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The Way Home

The sun is setting in Tokyo. The streets in Saitama must be calming down. You’re wandering through the platforms of Tokyo’s train stations.

You know the way home, but you don’t take it.

Instead you hop on the green line. Deeper into the city you go. The sky turns purple and pink as the sun slowly slips behind the mountains made of glass and steel.

The train door window begins to fog up as you breathe. The air outside must be growing cooler. You wrap your arms tightly together atop your chest. The business men are weary.

They know the way home, but they don’t take it.

The train silently slips into slow motion as another platform draws near. A ding and the doors separate. Your heels hit concrete. Your ears are filled with the stomping of expensive shoes. Those black, unzipped H&M boots don’t fit in here.

You slip invisibly into the crowd. A coat of grey in a sea of black. A nail not quite hammered down yet. Beneath the ground it smells damp yet sweet. The stairs guide you upwards. The sky is black. Have you gone the right way?

You know the steps home, but you don’t take them.

In the frigid air you are met with lights. Bright, dull, colorful, pale. They surround you as the laughter dulls your senses.

Everyone is smiling.

You don’t belong here.

Your pace quickens as the white stripes guide you from street to street. Narrow alleys. The smell of food. The cheers at bars.

The streets grow darker and darker as do the looks on passing faces. You’re entering a world that isn’t forgiving.

You knew the way home, but you didn’t take it.

All around you float the saddest of souls. Here they drink Strong Zero and play a lonely guitar. Sometimes they throw up. Sometimes they find a lover for the night. Some of them splash in a dirty fountain. Some of them laugh drunkenly with friends.

A few of them, like yourself, silently observe. Alone with the forces that have pushed you to this place. A drink in your hand. A single tear on your face. You aren’t alone in this sad place.

And perhaps love and happiness are amiss. But what’s the harm in a stranger’s kiss? A home isn’t much but a place to sleep. But here is where your secrets can keep. And though you knew the place you should go, you had to throw a fit.

You knew which road would lead you home, but you refused to take it.

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If you need it for the holidays.

Long time no type.

I’ve been pretty bad at communicating lately. Probably every year I write about something similar around this time. My mind is racing, I hate the holidays, ugggghhh family, etc. I guess I’m not sure what I’ve already said before, but I’ll say what I’m feeling now.

It’s not that I hate the holidays. I hate the forced interactions and the expectations. See, as I’m dealing with the fall out I’ve mentioned before, the year has been pretty messy. Crazy it’s been almost a year since I’ve made my choice to distance myself more. I don’t feel too different, but people close to me have been saying how happy or strong I seem these days. I don’t understand them, but whatever, I guess it means something.

Last Christmas I took off to Mexico to avoid as much as I could of family time. This is going to sound incredibly harsh of me, but perhaps it’s time for me to say it out loud… I just don’t care for that type of thing. I like to meet people independently. I hate being forced in a room all together, forced to make small talk with people that don’t talk to you any other time of the year. “What are you up to these days?” “Work. You?” “Yeah, just work” “Did you hear so and so broke up?” Etc.

In my case, maybe this is mostly my fault because I believed my whole family hated me growing up causing me to talk less and hide just about everything to do with me. But, we can’t undo the past, so, I am the way I am now.

Growing up… my birthday and the holidays were just an act. Let’s parade around the family and show how happy we are and well adjusted and my life must be so great because I am nothing but a spoiled, manipulative, no-good, daughter of a bitch, sneaky, little girl who knows nothing and expects everything. Naturally, because I thought this way, I wasn’t able to handle the slightest of criticism. Maybe they weren’t even criticisms. If someone asked me, “Holly, how are you doing in school?” I assumed it was because they thought I was failing. If I was talked to about being skinny I assumed they were making fun of me. (Which actually did happen once.) Or anything of the like. I’m still defensive when anyone asks me the lightest of questions. “Holly, what did you do today?” Oh, they must think I didn’t do anything and I’m a lazy piece of shit. Or, ugh, they think I’ve been sneaking around and doing stuff I’m not supposed to be doing. …It’s a habit I hope I can break.

Anyway, once I left to college I hated going back for the holidays. Certain people would tell you that I’m ungrateful. “Holly was always given so much.” That’s not really a lie in terms of birthdays and Christmas. My siblings and I always received lots of gifts, to which we were grateful. But, I’m not sure how as an adult that’s supposed to make up for the lack of emotional well-being. But like I said, I’m an ungrateful bitch.

