Living by yourself at seventeen is hard.
Playing both mother and child is hard.
Balancing work and daily routine is hard.
But none of it compares to the loneliness that I have to endure. Nothing compares to the nights that silently echo into the darkness of lying in bed, knowing that I’m alone. Nothing compares to knowing that everyone else at school, everyone else that I know, have mothers who will pick them up from school, make them dinner and say goodnight to them. They have comfort, they have love, and they have sustenance.
They are able to wake up everyday to the noise of a family getting ready for the day ahead. They have privilege of having overbearing and annoyingly encouraging parents when they are trying to have a break. They have the beauty of a loving family to make them tea and offer a warm shoulder when they have a bad day.
They have tangibility; they have face to face conversations; they have noise.
Many girls my age don’t even know the meaning of an empty house. They have never had to cook for themselves, or endure a night without seeing a member of their family. To them, the worst thing is not getting their straight As, or forgetting to do that maths homework.
They don’t know what it is like to go to sleep hearing deathly silence, and they don’t know what it is like to have to wake up to the same thing. They don’t know what it is like to have to continually strive to fulfill their future, whilst having to actively and daily run their life. They don’t know what it’s like to live as if you were years older than you actually are.
Because when I see these girls jump into their mother’s arms, I’m not angry. I don’t protest about the injustice of it all. Instead, I continue to feel alone. I continue to feel cold and empty and yearn to feel the warmth of my mother’s love that I did when I was younger. All I feel is the bitterness of being alone, and living alone and facing the cold, hard brutality that I cannot do anything but face it.
Because I know that there are people out there who have it much harder than me; people struggle even further, and feel so much bleaker. And I feel ever more guilty for feeling as if I’m the one that is suffering.
But sometimes it’s just too much. Sometimes the world is just too sad.
Sometimes it’s the feeling of missing something, and never knowing when you’re going to get it back.