PAFPAC Support Forum

The PAFPAC support forum for survivors of female-perpetrated abuses is up and running. There are a few members, but no one is really comfortable with posting yet. If you are a survivor of any type of female-perpetrated abuse, please consider joining the PAFPAC Support Forum.

It is a private forum, so you will need to ‘apply’ – I receive a notification and can approve you the same day. This is so members feel more comfortable sharing and it helps weed out people who may be there for the wrong reasons. The forum is really for anything, not just talk about abuse, but also healing and everyday struggles.

If you or anyone you know can benefit, please pass on the information.

Thank you.

 

18 weeks

I can’t believe I’ve made it 18 weeks.

This journey has been anything but easy. But I’m still moving through and moving on. Not everyone would be able to do that. I never thought that I would be able to do that.

My coworker has told me numerous times that I have “found a home here.” I know that he is referring to our workplace as home, and I agree. I fit in so well at work, even being the only female among so many men and boys. I can be myself…my sarcastic, funny, cursing-like-a-sailor self. I’ve also learned that I don’t have to put up a wall there. It’s okay not to be happy all of the time, and they accept that and embrace it. As much as my workplace is a home for me, I feel like I’ve also found a home here, in the city where I now reside. I’ve met so many people and done so many things here that I would have never done in my old home. Being free feels so different, so scary and yet so rewarding.

A friend of mine reached out to me yesterday. It was strange because I had just been thinking about her, realizing that her birthday was coming up and wondering what I could mail to her just to let her know I still care. My best friend showed her some recent pictures of me and she noticed how much better I looked. She said I looked good and relaxed. I thanked her and told her it’s still a struggle, but I manage. Then she told me she was proud of me. I put my phone down and tried to hold back the tears, but they came through anyway. Someone was proud of me. I know it’s such a simple statement, but it’s something I wanted and tried for so long to get my parents to feel towards me; of course, that never happened. I’ve recently heard it from other people in my life and rejected it, as I tend to do with positive compliments given to me. Hearing those words from her just…I don’t know how to describe it. It meant so much to me.

I’ve been working on acknowledging my denial of my DID diagnosis and trying to get past it. I think I am in a better place now – not all the way there, but close enough – to accept everything. I’m not going to lie, I’m still scared of what will happen in the future. As I get closer to my parts, I know that I will have to deal with new memories, and those memories will not always be good ones. I think I have a good support system in place to help me through it, though. I’m not alone. We’re not alone. We don’t have to feel like we’re all alone anymore. I don’t want my parts to feel like they have to hide anymore. They’ve been through enough.

There is a DID conference coming up in February through An Infinite Mind. I’ve thought about going to a conference for the last two months. There was a conference given by another organization just a few weeks ago, but it was on the other side of the country and just not feasible. This conference is probably the closest and most accessible to me, as it’s taking place in Orlando, FL. On a whim, I asked my best friend if he would go with me (the conference is for people with DID, their supporters, and therapists). He said he would. I feel so much better about going there with someone I know and trust. I think it will be a good experience for me. I still have to figure out exactly how I am going to manage it financially, but I’ll do what I have to do. I’ve already gathered some things to sell online to earn some extra money that I can put towards the trip. I think I deserve it. I know I deserve it. It will work out somehow.

I have a little more than two weeks left to get my graduate school application completed. I’ve ordered the transcripts, mailed out recommendation forms to be filled out by my professor, and filled out the FAFSA. All I have left to do is the essay. It’s funny how writing comes so easily for me until there is something that I need to write. Then I put it off for as long as I can because I feel that my writing will be inadequate, or that I won’t have anything substantial to write. I’ll get it done. I need to get it done before life gets so crazy that I just won’t have the time.

I felt a little guilty today because I had off from work and didn’t really do anything except wash my laundry. I haven’t really had a day off to myself in a while. I probably needed to sit at home and do nothing. I’m tired, physically and mentally. I’ve had a headache for four days. I need a break. But there’s really no time for breaks. I just hope I don’t burn out.

I needed a hero

Sometimes social media leads me to feel things I would rather not feel. For this reason, I try to avoid social media around holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day because I know that I’m going to see things that will make me angry or upset. Still, there are posts about great mothers and fathers all year round, and I can’t avoid social media forever.

