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. Dissociation. Depersonalization. Derealization. Psychosis. Delusion. Hallucination. Dissociative 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?