The last, I don’t know, six months or so, have been hard for me. Since February, I’ve felt that life has been repeatedly kicking me. On the 12th of February, I was assaulted in a bathroom at my old job. My uncle died a few days later. I didn’t really know he was sick. It was hard. I’ve had a family feud going (there is a debate on how long this feud has been going on, but things have been getting better).

About three weeks ago, my partner dumped me and then got emotionally abusive and destroyed my apartment and slashed open a pillow and left a knife in my wall and a bunch of whole other stuff. He’s gone now and I’m left to pick up all of the pieces and put myself back together (I know how to do this). Actually, I think he was always emotionally abusive, but love blinds you to a lot of shit and I’m now in the stages of re-examining our entire relationship and kicking myself for not seeing things sooner.

I went a little crazy and tried to kill myself about a week ago and then my cousin, one of the closest people in my life, died on Tuesday. I arrived on Friday. I was three days away from seeing her for the last time. I’m at my parents now. They’re taking care of me. I’m taking care of myself. I’m clearly a mess and everyone keeps asking me how I’m doing.

Today was my cousin’s visitation and people asked me how I was and I just kept saying, oh, surviving. Then people told me to smile, that she would want me to smile. I gave a half-hearted smile and then they said do better. But it was the best smile I could manage. I feel like a house has fallen on me, if we are in the business of being honest, and as a writer, I’m in the business of being honest.

Most of my relatives do not know that my life has fallen apart again. They see that I’m hardly eating (I just don’t have an appetite) and that I’m crying and think, oh, well, that’s understandable. I’ve been writing 5000 words every single day. Most of it probably doesn’t make sense. I haven’t been sleeping properly and my PTSD is really bad right now. I’m trying to keep my head above water. The writing helps. Like this is my one thing I can fall back on. This is how I can go back and examine things and figure things out and find myself and free myself and move on and get myself back together.

I arrived yesterday. My flight left at 6am and I didn’t sleep until I got on the plane. I was running on about an hour of sleep. When I landed in Denver, I was trying to read the signs and find my mother and I called her and tried not to cry. She kept asking me if I’m okay (if one more person asks me if I’m okay, I think I’m gonna McFreakin’ Lose It) and I kept saying that I was tired. We both knew there is more to it than that. To be fair, the Denver airport is confusing.

So we come home and she is being very gentle with me. In the car, she points out the blue sky and the snow on the mountains. The sky was so clear and I could see everything. All I could think was, my mother is here and now I can fall apart.

She lets me sleep for a few hours and then she is asking me questions that I’m not ready to answer. What happened? I don’t know. You do know. I don’t. I’ve been writing through it and trying to make sense of it. I have guesses and things from my perspective, but I know that my memory and perceptions of things are one sided, that my ex has a completely different narrative, that I have been gaslit so hard that I don’t know what to think. If you don’t know, gas-lighting is the term for when someone is emotionally abusive towards you when they make you doubt yourself, your memories, what happened.

It’s one of the reasons, I think, I’m so shocked when he starts acting so horribly. It’s only when others point out to me how messed up things were that I’m aware that my ex is not the person I thought he was.

I guess I’m going shopping for new clothes tomorrow. I’m trying very hard to be a person. I’m starting to feel like I belong to myself again. I’ve cried so much in the last month that I don’t know if I have any more tears. I’m working on it.

I’m trying to put myself back together. I have a few plans for when I get home. Cleaning my apartment and letting go of things. Making it how I want it to be. I’ve never lived on my own before. I’ve always had roommates or lived with family. I think it will be a fun experiment. I’m going to start baking again and I quit smoking and drinking. I want to start painting again. I’m also writing those 5000 words a day. I’m trying to read again. I’m trying to heal so that I don’t burn myself out again.

I’m working on coming back. I actually feel that I can come back. I’ve wanted to self-harm every single day for the last month, but I still haven’t. That’s amazing. That’s huge. That’s incredible. I know that I can’t go back to being the person I was before. But I also know that the way I’ve been dealing with the trauma in my life isn’t okay and helping no one. So I’m going to become the best version of myself that I can be.

What a journey life is.