I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m drowning

Jacob Walti, CC0
Jacob Walti, CC0

An email written 5 years ago, and left to linger in my Drafts folder. Has not been edited or altered in anyway except to redact names.

Dear J —

I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I tried to sleep i always try to sleep but I lied about breaking bottles in the backyard today. I wanted to. I needed DESPERATELY to. To break something. Anything. Bottles. Plates. The fucking windows. My own fingers. ANYTHING. But I was worried that if I broke bottles in the backyard the glass shards might get lost in the grass and the next time S– mowed the lawn a piece would blow back and cut him. Or the dogs would step on them or try to eat them. And I thought about just throwing some on the kitchen floor, but then I was worried about chipping or breaking the fucking tile floor, because it’s a rental and mom can’t afford to be replacing the damn floor. So I sat there on the floor with three shots of vodka mixed with a little ice tea and stared at the glass bottles we’re saving for recycling hating myself because I AM SO FUCKING RESPONSIBLE I CAN’T BREAK A FEW FUCKING BOTTLES. and i am so fucking tired of being responsible, of being contained and controlled, of being whatever everyone else needs me to be. Because I wake up in the morning hating it and dreading it and wishing to god I never had to wake up again and I lay there and refuse to move so determined to just keep my eyes closed and then THEN I feel GUILTY and force myself to get up and get out of bed because I have to take care of a five cats and two dogs while mom and S– are working, and I have to take care of a 16 yr old cat which is like taking care of an infant or a really sick old man, and my god i can’t lay in bed all day because SOMEONE has to do the dishes or the laundry or clean the bathroom and SOMEONE eventually has to make dinner, and BY GOD I’m supposed to be writing a chapter proposal for an academic book and I NEED to finish that goddamn incomplete SOMEHOW. But I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t there is nothing in my brain and just moving HURTS and I feel like I’m suffocating and I don’t fucking care anymore, and I even writing fiction is painful and slow and almost not worth it and the only thing that works is writing Allen because living in Allen’s brain is really just living in a slightly different shade of my own because he’s broken and he’s alone and he’s shaking and everything else around him is still as a corpse and he’s got his fucking finger on the FUCKING TRIGGER and the only really difference of course is that he just WANTS to be needed, whereas I wish to god everyone would STOP NEEDING THINGS FROM ME mom and S– and my students and the fucking school and my dad who never calls but will guilt trip me forever if I don’t fly out to visit them, and of course I made sure Allen has real legitimate things to be broken about – all his friends dead and he’s crippled and suffering from severe ptsd OF COURSE he’s allowed to be broken no one is going to begrudge him that and DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN I wish I pray I beg on a nearly daily basis that something horrible would happen to me, a mugging a car crash cancer ANYTHING I DON’T CARE – Every time I’m in the car with mom and she’s getting angry and driving recklessly and I know I KNOW some day she’s going to crash and I close my eyes and wait for it, WAIT for it, and dear god it would be A RELIEF because then THEN I could point to it- this wound this sickness something VISIBLE something PHYSICAL that people can see and touch and understand and BELIEVE and SAY: SEE! THIS! THIS RIGHT HERE! IS WHY I HURT AND WHY I’M SCARED AND CRYING AND ANGRY AND BROKEN! AND THEY WOULD UNDERSTAND BELIEVE ME AND I WOULDN’T HAVE TO DEFEND THIS FUCKING PAIN BECAUSE IT WAS REAL INSTEAD OF THIS GHOST IN MY BRAIN THAT WON’T STOP HAUNTING ME. THERE IS A HOLE IN MY CHEST THE SIZE OF THE SUN AND NO ONE CAN SEE IT BUT ME AND IT IS SWALLOWING ME WHOLE. I AM DROWNING EVERYDAY OF MY FUCKING LIFE AND I MY FINGERS ARE SCRABBLING TO GRAB ONTO ANYTHING AT ALL AND NO ONE EVEN NOTICES AND ITS TOO HARD TO SCREAM AND SOMETIMES IT IS JUST EASIER AND LESS PAINFUL TO SIMPLY STOP. AND SINK. I want to just stop. I lay in bed and wish I could find someway to just STOP MOVING. Stop breathing. Stop everything. Just never exist. Ever. And I think how easy – my GOD do you understand HOW EASY IT WOULD BE to just STOP. But I don’t. And I don’t because of the same guilt that gets me out of bed in the morning. And GOOD FUCKING CHRIST HOW IS THAT A GOOD REASON??? How is guilt the only thing that’s keeping me alive on most days? HOW IS THAT ANY WAY TO LIVE? I know you don’t really understand and I’m SO GLAD that you don’t understand. I would not wish this feeling on the most evil person in the whole of history. And I want you to understand REALLY REALLY understand and not just in that sweet nodding “oh she’s speaking metaphorically of course” way that you LITERALLY saved my life when I met you junior year of high school. IF I HAD NOT MET YOU I WOULD NOT BE ALIVE RIGHT NOW. I am absolutely a hundred percent certain that I would have slit my wrists before the year was over. I know it I know it I know because I have come so close so many times. And I am so grateful to you and I love you so much and I will never be able to properly express it but by god there are days when I almost wish I had spared myself the last ten years because what a fuck-up I’m making of this whole shit deal. PLEASE GOD SOMEONE MAKE THIS HOLE IN MY CHEST GO AWAY. IT WON’T GO AWAY and I am drowning.

Silent Sister


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