But this year is almost more difficult than before. Because for the most part my truth is out. People aren’t having an easy time accepting that. And honestly, I don’t think people take me seriously. And that’s fine. But, since I’ve said my words and have finally spoken out against some small things in my life, I’m not going back. It’s challenging because really, only two people have hurt me where family is concerned. So I’m assuming the rest feel shafted by my behavior and way of thinking. I do feel a sort of… sadness and guilt for that.

However, selfish as it may be of me, I don’t think it’s any one’s business what I choose to do with my holidays. If I want to spend it with friends who have done nothing but support my growth over the past several years, or I want to travel to another country, or spend it with my boyfriend’s family who has been nothing but warm to me, or even if I want to lock myself up to be alone and cry, IT’S MY CHOICE. And for the first time, I’m going to put my happiness over my family’s no matter how cold that makes me seem.

I think that sometimes, especially when we are battling our own demons, we need space away. I’ve seen people that have been through way worse than me. There’s some people that would probably see my pain as a glorious escape from what they went through. There’s some people that see me and start to appreciate what they have. But this is my pain and my journey to decide how I want to handle it.

And for anyone going through the same thing… learning to cut off toxic people even if it leaves a string of innocent people hurting and you feel once again, “maybe I am just being dramatic”, I want to remind you that you are not being dramatic. Your pain is yours. That is not something for anyone else to tell you you’ve made up, or you’re blowing things out of proportion, or you’ve only misunderstood, or you’re just a little brat.

I wish for you the gift of strength if you are needing it this holiday season. There are so many people like you. And I hope that you find warmth somewhere in the season. Be it with a friend, a partner, or a pet, religion, spirituality, anything. You are more than your past, and you can create a very loving future.

A NEW BLOG

Hi everyone!

I’ve started a new blog for poetry and short story type writings!

Please follow me there as well at the following link! hotaruchi

Thank you for all the support you have given me here!

A Child.

{I write short stories for fun sometimes. This is a part of something I’ve been working on. Just a rough draft. And a warning; it contains material that some people may find disturbing or “triggering” involving sexual abuse. Please read with discretion if you are easily set back by such topics.}

     Ana was a child. An independent one at that. Though she may have only experienced five years on this planet, to her, it felt like a life time. The world was hers. From the play ground in the back of her apartment complex, to the logs where the fairies hid in the woods. She knew all there was to know and she feared absolutely nothing. Not the boys who threw their toy trucks at her in the sand box, and definitely not the teachers who told her she couldn’t sing to herself in class. Every day seemed to bring sunshine.

     Each day was spent with her older sister, Max. Max was the keeper of knowledge. Max had large almond shaped eyes that contained every secret in the universe. Ana was sure that Max was actually an alien observing the human race. Max told Ana about the stars and how the faeries from the woods sprinkled magic dust to create them. Airplanes could only fly because there were magnets hidden in the clouds. And most importantly, you should always respect cats, because they were worshiped in Egypt, and only cats could tell you when you were going to die.

     Dying was something that Ana wasn’t sure about. Max said when a thing that usually breathes stops breathing, that’s what death was. Ana would hold her breath for as long as she could so she would have the chance to experience death. But when her mother finally asked her one day, “Ana… why are you holding breath like that?” her mother laughed at her explanation. “Holding your breath doesn’t mean that you are dead, Ana.” 

     One afternoon Max and Ana were picking blackberries from a tall tree near their playground when Max called out to Ana, “Look! It’s dead!” Ana ran as fast as she could to stand beside Max who was hovering over a black lump in the grass near the base of the tree. As Ana approached she recognised what people told her was a crow. Or maybe a raven. She really didn’t understand the difference. The bird lied on it’s back with it’s talons curled and it’s beak slightly agape. “It’s just sleeping.” Ana rolled her eyes in disappointment. “You still breath when you sleep, stupid. Look, it’s chest isn’t moving.” Max pointed. Ana leaned closer to the bird and gently touched it’s chest. The body still felt warm, but the breast of the bird didn’t move in rhythm like hers did when she observed her own breathing. “Do you think dying hurts?” Ana picked up the bird.

