It’s the softer words that strike me the hardest. The hidden meanings too. The words behind the meanings behind the squiggled lines of pen.
I’m struggling to write.
It’s not a block; it’s the problem of choice. There are so many options – so many words to write, so many stories to tell, so many feelings to deal with, so many things to do….just….so many.
I’m floundering in sea-sized waves. I don’t know where to turn. What to do first. How to even start.
This is so hard.
I’m not for a moment going to pretend it’s nothing but hard. Some moments are fucking awesome. I’m still laughing, still smiling, still finding joy. They’re just tinged with a guilty sadness.
Guilt is such an easy word to malign and misunderstand. I’ve been told so many times that it’s not my fault, I shouldn’t feel guilty. But that completely ignores what I mean.
My father is in jail. Not a sentence I’d have thought myself stating honestly. But he is. I don’t feel guilty for him being there: whilst his intentions were inadequately pure, his actions were stupid, counterproductive and harmful. I felt fury when he claimed he’d done it “all for us”. Because I never asked him too. But I apportion no blame at me or my family. The fault is solely his. Forgiveness was mine.
I don’t feel guilty for decisions that keep me at home supporting and stressing. If I’d have left, the only thing I’d have learnt is that I should have stayed. It frustrates me, it annoys me. But it keeps me dreaming. It keeps me hoping. Because it’s just one more year. And that’s exciting. I have no idea what will happen. But simply being free of obligations to myself, to be proud of standing by the people who matter most…that’s exciting.
No, I don’t feel guilty of my dad’s crime. I don’t feel guilty over my feelings toward him.
I feel guilty because my sadness overwhelms me. Because, seriously, it’s not like he’s dead or anything. He’ll be out soon, really. And all I have to deal with are life things. They’re not that difficult, it’s all manageable. Other people manage it everyday. I have all the ability and skill to do all of these things – there’s absolutely no reason why I should find it all so hard.
It really is just like drowning.