I love going home, but it keeps fucking with my head. I have a great time while I’m there, but when I come back to the city, I fall apart.
I hate being reminded of all the things I don’t remember. My (foster) brother spent the day at my parents place yesterday. I love him and I’m so happy he’s around, but I feel so ashamed and uncomfortable that I don’t have a single memory of him from the decade he lived with us on and off. Not of sitting around the dinner table, not of the family holidays he came on, not the time he broke his arm, not anything.
I was talking to my cousin about our grandparents farm, and somehow our old sheepdog, Jessie, came up. I loved dogs but wasn’t allowed one at my parents, so I adored Jessie – she was around since I was a baby, and she died when I was about 11.
“Remember how sick she was at the end?” C said. “When her legs kept giving out and we’d find her just lying on the ground and she couldn’t get up? I still haven’t forgiven Dad for what he did – she was so terrified of guns, but he took her out in the paddock and shot her so he didn’t have to spend money to have the vet put her down. She must have been so scared.”
I still think about Jessie, even mentioned her to Anna last year, but until two days ago, I hadn’t realised that I had no idea what had happened. I don’t remember her being sick. I don’t remember when she died. C is only a year older than me, and she thought I remembered all of this. I should at least remember being sad that my pet was dead.
And sometimes my memories aren’t right. Over a cup of coffee with a different cousin, I said something about how our nanna couldn’t hurt a fly – she died when I was 13 and again, I don’t have a single actual memory of her, but my feeling is that she was gentle and sweet. My cousin looked at me like I was insane.
“Seriously?! She used to smack us with a stick until it left welts on our legs.”
And, I mean, so what if I don’t remember, right? But sometimes it feels like I’m a stranger in my own life and I don’t know what I’m doing here.
And ever since I was deeply, intensely suicidal last year and all my therapists wanted me committed, I’m only half there whenever I see my family and catch up with my friends. The other half of me is thinking about whether this is going to be the last time I’m ever going to see them. What do I want the last thing I ever say to them to be? What memory can I give them to hold onto when I’m gone? When I hug them goodbye, I hang on a little longer than normal, soaking it up and trying to remember what it feels like, in case this is my last chance to make a memory that I can call up to think about while I’m dying. It’s good, in a way – I tell people I love them a lot more than I used to – but it’s tiring and it’s sad. I don’t even really want to die, right now, but on the plane I was running through my normal checklist – who do I still need to write suicide letters to? have I checked whether my student debt will pass to my family when I die? I really need to write out who I want my stuff and my money to go to.
When I got home last night, I found R had gathered up all the things I had at his house and left them in the middle of my room. That hurt. Including the stuffed dog from Anna, which I’d left with him because I can’t bear to have in my room but didn’t want to throw out.
None of the psychiatrists I’d picked can see me, and my doctor said she’s not making any more calls. If I want a referral I’m going to have to call the crisis team.
I don’t remember why self harm is a bad idea. I honestly can’t think of any reasons why I shouldn’t do it. I’ve cut over 500 times and burnt myself more than 30 – so what if I do it again? What difference does it make?
I caught up with R this afternoon, even though I didn’t want to, and he asked if I wanted to talk about anything. I felt completely, unaccountably furious, and I wanted to yell at him, overturn the table and storm out. No, I DON’T want to talk about anything! Fuck you, and fuck Jen and Aisha! But I do want to talk, just not to him, and not to anyone who’s actually here. I want to talk to Anna.