I don’t take most posts personally. I do when someone says something like you must honor your mother because she’s the only one you have. Unfortunately, I’ve seen my fair share of these posts and experienced many people carrying this belief in real life. I used to shut my mouth and quietly seethe on the inside. Then I started answering back. No, mothers need to earn honor and respect. No, being a mother doesn’t automatically make you a good person. It still amazes me how unreceptive people are to the reality that mothers are not all good. Many people shut me down. Most just ignored me. I hope that I got through to at least one person. If so, my battle was worth it. It’s difficult to fight against something that is still reinforced so strongly in society.

The less direct posts about parents just make me sad. They are a reminder of what I missed throughout childhood. I came across this post on my Instagram last week and had to stop myself from getting emotional.

image

I needed a super hero. So many times as a child, I wished that Superman would come and take me away from my mother. My mom was never my super hero. She was the villain I needed to be protected from. She was the evil that needed to be fought against. She should’ve been my hero, but she wasn’t. I never had the chance to feel safe and protected. Why couldn’t she just be my super hero? Why couldn’t my father? Why did my world have to be full of villains?

I feel like I’m constantly going to be grieving the loss of the family I never had. There are always going to be reminders of it: any time I see a parent hugging their child, any post on social media glorifying a mother or father, each holiday I spend without a family. There will always be that piece of me missing, my point of origin. Sure, I can build my own family, but it will never be the same as what I should have had from the beginning.

Photographs

I don’t have any photographs from my childhood.

I wish I would have stolen just a few before I left. I wouldn’t even have been able to, though, because whatever family photos my family had were in a lock-box. All I am left with now is memories.

There were not very many photographs of me aside from the yearly school pictures. In comparison, there were a lot of photographs of my brother. It makes sense; he was the first-born, and very much the more favored child of the two of us.

My baby pictures were hidden away in that box, with the exception of a few I managed to take and keep in a box in my room. I was a small baby, with very tan skin and a head full of pitch black hair. I looked nothing like either of my parents. I looked nothing like my blonde-haired, blue-eyed brother. Where did that baby come from? I remember, over the years, people responding in disbelief when they saw the picture; they insisted that baby was not me. Why would my mother have pictures of another person’s baby? Clearly it was me. An innocent baby, with no idea what she would have to endure in the years to come. I feel sorry for that baby. I wonder what she could have done differently to make her mother love her.

I remember a few pictures of me as a toddler, with out-of-control curly hair, an innocent smile, and bright eyes that were full of life. I was a beautiful child. There was no reason not to love me.

I saw a clear change in the photographs of me once I was past toddler-hood. There was one photograph I will never forget. I must have been around 5 years old. I was sitting on the floor in back of my closed bedroom door, with my head looking up from the fetal position I had taken. There was a look of fear and sadness in my face. My eyes were no longer bright. My smile was long gone. I wonder what happened to make me feel that way. I wonder why my mother felt compelled to take my picture. Other photographs depicted the same sadness, the same emptiness that I continued to have well into my adulthood. The light in my eyes ceased to exist. Smiles were few and far between. I was no longer that innocent child.

Then there were the photographs of me in the shower, very much past the age of being able to bathe myself. I can barely understand having naked pictures of an infant. I will never understand why a parent would take naked pictures of a child. I didn’t know such pictures existed until last year, when my mother flaunted them in my face. I was able to get hold of one and destroy it, though it took me months to gather the strength to see the photo again.

I feel sick not knowing if she has any other photos like that hidden somewhere. I wish I would have set fire to all of her photos before I left. She doesn’t deserve to remember me.

With the invention of the smartphone, I began taking pictures of myself. Even then, there was something missing. I rarely smiled, and when I did, it was forced. My sadness and emptiness were written all over my face. I never noticed it because to me, that was my normal. When people recently started pointing out how much better I looked since I had escaped, I looked at old pictures I had taken of myself and I realized they were right. My face has always explained my feelings better than I ever could verbalizing them. Just like those photographs of me as a child, clearly miserable and in fear, but never able to express it in any other way.

I wish I just had something tangible to hold onto other than my memories.

I’m sorry, I’m okay

I managed at the last minute to drag myself to therapy today despite feeling like absolute shit.

Last night was difficult for me. I have had so much going on, and I’ve kept it all inside. Stress about home, about grad school applications, about how I’m going to afford grad school, about how I’m going to afford living. Then add issues about my family, an overall lack of sleep, and the seemingly constant chaos inside of my head, and I wonder how I am not locked up in an institution somewhere.

