The people in this photograph are neither me nor my mother.
My mother was diagnosed with cyclothymia.
All the family was dragged along in cycles of depression and fits of anger whose heights could last for days.
The disease lasted years and its cycles too.
The loudest always take the stage.
As soon as I could, I went far from it all. I took decisions not meant to the best, but simply the ones which put more distance between us.
Far being safe.
The people in this photograph are neither me nor my mother. But had it not been for your pain, your illness and unfortunate events, it might have been our picture Mum.
Now, when you are old and your anger has burnt out and you cannot remember your own pain or mine, I hear you say, from out of nowhere, ‘We were too poor to buy a beehive cot for you.’
I look into your anxious face, searching for the well of anger and illness into which my childhood had fallen. But it is no longer there.
It is ok, Mum.
It’s all okay.