I seem to be dealing with bits of things recently. It’s odd. I used to be able to kind of stick to one subject in trauma. I could follow one idea or one event for a few days. Now, it’s all different things. I don’t think it’s because they are worse. It’s because they are better. The walls are lower, and bits and bobs of different things get through more readily. But it’s a different way of working and I have to get used to it.

One thought this morning—one of many—is that the women and girls I knew are most likely all dead. It is another segment of grief for me. Nata is dead because Yuri murdered her. I saw that.

The other girls have most likely died of other things. Maybe murder. Maybe disease. Maybe drug overdose. Maybe suicide. But they are all dead.

The woman who put her arms around me when Nata was giving Kristya a broken nose is probably dead. Kristya is probably dead. The woman who acted out Nata waving a piece of paper under Yuri’s nose after Nata was murdered, in the course of telling the story of why it had all happened, is probably dead. Bronislava, who looked terrified when she had to rape me on Yuri’s couch when I was seven and gave me lemon cookies, is probably dead. The woman who kissed me drunkenly is dead.

All of the women and girls who loved me, took care of me, argued with each other, hurt each other—they are, in all likelihood, dead. I ran away and there is literally no one to return to.