     “Mom says that sometimes it does. But sometimes people just stop breathing when they’re sleeping. If they sleep and never wake up, I guess it doesn’t hurt.” Max shrugged as she gestured for Ana to follow her into the woods. Max begun to dig a shallow hole in the ground which she explained was a grave. “When things die you are supposed to bury them so they can stay warm and sleep forever.” Ana placed the bird gently into the cold earth and wondered how cold soil could keep you warm at night. Especially when it snowed. But she never questioned Max.

 

     Life went on this way. With Max as Ana’s guide to the universe, there were no secrets. But one day Max refused to play. Their mother sent them outside as she did every day, but Max went directly to the blackberry tree and sat with her face to her knees. Ana pestered and pestered Max to lead them into the woods to play faeries until Max shoved her hard into the ground. “I don’t want to play!”

     With tears in her eyes, Ana headed towards the forest, alone. Max had never pushed her down before. She stomped forward until she reached the grassy clearing where several logs laid. This is where the faeries slept during the day. The grass here was the softest in the whole forest, and faeries could only sleep on the best grass. Usually Max would collect flowers on the walk to offer the faeries for good luck. Ana forgot to bring them today. Feeling like she let the faeries down she decided maybe she shouldn’t play in the faeries bedroom today, and headed back towards the playground.

     Late that night Ana laid in bed staring at the bunk above her. During the times mom turned the lights off Ana always got scared so Max would tell her stories or they would reenact scenes from movies until their mother came and threatened to hit their bottoms. “Ana. Dying hurts even if you’re sleeping. I thought you should know that.” Max murmured as Ana heard the sound of the blanket rustling as Max turned to her side to sleep. Max must have died in her sleep last night, Ana guessed. But she was breathing today wasn’t she? Ana hadn’t noticed.

     Max continued the following days without many words. She was always angry. She never wanted to play with Ana or any other kids at the playground. Ana decided to try to sit in silence with her one afternoon. She tiptoed to Max’s side and sat silently without a word as Max remained in her usual position; face to her knees. On this day, Max cried.

     “Max. Did you die?” Ana asked one night. She was becoming used to the silent shadows of their room. The wooden bunks creaked as Max sat up and worked her way down the ladder into Ana’s bed. She slipped under the covers next to Ana as they laid on their sides, face to face. “I think I might have. But I woke up breathing. So I don’t know. But I’m not myself anymore. I’m sorry Ana, but haven’t been able to see faeries since I died.” Max began to cry. Ana rubbed Max’s back like their mom would do when they cried from a tummy ache. “It’s okay Max. I can help you find them again.”

     For a few weeks Max slept in Ana’s bed. Ana became the leader of the forest, turning rocks and logs in the hunt for faeries and other mysterious things. Max never seemed as happy as she had been when she was the leader, but slowly with the passing days she began to smile more. They arrived to the clearing one day when Max suddenly took on her old role.

     “Today Ana, I want to teach you about something new. My grandma told me about them. I guess there are bad faeries too. But they aren’t actually faeries at all. They’re called demons. Demons can live anywhere and they only want to hurt people. They want to steal your happiness and make you stop believing in faeries so when you die, you have to go live them until you turn into a demon too. I don’t want you to ever search for demons.” The story made Ana feel uneasy. She didn’t like it at all. But the secrets of the universe had to be discovered, and just like bad dreams, Ana assumed the universe held dark secrets too.

     The leaves began to change with the season and the nights became more dark and cold. Max was going to visit her grandmother to Ana’s dismay. She hadn’t slept quite right since she learned about the demons. She could feel them crawling around under her bed and see their shadows move around near the closet. Max also didn’t want to leave Ana behind, but for some reason that Ana didn’t understand, Max’s grandmother was not hers as well. Max left a vile full of sparkling powder and instructed Ana to put it under her pillow when she went to sleep to protect herself from demons. But Ana was worried that Max would meet another demon if she went to her grandmas without it, so when Max wasn’t looking, Ana slipped it into her overnight bag.

     When the darkness overtook the day Ana couldn’t sleep. She could feel something she would later describe as sinister lurking all around her. She decided it would be best to sleep in her mother’s room until Max came back with the glittery dust. In order to avoid the demons from grabbing her feet from under the bed, Ana took a big leap toward the door and tip toed down the hall. As she neared her mother’s room a shadow creeped closer in her direction until they were toe to toe.

     “What are you doing out of bed so late?” The shadow whispered to her. “I want to sleep with my mom. I’m afraid their are demons in my room.” The shadow laughed and put a heavy hand on Ana’s shoulder as it guided her body back in the direction of her own bedroom. “Your mother doesn’t care about demons. You know she hates when you wake her up. I’ll watch over you.”

