At the time, I didn't understand why Daniel had to push me away. Especially in that particularly painful manner. But to a mind that is crippled with pain and only sees itself as a burden, it makes perfect sense. The voices in your head begin to whisper. The monsters lurking within you start to stir.
You are only bringing her down. You are so fucking stupid. You don't deserve her. She'll be so much happier without you.
And so, I began to hear those whispers. Daniel's death had woken up the monster inside of me. I wanted to kill myself. It was my one, recurring, all-consuming thought. I longed for the end the way two lovers long for each other. I welcomed death because it welcomed him. I wanted to stab myself. I wanted to take out all my savings and pay a hit man. I wanted to end it the same way he did.
But first, I had to sever my ties to this world. She loved me. And so, I had to set her free.
You're a burden. You're so pathetic. You can't even kill yourself, my mind would echo.
The least you could do is push her away. Make her hate you. When you die, you'll no longer be someone she loved and continue to cause her pain. You'll only be somebody that she used to know. You're helping her.
My internal voice became crueler and crueler. But is it just me, or is it starting to make perfect fucking sense?
She would ask to see me and I would say, "No."
She would ask me how I was and I would say, "Daniel's dead if that's what you mean."
She would ask me what she could possibly do to ease the pain in my heart and I would say, "Kill me."
"But you have to live for him. That's what he'd want. Travel. Do everything you both always wanted to do," she'd say.
I wanted to punch her in the face. What was it about Daniel being dead that people weren't grasping? No, I don't want to make Daniel proud. Please stop this world because I want to get off. Cue Arctic Monkeys.
"You don't want to die. You just want the pain to end," she'd plead.
This one annoys me. I don't know why, but don't say this to suicidal people. It's really fucking annoying.
"No actually, I just want to die, thanks."
The thing is, she wanted me to jump from crying over the casket of my 19 year old boyfriend version of me, to wandering the streets of Venice and being the pinnacle of resilience and "living for him" version of me.
No, no, no sweetheart. That is not how this is about to go down.
I am going to spend the 88th day after Daniel's death being forcibly held in the mental health unit of the hospital against my will.
Day 88 journal entry quotes: How can I move on? It was you. I can't. I'm sorry if you wanted more for me but I wanted more for us. I can't believe I can't talk to you or hear your voice. It was so comforting. I'm losing my mind. I can't imagine carrying on like this forever.
I will spend day 45 after Daniel's death playing Red Rover at the train tracks, delicately flirting on the line between life and death.
Day 45 journal entry quotes: Every second I'm getting closer to death. That's comforting. I almost got hit by a car today. That's comforting.
I will spend day 1094, nearly three years after Daniel's death, still clinging to his hoodie as I fall asleep.
Day 1094 journal entry quotes: I don't know who I am a lot of the time. It hurts. I felt like being alone and wallowing. I was crying.
"It'll always hurt this much," I would tell her.
"Time heals all wounds," she'd say.
The monster inside me would unleash on anyone who said this to me. I'm much calmer now, but I can still indeed confirm that on today's date, day 1223, since Daniel has been dead: It. Still. Fucking. Hurts.
The thing about this friendship breakup that does flabbergast me, is that she was the most compassionate person I had ever met. She always gave to the less fortunate. She always spoke as if her tongue were made of glass so as to cause no harm. She, herself, had once struggled with the demons inside her.
Her and her ex-boyfriend , David, had broken up the year before Daniel's death. We spent that entire year driving the streets aimlessly with painful Lana Del Rey lyrics as our soundtrack. She was devastated. She was heartbroken. Her once thought-to-be truest and purest love had come to a bittersweet end. How could she possibly move on from the breakup?
And yet, 171 days after Daniel's death, she'll say, "You went out with them tonight," insinuating that because I go out at all that I must've regained my will to live.
On day 121 after Daniel's death, she'll say, "If his sister can do it, you can do it. I'm tired of this."
On the 90th day after Daniel's death, she won't message me and I'll think that it was because I successfully pushed her away.
On day 103 after Daniel's death, she'll say, "Daniel gave me a piece of him when he asked me to take care of you."
On day 158 after Daniel's death, she'll say, "It hurts to be around you because you're always hurting. You turning your back on me broke my heart more than Daniel dying."
How is it that one of the hearts I considered to be the most empathetic on this earth not understand? That is a question that I'll never have an answer for.
I pushed her away, just like Daniel had done to me.
"You make me feel guilty," I'd say.
I understand now what Daniel meant. It's not that I was annoying. It was that no matter how much peace I felt in your presence, I had to stay away so my darkness wouldn't eclipse your light. To do anything different would've been selfish.
"It would hurt less if you told me to my face that I mean nothing to you," I'd say to her 158 days after Daniel's death.
"I'm not getting in your Mustang. It's been your dream forever and I'm not going to taint it with my sadness," I'd say to her 130 days after Daniel's death.
"Why do you care? You wouldn't even notice if I was gone! You never ask to see me anymore," I'd say to her 137 days after Daniel's death.
Low and behold, just as Daniel softly tried to re-enter my life, I cautiously tried to re-enter hers.
What are you doing? She has always been there for you. You love her with your whole heart. Fight back for her, my internal voice would say as it desperately tried to steal the mic away from the demons.
That's why I was confused with Daniel. I had been having conversations with both the gentlest and cruelest parts of his mind.
That's why she was confused with me. She had been having conversations with both the girl she had loved and been friends with for 8 years and the girl who was being controlled by her grief.
"But you hurt me," she'd say.
I only fully understood Daniel after he died, and so the "Ah-ha!" of all epiphanies hit me.
She won't understand unless I die.
To be continued....
Always with love,