The Seeds of Doubt


Amnesiac.

That might be a painfully accurate depiction of a large part of me. My memories prior to eleven are largely fragmented, save for a few vague impressions, recurring themes, and a traumatic experience that has recently resurfaced to rear it’s ugly head at me. Regardless of how often I attempted recalls, those calls went unanswered. A flicker, like a spark, would come alive, but leave existence as quickly as it came.

I often find myself in a unfocused world of disjointed memories and alternate realities. The vast fields of fog are sewn with seeds of doubt, spouting fears and obsessions. In those fields and shadows, monsters have plentiful cover to prowl for their prey – me.

They often say that when a lie is repeated so many times, it starts to embed itself as a portion of factual memory. Basically, if a person believes in something strongly enough, it becomes real. It becomes enough to rewrite someone’s entire history. The lines between reality and fantasy start to blur in a place where fiction and fact can coexist, even potentially peacefully.

Unfortunately, I have not once before been a person who can successfully smudge the details of my own personal past. Not to myself, anyway. I can report being guilty of deception by omission. But, something distressful stirs and blinks with any instance I even remotely consider telling a blatant lie.

This is not say I am immune to deception and coercion into accepting an outright lie. My psyche is malleable in the way where I am susceptible to manipulation. Why? Because it’s been the very basis of which I have been raised.  My father once told me, “Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.”  Then, was it his intent to distort my world in such a way that I will one day have difficulty trusting myself?

There are so many clinical words for this.  DissociationDepersonalizationDerealization.  Psychosis.  Delusion.  HallucinationDissociative Fugue.  Splitting.  Repression.  Coping.  So many clinical terms that overlap in their definitions, and yet, not one quite captures the true essence of being within it’s grip.

For me, my repression has a proximity sensor.  Clinically, it’s called Dissociative Amnesia or Dissociative Fugue.  In the past, I have always called it throwing a block or throwing up a wall.  I am figuratively walking along in my own mind, through wild, overgrown fields and forests of my own memories to suddenly smash into a concrete wall.  Suddenly, the whole landscape shifts, and I am boxed in this nondescript, blank white room.  White walls, white floors, no windows.  It is me and a dining room chair.  This is my mental waiting room, where I am being isolated until the memory of the memory passes.

I call it, “The Eraser”.  When it’s all said and done, I come back to consciousness in my own familiar surroundings, in my own waking life.  But, is it?

This is the direct result of the seeds of doubt being sewn into a person so carelessly in the impressionable youthful brain.  The concept of an active consciousness is disturbed, and the development is stunted and contorted.  It must be so easy to manipulate someone with such a frail sense of reality, a blank canvas of self, and stunted emotional maturity.  And that’s why abusers do it.

I slip in and out of streams of consciousness, alternate, yet simultaneous realities, and find skips and pauses that disarrange an incomplete chronology of life.  I start to get the belief that I am, in fact, a time traveler, as my external self as my own ship, however I have no use of my own controls.  Somehow, somewhere along the way, I have been damaged.  It mimics human ailments.

But I know none of that is true.  I am just as human as the next person, with cognitive dysfunctions resulting from mental illness and latent trauma.

Or faulty wiring.

I doubt everything.  My experiences often seem surreal.  My memories, unless attached to a particularly powerful moment, are vague.  My short term memory is shot, so it becomes unreliable.  I doubt everything I feel, all of the conclusions that I come to, and some of what is right in front of my face.  I doubt right down to self.  Is this me?  Am I me?  Am I here?
How did I get to such a place where I have to question everything?

 

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23 thoughts on “The Seeds of Doubt

  1. Do you read Pensees Sans Frontieres? You both describe similar coping mechanisms and you both describe them effectively and movingly. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I read it too Lulu, it is really interesting. Great post!

    • Thanks. It’s odd being stuck in this mindframe. I don’t know, maybe this is how my brain deals with stuff now.

      • well our brains are an amazing creation. We somehow adjust to our surroundings. Our brain seems to have many ways on hand to deal with stress and trauma. Sometimes by just shutting down.

