My little boy turned a year old last Monday. Can you believe it? One whole year filled with so many milestones I never got to see. His first teeth. His first steps. His first words… And I wasn’t there for any of them.
And okay, I get that it’s probably selfish to whine and say it isn’t fair. I’ve learned a lot about selfishness this past year, that’s for damn sure.
But you know what? It may be selfish, but I just can’t help feeling that way. It fucking kills me every single day that I’m away from him. Even after all this time, it really hasn’t gotten any easier. And not being able to be there for his birthday just… really, really hurt.
It felt so pathetic that I couldn’t even buy him a present. What kind of mother can’t even get her own child a birthday gift? (But then… What kind of mother gets her ass thrown in jail either?). I know mom and Papa put my name on some of the toys they got him. They promised me they would. But I still wanted to give him something.
So I decided to give him the little yellow car my Oma got for me when I was a baby. It’s just a stupid little hunk of wood, but it was my favorite toy when I was little. I can’t even tell you how many times I forced mom and Papa to crawl around on the floor with me to play with that stupid thing. I went on so many adventures with it.
It’s the one toy from my childhood that I’ve really held on to for all these years. I’m not even sure I can explain why. I just… I couldn’t ever seem to let it go before. But giving it to Phoenix doesn’t feel like letting go. Just passing it on, I guess. Hoping my little boy will have some adventures of his own with it.
I got so choked up watching him play with that stupid little car. It was… bittersweet, I guess. Something about that moment just got to me, y’know?
Phoenix was babbling away, my parents were laughing, and I was eating a slice of birthday cake they’d brought for me. Papa always makes the most amazing cakes you could imagine. And as dumb as it sounds, eating it just made me even more emotional.
Everything about that moment just felt so safe and warm and happy. For a second, it almost felt like I was home.
But I wasn’t. And I still won’t be for a long time.
Next month, it’ll be a whole year that I’ve been in here. And I still have another year to go.
I know I’ve learned a hell of a lot this past year. Sometimes in the worst friggin’ way imaginable. And I’d like to think I’m less shitty now than I used to be. That I’ve grown and changed and all that sappy shit. I mean, I feel like I did, anyway. I think I’m a different person now than I was when I first got in here. Maybe even a better one. Which is really nice and all… But I just wanna go home.
I mean, I’ll keep trying to do better. I’ll work on getting my shit together. I’ll find a job. I’ll keep working on things with Papa. I’ll stop thinking about myself all the time. I’ll be the best mother to Phoenix I can be.
But I’m just so ready to get out of here.
Too bad that’s not something I have any control over. Whether I like it or not, I’m stuck here for another twelve months.
But at least I have some amazing people in here helping to keep me sane (well… mostly sane, anyway).
Katie’s still an incredible friend. She’s been there for me since the beginning. And she still is, even now. I never would have dreamed that Katie Freaking Fletcher, of all people, would end up being one of my best friends. But… here we are.
And Ivy… What can I say? She’s got one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever met. I can’t even imagine what my life would be like if I’d never met her. And she’s definitely been helping to keep me sane, just like Katie has.
But she really seems to love driving me insane too.
I’d be a liar if I said I couldn’t feel it. There’s… something between us. I don’t know if I can really explain what that ‘something’ is, but it’s pretty fucking terrifying. And every time she tries getting closer to me, I just panic.
I don’t even know if I can put it all into words, exactly… And it’s not like this is something I can talk about with Dr. Savage. Or anybody, really. Part of me almost wanted to try talking to Rylie or Devin about it… But they don’t know Ivy. I don’t think they’d understand. And I’ve even thought about trying to say something to Katie. But I just end up chickening out every time.
I mean, Jesus. If I can’t even talk about it, how the hell am I ever supposed to…?
Anyway, the bottom line is, I just can’t do it. I can’t be with Ivy.
And… I guess part of it has to do with Erik. Which doesn’t make any friggin’ sense. I mean, things have been over between us for a long time. Over a year now, if you can believe it. And it’s not like I want to get back together with him. I’m too mad at him. And I know he’s still mad at me too. It’s too late for us now.
And yet it’s like there’s this part of me that just… Doesn’t know how to move on.
Isn’t that the stupidest fucking thing you’ve ever heard? UGH. I don’t know what’s wrong with me! I hate feeling this way.
And that stupid phone call I got today just made everything worse.
It was like hearing from a ghost or something. Not literally, obviously. But for how shaken up I felt afterwards, it might as well have been.
I hadn’t heard from him at all since Oma’s funeral… That was almost eight months ago. And now suddenly he’s calling me and saying he wants to come see me here?! To “talk about something“?! What the hell is that supposed to mean?!
I tried asking him, but he wouldn’t go into more detail. Not on the phone, he kept saying. He was adamant about seeing me in person.
Papa had said something to me last week about “some things Erik might wanna talk to me about“… But I guess I didn’t pay too much attention to it. I was too busy focusing on Phoenix and trying to enjoy the visit. I wasn’t really thinking too deeply about what Papa could have meant, y’know? And I definitely wasn’t thinking he meant I was gonna be getting a phone call like that. It just totally blindsided me.
And now I just can’t stop wondering what the hell he could want. It’s been so long… What could there possibly be for us to talk about? What does he want from me? To argue again like we always do? Pour salt in my wounds? Ugh!
I guess I’ll find out on Saturday. That’s when he said he’s coming to see me. And I already know I’ll be freaking the fuck out until then.
Katie says I shouldn’t assume anything til I actually see him. “Is it seriously worth stressing yourself out over?” She kept asking me. But it’s not like I can really help it. Hearing his voice again was hard enough. But actually seeing him? Not to mention not having any freaking clue what he wants to talk to me about… Ugh!
Whatever it is, I already know this is going to totally, completely, and utterly SUCK.
I just hope I can be strong enough to get through it.