School started up again on Thursday. That’s why I have suddenly been busy and didn’t have time or energy to post.

I am not even sure what to write about now. It all seems a bit of a blur. But I thought I would say something.

I seemed to have noticed I am alive today. We gave the parents their children’s mark sheets, and beforehand there was a meeting with the parents and it involved a slide show with pictures of the students doing various activities. I was in a lot of the photos.

I am not dead. There is a record of the fact of my aliveness.

It’s hard to process this. It’s frightening, actually. It’s an incredibly naked feeling. I am alive without Natashka, without my friends who protected. I am alive without the buffer of the people who loved me and who literally meant the difference between life and death for me. Life isn’t as dangerous now, but I am also alone in it. Not entirely—there are so many people who help me. But it’s not the same. The cohesion is nowhere near the same. Maybe it needn’t be. But it’s still frightening.

I have to process that fear. I have to process the idea that it was once that unsafe for me to make my own decisions and that the decisions I needed to make were so important.

I am trying to decide whether to ask to stay another year. I thought I couldn’t—it’s a financial thing—but it seems to me I can. I think it might be good for me—it has been good for me to be here up to now. It has been the cheapest, most effective therapy I ever underwent. I think another year of it could be even better, and I also think in another year I might understand some of the problems in education here well enough to have some thoughts about what could be done about them.

There are two parts to this. One of them is how can I make a decision without Nata? How can I decide alone? The sense of her absence is unbearable.

The other part is my gratitude at being alive. I am alive because of her. I owe everything to her. She isn’t here to thank, but is it okay to live that gratitude? I think it is, but maybe it isn’t. The bottom line is does living out that gratitude give me a fulfilling life? I think it does.