        • It’s still working, it’s just throwing blocks, you know? And if I ever do figure out how to get around the blocks, I can never come back from it, you know?

        • I am scared to go around the blocks and realize what I am not remembering. But the flashbacks drive me nuts! It hits me like a bear just walked into the room-sudden panic and even a feeling of faintness.

        • For me, I try to grab that flicker and I end up turning on my heels from the burn. I want it so bad, but at the same time, there is a stronger part that says I don’t.

        • I have gotten so frustrated before that I have thought about being hypnotized, for some reason that doesn’t scare me as much.

        • Hypnosis wouldn’t work for me. Though I would say my grip on reality is loose, at best, I still refuse to give up the shards that I am pretty sure are the real deal. Meaning, I don’t believe in hypnosis, therefore it probably won’t work.

        • Oh I don’t know if I believe in it or not. But part of me would be willing to give it a try. But I would have to have someone in there with me in case I ended up in a vulnerable position.

        • I think my brain would probably just try to make stuff up as a defense mechanism. It does it in my waking life too! I mean, it tries to. The explanations I get for some things are wild.

  3. I am so sorry you have such bad memories you’ve had to block them out. That must be a very strange feeling.

    • The block isn’t as painful as it sounds. It’s more like something knocking the wind out of you. The stranger thing is knowing that there are unfamiliar places inside yourself.

      • I wonder if a lot of people have that but don’t know it?

        • I am sure they do. I didn’t know it until I wrote a post last week about the same feelings. Only, I was writing about the notion that I didn’t feel like I was belonging in this reality. This one is about how I shift through transient realities. Similar feeling, different idea. One assumes that I’m trapped between transits. This one assumes that the transitions are part of alternate, simultaneous realities.

          And I’m sure this is how “The Matrix” was born. And most other Sci-Fi, LOL.

  4. You’re a very moving writer Lulu. The last paragraph pretty much describes much of my experience. My sense of reality was and has been very malleable. The strangest part is memory. Similar to what you mention, I sometimes question if certain events were “real” or just dreams or something in between. Hope you work through them… xo

    • A huge chunk of my life is missing, and the only people who have any idea that happened in there are my parents. And I’ve caught them on multiple occasions lying about things.

      I was telling my mother about all of these long forms I had to fill out for my surgical consult late last year. I had almost forgotten about all of the knee problems that I have. And she said to me, scoffing, “What are you talking about, knee problems? Now you’re just making stuff up.”

      I was infuriated. A few years prior, I had an ortho consult concerning a knee cap that had randomly popped out of place and an ER trip. It turned out that the tendonitis I was diagnosed with when I was fifteen was a result of “knock-knee”, meaning my knees and the muscles surrounding them didn’t develop correctly. Some PT could have fixed that. I had a toddler and a part-time job. It wasn’t happening.

      I commented on that to her and she said, “Oh yeah, I know. I remember when you were a kid, I fought with the doctor constantly about your leg pain. It used to keep you up at night. You’d cry and cry. The doctor said it was growing pains, and I yelled, “But she isn’t growing!””

      (I’m short, so the growing pains shouldn’t have been that bad. Instead, I should have had PT for my malformed knees).

      So it’s factual. My parents lie. My mother was attempting to assert that I was a hypochondriac instead. And I couldn’t believe my ears. The only thing I could think of is that she was jealous. Jealous of what, I have no idea, because health problems are not my favorite thing in the world. And I sure as hell wasn’t getting any special attention or treatment over that surgery.

      If she can lie over jealousy, what can she lie to protect her pride and cover her shame?

  5. I get this. You explained it so powerfully.

    • Thank you. It’s an odd state to be in. I’m not used to it. It’s getting a little better, because for awhile, it felt like I was pacing a cage, you know? I was stuck with that inside myself, that holding cell of this nondescript nothingness, but I wasn’t being released anytime soon. Now, I can at least get something out about it.

      I’ve decided that to cure my block, I’m going to start coming out with things I should have just come out with a long time ago. No holding back.

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