My grandmother getting Alzheimer’s. The fear that rushes through her veins every day as she struggles to grapple with where she is and what’s she’s supposed to be doing. Gently reminding her that she’s right where she’s supposed to be before having to explain it all again in five minutes. I still see her in there every now and then. Her laugh sounds the same. Her eyes, the same. But there’s a distance now. I wish I could call her; I need her now more than ever. But now there are days when at first she has trouble finding my name.
Falling for someone who could never love me back. I didn’t learn to love myself first from him breaking my heart. I didn’t have some triumphant breakthrough where I realized I was enough on my own. I didn’t learn much of anything at all, other than that most times, the people we love do not love us back. And that just sucks.
Being born with faulty brain wiring that makes living difficult. That makes me wonder if existing is worth it. That makes me feel alone and pushes people away when I need them the most. I don’t think it’s made me stronger or braver. Maybe more compassionate. Maybe a little more gentle with others. But ultimately it’s just made things hurt more. And there are days I wish I could be anyone else.
My grandfather leaving my mother and her family. It didn’t bring them closer together. It didn’t uncover secret strength, it didn’t work out. It just made things a whole hell of a lot harder for everyone involved.
My best friend’s aunt dying of leukemia. A woman so alive and beautiful and kind. A woman who was strong and brave. A woman who, when told by a boyfriend he’d break up with her if she cut her hair, showed up at his house the next day with a pixie cut. It’s a loss I’ll never understand. It’s something I will never believe happened for a reason. I refuse.