Let go

The feeling of wanting to escape is one that doesn’t leave. You move away, you travel, you run, you move again, you drink, you bury yourself in work, you run, you spend your day sleeping or surround yourself with people- even strangers- because it’s all reminiscent of getting away. You love another, pouring yourself into them expecting to maybe become them and ease out of yourself, even if it’s at their expense and your own, and behind you you’ll leave a marred landscape of hurt. It’s detonation and they (and you) will be left as a shadow of what you were. Escape, and all the while the calendar days elapse one-by-one, and yet you haven’t registered the passage of time. You think you can just leave, but it just hasn’t left you.

What are you supposed to do? Nine years and counting and you’ve realized that you’ve spent your entire twenties coping and just getting by. It’s silent and it’s invisible. Tight-lipped to even people you’ve known for years. They don’t know so does it really even exist? The point of escape. But to you you feel like you’re imprisoned, locked down in your mind and its memories. It’s been bad but lately it’s been worse. It’s nearly unbearable to be alone, having to face the emptiness left from having had your family ripped away from you at a young age. Something so new to you that it seems foreign, is the anger. You lash out at the ones you’re supposed to love and they bear it undeservingly. You’re angry that they don’t know how to support you and give you what you need (how can they though when you can’t even give yourself what you need?). You do it enough times to enough people and those people won’t be sticking around for long. You’re left shaking with rage, alone again with it and and the shattered remnants of broken love. This time the hate directed at only yourself, because there’s no one left to blame.

How is it to be solved? Laughable, really, to think that something so tragic and complex can have a solution. Maybe it doesn’t, but you don’t want to believe that. Your counsellor assures you it’s not your fault because you are a victim of such an unfortunate and sad circumstance and that you’re doing remarkably well for someone who has gone through what you’ve been through. Not many people would cope so well, she says. You briefly feel a glimpse of relief that gives way to a brick wall of disbelief. No. It’s not true. You don’t feel like you’re coping well at all. It’s more just getting by, you say. Maybe you’ve failed to accurately convey how you actually feel, and you wonder if there’s something else that’s wrong with you to make you this way. A ruse, you say. She looks at you with curiosity and truth. She says again how astounded she is at your marked resilience. Just take a moment to really feel that.

There’s a difference between giving up and letting go. You can spend your days trying to escape out of desperation. It’s certainly going to pass the time. You can continue to grasp at places and things and habits. Grasping at the people you love because you’re so afraid they’ll disappear if you don’t is only going to drown them. You can’t you can’t you can’t keep this up. You need to learn to tell yourself (even if you don’t believe it) that you’re not losing if you give people space and yourself space. During those times when there’s seemingly nothing left but yourself and your own rage and despair are the times when you need to practice this. To escape is to put something off; a temporary fix. It’s always going to be there wherever you go. To escape is to succumb to it, and essentially you are giving up. Letting go is to acknowledge that it’s there and that it’s part of you, but to let it be rather than to fight it. Why deny yourself a life of truth and self-tolerance that gives way to peace and hope? Learn to face it and yourself, because everything you need is already right here.

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Fragment(I)

Every year, this time of year I’ve got this feeling of impending doom that screams “THIS is FUCKING real and there’s not a damned thing YOU can do about it”. Eight years feels so short and so far away all at once, and the feeling leaves me wondering how the hell people can ever get over stuff. Mind you, losing your parents and your sister all in one go is, believe it or not, much worse than you would think it would be, even AND especially after all this time.

About eight years plus three months ago I was maybe sitting in a lawyer’s office while they spewed bullshit at me about how things would take time and that they’d be on it so it wouldn’t be too long and I’d be able to get on with my life. I already had signed some papers and closed some bank accounts (much to their surprise I wasn’t as dumb and stunned as I looked) to speed things up and keep myself moving. During that time I mostly drank coffee and ate mangoes to stay productive. I think at one point I weighed 102 pounds, an all-time low in my adult life.

Months and months later, my dad’s will still had not been probated, despite talk of things not being too long. I remember one day being a pissed off and traumatized nineteen-year old sitting across from the lawyer giving him a mighty stink-eye and a cold shoulder as he rambled on about how things were taking so long but oh they would keep moving and things would get done. I’m positive it was my bitch-stare and terse words uttered that afternoon that was the final impetus for the probate to go through.

I sit here and think about these things eight (fucking) years later and it feels like a dream. Memories that feel like dreams during the day and dreams that feel real in the night are the lasting essence of trauma.