I'm in 2006- which was a very difficult year for me.
Looking back after 11 years, I'm shocked at how much I had erased, glazed over and forgiven.
Not that forgiving is such a bad thing, mind you, but the reason to forgive is because you've healed, not because the people who have wronged you were never going to change.
I was in college back then. I was secretly dating (and by dating, I mean screwing on the regular with no labels attached) my best friend, roommate, and eventual wife, and the stress of that was pretty bad. I was also going through either my first or second major nervous break down. This was the big one. I locked myself in my room, painted in my own blood, quit my school and my job and moved away from my parents.
No one really understood it at the time, and I was pretty terrified that I was insane. I was worried that this was going to be me every few years. I would build myself up, recover from the last break down just in time to have another one. It hasn't been that bad. It's not that I don't have them still, because I do. But I've learned how to manage them. Right now I'm going through something of one, but I've got help- I've got doctors and therapists and a wife (no more closet- yay!) so I haven't had to like, uproot my entire life or anything, even though my soul feels like its falling apart.
Looking back in this way, reading all of my horrible writing and cringing at how absolutely terrible I was, I have to be a little thankful that at least I've grown. I do wonder if I'll look back at the things I'm writing now in another decade and cringe about them, but what does it really matter? If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. It doesn't matter how embarrassingly dorky or stupid I sound, because I'm still writing, and that's the only way to get better. It's also the only way to see where I was when i wrote it.
I wish I was one of those people who had a nice simple place to write- I write on tumblr, I write in my journal, Archive of Our Own, I write in a folder on my google drive, hell, I keep on mentioning writing on Myspace (can you believe that? Myspace!) back in the day. I write a million different kinds of things, some of them real, some of them nearly real, a lot of them complete and utter fantasy and I don't know if I could collect all of it if I ever needed to.
What I'm looking back and seeing right now is a girl who was looking forward and hoping for something better than what she had. She had dreams that I haven't accomplished. Dreams I still want, and dreams I don't know how to get. She had a lot of secrets- oh my god, the fucking vague posting on that journal. I am so fucking pissed at how much vague posting I did- I don't know what the hell I was talking about! Perhaps that's a good thing, maybe forgetting all of the petty squabbles of my past is helpful.
That being said, because I've let go of so many of my memories, reading over the mundanity of my life has reminded me that the lies I tell myself to go to sleep aren't always true.
Like, I love my parents. They are wonderful people and they do try to be good. That's all true. But as much as I try to make myself believe otherwise, I know that love does not equal trust, and just because they loved me doesn't mean they supported me.
There were things they should have done to protect me. There were questions they should have asked and there were actions they should have taken, and they didn't trust me enough to think that the big deals I was making over things were something to be concerned about.
Those were mistakes. They were unintentional mistakes by people who were just trying to love me and figure out how to do this whole parenting thing in the first place. And I was their first, and they were poor and depressed and navigating a world that looked a whole lot differently than the one they'd grown up in. The explanations are excuses, they're just factors in the decisions they made.
No one is perfect, and I'm not sitting here trying to cry to the world that my parents were terrible, they weren't. But they let a rapist take me to Tijuana unaccompanied. They let me sleep over at his house. They let me run away on more than one occasion, and when I was getting in trouble for things that weren't my fault, they weren't there for me. They love me and I don't doubt that, but love isn't enough to conquer all, and it couldn't conquer their fear of sticking up for me, for helping me, for guiding me.
Reading everything I was going through, I don't know why I wasn't hospitalized, institutionalized, medicated. I'm not saying any of that was the right thing, I just know that the right thing wasn't calling me a "problem child" and ignoring it. No wonder I just ignored what had happened to me and drank away my problems- it's what my family seemed to do.
We're not a bad family, really. We have scars because everyone has scars. We are in pain because everyone is in pain from time to time. Living is traumatic, and through all the mistakes we make, we always seem to find a way back to each other. That's the luckiest thing you can have- a family that you can always go to.
Being blessed or lucky is one thing. I make a point of trying to count my blessings because I have a tendency to get caught up in what I don't have (a good job, a fulfilling career, a baby for my wife or a nice car) and it's just not healthy. But there has to be a healthy middle point between being pissed about how terrible everything is all of the time and being naively grateful for everything you have. Just because there are good things it doesn't mean that you have to ignore the bad things completely. You can be grateful and determined to make things better.