Status: start date: 16.9.15

The ***ers

I spent my fifteenth birthday surrounded by the people I loved: my doting, loving parents who I thought would never leave, my older spontaneous sister with her ambitious and focused boyfriend, my energetic and sometimes too much to handle younger brother, and our lovable golden retriever, forgetful with old age but still jumped up to greet us when we walked through the door.

Three nights before my sixteenth birthday, my brother was in a car accident.

I spent my sixteenth birthday at my brother's funeral, surrounded by my inconsolable parents, my sister high on pills and whatever else with her tired and defeated boyfriend in tow, and our lovable golden retriever, at my side with her head held low.

Three nights after, my parents told my sister and I that they had decided to go on a surfing world tour and my sister was going to take full responsibility for me. They were thoughtful enough to send money into our bank accounts, but not thoughtful enough to provide us with the emotional support we so desperately needed.

I spent my seventeenth birthday alone in my room, my sister on another bender while I lit a candle on a cupcake and sang to myself, our lovable golden retriever buried in the backyard, where she had passed several weeks earlier.

Grief therapists told me I wasn’t the catalyst for everything that had happened, but I knew better. I was the reason that Katie went on benders. I was the one who scared our parents away from us. Worst of all, I was the one that had caused Ben’s death. If it wasn’t for me, Ben would still be alive.

No one seemed to understand that when Ben died, I died too. I had nothing left anymore.