Dear Kath,

Dear Kath,

I keep trying to write this and just derailing into…meh.

I miss you, bitch. So much.

Without you to talk to, writing to you seems like the therapeutically standard way of communicating where the person you want to talk to is beyond reach. Same reason I keep wanting to write to the people who are still alive but gone AWOL from my life, directly or indirectly leaving me here in so-fucked-ton. In their case, though, I am haunted by the (probably vain) hope that they will actually read my words, that I can have them in my life again sans the whole me-loving-them-and-them-claiming-to-love-me-while-making-abundantly-clear-that-isn’t-and-never-was-true thing.

With you, I am left with a wish without hope. I wish you were here. But you are gone.

And writing is part of how I find my way through the things that feel un-get-through-able.

And writing seems like a way to get past the fact that I feel like I have lost my voice. I am probably not going to rediscover it in silence.

And writing in public seems like a way to get past stupid vanity hang-ups of wanting to only be seen in the best light, or imagining having control, and perfection being possible (the kind of fucked-up beliefs that seem to be among the chief ruiners of human lives).

And sharing from a down place seems like a way to potentially indirectly help people in their own down places. I have certainly been helped by indirect human connection and communication (isn’t that what all of the arts are?) in times where I would have preferred to have the up-close kind of connection but lacked it.

Times like now.

If nothing else, even if I fail at everything else, I think if I keep writing to you I will feel a little less alone, a little less sad, because imagining talking with you brings your perspective more clearly to mind. You loved me. The reality that you are gone is painful as hell, but at the same time, I was lucky enough to have someone in my life from birth who loved me, who understood, who saw me, who gave a fuck, really, how I was, about my life. That is a rare gift. One I think some people never have. I hate that I lost it, and I hope it is something I will experience again, but I am grateful to have had it. And when I think of talking with you, I consider the perspective of someone who loves me in how to look at myself, my present, and my future.

I need that now.

And if I can’t find a way to make this entertaining or wise or whatever the fuck else, I can at least maybe provide a moment of lesser isolation to other people in their own shit, in the simple fact of seeing someone else say the things we don’t tend to say in the present tense, if at all.

I feel scared. I feel lonely. I feel hurt and confused. I want everything to be miraculously better right now. I want the people I love and miss to come back into my life without all of the shit that makes it for the best that they are not in my life. I want money to rain down on me like magic. I want miracles. I want positive reversals. I want easy answers. I want safety. I want to be important enough to the people I love that they will help me when I need it even if it is inconvenient or difficult for them, the way I have for them. I want to be important enough to the people I love that they will do the hard work of dealing with their own shit where it hurts other people – where it hurts me. I want my life from now on to be the emotional, social, professional, and financial opposite of where I am now, without delay. I want to wake up and find out that everything awful was just a bad dream.

We all tend to talk about those things in the past tense or not at all.

Maybe seeing the present tense will be a grounding experience for someone going through some pain and feeling like everyone else is always doing better than they are because of the stupid social contract “How are you?/I’m fine, how are you?/I’m fine.” cycle of endlessly meaningless communication.

Maybe seeing the treated-as-unspeakable in the present tense will help someone else find the courage or strength or whatever they need to acknowledge the same, maybe if they are lucky, to someone they know and love and trust.

Or maybe writing these will just be a way I fill the time instead of just feeling mired in the hurt.

I promised I would hang in and fight to stay alive, to try to find a better life, to keep loving, to try to find happiness, because you wanted to and can’t. And I don’t know how the fuck I am going to do any of that right now, but since I promised not to give up, trying and quite possibly failing and then trying again and trying differently and quite possibly failing and hopefully meeting more than a little luck and, more honestly, hopefully meeting an absolute fuckton of luck, it is.

I have lived two years and one day in a world without you in it. I have survived. It has sucked, and I have lost so much more besides you since then, and I have survived, and it has sucked, and the last thing I want is even a little more pain or misfortune, but next to everything I have lost, why am I even engaging in this back-and-forth with myself about publishing what is neither polished nor even necessarily coherent? No time like the present for a little fatalistic optimism.

I can’t go back to when you were still here. And I can’t make the people I love who are still alive and not loving me do any different (and I can’t stop hoping they will because I would fucking love to be pleasantly surprised on an emotionally-significant scale). Where I am now sucks pretty hard. And doing nothing seems unlikely to bring me to a more pleasant existence. So this is the random effort I am making now. I hope the next second brings better things. I will keep trying til it does. Maybe I will edit this later, maybe I will leave this as is, but lest I get frozen, I am just hitting “publish” now.

Love,

Lisa