The pain was just too much for me that my heart was actually hurting. Yet I was completely unable to express any emotion. I was numb and in pain at the same time, and I know that is impossible but that is how I felt. I couldn’t take the pain any more. I ended up hurting myself just so I could feel something real. But that only works in the short-term. I woke up the next morning with the same emotional pain, plus the physical pain from what I had inflicted on myself the night before.

I didn’t really want to be in therapy. I didn’t want to be anywhere. But I knew I couldn’t skip out without causing alarm. So I went, sat in my usual spot on the couch, and looked at the floor. My therapist asked if there was anything I needed to talk about. I told her no, that she could talk. I didn’t really want to get into anything. I just wanted to sit there and pretend like everything was fine and dandy.

My therapist started talking about managing my DID better. It is something I know I need to do, but I’ve been at a point where I just want to ignore it and hope that it goes away. She said if I take time and communicate with my parts, it won’t be so chaotic inside. Right now, my parts are running amok like a child who is being ignored and wanting attention. I know that she’s right, I just don’t have the mindset to deal with all of that right now.

I wasn’t into the conversation, and my therapist could tell. I couldn’t tell her what was wrong, though. I tried to reveal minor things in order to avoid the major, but even that wasn’t working. I had put my walls up, and she was not getting through. She asked if she was the problem. I told her it wasn’t her. And it’s not. The problem is with me. Part of me is still scared to talk. Part of me is still afraid to say how I’m feeling.

Then, in the middle of the weak back-and-forth we were engaging in, my therapist asked if I could try to not apologize whenever I say how I am feeling. It is something she has brought up before; she tells me regularly that I don’t need to apologize, but I still keep doing it. I told her I couldn’t do that. She asked why it was so hard for me to stop. I told her I’m not supposed to have feelings. Feelings get you in trouble. Feelings get you punished. Then my therapist asked how I would be punished, and I managed to nod my head yes when she asked if it was physical.

I started to think about all of the times I had to suppress my feelings, and all the times I accidentally made them known. Whenever I was upset or cried, she’d make it hurt more. Whenever I showed my anger, she’d tell me anger was the devil coming through and I needed to be punished. Then there was the incident that finally broke me. When someone from my high school called my parents and told them I was feeling depressed, my father sat me down that night and told me he’d give me something to be depressed about. I sat there and took the beating and tried to be stoic, but after a few minutes, the tears came and all I could do was apologize and beg for mercy that never came. I never cried during a beating again.

On an intellectual level, I know my therapist isn’t going to hurt me for expressing my feelings. Yet, I still find myself apologizing dozens of times each session. I even apologized for crying after the group workshop the other day. Being sorry is part of my programming. I should be sorry for feeling. I should be sorry for expressing emotion. I should be sorry for breathing. My parents made me feel as if I should be sorry just for existing and taking up space in their lives. I am sorry. I am sorry I was born.

In addition to my apologetic programming, I also have a tendency to tell everyone I’m okay. In therapy, those words tend to follow right after I say I’m sorry. It’s almost as if I’m trying to convince myself that I’m okay as much as I’m trying to convince the other person.

Towards the end of our session today, I felt myself becoming overwhelmed with emotion. As a defense, I must have said “I’m okay” at least five times in succession. Then my therapist told me that I don’t have to say I’m okay when I’m not okay. She said knows I put up a facade and that’s how I’ve made it through life so far, but I don’t have to put that mask on anymore and I don’t have to put it up when I’m with her. She continued to talk about it and I finally just burst out and said “I’m not okay.”

I don’t think I’ve ever said those words out loud before. I don’t think my therapist expected me to say them right then, either. I don’t even think I expected to say them. But I did. And now the truth is out there.

Why didn’t she just kill me?

Today was another long therapy session. I really just wanted a normal session. I think that’s what I want every time, and it rarely works out that way.

I mentioned the incident that occurred a few nights earlier. My therapist asked me what happened and I explained in detail. I stared at the floor as I told her everything, still ashamed of my reaction that night. Just talking about it was difficult for me. This isn’t the first difficult situation I’ve been in at home. It’s been a concern for my therapist, but I keep insisting that I can make it through.

