I think I have been coping with loss since I was born, but this past year has been incredibly full of loss. I moved around so much as a child, and all over the world because of my dad's job. I'm used to having to give things up: the obvious things, like knowing my extended family and saying goodbye to childhood friends and homes and knowing I will likely never see them again. The not so obvious things: saying goodbye to stability, to belonging, to the ability to ever go home, to healthy relationships where I don't have commitment issues, to my own rights. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease a few years ago which required me to completely give up aspects of my life which I love, because I'm just not capable anymore. I thought I knew what grief was.
But this year, I have said goodbye to so much more. I lost my grandmother. I lost three nephews and a niece--four little ones who will never know what it is to see their first Christmas, or make cookies in the kitchen, or have their first kiss. I cannot fathom how much more intense the loss is for my sisters. I broke up with the first person whom I ever fell in love with, while still in love with him. I'm going to lose my favorite aunt soon-- she is dying of cancer and does not have much longer. I lost my innocence to a complete stranger, and it was drunken but not consensual--I know in my mind that I am worth so much more than that, but I feel so betrayed and so shaken to my core and so broken by something which should be beautiful, and which I have guarded and saved. I don't want anyone to know, because it violates everything I am as a person, and everything I believe in. I feel so alone and so young and I can't even eat because I feel so sick to my core, and I can't stop trembling right now.
I don't know what to do. I know intuitively that I need to keep going--Churchill's quote "when you're going through hell, keep going" has not left me--but it's hard. I don't want to close off from people, but right now I don't even want anyone to notice me. I am so exhausted from dealing with these losses, and from wondering when the next person will go.