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.