Last Friday, I took a train back to the city I fled 11 months ago.
I didn’t have much of a choice. The graduate schools I am applying to require the GRE for admission – I had never taken it before because it wasn’t required for my first graduate school. The application deadlines are fast approaching (and in one case, very much past) and I needed to take the exam as soon as possible. I tried registering online, only to find out that almost every test location was either closed down, or did not have any available test dates for the next three months. The only option left just happened to be the farthest from my current location, and the closest to my home of origin.
Scrambling, I tried to figure out a way I could even get there. I asked an old friend, out of desperation, if he could take me. He agreed. Because of timing (the test appointment was at 8:00 AM Saturday morning) and distance (an additional 30+ minutes of travel), I had to take the train the day before and stay overnight. It definitely caused some panic.
I was worried about my arrival, because I would be stopping in the center of the city, where all of the buses pass through. Many of my former coworkers travel by bus, and a few of them live in the area. I was worried about someone seeing me and alerting my mother. But during my therapy session last Monday, my therapist reassured me that the likelihood that someone would recognize me was low. My hair was completely different, and I had lost a significant amount of weight. She encouraged me to work out a plan so I would be out in the open as little as possible. I felt a little better, and less panicked.
And then my week went to shit. Tuesday, I withdrew from graduate school and essentially lost my dream of being a counselor. I was denied for a personal loan, one that I needed in order to get through the summer until I started a new graduate school in the Fall. I had a realization that the people I thought I could depend on were not dependable at all; actually, they ended up hurting me more. I wanted just to go to sleep to avoid the pain, but even that ended up impossible because I was startled awake by nonsense going on close by.
So I spent Tuesday night into Wednesday morning crying. I felt my life crumbling around me. At that point, I decided I should just go home for good. I’m losing everything in the life I was building here, so what else could I do? I decided. Friday, we were going home, and we weren’t coming back.
I walked to work early and sat outside, crying. I felt lost. I was also exhausted, and crying only magnified that exhaustion. I couldn’t deal with the emotional pain combined with the physical pain I am still in, and I ended up leaving work early. Then, cue my emotional break and dissociative chaos I wrote about here.
Somehow I managed to get myself to therapy on Thursday, though I will admit I am not even sure if it was all me. I was a mess. I tried (and failed) to hold it together.
My therapist and I went over what happened in the days leading up to session. I told her how I ended up the closet, which is something that has happened quite a few times before. I reluctantly told her about my plan to return home. I knew it could go one of two ways. My mother would take me in and help me, and I’d have a home and family again. Or she would kill me. That’s what I really wanted. I wanted to go home so my mother would kill me, and I wouldn’t have to worry about doing it myself.
I reached the point of dire hopelessness. There was nothing else left to lose.