I really didn’t. It wasn’t a decision. It just happened, slowly and inevitably; first, I just didn’t have the strength to say anything. I got sucked into my depression and for a while that simply meant silence, not because I had nothing to say and not because I didn’t want to talk about it, simply that I couldn’t bring myself to alter the silence once it took hold. It seemed an insurmountable feat. Then came days and weeks, maybe a couple of months, of being so dysfunctional that I could hardly do anything but maintain a disinterestedly voyeuristic relationship with the accounts I follow. And then that got too hard.
For a while there, everything got too hard. Waking up. Eating. Sleeping.
I’m still not doing quite as well as I pretend that I am, but I’m getting closer, in baby steps. I told daddy a couple months ago that it’s not so much that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel as much as it is that I’ve come far enough to know that it is, in fact, a tunnel. Still, that’s the closest I’ve been to being in a place to come to terms with my anxiety and depression and to try to do something about it. Even if that something is just waking up in the morning.
It hasn’t helped that I’ve been feeling increasingly isolated since I came back to Japan. And I’m not talking about my life in Japan. I continue to meet amazing people and to build my little life here one tiny thing at a time, and I continue to run into and recover from fantastical and dramatic events. With each passing day, Japan becomes less and less a place I happen to live and more and more the place where my life is, the place where my home is. And it was like that before it also became the place where my love is.
No, the feeling of isolation has to do with my struggle to figure out how to relate to the people I left behind. Friends and family. I kind of expected that the distance would be too much for certain friends, and that others wouldn’t make any more effort than they ever had, and that a large percentage of people, regardless of how much I care about them and how important they are to me and, perhaps, regardless of how important I am to them, would slowly and certainly drift further and further away from me. I wasn’t really expecting my family to.
Now daddy only talks to me about money. He almost never calls or texts, he doesn’t even contact me on Facebook as often. Then again, I’ve often been too depressed to post much on Facebook. It’s been ages and ages since he sent me a postcard from a business trip. And he was the only one who really made an effort to keep in touch, to let me know that I’m still loved, even if I’m here.
My mom continues to act as if I don’t exist unless I call her. I was expecting that because it’s what she did the first time I came here. It’s pretty close to how she was when I was back in the States, to be honest. I don’t call her as often from here and she never has a reason to call me, now. That’s all.
I don’t know when my sister and I started having a complicated and difficult relationship. Was it when she got her own room? When she went into middle school? High school? Left home? Maybe it was always difficult- sisterhood is a strange beast filled with love and jealousy and idolatry and anger and need and disappointment. Maybe other people forced difficulty onto us by comparing us and dictating how we were and weren’t allowed to be alike. At any rate, a lot of pain and misunderstandings turned a relatively small incident- a laughably small one, in fact- into a more than year-long painful silence that both of us were too stubborn to end. I don’t think either of us knew how to end it, either. It ended when my sister’s best friend, also a dear friend of mine, died a year ago December. I called her because it was the right thing to do, because I knew she needed me, and because I realized that if I didn’t I would have no more opportunities.
We’re still working out, I think, what sisterhood is, and what it should be for us. I think we’ve gotten closer. Certainly, we’re out of that awful silence. Mostly, we can talk when we are hurting, as long as it doesn’t involve the other. Maybe our pain is the only thing we really have in common. We don’t do well at small talk.
What’s been bothering me about it lately, though, is that I feel like my sister cares more about having the appearance of being on great terms with me than actually having a good relationship with me. I’m sure I’m overreacting. That doesn’t make the fear or the hurt or any of my feelings any less real or valid. But she is more likely to post a public message on twitter regarding me than she is to post one directed at me than she is to send me a message privately than etc etc. So if it’s my mistake, I feel like it’s an easy one to make.
I just don’t know what to say to her, and I don’t know what to do to be a part of a family that seems to be just fine without me.
I’ve gone completely off topic, I suppose, but it feels good to get some weight off my chest. Maybe I hope that the return to tumblr will signify the return of the prodigal daughter. If I can talk to the internet now, maybe I’ll be able to talk to my family one of these days.