Well I finally read through them. It only took me 3 years to the day after your death, several months of them in my possession, sitting accusingly on my dresser or in the bottom of a bag.
I read them laying in my bed in my new home, still naked with dripping hair after a late afternoon bath, since I was too depressed this morning to get up with enough time for a shower. I laughed and cried to myself, alone as I always seem to end up on these difficult days. I know its not planned but he always seems to be asleep or not feeling well or both on these days that are so super hard for me amd I end up crying alone.
I am not sure what I was expecting when I read them. Maybe I thought they'd be full of the minutiae of every day life, and there is a little of that. Maybe I thought there'd be poetry, and there is quite a bit of that too. I think I was selfishly hoping for more about myself, though what there is touched my heart and made me laugh. Well, one thing made me say "fuck you" but you were probably right. I think what I didn't expect was to read about the darkness. I wish now more than ever that I had talked more to you about my own struggles with depression. I guess in my alternate history you would have confided in ne about your own and we both would have recognized that maybe it was as much a problem in our head as with our brains, another little fluke of genetic inheritance. I knew you'd had some issues, seen therapists and been on a med here or there, but nothing serious. And I guess when you view our medical (psychiatric) and employment histories side by side, yeah, whatever issues you might have faced seem much less severe than mine. But when I read your words, the darkness & depression, occasional mentions of suicide, and your up & down moods, energy levels, and spending habits... wow, brother.
But our journals are where we are free to say anything, our worst and deepest and darkest. Hell, for those who think I overshare here, you'd really be shocked at what's in my journals. Realistic me suspects that you never would have told me a quarter of how similar our struggles were, even if I'd told you everything.
But I'm thankful to have these and I will honestly fight tooth and nail to keep them, not give them to any other family members, if that's what I have to do, even if those people are mentioned more often. Fuck them. These are mine. They both confirm things I already knew and have opened up to me parts of you I never would have seen before. I really enjoyed getting to see you come out, even as I wept with how painful it was. It gave me a new appreciation for your two longterm partners and the relationships you shared with each of them. It makes me feel kess alone in how scared I am about doing this whole grown up thing, feel solidarity in our struggles over housework with our partners, and shows me that some battles with ourselves, with drinking & smoking & weight, over purpose & identity & belonging, we will fight our whole lives.
I wish there was more. Both that you had written more then and that you were still writing now. I miss you so much.