Tuesday, July 21, 2015

On the echoes of trauma.

I've been thinking about memory and trauma a lot lately. Why is it that certain things are fixed into my brain. Why is it that certain memories have had such an impact on me? It’s as if the memories have pooled, and during the course of the depressive episode of my 20’s became this large body of water I don’t remember crossing. And this water, unmoved and untouched, has become stagnant. So here I am, on the other side of it, trying to figure out how the hell I got to where I am, and how to navigate my way forward.

I use to think this meant going back, trying to return to how things were, but now I know better. There is no going back. I am a totally different person to the micro level. You don’t survive a sickness untouched. Your cells have mutated. You've adapted.

But moving forward isn't as easy as it sounds. Patterns and habits exist. A decade of negligence to parts of me needs addressing. Waking up is painful. Uncomfortable. Takes energy.

“One step at a time.”

“One day at a time.”

Focusing on the management of my life, on surviving one day at a time has gotten me through a lot. But it’s also meant my vision of the future is extremely limited.

I lose the entirety of my 20’s to depression and anxiety. I hold pockets of memory here and there. All of it is a haze. A deep, thick cloud I surface from occasionally. It’s become a joke to some of my friends, “you don’t remember anything!” they'll say, recounting the time I slept through our being lost in a national park.

The reality seems to be that I don’t remember significant periods of that time in my life because my focus of surviving one day at a time meant every day was nearly identical. My only comfort was in sleep and unconsciousness. My work and school memories are cloudy at best. I kept telling myself as long as I was in school, I was mildly productive.

My recession from life, my attempt at protecting myself back-fired. I gained weight. I became physically unhealthy. I detached from my sexual self. I became so internalized, it took years to re-form my voice. To hear myself.

How can a memory of someone be so traumatic? At some point, aren't they just a ghost? This event has become exponentially larger as it transitioned to something resembling myth. At some point it just represented the feelings it engenders, doesn't it?

Your ghost reminds me of shame. Of rejection. Of pain. Of me being on my own. 

How do I let go? How do painful memories become less intrusive?

I think a large part of my problem is my disengagement from my life. Ten years of memories didn't happen. I wasn't out. I wasn't dating. I wasn't travelling. I wasn't socializing. I was surviving myself. Because of this, I wasn't making new memories. New references.

My references, my memories were these old ghosts.

There’s shame tied to my inability to let things go; these memories that have festered into larger villains then they originally were. Why can’t I be lighter? Easier?

Makes me think of Jenny Lewis’ She’s Not Me.
she's not me, she's easy
I am not easy. lol. I can’t be! Look how fucking dark and incessant my brain is! Sure, in real life, I'm comical. I'm clever. But how can anyone fall in love with me, when I'm so heavy? How can someone truly know me and still want to be with me?

Stagnant pools of memory, and heavy fucking baggage.

It's like I'm a junior adult. Sure, on paper I'm 31, but I'm lacking a decade of the formative experiences my peers have. First apartments. Room-mates. Casual sex. Parties. Drinking. Exploring with drugs. International travel. Basically 100 different kinds of socializing. Dating mainly. 

Socially stunted and romantically retarded. 

That's me. I'm trying my best to figure out how to move forward. I don't want to feel like there's no way out of this. 

It's going to be so much work. 

No comments:

Post a Comment