She stepped out of the taxi, a smile plastered on her face. Her inner voice was gently stroking her bruised ego, telling her that it would be ok. Everything would be ok, if she just kept saying the mantra to herself.
She reached back and took the little boys hand, her grip firm, she didn’t want to lose him in the rush. Her brain was frazzled, the noises overwhelmed her senses, people coming at her from every angle. She pulled harder on the little boys hand, urging him to walk faster, a whispered challenge that she was going to get to the top of the escalator first.
He took off like a shot, she smiled as he turned around, shouting for her to watch him as he walked backwards up the escalator. Everything was new and exciting to him, she was the sole receiver of his attention. He shied away when spoken to by others, preferring to not talk at all.
She tried to focus on his smiling face, on how much fun he was having. She knew that this wouldn’t last forever, that if a few years she would have to drag him shopping. However she could feel eyes on her, she tried to put her head down, focus on the little boy and his carefree attitude. It rarely worked.
It felt like everyone was looking at her, the side ways glances were for her. They were looking at her, judging, making assumptions. He was a good kid, she was a good mum she tried to reassure herself, but it was too late. The beating heart had started, she knew that she needed to get the shopping done. She could feel her skin start to prickle, the noises were louder she was sure of it. People bumped into her, there were too many people in her space.
She tried to keep it together, she needed to keep it together. She couldn’t let anyone see the drive they had over her. Her responses to the little boy were short and sharp now. She just wanted to get out of there, the faster she tried to go, the more he protested. It felt like the walls were closing in, she put her head down, trying to shut everything out. It never worked, she tried to smile at the woman serving her, acted like she wasn’t freaking out on the inside.
When she got home, she was exhausted. The cold groceries went in the fridge, the rest sat on the bench until she could face them. She lay down on the couch, a blanket over her face until she felt strong enough emotionally to face the world again.
I wish that this was another one of my creative endevours..but it’s not. This is my experience when I leave the house, I know that a lot of it is on me and my insecurities. I know that I get overwhelmed easily, that I can be hyper aware of sounds and people around me. I know all of these things but it doesn’t make it easier taking that first step out of the door, when you are just waiting for something bad to happen.
I’m a walking self fulfilling prophecy, focusing on the negative, forgetting the positive. It’s something that I am working on quietly, not taking great big bounds. After all, life is nothing more than a series of baby steps.
Linking up with Jess for IBOT.
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