I usually have my Christmas tree up by Thanksgiving but this year I’m feeling lost and when I think of decorating my eyes begin to water. I then jump to thinking about taking the decorations down and crying really hard…because 2016 was difficult. Maybe even the worst.

My friend suffered a brain aneurysm, he passed away a few weeks ago. I sent condolences but didn’t go to the funeral, instead, I crumbled. After my Dad’s passing in late July it’s too raw for me to push through. My emotions boil over, it’d be unfair and too much for other people to have to deal with; I would be a burden. I felt like if I could spare them that, I should…so I did. I feel small and cowardly.

I *should* be stronger than this, I really am the worst.

A week ago my Aunt (my father’s sister) passed away and I crumbled a bit more. She was my Godmother. She was beautiful and flawed. A tiny woman, with a big heart, she struggled many times over with falling down and getting back up again. She was lovely and soft spoken and her home was a safe refuge during the scarier times in my childhood.

She took me to have my ears pierced when I was four – then brought me home and told my mom about it (QUEEN). She made the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. She let my sister and I rescue a yellow lab puppy that someone had tossed out of a car near her house, we named it Sunshine. At Halloween she would hand out popcorn balls. She had a cuckoo clock and framed Norman Rockwell prints hanging in the stairway. She smelled really good and wore a gold necklace with an Italian horn charm (for good luck), she took me swimming and always had an Easter basket for me that included little earrings (like stars, hearts and lady bugs) inside of a plastic egg. Her hair was curly, like mine, and she wore mascara and pretty v-neck sweaters and sometimes would take me to work with her at the college (Clarkson). We went to the Fireman’s Field Day and had my picture taken with “Big Bird.” She took me to my first movie, The Fox and the Hound.

I should have tried harder to be a part of her life, I put my cell number in last year’s Christmas card. She left me a voicemail and I never called her back. I’d not been doing very well with my anxiety and depression,  I felt like I was sparing her. Like, I would make things worse for her…I thought that “when I’m better” I’ll call. I’m really the worst and I should be stronger than this.

SPOILER: Aimee is terrible at relationships.

I’m often afraid I’ll make a mistake or ruin something or be a burden. I don’t want to tangle anyone else up in my mess. Probably the fear of rejection is what holds me back the most. I’m aware that this is not a unique problem, still…it’s a problem.

Such a mess.