Well, it’s that day again. The day that changed my life forever.
My depression is always so much worse this time of year, but after fighting hives all weekend and being stressed about owing money and other things I can’t control…it’s hitting me quite a bit harder.
Summer hasn’t been a good time for me since high school. It just doesn’t feel right anymore. It’s like everything slows down and begs to be more closely examined. Like my world gets darker while the world around me gets lighter. Things weigh more heavily on my heart.
But my summers got far worse in 2009. Because on this day in that year, the sins of my family years before I was born led to my cousin’s suicide.
Only I’ve never thought of it that way until now. I always put the blame completely on Tim. He was the selfish coward who hung himself in a park, and what if kids had found him? And then the anger flares up and I start shaking like I am now.
But it wasn’t just his fault. Or his dad’s, or his grandfather’s. It was ours, and saying that is crazy because I wasn’t even born, but I feel responsible.
His dad was molested by Tim’s grandfather. Then Tim’s dad molested Tim and his sister.
When my family found out, that was it. Divorce, estrangement. My mom admits she punched a wall and stopped speaking to the man who’d been like a brother to her for years. Everybody hated him, including Tim, who changed his name and, as far as I know, never spoke to his father again.
Tim’s sister decided to reconnect with their dad. To forgive. But Tim couldn’t, he wouldn’t.
And he didn’t tell any of us what he was going through. What he was doing to his partner’s nephew. He lived with the shame until his victim threatened to talk.
It’s our fault. Because look how we reacted to his father? How could we possibly forgive him when we couldn’t forgive his dad?
He couldn’t face us. He couldn’t live with himself. And four years later, I’m only beginning to understand that. My anger is finally fading, and all that’s left is a hollow ache.