Today is awful. I can’t keep going anymore. What the fuck happened to my life? When Jess died four years ago I was surrounded by a group of friends and now I have no one. I cannot connect with people, cannot let people in because I just end up triggered and dissociated. I just tortured myself by re-activating my Facebook account and looking through old photos. I wanted to find some of me and Jess, instead I was bombarded with photos of all the fun I used to have, before she died and I split open and discovered what was wrong with me. I used to go partying and have friends round for dinner and go to festivals and go wild swimming. Now I don’t do anything. In my rational mind I can see that a lot of that stuff was dysfunctional and that the groups of people I am no longer part of are too old to be getting off their heads on Class As every weekend, that their lives aren’t really how they look on Facebook, but still – I long to be part of something. Anything. However dysfunctional. I see now why I was so drawn to that underworld of illegal drugs and raves and after-parties. I always had one toe in normality though, with my PhD and my daughter, but I so badly wanted to let that world consume me some days.
It is kicking me that I don’t have a family today. I wanted to hold compassion for my Mum last night but I couldn’t. I feel too broken. Instead I wrote 4 pages of bitterness. It is not even that she broke me, I can forgive that, it is that she cannot acknowledge what she did to me. It is the fact she tells people such awful, twisted distortions about me and why I’ve cut her off that hurts and enrages me. If she would just admit that she made some massive mistakes and damaged me beyond repair it might help a little. Instead she paints me as a selfish, callous, cold and unreasonable person. I am judged and hated by people who have no idea how fucking awful my childhood was and how much it still affects me today despite years of therapy and working on myself. It is this I cannot move past today. My Mum will be feeling sorry for herself today, her 70th birthday, because her daughter doesn’t want to know her and has taken her granddaughter away from her. I know that her inability to acknowledge what she did and how she is is now is all part of the same thing – the denial she has built up around her is more real than anything else to her – but it would make up for it a little bit if I knew she would tell people she understood why I had to do this.
And I miss Jess. I miss her so much it is unbearable. She was so real. Our friendship was beautiful. It was just the right level of intimacy – not smothering, not distant, not-too-serious, not too shallow. It hurts because I didn’t really know the real her, the her who was struggling and suicidal. I knew things were really, really bad, but not that bad. It never crossed my mind that things wouldn’t get better for her. How can she be gone? I have never known anyone like her and I’m scared I never will. I cannot let people in now the way I always used to be able to. Before I knew I was broken and traumatised I could let people in because I didn’t know they were what was triggering me. A very old friend wrote to me recently, when I told her I no longer see my Mum, that she was sorry but that I had always drawn much love to me in the form of friendships and she was sure I would be okay because of this. Where are my friends though? I’ve now deactivated Facebook again (I left nearly 4 years ago and it’s the first time I’ve reactivated in nearly a year – it’s always done at a desperate time and I torture myself for an hour before deactivating again, cursing myself for making a bad time even worse. It’s like self-harm but the effects are even more long-lasting), but all the people who’ve let me go are still hanging in the air around me.
How can 4 years have passed and now I have no family, no friends (and I know this isn’t true, I do have friends, but not a group, not a taken for granted clan like I used to have) and nothing fun in my life. I have worked so hard for 4 years to heal but when does the healing end and the living begin? I don’t want to live like this anymore. I am so alone. I am alone even when I’m with people. I don’t want to live with the fallout of my childhood anymore. It is not fair. It makes it impossible for me to connect with people the way I need to, impossible for me to be fully human. I am half a world away, always.