When I first moved here, I would go out on my back porch every night and sit and look at the stars. It was something I was never able to do back home. There was just something so amazing about looking into a vast sky with millions (billions?) of stars, wondering how many people were out there looking at the same stars as I was. But I don’t go out on the porch at night anymore, and I stopped looking at the stars.
In the beginning, I was full of hope and excitement, and running on a rush of adrenaline. Now, I’m coming to realize all that I’ve lost along the way during this transition. Pieces of me are missing. I feel incomplete.
It may be hard for some to understand, but when I was at home, I always held out hope that someday something would change…that someday, my family would become different people and the void in my heart would be filled and I would finally be whole. But now that I’ve moved away, I’ve lost that chance forever. I’ve been trying to fill the void with things that just can’t occupy that space in someone’s heart that is meant for family. I left them. I walked away and I took that chance to fill that void away from myself for good.
It’s not just the loss of my parents. It’s the loss of my entire family. It will never be the same again. I can never see my grandmother; she’s already fallen for their lies about me. My brother is too far brainwashed. Other members of my family don’t want to get involved. They don’t come to visit me, even if they are a quick drive away. I feel incredibly isolated from the people I should be closest to. Your family makes up part of your identity. So what do you do when that part of you is gone? I don’t even feel like I belong in this name anymore.
Then there are my friends. The ones I was closest to back home. The ones that now barely reach out to me, and the ones that haven’t bothered to visit me. I can feel what were once my strongest relationships now fading farther and farther away into the distance. I didn’t expect our friendships to remain the same, but I didn’t expect them to grow so far apart so quickly, either.
Then there are the quiet supporter friends: the ones that support me in private, but when I need them to stand up and fight with me, they are nowhere to be found. Then I am left alone to fight battles I don’t want to fight. It reminds me of the people in my life that knew I was being abused and chose to do nothing because they “didn’t want to get involved.” Not getting involved never solves anything.
People have changed the way they treat me. I’m not a child. I’m not made of glass that can be easily broken at the slightest touch. I’m perfectly capable of making my own decisions. I haven’t been able to make real decisions for the last 29 years of my life. Now I want to make them. I need to learn for myself how to make them. It doesn’t matter that they aren’t all good; no one’s decisions are all good. That’s called life. I’m no different from anyone else; I just have a little catching up to do.
It’s a little sad that the only person that I’ve come to depend on (aside from my therapist) is my roommate. My roommate…a woman I met off of Craigslist right before I moved. She barely knows me. She has no obligation to know me. Yet hers is the shoulder I cry on when I become overwhelmed. She is the one who holds my arms down when I dissociate and start scratching myself. And she is the one who sits with me when I don’t feel safe enough to be alone. She, a person unrelated to me and completely unknown to me until a few months ago, now burdened with dealing with me.
The nights that my roommate is not here, I have no one. Those nights are the worst for me; tonight is one of those nights. I often wonder if this is what my life will be like forever. Loneliness. Even Charlie is quiet. It makes me miss his angry ramblings just a little. He probably feels just as lonely as I do.
For so long, I defined myself based on the relationships I had with others. It was part of who I was. Those relationships mattered. And now those pieces of me are going missing, and I don’t know what to do. No family, dwindling friendships, and a lack of identity. I feel empty. It’s no wonder I don’t know who my parts really are. I don’t even know who I am.