5am

It’s 5:15am and I’m up with Baby Girl. We’ve been awake for about 2.5 hours already. My attempts to coax her back to sleep have failed.

5:40am now and she’s just fallen asleep. Yay! I should sleep too but my mind is racing. Sleep is scarce most nights anyway. Why should tonight be any different? And anyway, the sun will be up soon.

I was sending some messages to her daddy of things she was saying and doing and the next thing I knew, I was sending him ‘I hate that you’ve made me a single mother.’ True story. I absolutely hate the idea of being a single mom. We planned to become parents together. We were supposed to be in it for the long haul. But no, he wanted to be happy and that meant leaving me us.

As soon as I’d typed and sent that message, a flood of ‘I hate’ thoughts came rushing into my head. So instead of sending them to him, I’m recording them here.

I hate that I felt compelled to come to South Africa because I needed to put distance between us.

I hate that I’m lying in bed, freezing, and missing out on a summer in London.

I hate that I feel inadequate.

I hate that I’m so dependent on him because of decisions about the future that we made together.

I hate that he’s not happy. All this pain and suffering was supposed to be worth it.

I hate that I feel displaced.

Sometimes I even hate that I love.

I hate that Baby Girl asks for her daddy throughout the day and I have to disappoint her with my answer.

I feel no hate for him though. I feel love, always. Sometimes pity. Mostly compassion. These days, I also have understanding. I understand how easy it is to fall in love even when it’s the furthest thing from your mind and the last thing you expect to happen. I understand how all consuming it can be. A friend described this love as a demanding mistress. She was right.

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Thanks for reading x

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