(NB: this is a piece of fiction from two perspectives. I’m not interested in getting into a discussion/argument about the relative awfulness of this parent. Good? Good.)
I didn’t even get her vaccinated, so it can’t have been that, but there are so many toxins in the world today – who even has a chance?
The wallpaper is full of patterns that flow together: a great wash of colour and shapes that disperse into the world around me. I am senses all over: eyes, ears and the connectedness of it all. The patterns from everything to everything that Mama doesn’t notice. There are lots of things Mama doesn’t notice.
She was fine until she regressed when she was two. I saw her being stolen from me in front of my eyes. It took the life and soul from my beautiful girl. She has no mind at all now. See the dead weight behind her eyes?
My eyes whisper to me and tell me secrets. The glint off bubbles and the unrivalled delight of a kaleidoscope. Pure pleasure in colours, shot straight into my mind. Sunlight glimmer on glass and dust. Not the stabbing assault of supermarket lights or headlights in the dark – that is burial in too much of everything.
I want my little girl back. I want the little girl I should have had, who reads bedtime stories with me and plays games with her friends. Not this automaton, this non-person. I want her to speak to me. Dear God I want her to speak to me. She never will and it breaks my heart.
My mind is overwhelming. I have words, Mama. I hear you. But the words don’t come to my lips like they do for you because I am senses, not words. My lips are the brush against silk and the softness of a cat’s fur. My lips were made to buzz right into me with the rumble of the lawnmower next door and that is why the words don’t get to them, Mama.
Sometimes she just screams and screams for no reason, hits me, hits herself. I think about her always being this way, and how she’s going to get bigger and stronger. Is this my life forever? When I die she’ll end up in an institution where nobody cares about her. Look at her over there, staring at the bubble machine. Sometimes I lie awake at night wondering if she’s still trapped in there, begging me to get her out somehow.
There is a tunnel from my mind into the world beyond and I like to catch glimpses but too much hurts. Sometimes Mama tries to pull me through the tunnel and I scream and fight her. I love her so much, but I can’t go to her.
I love her so much, but I can’t get her out of there. I’ve thought about it, you know. You’re not supposed to say this, but I’ve wondered if it would be for the best. She has no life, and neither do I now. I’ve researched how to make it painless for both of us. I’m not quite at that point yet, but the day may come. She’s just… nothing.
I am sound and colours and the pressure of perfume and soup and the fibres of the carpet on my feet, scratching labels in my clothes and every flickering jolt of the light. I am senses, Mama. I hear you.