It has been one year, to the day.
There is something about a year’s time. My mother was visiting us this weekend. I’d already been outlining this post, without her knowledge, when she said, “You know, it’s almost been precisely a year . . .” I told her I’d been thinking about it.
It was, in many ways, one of the most significant – and worst – days of my life. Yet, as time passes, it may be one of the best ones, though it’s a horrific road to get to this point.
I stayed in bed most of today, and, when my wife got home, she asked how my day was. I told her, “horrible,” to which she asked if I wanted to talk about it. For her, that is progress, to show interest in my feelings. Unfortunately, I had no choice but to tell her I could not, as it violated her boundaries. Still, I expressed regret that my wife was unwilling to listen to what was upsetting me.
What happened last year on this day? My parents separated after my mother found out what my father had done to my sister when she was a child. Because my sister chose to confide in me (we are very close), I was the only one who knew about this for ten years, and one of a very few for seventeen. It was a heavy burden, but I have not regretted carrying it for my sister for one moment, even though others have been cruel in their apathy towards both her and my situation.
This day represented the end to my family, the extinguishing of any hope my family could be saved from the destruction it caused for itself. I had been trying for years, two decades, really, to avoid what happened. But, it was to no avail. And, some of those closest to me were not only indifferent, but dismissive or even hostile towards me. “No good deed goes unpunished,” is not exactly what I was looking for after a couple of decades, but it’s what I got the last couple of years.
As bad as the events of a year ago on this day were, it only got worse. I’m trying hard to replace them, all of them, and that is frightening, as I want to avoid upsetting or being upset in the process. There are big decisions ahead, and many of them relate to what was going on a year ago. I can’t return to the past, and I don’t want the past returning to me. (I just had the “Back to the Future” theme come into my head. Sigh.)
There are more changes to come, and these are ones I am making for myself. Too many others have let me down. Some have presumably done so unintentionally. Others, from apathy. A few, perhaps, for more sinister reasons, but that’s hard to know for certain. Communication issues are a given. Even though it’s tough to understand precisely what went wrong, I welcome the changes. Now, I’m in control of them, and others will have to accept what they have done or not done to help or hurt me in the past. It’s my turn to finally decide who is allowed in my world. Maybe I won’t allow anyone there anymore. It’s not like people have shown an interest. Solitude is an option plenty of autistics have chosen, and it might be the only way to stay safe and sane, if I can’t figure out another way.
Good things might be coming, but I had to get through today first. And, “good things” might also be a lie that’s been repeatedly told me by people, as recently as today, who simply don’t care enough to help me, even though I have a diagnosis that says I require support. Changes are coming, for better or worse, because I’m not going to allow others to control me anymore, regardless of what guise they use.
There are more anniversaries close ahead, unfortunately. I may post on them later, though it’s just more pain and frustration to relive. I am glad that this year, I’m not literally living the experiences of last year again. We remember some dates because we are telling ourselves we should “never again” go through what happened. In this case, it’s not completely repeatable, but aspects of it are, and that’s what I need to avoid.
Next year, on this date, I will ideally forget entirely about this part of my past. It’s time I make my expectations of others (and myself) even more strict and clear because I can’t go through what happened last year again. On that, even though we are coming from opposite directions, my wife is correct.
A few days ago, my mother and I stayed up until the early morning, discussing this horrible anniversary and the impact it’s had on us both. It was good to finally find someone who was willing to listen, and I have to wonder if next year the anniversary will not about the destruction of our family but of the rebuilding of it.
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