I received an unexpected email from a friend letting me know that she was thinking of me and hoping that I was doing okay. It was a nice thing to wake up to this morning. Honestly, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Somehow, she knew that I was struggling and just wanted to let me know that she cares and that so many others do as well. I guess sometimes it just takes a little reminder from someone who isn’t part of your everyday life to make you realize that the people around you really do love you. This time of the month is especially difficult for me. It is one of the hardest times of the year for me, full of loss and bad memories. I try not to dwell on the events…but every year, without fail, they hit me like a freight train. I try to bury them, but they find their way back to the top so I try to hide them but they sneak out of their spot. And then, survivors guilt and shame takes over. I thought that this year I was going to have to face it all alone because of all the junk that happened between Bailey and I…and because Becca was too busy with her own family life and heading out-of-town. Luckily, I didn’t have to. Nonetheless its still been pretty difficult. The reunion of my friend’s death was probably the hardest for me this year. Survivors guilt really took hold and dragged me down a road that I thought I left years ago. If it weren’t for my foster mom I wouldn’t be here.. I would have died the day that my best friend did…at least that’s what my brain tells me. My foster mom never cared what I did or where I went, she never told me no because I never asked–we didn’t understand each other because of the language barrier. But, even though I rarely went out, this one night she adamantly refused to let me go. Like any 14 year old would be, I was angry…but I continued my night in my room. The next morning I got the call that my friend had been killed in a car accident. I didn’t know what to do. I called all the family I was allowed to have contact with but none of them had a clue what I was talking about, even though my aunt was close friends with my friends mom. I started feeling more and more crazy with every person I tried. Finally I gave up and just let my foster-sister comfort me. I didn’t know what else to do…because it was me that should have been dead. Had my foster mom just been herself, it would have been me. Had I defied her, like I was known to do, it would have been me. But it wasn’t and my whole world became one big confusing mess. Then I got angry…because he had a family who loved him, he was popular, he was loved….and I had none of that. I was living in foster care with no family and where no one wanted me. I wasn’t popular…unless you counted trouble and annoying popular. But most of all, I didn’t feel very loved. I knew I was alone in the world and that convinced me that it should have been me not him….so I tried killing myself. I wanted it to be me and I felt that if I died, somehow he would come back to life and everything would move on as normal. No one would notice my absence and his wouldn’t exist. It didn’t work…and then I had to go to school. Going back to school was a nightmare. People were angry and confused….we were so young. They didn’t understand how someone so “special” could be gone so quickly. And in then a girl who didn’t know me very well, but knew where I was and that I was friends with the deceased, asked me why it wasn’t me…because I was a nobody. She stated that nobody would notice or care if it had been me or some of the other kids like me. But it wasn’t me. It was him…and that wasn’t fair. Her statement validated my survivor’s guilt so I tried dying again…and failed. Some say that it’s a cowards way out of life, and maybe it is… but sometimes it feels like it’s the only way out. It felt like my only way out. But I lived…so am I a coward? Following my friend’s death, by 2 days, is valentines day. The day of love… and to my family that meant an easy excuse for bad things. I thought I left that long ago also…but just as my friend’s death did, it creeped up and knocked me over with piercing flashbacks and memories. But I got through it. The day after Valentines day is the day that I moved in with my adoptive family…which though it should be happy, fills me with some pretty big feelings that I don’t know how to handle. It was the beginning that wasn’t supposed to have an end. Two days later is my moms birthday…also a holiday for things I’d rather not mention. And now I await my dads birthday, tomorrow (or today, the 21st), also a holiday not worth talking about. Unfortunately my body remembers and deep down my mind has held tightly to the feelings that these days originally brought and I haven’t been able to move past the struggle of it all. Fortunately, I have friends and what I consider family here to help me out. Friends who email me when they feel I may be struggling, though they are on the other side of the continent. A sister who will let me sit on her lap (yes even at 21) and cry pretty big, ugly tears because I wasn’t the one who died and failed twice more. Family who understands that when I’m in the middle of all this and not able to handle life in the least, that I still love them…even if families are stupid and sleep shouldn’t be needed. A sister who despite the many times I’ve hit her and told her I hate her will wrap me up and tell me how much she loves me and how little I deserved all the yucky stuff that happened..Becca, who takes the time to listen to me and my erratic tantrums even though she has a family she already takes care of. My friend who sends me an email…to cheer me up even though her life isn’t exactly a cake walk. So, ya, it’s been a pretty hard month…but despite all of that, at this moment I know that I am loved. I know that I surely have two people on this planet who believe in me and know I will make it out alright in this world, even in my darkest hours…and one who I can allow to uplift me and care bout me. I’m a pretty lucky gal in a pretty crazy world that I still don’t understand…and I’m okay.