My brother sees the tears welling up in my eyes but he knows not to say anything in front of the others. Instead he busily tries to make distractions so I can escape to the bathroom. I try to fix my face up and I don’t look at anyone when I come back out and announce that I am going home.
They walk me outside and I keep smiling until I have driven out of sight far enough to pull my car over and cry. I feel so hopeless and I don’t really have a reason to be upset. Nothing bad has happened but I feel so angry and guilty because of who I am and what I have. I hate myself so much for things which I can’t really control. Mostly though, I hate that there are parts of me which no one seems to be able to understand. I hate that I am “that person” to anyone. The person they love but cannot explain.
I can’t explain it to them either.
People say to take it one step at a time and that I should celebrate the small things I am able to achieve but outside of hospital or therapy the small things mean shit all. Those who love me do so unconditionally but there will always be expectations to try a little harder or to make an effort for a special occasion. I can’t always do that and when I let them down I feel so guilty. I wonder and worry if they feel guilty for what they say and expect.
I’m so scared that there isn’t anything to be hopeful about.