Ceremony doesn’t have to be standing in from of a crowd of people awaiting to be knighted or adorned in some way, we stand on ceremony when we present ourselves to anyone we meet, we wait to be judged on looks and attitude like its some kind of ritual and then we proceed with the interaction. Its an indoctrinated process which isn’t particularly healthy for your mental state, the pressure to show success is sometimes more than some can bare.
Tina knocked on her mothers front door, knowing the whole family were there she took a step back to brace herself from the onslaught, this time she had achievements to be proud of she didn’t care what they could pick at that might break her, it wouldn’t, life had tested her and she had shown she was strong and confident, her depression was well behind her, there had been times when things had started to get too much again but she knew how to handle it, life had ticked another test off its list. “Tina!” her mother smiled as she opened the door, looking over her shoulder “just you then again huh?” Tina smiled and walked through the door “yes Amira couldn’t make it she sends her apologies” as she passed her mother she noticed her niece near the kitchen door at the end of the hallway “hey Princess” and waved her niece ran up to her and threw her arms around her legs she packed quite a punch for a five year old. Tina scooped her up and hugged her “hey there, you ok little lady?” Lizzy buried her face in Tina’s shoulder indicating that she wasn’t “you want to talk about it?” Tina looked Lizzy in the eye, Lizzy shook her head “no” she said with her thumb in her mouth, “ok well when you do want to you know where I am don’t you?” Tina squeezed her niece tight she felt like she was her own child and treated her as such, her mother walked back down the hall way passed the both of them an eyebrow raised, Tina ignored it her mother couldn’t understand why Lizzy had bonded with her as well as she had but she wasn’t rising to it. Still carrying Lizzy she walked through into the kitchen, the rest of the family were in the conservatory she could hear a few different conversations going on most people. As she rounded the corner her brother looked over, the look on his face said it all, her sister-in-law’s voice drowned out everyone else in the room, it was a loud and obnoxious tone Tina tried to ignore it “Hey guys” she put Lizzy down who continued to cling to her leg, “Hi Tina” her sister-in-law turned to look at her from the sofa her brother waved from the other side of the room “how is everyone?” Tina was slightly confused normally there would have been a barrage of snide comments and abuse flying her way but there wasn’t this time there was a wave washing over the room and it wasn’t touching her, finally she was strong enough or they’d given up. Her mother made noise in the kitchen, possibly to distract from something but who knew because no one was talking now, even Greta her sister-in-law had stopped talking. “Hey bro you ok?” she walked over and sat down next to him, he dropped his eyes, “whats up?” Tina looked him in the eye “is something wrong?” she had a sinking feeling like something was really up Ben finally looked up “uhh yeah so mum doesnt want to talk about it but shes really sick, shes not hiding it well and she upset Lizzy by snapping at her just before you arrived”, that made sense thought Tina “oh no, that sucks, what do you need me to do?” Ben sighed “probably best to ask mum shes easily triggered at the moment” Tina’s heart sank “right ok, ill see what I can do” she headed back across to the kitchen “hey mum, hows you?” she smiled warmly at her mother who was standing with a confused frown on her face staring back at her.
To be continued.