I hope you're at least 18 (mentally) when you're reading this so that some of this makes sense to you.
I have spent a lot of time beating myself up for not being a great mum to you. I wish I could - first of all - be more patient and much less anxious around you. I wish I could play with you more without ruining it in some way, plan fun trips with you and spend endless hours gluing and pasting stuff with you. I wish I could listen patiently and enjoy every long, dramatic story you tell me about an insect bite or be more amused about the fact that you still (you're going to be 7 this Saturday, sweetheart) haven't tired of hiding (every night!) in one of the three spots you've been hiding in since you were a toddler, and sincerely believe - every time - that I won't find you.
But see, that's the thing. I cherish these moments in retrospect but find it so hard not to ruin them as they unfold. This quality of mine - in particular -upsets me, because you deserve at least one fabulous parent and it is my deepest regret that I'm nothing like my own mum - your ammanna - who was and is such an exquisitely delightful creature to be around.
Still, there is hope.
While I work on those trying traits of mine, here is something that I can give you. Theories (tried and tested for the most part). Tools that will help you cope. Because, little one, if you're anything like me, you're going to be doing a lot of coping. Not necessarily because your circumstances are that awful, but because you are so emotionally intense and have no idea how to relate to that side of yourself without letting it eat into your sanity and turn you into a depressoid. In other words, you're an artist.
#1 I'll come back to that, but I'm more and more convinced that artists are simply people who are born a certain way - with emotional excess - and have found a way to relate to their pain and channel it - so it doesn't destroy them. This is why I also believe that the guy shooting heroin up his veins is simply a Picasso or Tolkien who did not find his calling. Because that's what addictions do - they fill voids (seemingly) - they are shortcuts leading to counterfeit highs. But the way I see it, if the void exists, so does the answer. You just have to look really, really hard for it. Because when you finally find the answer, you'll find that it not only saves you, it completes you.
#2 Even after you think you've found your calling or passion or whatever and have a better grip on your emotions, you'll have some really bad days (and sometimes they'll all join hands and ambush you into submission) when the pain is so pervasive, it can be entirely debilitating. I have found that most of the time, sadness comes in waves. Easy ones that you can handle and some huge ones that knock you down every now and then and some that engulf you. Sometimes, it's a tidal wave and this can destroy you for a period of time. And then there are times when it just decides to barge in unannounced and take over your couch for days on end. It remains with you and you have no idea how to make it go away without leaving yourself. I'm here now and I still haven't figured a way out of this. But I'm thinking that it must simply mean that I need more than one art to pursue. Maybe I come with multiple voids. I must just be a better artist (haha, there has to be a payoff somewhere). So I'll try this and I'll let you know how this goes.
#3 Next, you'll need emotional anchors. Please, darling, not a boy. When the boy goes, the anchor goes with him and you'll be all over the place. Kind of defeats the purpose. Ideally, it should be me - because you know, I'm your mum and I love you even after you said "Justin Bieber is very cool, mamma. You don't know anything!" So you can trust me to love you even while you're making terrible choices right before my eyes (like, becoming vegan or something).
If you have two anchors, you're sorted. Three, and you're just really blessed. Mind you, anchors are not best friends either. You don't have to call them every day or be preoccupied about nurturing the relationship. Your anchor is someone who simply loves you with no agenda of his/her own. And it's a quiet, constant, unconditional love that you'll never have to earn or maintain. Which is why God is the best anchor of all.
#4 Most importantly, don't. ever. romanticize. the pain. This whole tormented artist stuff? It's true. But let me assure you, it is not even remotely fun. It is an ugly, toxic pain that will destroy you if you don't take all measures to fight it. Constantly, if you have to. I'm telling you this because you may be tempted to believe that all this drama makes you a dark and twisted (and therefore hot) person. It doesn't. You're not going to be feeling anything close to sexy when you're processing this stuff. I say it again, this stuff is real. And it can destroy you. Don't let it. What's hot is fighting it. Not killing yourself at 27. Okay?
#5 And lastly, I never thought I'd say this, but for your sake (and mine), I hope with all my heart that you're a left-brained weirdo who loves straight lines and Excel sheets. Because I don't - at this point, considering the low I'm dealing with - care if you're going to be accomplished or successful. I just want you to figure out a way to be happy. Not deriving happiness from things or people. But find a way to make happy your default setting.
#6 And oh, please, don't be an all-or-nothing person. Don't swing from one extreme to the other. Whatever you learn or don't learn, please baby, somehow, learn moderation - learn to love people and life moderately. I'm not saying you should hold back but instead of throwing yourself - in your entirety - into a relationship or a person, why not walk in and calmly take a seat or something? I'm sure it's possible. A lot of people do it. So learn. Learn moderation. And when you do, teach me.
I love you and I'm going to figure this shit out before you get here.