I've been revisiting perhaps the most traumatic period of my life and unpacking the different emotions I experienced. It's been about 3 years but it has barely gotten any easier and I'm still making new revelations about what I felt back then. Turns out, swallowing your emotions doesn't make them go away. Instead they linger as ghosts and haunt you. I think the hardest thing, to this day, is accepting that no matter how much I hate, resent and despise my father, or want to at least, I still can't help but want to love him. Maybe want him to love me. And that brings me to tragedy number one. He's no longer my dad. Instead, he's become my father. There's no warmth or endearment in that word. It's merely an appropriate and respectful way to address our blood relations. Completely and intentionally devoid of any kind of love. I want to love dad. But I can't. Because "dad" simply doesn't...exist anymore. The second tragedy I experienced is the loss of a home. My childhood home, a safe space, a treasure box full of memories. Every little smudge on the wall, every scratch on the counters or the pencil marks on the fridge are little proofs that I existed, that I lived there. For so, so many years. Painful reminders that it's not the same anymore. And no matter how many times my father emphasizes that nothing has changed... I can't see it. That house is foreign. Cold. Unsafe. How can something that I'm so familiar with, a house I know like the back of my hand and I can vividly map out when I close my eyes feel so... Alien? The realization dawned on me while reading a poem by Kostis Palamas titled "The house I was born in". Not quite the same situation, much less sentiments as the poet still ardently adores his birth house, even when other people may live in it. But I suppose the contrast of our situations and feelings is what brought forth this epiphany. I lament all I lost and all I could have but I can only move forward. And while I do understand that, sometimes the past weighs so heavy...I can't bother anyone with this. My brother, the middle child, thankfully didn't perceive the events as traumatic, unlike me. Which probably goes to show that I executed my job at his "protector" damn well and eased his transitioning into our new reality. The youngest is exactly that. Too young to understand. And I cannot talk to mom about it because she'll probably end up blaming herself or perceiving it as a failure on her part. I feel burdened. To have this emotions, to still be so overwhelmed by them. I guess I just really wanted time to heal me. But that didn't happen. Part of me is still hurting. Deeply. I was just a child. Tasked with carrying the weight of our worlds on my shoulders as it collapsed. Trying to be the perfect kid and attentive oldest sibling. Busy consoling everyone. If I broke down in front of my siblings, they'd break down too. Realize everything had gone to shit. If I broke down in front of my mom, she'd be reconsidering all her life choices. And as for my father? He was crying in front of me while driving me to lessons. So I automatically had to console him. Because if I didn't, the fine balance would shift and all hell would break loose. So, I was deprived of all my rights to mourn properly. And because of this, my unattended sorrows are consuming me alive. And yet I still am unable to show vulnerability. I'm tired.