Today I went grocery shopping with Miss 9. Sounds like pretty standard Saturday, except I spent most of the time unsure if she was really with me or not, doubting her presence and intermittently her actual existence at all.
People seem to look at me weirdly an awful lot at the moment and I’m afraid my thoughts are showing somehow. They pretend to talk to each other or on their phones then glance at me, their eyes penetrating my Ora and radiating some sort of ‘knowing’ sarcasm. It feels like they’re on to me, only I don’t know what I’ve done. Has one of the others done something?
Whispers, stares, sniggers.
I wipe my mouth discretely with the back of my hand, no there’s nothing there, I make a mental check of my outfit, my hair, it all seems appropriate. Is there a kick me sticker on my back?
Is it my weight?
No, that’s not it, come on girl get a grip!
I try and convince myself that it’s not high school anymore as memories of being singled out and shamed in public for my weight by bullies flood back into my mind and suddenly steal my breath.
“Stop it!” A voice inside tells me firmly, “there’s plenty of larger framed people than you in the store you are being ridiculous.”
I know that’s true, but I can’t find a reasonable explanation so I put the biscuits back on the shelf just in case.
Miss 9 suddenly dances around the corner holding chocolates, “Muum, can we get these?”
“Not today” I reply calmly but internally panicking as I notice someone else looking at me funny, do they maybe think I’m going to try and fatten her up and ruin her life the way I did my own at that age?
I look down at my trolley, it’s mostly ‘healthy’ if you can forgive the sausages. No, surely that’s not it, kids always ask for lollies and sweets, I glance back up and the man is still giving me a look that screams “WTF is wrong with you you crazy bitch?”
Then it suddenly dawned on me, what if Miss 9 isn’t really here? OMG!! Am I actually talking to myself? I looked for her but she wasn’t there.
Surely she’d just skipped off somewhere again, why does she have to keep doing that?
I started looking around trying to be discreet while also desperately trying to find proof that she was genuinely there with me. Was her disappearing and reappearing through the aisles and taking things off the shelf was my imagination or actually happening?
She suddenly reappeared and I hissed at her to stay with the trolley, I needed to be able to see if anyone else was actually spontaneously acknowledging seeing her there with me.
It felt like rewatching the sixth sense after finding out the twist and desperately searching for plot holes because you were so damn sure Bruce Willis had been communicating with lots of people.
But he hadn’t. How the hell do I know if I have?
Do I even have a daughter?
I got to the point where didn’t want to answer when she spoke to me just in case she wasn’t actually there and I was talking to an empty space, yet I also had to reply because if she’s real then she’s a 9 year old kid, my 9 year old kid and you can’t ignore your own child!
Logic suggested that she was there with me because I wouldn’t have left her at home and I didn’t remember dropping her at Hubby’s work, but then I didn’t really remember anything before suddenly being present at the shop with a 9yr old I know to be my daughter asking me endless questions.
The world around me was fast fading from dissociation and the overwhelming sensation that I was imagining her.
I silently tried to summon Suzi to help me, I can cope when she’s here, to which I received a vague, distant and kind of exasperated “you’re nearly done” comment. Damn it, why does she keep leaving me alone like this? She must know I can’t do it! She’s supposed to help me, is she just pretending to care but secretly trying to hurt me too? Why do they all hate me?
I noticed that the checkout lady didn’t smile or acknowledge Miss 9 when I paid. We took the groceries to the car and Miss 9 talked to me as we drove to the workshop, I replied hesitantly but when we got there Hubby talked to her too and asked her if she had fun shopping so I guess she must of been with me after all and I was just being silly. I still cannot quite let go of that nagging feeling, what if Hubby has just been humouring me? Is he real?
What if people see me talking to thin air all the time and just decide it’s better to ignore it than tell me?
Maybe it was real until the suicide attempt, maybe it was successful, maybe I’m in limbo or some sort of after death eternal dream like state?
I don’t feel like I actually exist, Am I Bruce Willis in this scenario? Frankly, that would be quite helpful if it meant the knowledge of that set me free because I don’t think I want to exist anyway, certainly not like this. I’m standing here looking around the world through the virtual reality lens in my mind-condo in the sketchy time-share ponzy scheme I got roped into without reading the fine print or realising the literal meaning of the term ‘time-share’.
I’m seeing M on Tuesday, but I know I can’t keep doing this.