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I feel it again; the pressure of wrongdoing and inequity pressing down on me and suffocating me by tiny degrees. I feel it taking more and more of my spoons to get through the day. I can tell because I hold on to the good moments until my knuckles turn white, I'm so desperate to escape the feeling of being crushed under a tidal wave of hate and abuse that I am powerless to stop.

I feel isolated from the people around me who choose to turn away from the things that aren't directly in front of their faces. To turn away, as if it were a choice not to see what is going wrong with the world. 

Don't feed the trolls. 

As if that ever made a difference, especially when the trolls rule the world. 

It's a fact of my being to feel angry about the displaced and wronged; angry to the point of digging my nails into my palms while tears fall from my eyes in hot streaks down my cheeks.

When I worked with the NCT in the UK, we used to put on a pampering evening for local mums - 15 minute massages and manicures, that sort of thing. Every year, in amongst the colour and fragrant oils there was this one woman who would quietly put up her chair in the corner and help you to explore past lives.

I was fascinated by her (drawn to her even) because she radiated such an air of calm that she seemed to slow the dust motes in the air around her. The effect was magical, like watching moons bending to the will of the planet they orbit. 

One year, I plucked up the courage to have a session with her. 

I was pregnant with Esme and I felt out of sorts with the world. So I sat down with her and just opened myself up to whatever journey she wanted to take me on.

She placed her hands on mine, and I felt the heat of her skin as she started to talk to me about the travelling girl.

I can't remember the words she used, but the image and the emotions are still just behind my eyelids, even after six years.

She showed me a little girl in a plain grey shift dress, with two braids running down her back walking - no travelling - with her family. They are travelling from, escaping, and as she walks down an open dirt road she grips the large, strong hand of her father. There's fear, tension, of what I will never know. These are travelling people, she tells me, but this journey is different. They are moving somewhere new, not through choice, but through need, and the little girl is scared at the unknown that waits for them. I smell pine, and I'm aware of the tundra stretching away from the track on which they travel.

I have no context for these people, I have no kinship with this girl, but I can feel her emotions and see her world as clearly as I feel my own. 

Maybe she's the reason why I feel so overwhelmed right now.

Or maybe it's something else. Maybe it's the simple result of an upbringing heavy on morality that I cannot see a wrong go unrighted. I am so aware of how fortunate life has been to me and my family, and I feel the weight of that every day. I feel a responsibility to my children to make them aware, to make them sensitive to the fact that the place they occupy in the world gives them a unique voice ... and a moral obligation to use it.    

I feel humbled when my sister sends me the words of Ella Wheeler Wilcox to read, saying that they reminded her of me. But I also feel the ache in my bones, at a weight I can never put down.

Would I walk away if I could?

Who knows.

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