January 28, 2011
I'm unhappy. I'm stressed. I'm guilty for taking the time to write this instead of being at work, doing homework, or being with my mom. I'm also kind of empty and numb. I don't WANT to feel this, I really don't. My chest feels tight all the time, and the tears are always just under the surface. If I lose my composition for even a second, I know they will come rushing out like a cascade of water breaking through a dam. And just like that, I will be powerless to STOP the tears until there is not any more water left. This is what happened the first time I let myself cry over this. It was awful. We had been drinking, my friends and I, and when I knew I could retreat into my room without anyone caring I did. And I cried and cried and cried for HOURS straight. There was no break in my crying. I took sleeping pills during this hysteria so I could pass the fuck out and after a few hours I finally did. One minute I was blowing my nose and wiping tears and crying and next thing I knew it was several hours later and I was waking up on a still-wet pillow with the tissue in my hand. Needless to say I felt awful and don't ever want to repeat that ever again. So that is why I have to repress this thing that's in my chest. It almost feels like it's a little dragon in there, and it started out as a vaguely uncomfortable little dragon egg that I could ignore but now he's hatched, and every day that I don't completely lose my shit it gets bigger and stronger, and now he has claws and is scratching at my chest from inside, and every now and then he breathes fire, because he recently learned how to do that. In fact, I know EXACTLY when this dragon learned to breath fire. It was the day I decided to do more research on the internet to "make myself feel better" about my mom's cancer. It was also the day I discovered the number sixteen. Sixteen percent survival rate after five years, that is, for stage 4 breast cancer.
Five years. In five years I will be twenty four years old. That is WAY TOO FUCKING YOUNG to have an 84 percent chance of not having my mom around. I know, I know worse things have happened to other people. Some people never get to know their parents, or their parents die suddenly in a freak accident when the kids are young. There are natural disasters and poverty and wars. I honestly don't know how the world isn't a more fucked up place than it is, considering all the horrible things the majority of the world's population is subjected to on a daily basis. I can't even imagine. But then again, I could never imagine one of my parents getting cancer, either.
Most of the people my age I know have never experienced death. Sure, they had a pet die. Or maybe a distant relative, or a grandparent died when they were little. Some kid they saw once in the hall at school died in a car crash. That is not what I am talking about. Those people might think, "Oh, I've experienced a death and it isn't as terrible as some people make it out to be." It's so much worse. I lost my grandmother when I was 7. We saw her every day, and the last few weeks she was alive she was living in my house. So yes, I knew her and was close to her. Was I super upset? No. As a child, death isn't that terrible. I didn't grasp the PERMANENCE of it, nor had I yet started to question whether people go to " a better place" or whether I would ever see my grandma again. I KNEW I would see her again, I didn't see why everyone was so sad if she was somewhere better than here, having a ball. When I was in maybe 8th grade an uncle died. Again, we weren't that close. This time, I was very, very sad that he left behind a little boy, and my cousin was absolutely HEARTBROKEN at losing her husband to cancer so young. I cried at that funeral, and I was genuinely very upset for my young widowed cousin. But again, I wasn't in mourning. It was sad, but I could leave the funeral and return to my life and not be consumed by it. I thought I understood death then. Sadly, my cousin was the one who got that horrible understanding then. She couldn't just "leave the funeral".
Then Austin died. The grief was all consuming for a very long time. I spent months crying at night. Our lives are irreparably changed because of his death. My family, his family, completely changed. There will ALWAYS be a piece missing. It is still so hard to think about and I still cry. The crying is a lot more spread out now. Usually something triggers it, or on New Years I don't know but I was just hysterically crying about it. Heavy drinking triggers it too, apparently. So it doesn't ever go away. It never will. Eventually during the grief you just accept that this is always going to hurt and that you can't fix it and that you can't give up on the rest of your life. The show must go on. The whole process is so long and exhausting and fucking sadder than anything I had ever known before. Before Austin died, when I read a book and someone died I would get sad and think "oh that would be so sad". Now when I read a book and someone dies I start bawling, because I know. It's one of those feelings that you absolutely cannot imagine no matter how hard you try until it actually happens. Then, no matter how hard you try, you can never forget. It's kind of like being in love in that way I guess. You don't really know what it's like, no matter how many romance novels you read as a tween or whatever, until you actually fall in love.
So having the experience of death in my repertoire of memories is not helping me in the least right now. It's not one of those things that will become easier because I already went through it once. Nope. Now that I know... the remote prospect of losing my mom is so much more horrible and breath stopping than I ever could have imagined when I was younger. The whole process...of grieving...is SO EXHAUSTING. It takes a part of your soul and keeps it forever and ever. Not only that, I think of how many things would trigger a hysterical crying fit for my mom, and it's basically anything imaginable would trigger one. I feel like I am staring up at a mountain. A mountain on Jupiter. And I know that somehow I have to get up that mountain and to the other side, and I can't turn back because there is suddenly a moat full of alligators cutting me off from my old life, and I can't just sit at the base of the mountain and carve out a life there, because there's a group of orcs hunting me. So, somehow, someway, I have to get over that impossible mountain that doesn't even EXIST on earth, because if I don't climb it I will die, but getting up the mountain might kill me too because I'm not a fucking mountain climber and I didn't even bring any water. Fuck. Oh yeah, and I've never been to Jupiter so just breathing is a huge hurdle at this point, not even taking into account the orcs and the poisonous mote.