I had group therapy today for my support group. It is something I look forward to every couple of months, even though the topics are somewhat difficult and I always end up crying at least once.
Today was no exception. I was actually doing quite well until the topics of anniversary dates and grief came up. I thought to myself, anniversary dates aren’t a problem for me. I’m over it.
But I decided to write down something anyway. April 25th. The day I tried to end my life by taking a more than lethal dose of aspirin. The day my family found out, and did nothing about it.
The memories flooded my mind and I couldn’t focus on anything else. I felt the pain again, the despair that was all too familiar. I tried to hold back my tears, and retreated back into myself. By the time the topic of grief came up, I was teetering in another place in my mind. I was back in 2008, reliving the pain of that day.
I was able to ground myself enough to work through the rest of the grief session. We each chose eight stones, and had to write something we lost on each one, something we grieved or are still grieving.
It didn’t take long for me to write my losses: Mother, father, family, purpose, self, love, hope, and support.
The loss of a mother, the mother I never had, the mother I always wanted, the mother I deserved, the mother I will never, ever have.
The loss of my father, not as much in his actual death, but the loss of the father he should have been, the man he should have been, the protector he should have been, the superhero he should have been to me and never was.
The loss of the family I no longer have. I didn’t just lose my parents when I ran away. I lost any connection to my brother. I lost the connection to anyone on my mother’s side of the family. I’m losing the connection to the very little family I have left, and I can’t change that.
The loss of my purpose. I believed so strongly that I was going to be a counselor some day. That is why I went through what I did. I was going to help people. I was going to right the wrongs that were done to me for so many years. But I lost that when my school showed me that my mental illness was all that mattered, not my skills or who I was on the inside.
The loss of self, the loss of my identity. Who am I? I still don’t know. I was never allowed to be anyone or anything other than what my mother told me to be. My identity is so fractured, both literally and figuratively. I’m not even sure that I lost myself, because I question whether or not I ever existed.
The loss of love, the loss of trust, the loss of ability to connect with people. I never experienced the love I should have gotten from the people who were supposed to love me but didn’t. I don’t know how to love because I never learned what love really is.
The loss of hope, strongly felt that April 25th night, when I sat alone, nearly dying, and my family didn’t care. The very little hope I had was shattered forever that night. I could have died, I should have died, and my family didn’t care. The loss of hope I continue to feel day in and day out as I realize the world wasn’t meant for me.
The loss of support, through 15 years of working with some of the shittiest therapists, the loss of support when I left everyone I knew behind so I could escape the hell that was my (former) home, the loss of support I feel when my therapist wants to send me away to the hospital, because even she can’t seem to help me.
I carry these losses in my heart every day. Now I have stones to carry with me, too. Because as much as I would like to throw the stones away, it’s not that easy.
I wish people could see these losses inside of me, and not just on these stones I carry.