Session the 14th: I Don’t Know How the Hell the Rest of You Live Here

It’s been a while. Lots of time elapsed between this and the previous appointment. That was a really stupid thing to do.


When I was much younger, during that stretch of time I usually refer to as my hilariously abusive childhood, a favorite aunt of mine died because a paramedic had been a little bit overenthusiastic with some kind of heart medicine. Kind of awful. I didn’t grieve, even though I already knew by then what death meant.

Fast forward to some years ago, during some of the initial excitement when my parents were stalking me and knew where I lived, and the death threats, and all that, a friend of mine died in a whitewater rafting accident. It was rather awful. I didn’t grieve. Isn’t that awful all by itself?

And in the intervening years spent on the run and then finally spent here, there have been a large number of deaths of authors and actors and people whose work I very much appreciated and touched me, and I didn’t grieve.

This weekend Kage Baker died. And I am grieving. And I don’t really know what to do next. I’ve spoken to several people, apparently not knowing what to do next is sort of normal, or something.

I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be grieving, because I didn’t know her, not like friends know her. But I loved her books, and as much as Pratchett or Gaiman or Rowling, they were an escape hatch during some pretty awful times. For whatever reason, her death hit me hard. (And then there was all the other excitement over the weekend, which didn’t help.)

So anyways, it’s probably a good thing that I now have mental space to feel this kind of stuff that I haven’t been able to feel before. Like grief.

Grief sucks, man. I’d say it’s like being sad, but it’s not totally that. It kind of feels like falling. I’d almost say it was a little bit like some of my PTSD episodes, except that I know it isn’t. I’m not really sure what the hell it is.

What is going to happen to me when the rest of the authors-whose-works-got-me-through-hell die? Worse, what’s going to happen to me when my actual friends now die? Hell, I don’t even know now what’s going to happen if I ever hear word that my parents are dead. There was a time when I knew, very certainly, that I wouldn’t feel very much, if anything; and now perhaps that’s all up in the air.

What else is going to happen? What else is there? For instance, am I going to feel actual love, real actual love, instead of some kind of pale imitation of attraction? I’ve read Shakespeare, man. I know that sucks too, and what little I’ve managed to feel in life so far is still painful.

I knew where I was 20 years ago. It wasn’t pleasant, and it definitely didn’t have a good future, and it was frankly a psychotic existence, but it didn’t have this grief or love or whatever other horrible thing there is to be felt here. I have no idea how to deal with any of it, and a large part of my general social fear now, online or offline, is that I’m going to end up hurting people even more than I already have.

I don’t know how the hell the rest of you live here.

What really worries me is that isn’t even a slightly facetious statement.

So the sessions are going to pick up again. Gods know where it’s all going to go. I feel so awful, and sometimes I wish the PTSD would come back. Although knowing how my years usually go, it most likely will in a few months. I’ve only known respite in spring, and now I don’t even have that.