yesterday, after their big fight that ended when she hit him and he drove off, leaving her sobbing and wailing on the floor—after i spent over an hour calming her down and talking her through it—after the birthday party we had for his kid, her stepson—after all that she spent the night at our sister’s house, and he went off to who knows where.
and i was left to take care of my two little sisters, and get them to bed on time, and make sure they were ready for school the next day—just like it always used to be. but i am so, so empty and lost and alone, and i don’t know what to do.
this morning i walked them to the bus stop and then turned up my headphones and walked to the park, eating my breakfast of 1/4 cup cottage cheese out of a birthday cup. then i just got on a swing and ate my fucking Enviro-kids rice bar, listening to “i am the ocean, i am the sea. there is a world inside of me.” and “you need a doctor, baby? you scared? YOU SCARED?”
and i was alone, swinging so high, listening to screams. and when i was high enough i let go with my hands, and imagined myself jumping off, flying up so high and then hitting the ground so hard. and i didn’t feel alive, but it felt right somehow.
right now they’re fighting again. she hasn’t had lunch and her blood sugar’s low, and he’s sick of her arguing. i could go in there and interrupt, make her eat food, stop it from escalating. but i don’t want to, i want to turn up my headphones and not worry about them, just focus on me. just stop.
i am so tired. empty.
i don’t know what to do. i don’t know how to act.
i went to the doctors office by myself for the first time in my life. the doctor asked where my mom was, and i just said “She died last january.” i didn’t even try and make it sound less shocking, or think about how it would sound to her. she went on and asked all these questions about how we were living, i tried to give good answers but i don’t know if i did okay or not. i hope she doesn’t pry and call someone, like DHS or something. i have dealt with that too many times.
it used to be every day was a battle, and i was strong enough to do it all. now every day is just another day, i have nothing to fight for.
my brain is dissolving, i don’t know who i am anymore.
i don’t want to be empty, i want to be strong, different, alive.
i don’t want to turn into all of them.
what happened to me?
on the day of my mother’s funeral we all wore bright striped knee-high socks. i wore colors, for her.
i want to feel alive. i will not follow the world’s unfeeling expectations, i will be strong, be myself, be harsh and invincible and never let them in. becoming normal means losing who i am, and i will not “get better” if that’s what it involves.
i turned seventeen today. they threw a big party, i got an ipod touch 64 GB—the thing i most wanted. My family, these people—who, not so long ago were frequenting food banks and bumming gas money off friends, stealing toilet paper from public bathrooms and washing their clothes in bathtubs and sinks—they spent their money on me. it’s a few hours after they surprise party they set up, and my little sister is crying in the other room. she was so, so good today, she was nice and not bitter even as i opened my multi-hundered dollar gift, although she would usually be sitting next to mom, glaring with her arms crossed. but now she’s crying about how i get everything, how people always choose me over her, how she works her butt off and she deserves the same stuff i get.
and i’m sitting here, trying to convince myself i deserve any of this. i’m wondering if i acted happy enough, surprised enough, even though i guessed the party would happen. i’m wondering if they believe, if they know that i love them, because i don’t know if i love them or not, but they deserve to feel like i do.
and it fucking terrifies me, because before my oldest sister and her husband left a few minutes ago to get coffee, i asked her why my youngest sister had been so sad at the party. she said that she missed mom, that my other kid sister had too, and that scares me so bad.
i don’t miss her. i don’t and it kind of hurts right now because it scares me so bad. when i was sent to live with relatives when i was nine, maybe i learned it then—to shut down my feelings and memories so i didn’t miss everyone that wasn’t there. but mom deserves to be missed, she was incredible, and i don’t even think about her much. i don’t cry. it’s only been a few months, but i just adapt to whatever happens, no big deal.
i’m so scared that i will never learn to love. i’m scared that no one will ever love me, that everyone will hate me when they find out i’ve been pretending.