i’m sorry.  right now, i cannot be a good friend.  i am not a good wife or daughter, sister, neighbor, niece or cousin.  i love you.  i appreciate everything you do for me and for my family.  but for now, everything i have, every smile i can eke out, every happy moment, belongs to my daughter.  i can’t give you what you want, not today and maybe not tomorrow either.  i don’t have enough for you.

my fear is all-consuming.  i am endlessly treading its dark waters.  your well-intended positivity crashes into me, knocking me down before washing back out to sea.  your genuine, heartfelt words of hope leave me salty-eyed, gasping for air, bracing for the next wave of “you’re so strong!” or “kids are so resilient!”

your generous offers to help are not falling on deaf ears, but i’m afraid my desperate cries for it are.  i can hear you happily proposing your casseroles, a walk in the park, an eager “whatever you need!”  i’m sure one day i will very much need those things.  today i just need simple kindness, compassion, companionship.  i need you to hug me and hold my hand.  i need you to stop worrying about the tasks on your list and just be with me, sit here and keep my head above water.

i realize nothing about this is convenient for you.  i know the closer you are to me, the deeper the water, the stronger current.  i’m sorry that you’re being pulled in, challenged, diverted from your regularly scheduled life.  but, this is my nightmare and sadly, you’re in it.

so bite your tongue,
you’re not the only one
who’s been let down.

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