Don’t look at my blind rage
MONDAY, December 7 – Eamonn can’t make it any clearer, as we stand in the hall outside his classroom. ‘I’m worried about you.’ He clings to my pants, my jacket, my hand – anything he can grab hold of. He’s crying. In a loud whisper he says that he doesn’t want me to leave.
He is convinced that if I were to leave now, I would be deserting him. Or even worse, that something bad would happen to me: the realization of his worst nightmare. He’s lost his mother and now he’s going to lose me, too. He indeed can’t make it any clearer: ‘I worry about you.’
His separation anxiety only increases. Each concession to his fear leads to an escalation which is counterproductive. At least that’s how it seems. Another week to go until Christmas vacation and I’m already at the end of my tether. I want to make it to Friday afternoon in one piece. We make a deal: he only has to go to school in the morning and this appears to ease his anxiety.
We agree that I’ll walk him to his classroom and that I’ll leave as soon as the first of his friends arrive. That’s the plan. The reality is that he won’t let me go. I try everything: sympathy, understanding, severity, mock anger, and – above all – unconditional love.
But he won’t let me go. This morning I leave him behind with a counselor and walk away without looking back. He starts crying and screaming, and has to be restrained. I don’t turn around. Mainly because I don’t want him to see my tears. Or the pain in my heart, the rock in the pit of my stomach, the dizziness in my head. I cry as I pedal home and once inside I start ranting and raving against the desperation of my life and my blind rage at her death.
All I want is for my little boy to be happy again.