My children started back at school following the half term break today. This is bittersweet for me. Agoraphobia may be a mental health problem but it causes physical pain. Last night, I couldn’t help but reflect on how our week had been. It had been lovely spending time with them, squeezing them, talking to them without the constraints of a sensible bedtime and them being tired from school. The bitter part was it being the end of yet another school break where I haven’t given them any exciting adventures to talk about. They haven’t stayed at home the entire time. Wayne takes them out and they certainly aren’t lacking from anything.
I feel like I spend most of the time watching my children’s lives from the sidelines. Very recently, something someone without a mental illness wouldn’t even bat an eyelid at, a close friend and I were talking about our daughter’s birthdays. She was saying that she’s going to take her daughter to the Harry Potter studios in Borehamwood. My daughter is crazy about Harry Potter. I actually came home and cried because I feel like I’m never going to be well enough to take my baby girl there. She’s going to be eleven this Friday and it’s been so long since I’ve been able to take her out of our little town that I doubt she even remembers.
My agoraphobia often makes me feel completely consumed with guilt. In my head, I know that they’re being raised with the important building blocks. My children know how to try to be the best version of themselves. They know how loved they are. They know how to be independent and the importance of nutrition. Their manners are beautiful and they’re such kind little souls. I’m not saying they’re perfect (though they’re perfect to me), they’re just normal children. It just breaks my heart that I always miss their school plays, their parent’s evenings, taking them to the cinema and swimming. General things that most parents take as a given. Sometimes the guilt lays so heavily on me I feel like I can’t breathe. It physically hurts. Also, I had no idea getting this out there would hurt so much.