me withinThe me you’re likely to meet, if ever life should twist in such a way to allow us such a pleasure, is the me I lend to the world.  The me whom others think is strong, optimistic, patient.  The me whom others praise, often with the words, “I couldn’t do what you do”.

(Of course you could.  I did not choose to live my life, and I suspect that if I had yours I would feel the same way you do.  But the reality is that the vast majority of us rise to the occasion.  We do what must be done, because the alternative is far too sad.)

That “me”, the one you’d meet, smiles a lot.  She’s also learned the value of tears, and they spring quite easily when the going gets tough.  She tries to show that emotions are different to actions; that it’s ok to feel sad when sad things happen; that even if you feel angry, you can choose to stay calm and find a solution without resorting to angry words or angry hands.

You might say she’s a pain in the butt at times, and horribly stuck-up!

That me, the “me without”, is the one who keeps the conveyor belt going.  The one who writes those well worded letters (thank you so much, St. Mary’s Ascot, I couldn’t do it without that education) to various authorities, the one who makes lists and timetables and ensures that appointments are attended and all relevant people are notified of change.  The one who just makes sure that the little machine that is my family keeps chugging along.

(Oh, and the one who just spent five minutes changing all the “that”s to “who”s in the last paragraph because she’s really quite anal about that kind of thing… Good grief, me!)

But then, there’s the me “within”.

Oh me, oh my…

The me within is maybe younger than the me without, but she’s definitely smaller… So small, in fact, as to fit inside my heart with room to spare.  She’s the one whose home just keeps on breaking, and as fast as she tries to patch it up it seems another wall begins to crack.

The me within is mostly confused.  All those emotions with very little of the analysis reside in her.  She wants to batter down the walls her life feels comprised of.  She’s trapped in a repeating loop of hurt, and she wants out.  Some days she’s screaming, pounding so hard that my chest feels like it may burst open.

Other days she loses hope and energy and sits in a corner of my heart, knees pulled up to her chin, sometimes crying, sometimes simply still…  The stillness scares me most.

I must remember that the me within is the one who jumps for joy at the slightest hint of happiness.  A red sky at night, a hug from Eldest, the smallest things can raise her spirits.  And in turn she allows the me without to rejoice, to take pleasure in a job well done and a hint of pride at still being on my feet.

We work well on the whole, she and I, me and her…  I try so hard to let her be, to let her feel.  I wish I could in some small way take away the confusion, the uncertainty but her nature is to feel, not to think.  And what she feels is True, even when it’s raw and irrational and confusing.  So I try to let her feel, and remember that this pounding too will pass.