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I’m in-between. I am resigned to the fact that killing myself would be abandoning my children. Full stop. But I cannot invest in being who I am right now. I am Not. Not what I like. Not where I want to be. Not who I hoped to become. Not me.

Much of the time, I may sound or look solid and together to many of the people around me, but I’m Not. It doesn’t make a difference, though, whether I am truly seen. Either way, I have to be and be Not. I must care for my children—nurture, shelter, and support them. They deserve that at the very least. They didn’t choose to have me. I chose to have them. I don’t want them to be without their mother for the rest of their lives, but if their mother is still alive, but not, is that really a whole lot better?

So I’m in-between. I used to know the fancy word that described this place. Not that long ago, it came to mind effortlessly. Now it’s gone, but I’m still here. Not knowing and in-between. Not. Whenever I have to face myself—truly see who I am—I squeeze my eyes tightly shut, to stop myself from self-destruction. It feels like I’m trying to race past the scary ogre under the bridge, and there is no other path to take. Even though I know I am the monster (the Not me), I don’t control her. She controls me.