“It isn’t in my past. It’s in my everyday.” – Helen Wilson
There are days when I feel like I’ve got a good handle on myself, and other days when I’m not so sure. Life is not hard right now. From the outside, looking in, things are actually better than they have ever been. I have so much to be grateful for… and that’s just it. I’ve been trying to ignore and suppress the fact that I don’t really feel like myself, even though I know that things are good.
My Dad is doing great. What does that mean? It means that he has a roof over his head, he has friends, he loves his hot cup of coffee in the morning, and he has clarity. He is well enough to travel abroad… can you believe that? He lives a minimalist lifestyle, and it works for him.
And I… feel as though what I’ve really been feeling is so insignificant in the span of all things that have happened. I have a hard time seeing people on the streets. I didn’t before. Not in the same way. Before, I felt like I wanted to help, that I could help. And now, I’m not even so sure what I feel. I feel sadness, a sense of defeat, irritable, and wonder what happened to me. The memories keep repeating itself in my mind. I’ve tried to write about it, but then I stop because it just takes me back to a place I don’t want to go anymore. I am trying so hard to move forward, but everything in my present keeps reminding me of the past.
I feel like I can’t escape it sometimes. I know that my Dad is good. I’m not sure where my Mom is exactly, but that isn’t any different from the past several years. I have accepted that. So what’s going on? I don’t know. All I know is that I have been avoiding myself, this part of me, this part that people seem to identify with as someone who did “something” to help. And I don’t know how to help anymore.
Driving down South King Street, walking down Keaaumoku Street, stopping at the light and seeing a woman standing at the corner… seeing their feet. It haunts me. Their feet… I always look at their feet. I am trying so hard to move past it, to be happy, to be present, to embrace the fact that my Dad is okay. But not everything is okay. And it eats away at me. I get that same feeling in my throat just from writing this. The same feeling I had when I saw my Dad on the corner of the street, when the lady told me to “not bother, because he has been standing there for days.”
See, it seems so trivial. I feel like it’s trivial.
Years have passed by, and I keep wondering when these feelings will go away. I have tried to write about it, writing was once my therapy, but I can’t seem to get myself to feel connected to this form of expression. Not in the same way.
I know it’s going to be okay. My family is good, my health is good, my Dad is good… it will be okay. And I continue to feel grateful for the fact that there are many people in our community who care, and work towards helping those who are on the streets. I wish I could do more, but right now, I’m just trying to get to a space where these memories can settle. I suppose I’m still waiting for things to heal — and it just takes time. I do wish I could do more, I just don’t know what more looks like.