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Isolation, day 102

Next week my elder daughter is leaving to return to city life, and it feels as though there’s a countdown to my heart being torn from my rib cage. I never expected, when she left for college at the tender age of 16, to have these four months, and now I don’t want them to end. While her life has already been full of loss and trauma (events that I have been unable to protect her from) she remains the brightest light in the darkness of my life. When I held her for the first time, I knew true love. I’ve never been a particularly good girlfriend or wife, too wrapped in my own thoughts and inner life, perhaps, but she broke through my walls and (while it might not sound too much from someone who suffers from suicidal ideation) I love her more than life.

Letting go, when she was 16, wasn’t as tough a decision as you might think. I honestly felt that if she remained bound to this small town and its toxicity she would become another teenage suicide statistic. The only question was whether to move the whole family, but my younger daughter was desperate to stay, and my parents were willing to take my elder. It was the right decision, and while my angel lost someone else (to suicide) last week, she’s strong enough now to cope.

She’s desperate to leave again, not me or her sister, but the town and the memories it harbours. However, she’s gained a lot of insight during the four months of her stay and will emerge more fierce and beautiful than before. While I’ll watch her leave with waterfalls of saline stinging my cheeks, I’ll know that her energy is too bright for such a small place, and will be dulled if she stays much longer. It’s hard to know that she doesn’t need her mother, and doesn’t love her home, but like many unpalatable truths there is some freedom in acknowledging it. And I understand. I’ve suffered too, but I am old enough to know that there is no perfect town or city, and this will remain my home until my younger daughter is an adult.

Next week will be hard for me, but I will take solace from my younger daughter and give it in return. We both know she loves us, even though she hates and feels stifled by this small Scottish town.

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