In the evening, a part came out. I don’t know if it’s a new part. She wasn’t very sure of her name. She said maybe it was Masha. Last week, or maybe it was two weeks ago, a part came out and wasn’t very sure who she was and said we could call her Maryam until she remembered. Maybe it’s the same one.

She thought she had been dead, and she was very interested in the idea that she was alive. Being alive could be fun. You might get to do things. She was looking forward to it.

After a while, she began to feel lonely though. No one else had lived. So she said she didn’t know if she liked this. She didn’t know if she liked being alive after all. Maybe it was better to be dead.

She was saying this, and I realized on my side of things, I didn’t feel anything. She was reporting on the feeling, but I didn’t have any of it. I was just listening.

So then I let the feelings come through, and it was devastating. The loneliness was devastating. Why did I have to live? I wish I hadn’t.

Only it’s not my fault. Everyone kept saving me. Stecia saved me. She made me hide. Nata saved me a few times. She revived me when I had stopped breathing. She did something to save me from Yuri completely. There were probably times when people saved me and I didn’t even realize what they had saved me from. I had these trusting relationships with people and they told me what to do and I listened because of my relationship to them. Stecia said hide and I did. Nata said don’t fall asleep in the freezer and I didn’t. She said don’t die, and I tried not to.

It’s scary to die and you instinctively try not to, but more than any one thing, that has kept me alive. Nata said, “Don’t die,” and some part of me has always listened to that.

At the core of everything is this trust. Nata said to live so I have to, and parts of me are always screaming, “I don’t want to. Why do I have to do this?” The trust is always contended.

But Nata didn’t tell me to live for her sake. She really thought it would be better for me to be alive. She had an optimism about me and about my future.

All of this stems from what she told me when I was six years old, I think. It’s not a grown-up, mature understanding in any sense. She didn’t necessarily have any realistic vision of my future. She just thought I am worthwhile, my life is going to be worthwhile.

I am not living for Nata. I am not living because being alive makes her feel happy still, or because at least there is someone alive to remember her. I am living because I am worthwhile, and somehow or other I am going to be able to turn my life into something worthwhile. I am alive because all of these girls who loved me saw me and saw someone worth helping, someone worth having alive and breathing on this planet, someone worth trying to protect. And they protected me.

It’s just that sometimes it hurts so much.