I write today to commemorate (for want of a much more appropriate word…) a minor milestone.
Today begins my fiftieth year in existence, in this life anyway.
I won’t be celebrating. Conversely, I have much to mourn.
I have not been writing of late, and, therefore, those of you who remember me from postings before will have no more than an inkling of the car crash my life has become in the past couple of years.
Once upon a time, I was a hugely energetic, life-loving, nonchalant freebird who wandered the world, lived off my wits and relied on academic scholarships and bold-faced cheek to get me through. I purposely strayed from the main track, preferring the roads less travelled and by doing so, I met, in my opinion, far more interesting people along the way. So interesting, in fact, that I chose to study many of them at a PhD level before being politely booted off the course in my second year because, in the words of an eloquent professor at Syracuse University, I didn’t “fit the idiom.” To this day, I have no clue what that means, but it sounds like a jolly good phrase to hold onto.
Yet, here I sit, fifteen years on from those glorious, carefree, golden days, and my world has fallen to pieces.
I have lost many things in the last few months – job, income, house, dignity, mind. But far and away the most painful loss of all has been, sadly, my son, who is now in the “care” of the authorities and is not allowed to live with me anymore.
There is not a day, an hour, a moment that I don’t pine for my only child, wishing things could be different or that the clock could be turned back, and every day has become a challenge of extraordinary proportions just to be able to function on a most basic level.
But it’s my 49th birthday today, and I think it is important, for me at least, to now start to return to a state of conscious understanding and peel through the layers of madness to figure out just what went wrong. I want to tell our story, because there appears to be little helpful literature about domestic violence as perpetrated by a young child against a parent. But I don’t want to do it here. I would rather tell the story on a sister blog (yet to be constructed) because I want to keep “Alice through the Macro Lens” as a form of respite, for lighter postings.
My experiences in the last two years have led to an abysmal loss of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence, and I gave up those parts of me that gave me pleasure – including my photography and my writing. So I have been occasionally surprised when, even during my long absence from posting, I received messages from fellow bloggers, asking after me, and reminding me that the work I once presented on this blog was appreciated. And I thank you for that.
And, even under the current circumstances, I recognise that my son needs me to be a parent (however distant at the moment) who is strong, fulfilled, and confident in her abilities. So I will attempt to rise again, like the sycamore seedling that I photographed this morning rising from the rotting leaves and lichen on the forest floor. I will endeavour to regain my creative spirit, and I hope some of you will remain with me as I begin this second, difficult journey to some semblance of recovery.
© Alice through the Macro Lens