Used To

I’m used to daddy coming home late from God knows where. I’ve dealt with that since forever.

But I’m not used to him not coming home. Not coming home tonight, tomorrow or forever. Just not coming home.

I’m not used to this not being his home. Despite the fact that I’m used to him not being home. 

I feel like nothing’s changed yet everything has changed. I feel like me yet simultaneously like a stranger. 

It’s like Kudzi died, the girl with dreams and pure joy died. I don’t know when but she left and all that’s left is a shell. A shell that sometimes enjoys past hobbies but most of the time pretends. Pretends in the hope that it’ll resurrect the dead Kudzi. Pretends in the hope that there’s truth in the phrase ‘fake it till you make it’. 

I got used to mamma’s frustrations, her ranting and tiredness. But her sadness is harder to adjust to. Her brokenness. It’s not something I want to adjust to. I want her to be happy but I feel I can’t give it to her. I feel so overrated, so unworthy of all her praise. Like all I’m capable of is disappointment because one day she’ll see me as the flawed person I really am and it’ll break her. 

I’m used to Shona’s tantrums & tears. But I’m not used to her bawling, her sobbing constantly. I’m not used to her raw pain, the pain of someone too young to comprehend. The pain that you can’t just kiss away.

I’m used to Shona’s questions. But I’m used to having answers, I’m not used to not knowing. Not adding to her knowledge bank. Not soothing her. And I’m definitely not used to not being believed. Having to repeat myself all morning because she honestly believes nobody loves her. And knowing that even though she’s stopped crying, a small part of her still doesn’t believe me. Knowing that it’s that part of her that’ll dictate her future actions and self confidence. 

But there’s one thing I’m used to. Being alone. And I know it’s selfish but it’s the only thing that hasn’t changed and with so much change I want one thing to remain the same. It’s not healthy, nor is it realistic. And I know it’s not completely true, I’m never really alone. But it’s all I have. It’s all I can hold on to. So please allow me a week, a month – I don’t know. Just to be alone. Just to keep one thing the same.

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