Korinna McRobert

Baby trigger

Yesterday I went to visit a friend who recently had a baby. For reasons somewhat unknown to me I was traumatised. My friend, her husband and the peaceful baby were all perfectly happy. I wanted to die. Today I wanted to hurt myself. I tried everything in my power to get my frustration out without breaking any objects or my own skin. I applied pressure to my arm instead of cutting it. I really wished I did not exist.

I got hurt by a comment my boyfriend made and even after he apologised I walked away when he wasn’t looking. This is something I apparently did as a little child. I still dissociate. I feel numb in some places and overstimulated in others. I don’t feel like I exist and yet am aware I don’t want to exist. I don’t feel I have a root or a hold on something real.

I suppose seeing someone start to build a family, even in the early stages where the baby is literally a breast-feeding lump, it was more than I had or could imagine having. I feel like my terror over not handling a baby properly, my fear of changing a nappy without having an awful memory or just dissociating means that I am not entitled or deserving of being a mother. I had a terrible example, how would I know what to do? So my fear got the better of me. Which is I suppose the root of all dysfunction.

I am still a bit rattled and upset… I also want to remind myself that I have recently moved countries. I have already got some employment, assisting a successful artist. I have an interview for a stable part-time job with another company already planned. I have a course of German language lessons coming up. I am planning my next solo art project. I am enjoying living with a lovely person. I am enjoying making new friends. I am enjoying the sun. I am feeling it all. All at once.

I am sorting it out. Sometimes I need a time-out. Sometimes I disconnect. It doesn’t mean I won’t come back though. I just need to ride the wave.


A kind of heaviness

in my chest

intercepted with


almost physical

I rub it sometimes

Changing breathing helps

but is very hard to sustain alone

I feel lonely

but can’t ask for a hug

I feel jealous

but I can’t say I know why

People seem to have more

than me

because I don’t know

their lives

I am tired of

strength and bravery

It doesn’t give me

space to mourn

space to grieve

space to be livid

with the appropriate people

I don’t want to show

sadness and misery

because it is


uncomfortable for others


I think I am at breaking point

I have to give in now

I can’t connect

Everything is a set-back

I know I will persevere



I just want to

Give up

Give in

and Rest a while

The two of me

I have just moved my stuff, as in most of it, pretty much all of it, into one place. I had a welcome party yesterday. It is raining today. Things have come to a head. I am struggling for no apparent reason. Again. There is a dialogue between the child and adult Korinnas. More like a screaming crying fest.

Child: This isn’t my life. This is someone else’s flat, friends, country and culture. I want to go home.

Adult: There is no home. The only choice we have is to start afresh somewhere. I had to speak the truth and move on. This is the action part of it. You will get used to it.

Child: I want someone to take care of me. I don’t want to do anything.

Adult: I am afraid you will have to settle with me. It will get easier I promise. You will get used to it. It will grow in time.

Child: Why can’t I do what I want? Why can’t my needs be met? Why are everyone else’s wants and needs more important than mine?

Adult: Right now we are starting small. We are living with a good person. Finally. Nobody is hurting us. Yes some people are rude and hurtful, but mostly it is best that we are polite and compassionate for everyone’s sakes. I realise it is exhausting. I am sorry. We are doing well. We have done well to come this far.

Child: I want someone to hold me. I want people to answer my cries. Why won’t anyone answer the phone? Why are people I love in other countries?

Adult: People you love are here too. People were left behind because we all move at different speeds in different directions and need different things. They might catch up with you later. Some will eventually pick up the phone. In the meantime I will hold you and we can build this new home together.

I want to stop revisiting this pit of despair I am so attached to. I want to kick my habits. I am going cold turkey. I am suffering withdrawal symptoms. I am sad and relieved and happy and apathetic all at the same time.