My Shadow, my unwelcome friend.

Half of my head is a shadow.  I sit still, trying to feel a part of the conversation.   Laughter does not come, words do not flow.  A smile, a half arsed, fake, hard work smile is all I can manage.

I know that I would be best placed being elsewhere, anywhere, it wouldn't matter where, but there is nowhere to go.  I am it.  I am mum and I am on duty.  I need to listen.  This is the third day now of my head in this state and this is all I know.

I have lived like this for years.  I don't even know when exactly it began; when asked, I say, "12", to pull a number out of the hat.

I massage the lump of muscle at my jaw.

I do know that by 16, my father was terribly concerned about the amount of pain killers I was taking, so I know that it had built up before then.

My 10 year old talks loudly, my 8 year old drops something.  I snap, "MY HEAD!"

They know.  Sweet boys.  They have lived with it since birth.  I don't retreat too often as I would not have a life. I just let the pain come with me, my shadow, my unwelcome friend.  The one I didn't ask to come along.

"Mum, don't you have book club tonight?" my 11 year old asks.  My sadness that I can't shake my pain away, again.  This will be the third one I have missed this year.

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