    The shadow took her hand. As the shadow guided Ana down the black hallway she felt as though the air was becoming harder to breath. Once back in Ana’s bedroom the shadow sat on the bed side and began to pet Ana’s short hair as she slipped back into the covers. Ana began to drift off into sleep only to awake again suddenly with a force over her mouth and a burning pain somewhere inside her. She tried to move the weight from her face as she felt hot tears slip out from her eyes and down the side of her cheeks into her ears. She couldn’t breathe and soon the dim room went black again.

     When Ana awoke the next morning her face was still hot from the horrible dream and her insides still burned. She spent the rest of the weekend in silence.

     Max returned on a Sunday morning, furious. She barged into the bedroom where Ana laid quietly on her bed and threw her bag to the ground scolding Ana for not keeping the fairy dust. Normally Ana would cry but this time she couldn’t. She didn’t feel like she could do any of the things she usually did anymore. And Max seemed to instantly understand and scooped Ana into her arms.

     “I died too Max. Somehow I stopped breathing when I was sleeping because dying hurt so bad. But instead of dying I woke up too. How come we couldn’t stay dead, Max? How come no one put us with the bird? Why did they wake us back up? Max… does it still hurt for you to breath?” the tears finally began to pour from Ana as Max nodded an affirmation. 

“Ana, my grandma says that demons sometimes hide right where we can see them in places we feel safe. Sometimes dying doesn’t mean dead, I guess. Ana, I don’t really know everything in the universe…” Max began to weep as well as Ana looked up into the almond eyes that held life’s secrets. Perhaps until now, neither of them knew anything about the universe at all. 

 

Miserable People.

I compare myself a lot to others. It’s really easy for me to find negative opinions about myself or to see something negative in another person and perceive myself as being the same. I struggle daily with anxiety, depression, and occasionally with dissociation, and yet, I wouldn’t consider myself miserable.

Since 2014 I’ve been working hard on my mental health and really diving into every aspect of what I need to do to feel good on the inside. My biggest struggles are still diet and spirituality. But overall, when it comes to reasoning with my thoughts, I do so much better than I had previously. Not that every day isn’t a struggle, but I don’t feel miserable, just sad or empty or not even sure who I am.

This year I’ve had a hard time accepting the thought of miserable people. In some cases, how can some people not be miserable? But in others, I can’t understand why they would be. I’ve always really disliked people who preach that one can simply change their thinking to change how they feel, but in some ways there is truth to that. I don’t believe practicing positive thinking is somehow a cure all to mental health. Yes, it can help in coping, but it’s not some magical cure, and it’s definitely not easy for people all over the spectrum to adopt this into their lives daily.

My focus right now however is the miserable people that want to make other people miserable. Do they realise it? Is that what they think can make them happier?

I started watching this Japanese drama yesterday where a student despised another student and was also envious of her life, so she performed some test and the two girls switched bodies. The original girl, Zenko, was a larger build, had no friends, a miserable home life, and bullied. Naturally, of course she would feel miserable and want to kill herself. She hated the girl, Ayumi, for having a good family, and friends, cute looks, and a cute boyfriend. So when she stole Ayumi’s body and obtained all of these things, she still found herself miserable. The real Ayumi in Zenko’s body began to understand Zenko’s suffering. But, if she had to be in this body, she did her best to create a better attitude. After time, she began to help her mom with household chores which created a positive interaction. She stood up for herself to her classmates and they began to see her as “more cute” and likeable because of her personality. Etc. All of these things threw the real Zenko into a rage as, even though in Ayumi’s “perfect” body, her attitude was ruining all the things she had wanted.

As I am writing about more, this type of thing really resonates with me. Because sometimes I feel like I am Ayumi. Not that the person in my life wants to be me, but they want me to be as miserable as they are. Even though no matter how much they try to take away, they just seem to become more unsatisfied.

This is really my core focus for this year.

I’m really empathic, so I can’t help but try to write it off as, this person must be sick. This person has suffered before, so maybe it’s blocking them from accepting good things. I can be hard to understand or be taken the wrong way for my humour, so maybe they just never understood me for what makes me a decent person. But at the same time, wanting to sympathise with them makes me mentally ill because the pattern has always been the same. I know that I will never be a good thing in their life. I know that what I achieve will always be made into something that doesn’t deserve acknowledgement or celebration if it isn’t something that also benefits them. I know that my relationships in my family will always be strained between I said/they said.