This was by far the worst yet in terms of the after effects. I was a mess for days. My therapist asked me whose fault I thought it was. I told her it was my fault. I left home. I came here. I moved into this house. Now I have to deal with it. My issues are not her fault. Everything is my fault.

I was struggling to stay present and my struggle was apparent, because my therapist said she could see that it was difficult for me to stay present and suggested we color some coloring pages. I obliged, of course. I noticed myself getting frustrated more than usual over the simple act of coloring. I couldn’t find the right color, so I’d sit there and stare at the box of crayons agonizing over what color to pick as if it were the most important decision of my day. Maybe I just didn’t want to think about anything else. I don’t know.

We started talking about my financial difficulties, and about getting into grad school to help ease the burden. Then she looked up the application on her computer and all of the requirements I needed: the four-question essay, the letters of recommendation, the GRE (which I never took). Nothing is overly complicated but I just don’t have the mental energy to deal with it right now. I don’t have much time (less than 6 weeks) before the application must be completed. My therapist asked if I’d want to take session time to go through some of the things and she can help me with getting everything done. I told her I didn’t know. I was really thinking that if I needed help just getting the application done, I probably don’t belong in grad school. Conflicting.

I was getting frustrated so I tried to change the subject. I talked about a recent conversation with someone close to me, and how it changed how it made me feel towards them. My therapist delved into it more, and started asking why I felt the way I did. I told her I didn’t have much of a choice; I need this person because I don’t have anyone else. I left my family. I’m alone now. Then my therapist tried to remind me that I left my abusive family, the people who hurt me for so long. I told her it wasn’t that bad. I told her I could have just been stronger. I abandoned them.

I started to feel anger building up inside of me. I stopped coloring, clenched my fists so tightly that my nails dug into my skin, and stared at the floor, trying not to think about anything. I didn’t want to feel anything.  Go away, feelings.

My therapist came over to sit next to me and asked me what I was feeling. I told her I was angry. Then she asked who I was angry with. I told her I was angry at myself. It’s a common theme for me. I turn my feelings inward. She told me that it was okay to be angry at the people who deserve it. I told her it’s not okay to be angry. She asked why. I told her that anger hurts people. In my mind, I associate anger with abuse. I don’t want to be angry with anyone because I don’t want to end up hurting them. I don’t want to turn into my mother. She told me that anger is a perfectly acceptable feeling; it didn’t mean that I was going to hurt someone, and it didn’t mean that feeling wasn’t right. She told me I have reason to be angry. I can still be angry at the people in my life who failed to protect me, even though they may have apologized for their wrongs. I can be angry at my family, at my father and mother. She tried to tell me there was nothing wrong with feeling angry.

By this time, the anger was building up even more. My hands were still clenched and shaking. My therapist insisted on holding my hand. I told her I didn’t want to hurt her. She said it was okay, she can handle it…to let her take on some of my anger. I just wanted to punch something. I needed a release. I don’t want to feel anger. I don’t want to feel anger towards my mother. But I felt some of my anger being redirected towards her and I couldn’t take it back. Then I said it. The question that has plagued me for years.

“Why didn’t she just kill me?”

“Your mother?” She asked, though it really needed no clarification.

I told her I didn’t understand why anyone would make someone suffer like that for so long. Why didn’t my mother just kill me? She wouldn’t have had to put any more effort into torturing me. It would have been easier for us both. I wouldn’t have to be suffering now. For so many birthdays, I wished for death. But not for her death, for my own. I was never so concerned with anger towards her as I was in ending my suffering.

I felt myself starting to cry, so I turned away until I could push my feelings back down. This is why I didn’t want to feel anger towards her. Once you open that box, it’s hard to close it back up. I don’t want to unleash all of that anger. I don’t have time to unleash all of that anger. I don’t even understand my anger. It goes against everything people are supposed to feel.  People are supposed to feel grateful to their parents for giving them life. So why am I feeling anger that my mother chose to bring me into this world? My feelings don’t compute. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. Feeling angry with her only makes me feel worse about myself.

I hate feelings.

I hate her.

I hate me.

14 weeks

Today marks 14 weeks of freedom.

