This year I forgot his birthday was in a few days. But then I remembered a few days before his birthday so is that technically remembering?

Either way, it felt like I forgot.

Then I became sad. Because I used to remember it. I used to mark it on the calendar. It was something I looked forward to because birthdays are always something I look forward to. This year I didn’t want to remember.

Memories- good ones- I have to fight for. There are some that are pleasant… but the bad ones hover. Underneath all the pain I can dig for better ones; happier memories of who I wish he still was… if he still is?

For a moment I’m ten again and full of adoration. But I remember even then the severe hurt; lines from my pen carved angrily into my childhood diary full of curse words about him. It was always about him. And those memories where I felt like he loved me- like I’d never be without him- breaks the heart that remembers. That’s how it gets me, dragging me in again fooling me into believing there’s hope. That the connection is authentic.

But it’s not.

The bad memories are a thick ink covering any of the good. The bad is so twisted I’m paralysed. How someone with so much light turns so dark… not even grey anymore… I dont know. Even though there’s been a lot of shadows in my life, this one clouds.

It’s a sickness, they say. I’ve been hearing that chorus since I was in pigtails. I never wanted to believe it because in a way it seemed normal. And of course it seemed normal when it’s all I’ve ever known. But then I woke up. I saw it. And my heart wants to explode:

“You’re sick!”, but what version would be heard?

“Get some fucking help!”, but who would get the help?

“Stop living life like a miserable fuck and get yourself right because you can do SO much!”, but what would be the spin?

You don’t have to suffer. Not like this. Not this badly.

When it comes to mental illness I get it. But I don’t understand denial… not when there’s a chance to heal.

So this year as his birthday ticks by on the calendar, I think of him as if he’s dead. Because in so many ways, to me, he is. He has been for a long time and, I’m not sure I want to imagine him alive.

Because if he were alive, I would remember.

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