I also saw myself in Zenko though too. A young girl that wants to blame the world around them for how they feel inside. That’s the easiest way. To say because of certain people I am flawed. To say because I didn’t have certain advantages, I couldn’t go as far. Etc, etc. Especially when I was younger I would do this. I didn’t try at anything because I knew that no one would praise me or just say I should being doing more. I didn’t try to care about how I looked because I was afraid if I tried I’d still be picked on. I continue a weird relationship with food and my body for things people have said. So many things I used to blame everyone else for. But in the end, it’s me choosing to make their opinions stronger than my own.

Not that trying to focus on myself and creating my own opinion on who I am has fixed all my problems. I have such low self esteem most days, but, I can see my good parts even on those days. Even if the only good thing I can say about myself is that I try to be kind.

For miserable people, I guess they aren’t sure yet how to compliment themselves. And they definitely cannot find faults in themselves. A lot of healing involves accepting the things that you have done wrong too. I have done and will continue to do so many wrong things in my life, I’m sure. But I try really hard to observe my behaviour, especially if someone has claimed that I have wronged them. Humans are fragile after all. To some my bluntness is a positive trait, but to others it can feel like I am attacking them or acting above them.

I feel bad some days… that I have created a problem in the lives of others. I feel paranoid about the things that I don’t know that may be being said. But, I don’t want to become a miserable person, and I want to continue to learn to never play a victim to my past. I’ll always have down days. But I want to learn to stop limiting myself. Stop being afraid of everything. And even if I can’t help them, I hope that miserable people can find a sense of peace and healing too.

 

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“Why do you talk about mental health?”

I asked strangers on the internet to send me questions yesterday so I could film a video, and I got a lot of fun things to talk about, but one pretty heavy question that I actually get very often; “Why do you talk about mental health?”

Until this year I only really chalked it up to “because I want to.” It started as a coping mechanism for myself to log my emotions and try to clear my mind that has now grown in to a bit of an obsession for me.

I didn’t really realise it’s importance to me until April when my dad told me to stop writing about my mental health and my experiences in my life that have influenced the person I am today. [This story is a lot a larger than that, but that’s all I can say right now. My dad has since been able to understand things on my end, and all is as well as can be.] I was incredibly enraged to the point that if I had to choose between him and writing, I would choose writing. But, something quite incredible happened.

In my life, I feel like I’ve always had to lessen myself in order to “be the bigger person”. But by accepting my mental health more and more, I’ve realised that sometimes being the bigger person means doing what is best for you. For once I fought head on for what I enjoy. I was able to use all the messages strangers have sent me; how I’ve helped them, advice they’ve given me, stories people vent to me when they feel no one else can listen.

I realised that this is much more than just ‘venting’ for me. I genuinely hope that the things I say can help others. Especially people who feel that they cannot talk to anyone or relate to anyone. However, when I was asked this question yesterday, I kind of realised something else.

Yesterday was the year marker for Linkin Park’s lead singer, Chester, on his suicide. I was pretty caught up in my feelings about it and also disappointed in how people react to suicide, and I realised… if I ever decide to kill myself, I don’t want anyone to feel surprised.

That’s probably why people like me can joke so easily about it. I understand that this is a complicated matter to people who don’t really get it… people always think that if you hear someone joke about death or talk about sadness, then you should step in and “help them”. But, this is just how we live. Death is an every day theme for us. An every day consideration. And there’s nothing you can do to change that. Support simply just makes the day to day a little easier. Which in some cases is all it takes, but mental health is a spectrum and it’s not the same for everyone.

But in my case, I guess I want people to know that it’s a possibility to me. I don’t want people to see my name pop up in a newspaper or someone’s facebook status and think, “Wow… I never would have thought.” “What could I have done?” “I guess I should have taken her more seriously when she said xx.” I just can’t imagine leaving that kind of thought behind. Like anyone could have made me make a different choice. Because that’s not how it works in most cases.

It’s really kind of fucked up to write it out like that when I read it back. And for reassurance to anyone reading, it’s not something I’m actively pursuing. However, death is apart of me as it is for so many other people. And I guess by writing about it I hope to be a comfort to people who deal with it, while also trying to offer insight to those who can’t really ever understand it because it’s not something they face.