Sometimes I still question what the hell I’m doing here. I wish I could say my situation is ideal, but it isn’t. I’m living on savings. I’m still paying off my family’s debts. I made the decision to apply to grad school for the spring semester so I can take out loans to help support myself. It was one of the options my therapist brought up to me, and the most doable. I will still have time to manage my own mental health without completely exhausting myself. I can start trying to relate to those parts of me that need attention, attention that I just haven’t had the energy to give. I just need to stay on top of myself and make sure I finish the application in time, because otherwise I’m screwed.

My living situation is a mess at times. There are times when it’s okay. Then there are times when I am scared to be here. My roommate got herself into a situation the other night and yelled my name out to help her. It was the middle of the night. I had already heard them fighting before that and tried to keep myself grounded. When she yelled for me, I froze. Then I realized I had wet my pants…something I hadn’t done for weeks and had just told my therapist about it like it was the biggest accomplishment ever. In that moment, I’m not sure my mind knew that I wasn’t a child, that I wasn’t back at home, and that it wasn’t my mother yelling my name. I was in fear. So I cleaned myself up and left without saying a word. I didn’t even check to see if she was okay. I wasn’t even okay.

I guess I should be grateful to be out of my previous home situation, but I never intended to throw myself into a different unsafe situation. Maybe this is just the norm. Maybe my hope of one day living in peace is just a dream that can’t be fulfilled. I don’t know. I’ve been through enough already. Why do I keep getting hit with more? When do I get a break? Sometimes it seems more worthwhile to end up in jail. I’m already used to it. For now, I’ve resorted to wearing a Superman beanie to bed. I realize it’s a very child-like response to the things that have happened, but it’s a false sense of security that is working for me in the moment. Superman will protect me.

Today also happens to be my brother’s birthday. I’m not even sure why I care. Perhaps because it was so hard to ignore the disparity between how my brother’s birthdays were celebrated and how mine were. My brother always got what he wanted. He still does. My mother always forced me to buy him a birthday gift, even though I never wanted to celebrate him. I hated him. I hated how he was honored, yet when my birthday rolled around, it was just another day. I actually grew to hate my birthdays for a while until my friends at work started celebrating it like it should have been celebrated by my own family. Then, it didn’t matter to me how my family treated me on that day, because my friends and coworkers would always do enough to make me feel wanted.

I almost feel bad for my brother. Here he is now, in his mid-late 30s, still being controlled by our mother. He doesn’t understand that there is life without her. She doesn’t own him. She is not his wife (though she continuously acts as if she is). He is still following mommy’s orders like he is six years old. I will admit, his willingness to comply likely saved him a lot of pain in childhood. I got the brunt of the abuse because there was always a part of me that wanted to rebel, that wanted to go against my mother. I think my mother knew that, which is why she kept me under such tight control, yet allowed my brother a little more freedom. My brother did whatever she would say. He would believe anything she said. If she claimed the sky was green, he would eagerly agree with her. I could never do that, even as a child. It ended up causing me a lot more pain and anguish. Perhaps it would have been better for me to just comply like a good little soldier. But then where would I be? Like my brother? My brother is not free. He may very well never be free until the day she dies.

But I’m free. My mother no longer controls me. I may have a lot more scars than my brother, and a few more (diagnosed) psychological problems. But I’m free. I’m intelligent, I have a decent head on my shoulders, a good moral compass, and a sense of responsibility; all things my brother lacks. While the lack of those things may have saved him from some pain, it has only prolonged his prison sentence. I’ve been exonerated, and I’m never going back.

11 weeks

I am 11 weeks free today.

I wish my mind could embrace that concept. Freedom. But there is still a huge disparity between what intellectually I know to be true and what my mind believes is going to happen.  I still jump at every noise: every creak of the kitchen table, every knock at the door, every honk of a horn. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing; when it happens, I go into panic mode. My heart races, the nausea kicks in, the crying starts, and the intrusive thoughts flood my mind. It’s an exhausting way to live.

I also wish the people close to me would understand me better. It doesn’t matter where I am.  I could be five miles away or five thousand miles away from my mother, but my brain will always be on constant alert.  I’ll continue to have that fear, even when intellectually I know that it’s not possible that she’s here with me. I also wish some of my friends would stop being so critical. I had enough criticism in my old life. I don’t need criticism in my new life. It bothers me when people ignore every positive step I’ve taken and only point that time I took a sip of alcohol. Just because you don’t agree with a decision I’ve made, doesn’t mean it’s a bad decision. I find myself torn between keeping these people in my circle because my circle is already so small as it is, or ridding myself of them and becoming even more alone.

