I'm getting worse each day.
I overheard this girl talking about her parents in the line up at the cafeteria today. She was complaining that her parents don’t give her enough care packages or wire her enough money. She was full on bitching and calling her parents disrespectful names. I couldn’t help but be affected by it, and so I turned around to tell her to be mindful of what she’s saying - that she should appreciate that her parents are even sending her stuff. She told me that “I could never understand” before rolling her eyes arrogantly. You know what, maybe she’s right.
I haven’t seen my parents in a month and a half. No words from them, no Skype calls, no pictures, no care packages, not even a five minute phone call when I got ill a few weeks ago - nothing. My sister hasn’t talked to me either, and she is my best friend. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve forgotten what their voices sound like. Next weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, but I’m not going home. As far as I am concerned, I’m not going home for Christmas either. All my friends are booking tickets and exclaiming their happiness over seeing their family again soon. But to me, my family is just a figment of scattered memories, and each time I think about them, I only hurt myself. I have sent 62 text messages and 18 emails to my mother over the course of the one month and two weeks I’ve been here in Montreal. I even wrote her a fucking letter, but nothing came back as a response. Part of my insecure and anxious mind thinks they’re hurt or in a bad place, but as I log onto Facebook, I see that they’re just fine.
I went to McGill mainly for them. I wanted to make them proud, to show them how far I had managed to come in my shitty, fucked up life. I wanted to hear them tell me I did a good job. I’ve got two stable jobs but I’m still struggling to pay my tuition. It won’t be long before I crack and have to opt for a dreaded student loan. I eat as little as I can and I know I’ve definitely lost at least ten pounds because of it. I still feel empty because I realized that coming to Montreal has made me lose everything.
My friends don’t talk to me anymore, as we’ve gone our separate ways. The one person I loved talking to, the person that I came to fall in love with, that I let through the barricades of my scarred heart to witness me at my most vulnerable moments, has left and I don’t know when and if I’ll ever get them back again. I’ve lost contact with the one teacher that was like a mother to me, the one that would let me vent to her about my stresses and problems before swathing me in a hug and telling me that I’m not alone - poof, she’s gone too. I didn’t know that, by moving across the country, I’d lose myself as well. I walk to school, I attend my lectures, I do my readings, I stress out over my papers and exams, work as a coach and as a writer, I study and take notes until 3am and then I wake up at 7am for my next class. It’s just a robotic cycle that has become such a sickening routine. I don’t feel human anymore. I don’t talk to people. I don’t go out. I don’t even play my fucking guitar - and that’s saying something if I’m no longer interested in the only thing that ever truly gave me life. My roommate asks me if I’m okay but we don’t know each other well enough for me to tell her that everything is falling apart, so instead, I tell her I’m fine.
But I’m not fine. I can’t sleep. I’m tired. I’m alone. I want to curl up in my mother’s arms and fall away, even though I know that only ever happened as a young child - that too at a rarity. I don’t know what I did to piss them off from such a young age, but I’ve only ever heard them say they loved me once - at my high school graduation, when I received upwards of almost $5000 worth of scholarships and was recognized as graduating in the top of my class of 300 students. As I think about it now, I feel disgusted and proud at the same time. I wonder, as I gaze at my mum’s photos and status updates, if they miss me as much as I miss them. I wonder if they know that my heart is an empty shell right now, and that my mind is clouded. I wonder if they feel even slightly bad about cutting out on me.
The legal drinking age here is 18. I’ve never had alcohol or drugs, as I know that alcoholism runs high in my family (my mum and uncle being one), but I have never been so tempted to pick up a bottle of Jack and down the entire thing. It costs less than non-alcoholic beverages, anyways. I’m taking a chemistry course on drugs, so I know how acetaminophen and alcohol react in the liver. I know so many easy contraptions for a long and painful death. It’s scary that I’m thinking about giving up so easily. It’s scarier to think that I’m so numb that I don’t even feel slightly guilty about doing so.
I think it’s because I know that, honestly, no one cares. But I know that I’m not yet at the point in which I want to try. I don’t want to get to that point -ever - but no one is stopping me. No one is wrapping their arms around my waist and pulling my body into the shelter of their protective grasp. No one is holding my head up as I wage wars upon myself. No one is telling me that I’m gonna be okay. No one is pleading to me, urging me to understand that this is just a hard phase in which I have to be brave and carry on, and that I can do it if I gather my courage and will myself to fight. There’s only so much effect from saying it yourself. I’m a sole soldier against an army of a thousand. I don’t stand a fucking chance, especially when I don’t even know who or what I’m actually fighting for.
Each day is a struggle to get out of bed and pretend like everything is going to be okay. It’s hard walking down the street, seeing couples holding hands and stealing kisses, and knowing you’re fucking alone. Sometimes, as I do a usual jog through the park, I see families with their children and my heart aches. Montreal is supposed to be a youthful city, but I feel anything but young and carefree. I feel cynical and bitter all the time. I was so strong once, thinking I could take on every ounce of pain and angst - and still have room to take on the problems and burdens of others. I thought by faking it, I would make it, but I didn’t. The years spent at university are supposed to be a time where you find yourself, and I’m at the BEST university in Canada (and 21st in the world) to do exactly that, but instead, I’m doing the opposite. I’m just losing myself and I don’t know what to do.
So, as I think about this girl - this girl who thought that her world was coming to an end because she wasn’t getting enough from two people that some people never even get a chance to have or even get close to - I realize that some people ARE better off.
But, I could never understand, could I?