drowning.

I'm in bed, at 10.30 on a Saturday morning, because I can't bring myself to get up and face the day. Face Him.

On Thursday afternoon, Tickle head butted me, full in the face. In the nose, actually. It was incredibly painful, and would have been even worse if I hadn't read his body language and reflexively started to move backwards. I suspect a trip to A&E would have been on the cards.

Since the incident, I haven't really spoken to him. Husband and Gran between them have picked up the slack, and I've not had to do much more than say goodnight.

I'm struggling with the idea of being in the same room as him. I was thinking earlier that he doesn't even feel like my son any more, though when I came to write it down I was relieved to find it didn't feel quite right. I do still have that tiny knot, deep in my stomach that connects me to him, though at the moment it feels like a walnut buried under a mountain.

Mostly at the moment he feels like an imposter. An intruder. Someone who has erupted into my life and caused utter chaos, terror, and pain. I know it's not his fault, and usually that's enough to fuel my compassion, my patience. But after sixteen months of this, of the never-ending cycle of escalation, a slight unwinding (always temporary) and then ramping back up again, I am worn out.

It feels like it's getting worse, even though it's not really. I can see all the ways he's improved, too many to list here really, he's making huge progress. What I think has happened is that my resilience has stripped away, layer by layer. Every time he hurts me. Every time he hurts Fairy. Every time he shouts at me, bangs his fists on the floor in anger. Throws things. Breaks things. It wears me down.

I know that the best thing to do right now would be to go and play with him, tickle him, make him laugh, replace the difficult memories with happy ones. But I can't. I see his face right in front of mine, looking in to my eyes with anger and hurt. I see the split second before he head butts me. I feel the months of love I have poured in to his little body, which in that moment mean nothing at all because he only wants to inflict pain. I feel like I am worthless. I am spent.

I worry that I can't keep Fairy safe. I worry that he is going to do something tiny and that I'll blow up at him. I worry he's going to do something huge and I'll break down. Again.

I broke down on Thursday, big time. Sobbed in to Gran's shoulder. Freaked Tickle out, devastated Fairy. She told me afterwards that she had wanted to come and give me a cuddle but as Tickle was still in the room she was worried she was going to get hurt. Gran found her crying on my bed, curled up in the foetal position.

That night when Tickle said goodnight to me, he said "I hope you feel better soon Mummy and can stop all that crying."

To this day I don't even quite know whether he understands what happened. He's usually pretty good at acknowledging what he did, although at the time he dissociates to the point where he doesn't always remember. But on Thursday he was really struggling to acknowledge the link between what he had done and me crying. I can understand why; the shame, guilt, horror of what he had done was a lot to take in. You could see it on his face; understanding starting to dawn, and then the creeping grin and glazed over eyes which is the sure sign that whatever's in his head is too much to deal with.

I just don't know how much longer I can keep doing this. Disruption is starting to feel more real. (For the uninitiated, that means sending him back in to care.) It would be horrific, and I don't think any of us would ever get over it, but I simply do not know how much longer I can go on like this.

We have just started therapy. It's our last hope. It's our only hope. That, and the tiny little walnut, buried under the mountain, are the only things keeping me going today.


  1. Words are easy to trot out so I'll not try. I get it. If you can seek help.

    1. Thanks. Our new therapist seems good, I'm seeing her again this week. Writing helps too, I'm better now than when I wrote this. x

  2. Your thoughts, your feelings, your fears - i hope it helps to know that in none of these are you alone x


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