I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. Sometimes I feel like I’m running on autopilot, and I don’t know how I make it through the day. Something in me has gotten me out of bed each morning, allowed me to take a shower, gotten me dressed, and pushed me to get to work every morning. But I’m tired. As weird as it sounds, living in my old life wasn’t nearly as exhausting as this. I dealt with the abuse, but I always expected it. Now, even though I’m in a safe place, I am constantly on alert. It’s draining. The human body is not built to handle being under stress 24/7. I’m not superhuman. I can’t be expected to do this much longer. I’ve already been through enough. Sometimes I wonder if this life is really better, because in many ways, it feels worse.

But I’ll keep pushing forward. I don’t really have any other choice. I won’t get to finish telling my story. The world won’t know who my mother really is. I won’t be able to help others fight the good fight. So far, I’ve managed to have just over 450 people read at least part of my story. That’s more than I could have ever imagined. Four-hundred and fifty people now know part of my truth. That’s a powerful thing.

If I give up, my mother wins. I can’t have that. Not now.

Daughter’s Day

Apparently it is National Daughter’s Day, or that’s what the internet seems to believe.  My Facebook has been inundated the last two days with pictures and posts from mothers honoring and saying beautiful things about their daughters.  I started to read some of the posts.  Then it got to be too much and I had to stop.  I’ll never have one of those posts from my mother.  I’ll never be honored on Daughter’s Day.  I am no longer a daughter.  My mother should have lost that right the first day she laid her hands on me, but she didn’t.  Instead, she lost the privilege to be my mother the day I walked out on her 11 weeks ago.

I went to the movies earlier today to try to clear my mind.  I thought seeing a kid’s movie would be a safe bet.  I was wrong.  Instead, I found myself crying five minutes into the start of the movie.  Why?  The movie began with the father standing by as his daughter got married.  I began to think of my own future wedding.  And that brought up a whole stream of thoughts about my future.

My father won’t be walking me down the aisle to give me away when I get married.  He won’t be dancing with me at my reception.  There will be no mother-of-the-bride at my wedding, no heart-to-heart conversation between mother and daughter before I take the long walk down the aisle to married life.  There will be no family to share in my happiness and excitement that day.  My side of the room will be empty.  I’m no longer a daughter.  I’m alone.

When I walk down the aisle at graduation in a couple of months to officially receive my degree, there will be no one there to cheer me on.  My father won’t be there recording the moment I shake the dean’s hand.  My mother won’t be applauding me after I make my speech.  There won’t be anyone in the audience for me; no one will be there to take my picture.  I’m no longer a daughter.  I’m alone.

When I have my first child, my mother won’t be there to help me get through those tough first weeks.  I won’t have my mother to turn to for help when I am feeling overwhelmed or have a question I am too embarrassed to ask anyone else.  My mother and father will never know the joy of holding their grandchild in their arms and seeing their grandchild’s beautiful smile. I’ll never be able to share each milestone with any of my family. My family will never be there to celebrate each birthday. I’m no longer a daughter.  I’m alone.

When I become successful, my mother and father won’t be there by my side to congratulate me.  I won’t be telling the world how I couldn’t do it without my parents’ support and guidance.  I won’t be thanking them or acknowledging their presence in my life.  They won’t be allowed to say “that’s my girl” or pat themselves on the back for a job well done.  Everything I have become and will become in the future is no thanks to them.  They deserve no recognition or honor.  They shattered me into a million pieces and took away the glue.  I’m no longer a daughter.  I’m alone.

As my children grow older and ask questions about their family, I’ll have nothing to offer them. I have no photographs. I have no happy memories, no stories to pass down to them. My children will never get to know what it’s like to be spoiled by grandma and grandpa. They will never even know that my mother and father exist. All that my children will be left with is a shell of a mother. That half of the family tree will always be empty for them.  They will be no one’s grandchildren. They’ll be alone.

When my mother and father pass away, there will be no tears or sadness from me.  I won’t be writing their obituaries or delivering any eulogies.  I won’t be attending their funerals.  I won’t be there as they are lowered into the ground, buried and left to rot.  I will never visit their graves, bring them flowers, or say any prayers for them.  I’m no longer their daughter.  They are alone.

Because of me, everyone is alone.