Tuesday, December 10, 2013

For Brendon

When something like this happens, you think the world should stop.
That when something this senseless and terrible happens, that everyone should drop everything, that they should share in your grief, in your sadness.
If you can't go on, it means everyone else shouldn't, too.
Because someone you love is gone, a part of you is missing forever, and there is a hole in the world.
Nothing will ever be the same.
You're stagnant.
Yet, the world doesn't stop.
People go on, blind to your pain.
Ignorant of the suffering.
Unaware of the hole.

I was Googling "suicide statistics of chronic pain sufferers" when I overheard my mother mention funeral preparations.
I had come home early from work sick--the entirety of my lunch lost to the side effects of the drugs meant to lessen my physical pain.
Grandpa, I thought.
How would I approach this?
Grief doesn't confuse me, it's people--reactions are so different, and I am always unsure.
To touch, to keep a distance, to embrace, and for how long--these are hard questions to ask of the bereaved.
I stood in the doorway, waiting for her to turn around, to react.
This happens, sometimes. Shock. I think I understand, and I move to embrace her.
"Uncle Paul called. Brendan shot himself this morning. His mother found him."

Nothing in life can prepare you for these things, not even previous experience.
Not an uncle, not a father.
Each time it's different; each time, you're different.
He was seventeen, and this shouldn't have happened.
We grew up in separate states, and lived separate lives, but he was my blood.
When life is taken away before it begins, it makes you think.
Makes you put things into perspective.

Brendan, you probably didn't know I loved you.
You probably didn't know that I, too, struggle with life.
Maybe if you had, things would be different.
I'm sorry for your hurt.
I'm sorry you thought it would never end.
I'm sorry for everything you'll never be, but I loved you for everything you were.
I'll always remember the time you chased me around the house with Sock Em Bop Ems;
The time you got embarrassed for getting caught peeing in our back yard;
Always finding "Brandon" instead of "Brendon" on ornaments at Bronner's;
Your shenanigans and exploits as "Mr. Ass" at the Detroit Zoo.

I don't know how I'll face our family; your mom, you dad, your sister.
I don't know how I'll face seeing you again, one last time.
I don't know how I'll go on living, once the world starts up for me again.
I'd like to think I'll do something noble, like preventing this from ever happening again.
But I just don't know.
I'll miss you, Brendan.
And every time I see a "Brandon" ornament--I'll think of you.
Rest easy, cousin.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

tired and sick

I was a sad sack of shit this weekend.
With every passing hour, and every passing Game of Thrones episode, I'd tell myself, Okay, self, I'll let you slide on this one, but we're getting up and doing things after it's over.
And I just didn't.
The most I accomplished this entire weekend was the French Onion soup I made yesterday, after finally getting out of bed at 2 PM.
So I thought to myself, Okay, sad sack, today you were sad, tomorrow you'll be okay.
And I just wasn't.

Depression runs in my family, so I suppose it shouldn't be much of a surprise that I experience it.
But really, I think it's more than that.
I'm terrified.
I'm overwhelmed.
I hurt all the time.
I can't sleep, but when I do, it feels like it's my only respite.
Respites, though, should not include terrifying and disturbing dreams.

And you know, even as I write this, even considering how LONG it took me to write this, part of me feels like I'm overreacting.
Because, you know, I've been taught that to feel "too much" is just too much and I really ought to dial it back.

The biggest issue, I think, is that I no longer feel like I can live in the world.
Or more accurately, I feel like I never have, and I never will.
And don't confuse that with a desire to "check out," because that's the farthest from the truth.
The simple reality is that I just don't know how.
I don't know how to live in a world where people lie to get ahead;
where people steal so they can get by;
where people kill because of something dark within themselves;
where people can rape with impunity;
where people can just be shitty for no reason and just fuck with people's lives.
As terrible as it sounds, especially for someone who claims to be social justice-minded and political, I can't read or watch the news anymore. Just can't. I don't seem to have that ability that others have of separating themselves from what's happening around them.
I feel everything.
I can't not.
Which is really the funny thing about an Asperger's diagnosis, because the Powers That Be believe it's just the opposite.
They know nothing.

So I got kind of off track with this, as per usual, but I guess the basic thesis of this post is that everything is shitty, and I feel totally powerless and helpless to stop it.
I don't want to die, but I don't know how to live.

I feel as though this is my gift and my curse, this Autism Spectrum Condition, because on the one hand it opens me up to all the feels and the suffering and the human condition, but on the other hand, it opens me up to all the feels and the suffering and the human condition, and I haven't a clue on what to do about it, other than lay on the couch and stare in abject silence, or write about it, and hope that somewhere, sometime, some day, there will be people that I can touch, that I can save, that I can bring back from the brink of misery and self-destruction that I always seem to precariously tread upon.