I'm beginning to realize that I carry the weight of my tragedy with me. I haul it around like it's my duty, my burden to bear. There's something in me that feels I was given a set of responsibilities along with it: protect the names of my lost ones; correct people's misconceptions about mental health and suicide; quash the stereotypes of how I should have turned out; and, of course, act as gatekeeper to the story itself. Each of these I am passionate about - but none of these are my duties. I should be able to do all of the above as I want, when I want - but I should not carry the burden of them.
Perhaps, in the first handful of months, they were my duties. My family's names really were under constant attack. People were making dangerous conclusions about the 'why' of the event. I was treated unfairly by my peers and community, and was a target of gossip. And I learned very rapidly in those months that the interactions I could expect to have with people were very much dependent on what and when they knew about my family. We were on lockdown. It was a response that was trained into me when I was vulnerable and impressionable.
And I haven't been able to let go. I've come to terms with the event itself; that's been the case for a while now. The weight I continue to carry and which continues to oppress me is the cage that the media assault forced me into.
I do not want this burden anymore. I need to find a way to let it go.