With chronic mental illness there aren’t guarantees. But that’s how life is in general, right? No one knows what even a few hours can bring. All we can do is be kind, and honest, and offer others support and hope for the best in life. And I guess when I write, I just want to offer those things like support and honesty and kindness to others.

If I Ever Have A Baby.

There is a story in my life that I have always wanted to tell. I feel with each passing month I’m gaining the confidence to to share it, however tensions are still high, and for the courtesy of someone I care about, I’m giving things ample time to run their course.

In a short explanation; in my writing I refer a lot to my childhood and forces that I could not control that played a huge role in my mental frame and how I view myself. I believe I was born depressed, but my experiences since I was young may play a huge part in my paranoia of the world and the humans that inhabit it. It’s unfortunate, but some kids see and hurt a little too much before they’re even old enough for elementary school.

I feel like, despite the things I saw and felt during those young tender years, I was still a spunky and confident little boyish girl. But as life happens, sometimes we aren’t met with the best influences. It’s difficult because sometimes maybe people genuinely believe that they are trying to help you. Perhaps they’re sick too and believe by cutting a person down, it’s the best way to make them prepared for the “real world”.

For most of my life I’ve been a source of someone else’s hatred and pain. A constant reminder that the world doesn’t revolve around them. I’ve tried desperately to cling on to hope that one day I’d be so far away that they couldn’t reach me anymore, but no matter how far I distance myself, they always catch me somewhere along the road.

There was a time when I just took the beating. The onslaught of words that cut like razor blades. I wanted my outside to look as damaged as my inside, and I’ve hurt myself a lot over the years. But, I still can’t feel like I can blame anyone. Because everyone is hurting, and if I’m the source of pain, then naturally they would lash out, right? For the sake of keeping the peace I’ve always apologised and tried to become smaller and smaller until I couldn’t even see myself. Sometimes I still can’t see myself…

But this year I said no more. Because despite the negative emotions I have to battle inside my head every single hour of the day, I have found so much love in this world. I’ve made life long friendships. I’m experiencing a healthy romance. I’ve been working on reconnecting with family. And also trying to learn to love myself more and more.

Even so… after completely erasing someone from my world, I find that I’m still hurting their life. That what I choose to do in life could still negatively effect people I care about because this person is so unhappy… That if I had a child then a marriage would be ruined?

Maybe it’s best we don’t hear everything someone thinks about us.

It’s hard to explain those words about me ruining a marriage when I can’t yet explain the whole story. But I was shocked that ultimatums like this are given to people you care about. To make people that care about one another divide to cater to your pain. I can’t understand it at all. And people I care about want me to one day resolve these issues?

I’m really not sure I ever could. Because if I had a child, it would be seen as another seed of hatred. And it terrifies me to my core to think that this human that doesn’t even exist is already despised. How could I ever allow a tiny innocent soul to ever be around feelings like that?

I absolutely never would.

If I ever had a child I would be sure that this soul was filled to the brim with love. That even when they needed to be scolded, told no, smacked on the butt, etc. They would always, always, always, be given an explanation that didn’t cut them down for who they are. Whenever they were in trouble or accused of something, I would also listen to their side of the story first and we’d have a conversation before we discuss consequences of any actions. When they achieved in school, sports, art, anything, I’d be there as their biggest fan. And if for whatever reason the father of this child could not love me and raise this child in the same home, I would show nothing but compassion for that father when the child is involved because there would be no doubt that he would love this tiny soul too. My negative feelings are separate from this child.

In terms of my mental health, we would have an open dialogue. They would know that mom is “sick” and sometimes gets moody and quiet and cries. They would know that it is never their fault. And they would know that if they ever felt this way that I am with the most open of arms here to support them no matter how crazy they feel.

I would never make them feel like they owed me a thing because they did not ask to be apart of my life. I think we should be stern with our children, but at the end of the day, they should never question if they are loved.

If I ever had a child they would not live my story. But they are welcome to read a few chapters from my book and choose to see the world how they wish to see it. This child would have so much love from the people in their life that one person couldn’t even put a dent in the shield of smiles that surround them.

And even though I’ve never really wanted to have a baby. And the thought of having one terrifies me more than anything in the world. Just having been told those words recently makes me want to be even stronger and kinder for and to those around me to build a world that if this soul ever came into my life, I could be and do all these things I have written.

I don’t regret any choice I’ve made this past year.