Okay, I never thought I’d say this… But apologizing to my Papa ended up being so much easier than I thought it’d be. It actually felt really good to get a lot of that shit off my chest.
I think Papa feels the same. He’s unloaded a lot on me too lately…. And some of it’s been kinda hard to hear. I guess the ‘forgiving’ part is easier said than done. But I’m working on it.
All I can think of now is how I wish I’d done this a hell of a lot sooner. I wonder how different things might have been if I did… And not just for me and Papa. What about me and mom? Or Rylie and Devin? Or Oma? What if I’d tried talking to all of them sooner than I did? Would things have still ended up this way?
I guess it’s something I’ll never really know for sure.
But here’s what I do know — That I’ll spend the rest of my life wishing I had the chance to apologize to my Oma. And that I might spend just as long wishing I had the courage to do the same to Erik.
He’s the one person it’s hardest to try facing again. Even harder than Papa (and that was definitely no friggin’ picnic). But things with Erik just feel… different.
I think he might be just as scared about it as I am. I haven’t reached out to him at all since Oma’s funeral. But then, neither has he. And I’m guessing it’s for the exact same reason.
I talked about it a little with Dr. S last week. I think it’s just too painful for both of us. Too many hurt feelings and stuff. There’s a lot of baggage there. And it’s not something either of us really wants to revisit, I don’t think.
I mean, Papa and I still have a lot of shit we’ve gotta work out. But we’re getting there, at least. Slowly but surely. He’s even come here a couple times for some special sessions with Dr. S. Mom too.
And it’s helped all of us for sure, but it’s still really uncomfortable. It means having to go back and think about a lot of shit I haven’t thought about in a long time. It reopens some old wounds, y’know?
And it’s kinda made me have to face a lot of awful shit about myself too. Stuff I never really wanted to think about before… I’m just not sure if it’s something I could handle going through with Erik.
I try not to think about him too much, if I can help it. Sometimes that’s easier said than done when Phoenix comes to visit. He’s seven months old already, and the older he gets, the more I see of his Papa in him. And that hurts a lot more than I’d like to admit.
Anyway, I’ve been trying to focus on the good stuff instead… Like how much better things are getting between me and Papa. We still have a long way to go, but I seriously never even thought we’d make it this far. And I don’t think I ever could have done it without my friends. Especially Katie and Ivy.
I’ve had to do some apologizing to them too. To Katie for not listening to her sooner. And Ivy… Well, I waited way too long to talk to her about that stupid fight we had… Remember that? When I flipped out on her for not opening up to me?
Dev and Rylie helped me see what a stupid hypocrite I was to do it. It wasn’t fair for me to expect her to try and open up when I’m total shit at doing it myself.
But when I tried telling her that, Ivy just shook her head. She said it wasn’t fair for her to keep shutting me out after how much I’ve trusted her.
Can you believe it? She apologized to me. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting, and I really don’t think she had to do it… but it was kinda nice to hear too.
And then, she decided to tell me a little more about how she ended up in here. That wasn’t something I thought she had to do either. I mean, doing something bad enough to end up in jail is pretty fucking shameful, y’know? We all get it. And I told her I did too… But she decided to tell me anyway. The basics, at least. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get her full story, but I think I know enough now.
I’d seen the marks on her legs when she first got here. I knew she was an addict, like Erik. But I never realized she was actually working with a dealer too. That was how she started using in the first place, she said. Being around the stuff so much made her curious. “A runner” is what she called herself. Bringing drugs to all the dealer’s clients, I guess? Ivy didn’t go into a lot of detail… Just that she hurt a lot of people. And that by the time she realized it, she was in too deep to find a way out.
I tried reminding her it wasn’t really her fault. I mean, yeah, she delivered the drugs to them. But she didn’t stick the needle in their arms or anything. She didn’t make them do it! But she says it doesn’t matter. She still feels responsible. “Fueling their addictions and funding my own”, as she put it. And… Okay, when she says it like that, I guess it does sound pretty bad, huh?
And the more I think about it, the more I start realizing… That’s kinda what I did to Erik, didn’t I? But maybe the other way around. I was funding his addiction… and using it as an excuse to keep fueling mine. But then, was mine ever even really an addiction at all?
Anyway, it was really upsetting to hear Ivy tell me all that stuff. She just sounded so broken. So guilty. “I deserve to be in here,” she said. It really killed me to hear her say that, and to see her pretty face looking so damn sad.
But it also really got me thinking…
I deserve this too, don’t I?
It’s such a simple, basic thought. Like, what kind of fucking moron can’t figure that out by now, right? But somehow, it was never something I really thought about too much before now. I guess I was just too damn stubborn to wanna admit it.
But I think about all the stuff I’ve talked about with Papa lately. Or the things Katie and Ivy have told me. And all of Dr. S’s lessons about empathy, and it really has me thinking…
It’s true, isn’t it? I deserve this.
What about Ivy though? Or Katie? Do they?
Personally, I don’t think so.
I mean, I never thought I’d say this about Katie, but… She’s not a bad person. She’s still got that bitchy streak she’s always had. But that doesn’t make her terrible. It just makes her… Katie. And sure, she fucked up by totaling that car. It was a totally idiotic thing to do. But she was hurt and drunk and angry. She’s not a monster.
And Ivy… I know what she did was wrong too. But it was just her and her brother, and they were practically homeless, from the sounds of it. I’m not sure what happened to them when they were younger. I don’t know how they ended up that way — That’s part of the story she didn’t tell me… But I know that she and Finn were way worse off than me and Erik ever were.
So she didn’t really have a choice, did she? She was desperate. She didn’t have anybody she could turn to for help. Not like I did.
It used to feel like I never had a choice either. That stealing from Oma was my only option… But when I think about Ivy, that seems pretty fucking ridiculous. How could I ever compare myself to someone in her shoes?
I grew up in a friggin’ mansion. I always had everything I wanted, or needed. I was never cold or hungry. And most importantly, I had two parents who were always there to help me out. The only time they didn’t was when I’d fucked up too much to deserve it. And yeah, they annoy the shit out of me and we have a hard time getting along… But they love me. They always have.
And I guess… I guess I never really thought about how much that means until now. Not until I think about Ivy… and even Katie too.
I mean, Katie’s parents are just as rich as mom and Papa. She was a spoiled little brat just like me. But they were always so awful to her. They never loved her or supported her like mine did.
And Ivy didn’t even have parents. She had nobody. Her and Finn were all alone…
God, Katie was right, wasn’t she? About how lucky I am… But I never appreciated it before. I really am an ungrateful bitch, huh? Just like Papa said all those months ago.
Ivy’s not a bad person. And neither is Katie.
But I think I’m finally starting to see that I am. I’m selfish. I’m whiny. I’m ungrateful…
I’m a terrible, shitty person.
But I’m trying so fucking hard to figure out how to be a good one.