I had originally started writing this blog to give myself something I could easily look back on when I found I had lost touch with various things in my life.
I’m often reading and rereading my posts in an effort to connect to them (and maybe memorize what I talked about?). There’s so much I forget from one moment to the next.
I now understand the forgetting to be a function of my most persistent and pervasive coping skill: dissociation. It’s taken me a long time to remember that understanding. Much like my continued shock and confusion around my extreme level of dissociation, I find myself “realizing” that I forget so much because I dissociate so often.
Much of the time, I find myself reading my posts as if I were reading someone else’s writing for the first time. It’s quite a surreal experience. I’ll recognize bits and pieces, but it still predominantly feels like someone else’s stories.
Its happened again this week. I found myself bopping around from post to post, taking it in as if for the first time. I recognize the people I’m referring to, but not the content of the posts. I wish I could come up with a “good enough” analogy to convey what it’s like… I’m not sure there is one. Maybe the closest I can come is comparing it to reading a creatively penned biography about yourself. The author has taken licence and added to the story you know your life to be, and has found others to corroborate their embellishments… it all feels like an aggrandized version of my life, with a lot of Hollywood “extra spice” thrown in… Maybe akin to reading the tabloid stories about yourself while at the checkout. It feels foreign.
I was telling A how my education and professional history was in mental health, but even as the words left my mouth, they felt like a lie. How in the world could I have done any of that? Sure, I have a decent understanding of basic psychology, but I also have a descent understanding of basic anatomy & phys, of animal behavior, of art techniques… most of those I picked up simply by reading because it was interesting. If I didn’t have my paperwork from school, and people who corroborate that I went to grad classes with them, I doubt I’d believe that it were possible.
I feel miles and miles away from that competant human being.
If I didn’t still have contact with the people I used to work with in the field, I would say my work history was made up… even my recent work in the kennels feels contrived (yet I have pictures to prove I was there).
Who the fuck dissociates so badly that they don’t remember so much of their life?!
It feels lately like all my memories are up in the air & uncertain like the trauma memories.
If I sit down and concentrate hard enough, I can pull together what I think is an ok narrative of a specific time in my life, but it feels like a rehearsed skit. To paraphrase an Ani Difranco song “I feel like an actor just reading my lines…” Its something I’ve practiced over and over again until I can recite it with confidence, even if I have no connection to it.
I’m going through life without actually connecting to any of it.
There are times I feel like an imposter; like a clone with implanted memories, but they forgot to include the emotion portion of it…
When I was reading posts from even last year, I found myself trying to analyze what I was reading, to figure out what parts could possibly be true, and figure out how to integrate it into the current narrative.
Part of me feels like I have written about this before, or at least talked to someone about it, but I’m not sure who or where…
There was a flicker of understanding a moment ago, but it’s gone now. My fingers weren’t fast enough to catch the thought on paper before it slid away again.
I’m slipping away again. I can feel things erasing from my awareness (like what I was writing about in the rest of this post). A fog is settling in.
Gotta love dissociation for no reason…