Family

I was waiting outside at the bus stop earlier today when I saw my cousin walk by. My gut reaction was to scream out and run to her. Hey! Remember me? I’m your family!  But then I remembered her direct connection to my mother, and I started to panic and hide away.

I’m not even sure why I felt the need to hide. My cousin hasn’t seen me since I was a child, at least 15 years ago. She hasn’t changed much at all; I, on the other hand, look nothing like I did as a child. My eyes are the same, but that’s about it. She would have never recognized me. I probably would have scared her, shouting her name across the parking lot. I was a stranger to her.

As I sat there, processing the hurricane of emotions I just had in that short moment, the realization started to sink in again. I have no family. I felt the emptiness in my heart, and I started to cry. At the bus stop. With people around. Great.

I know that disconnecting from my family was the safest thing I could have ever done. I ran away from my parents, and in doing that, I also ran away from the rest of my family. I can’t risk my life connecting with anyone who is still connecting with my mother. As badly as I want to feel that family connection, I have to realize and absorb that is no longer possible.

What little family I did have left, I have had to disconnect from. Even though they were technically safe and disconnected from my mother, they were not emotionally safe for me. After enough repeated heartbreak and longing for love and support that was just met with frustration and hurt, I had to cut them away.

Now, I literally have no family. I am still grieving that loss. The wound is still fresh. It’s so hard, because no matter how many friends I have, they are not my family. I need family. I’m not sure what’s so wrong with me that I could never get that.

Strings

I feel like a marionette. Each string is a connection to my life, a piece of who I am. I need those strings to perform. I need those strings to live. But those strings are thin and weak; they started out that way. I started my life out with a disadvantage. 

But I continued to perform, I continued to live even with those weak strings. Now I’ve lost so many strings that all I can do is sit there and twitch a few limbs, waiting for that last string to break, the moment when I lose myself completely.

Some of my strings, I cut away myself. I had to. My parents were not supportive strings. They had to go. They were taking complete control over everything. The other strings couldn’t work right. I needed some freedom. 

In doing that, I weakened some of my other strings. The strings of people who I thought were there for me, they ended up snapping. They were only helping me alongside my parents’ strings. Once my parents’ strings were gone, so too were those others.

And then the strings of people in my old life, my friends and acquaintances. I feel them weakening as time goes on. Some of them have broken already. Some are splintering, seconds away from complete disconnection. I look up and see the damage, but there’s nothing I can do. So I have to watch as my strings continue to break away.

The strings of people I called my family – they are weakening, too; they were weak this whole time. I’m seeing now that those strings are not supporting me. They are there. I can see them. Everyone on the outside can see them. They appear to be strong, maybe a little colorful, but it’s all for show. They are not doing anything for me. They’re just there.

There’s one strong string. That is the string of my therapist. She’s holding me upright, even as all of the strings around me are snapping and breaking away.

But now that I’ve lost all of my other strings, all of my other resources, And I have nothing left to help her; I have nothing else left to help me.

Soon, that string will be cut from me. And I will have nothing. My supports will be gone, and nothing will be there to hold me up anymore. So I’ll fall to the ground, limp and lifeless.

I’ll no longer have a purpose.

A need for connection

Some days are harder than others.

Some days, I make it through the day without thinking much about home.  Other days, like today, I think about the people I’ve left behind…and it makes me sad.  I feel completely alone here.

While I do keep in contact with my best friend, it’s just not the same.  We talk on the phone once a week and text a few times in between phone calls.  My other friend from work has remained distant; aside from a few texts, we rarely talk.  I am too afraid to reach out anymore than I have.  I don’t want to push people into something they are not comfortable with, considering they work with my mother.  But for a long time, these two people were my only source of meaningful human contact.  We would exchange hugs every day when I got to work, and then again when I left.  I needed that comfort, that affection, that connection because it was something I had never had before.  And now I am back to not having it.  Sometimes I think about dropping everything and getting on a train and going back to see them, even if it’s just for five minutes, even if it’s just for a hug.  But I know I can’t do that.  I can’t go back.  And that hurts.

Last week, I became so lonely that I started talking to random strangers on the internet.  One of the conversations seemed genuine so I decided to meet him.  I just wanted to talk to someone face-to-face.  It wound up being a horrible experience and I ended up at a place I didn’t know at three o’clock in the morning with a guy who refused to take me home unless I gave him what he wanted.  Once I managed to get home, I walked in the door and immediately broke down crying.  I can’t blame anybody but myself.  I am ashamed that I even thought anything good would have come out of that.

In therapy today, I talked a lot about my strained relationships with my two friends.  Then I disclosed what had happened a few days earlier with the random internet stranger.  When she asked why I did it, I told her I needed to connect with someone.  I needed to connect face-to-face, not over text or phone conversation.  It’s just not the same.  At that point, I didn’t care who it was; I needed it that bad.  At the end of our session, my therapist asked if she could give me a hug.  I tried so hard to hold back my tears.  I didn’t want her to let go.  For that minute, I felt comfortable.  I needed it.  She knew I needed it, too.

I’ve spent the last few hours crying to myself.  I feel like I am grieving the loss of so many relationships; the relationships with my family (which weren’t good anyway) and the relationships with my friends (which are slowly fading away).  As much as I try to pretend like I don’t need people, I really do.  I wish I didn’t have to abandon everything and everyone I knew.  It’s not fair.  While I may be safe, I am so incredibly alone.