Confessions of a Dreamer
I have often been accused of over sharing. Spilling to my off my life in public, not holding back enough. The truth is, that’s not a lie. I do over share. I tell people whatever they want to know (or in some cases don’t want to know) because it’s the only way I know how to keep things alive in my head. I feel like I’m living someone’s else’s life.
Between the ages of 15 and 21 I went through some extremely traumatic and rough circumstances. There were several things that happened to me and each one made me shut down just a little more. I functioned on the outside, went to school, held conversations, worked, even took care of my child but on the inside I was void. I felt then and sometimes even now like a stranger in my own skin, waking up, going through the motions of day to day existince all the while watching someone’s else’s life take place.
I know now it’s called PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) but then it was just a way of coping. If I could just float above myself, take the core of what made me, well me, and disconnect from the horrible things I was going through then I could survive. I could take people, places, things, lock them away in a filing cabinet in my brain and not think. I didn’t have to process what I didn’t have to feel. I guess in some ways it was my way of taking drugs long before I started popping a pill. Disconnect my head from what was going on, then I could not get hurt more than I already was.
The best way to describe it, is that I feel like I don’t belong in my own body. There was this girl who had this entire existence for 21 years. She loved, she fought, she had all these amazing friends. She had all these experiences, some good, may not so good and then she just went away. Don’t get me wrong there are flashes of her in my mind. People who made a mark on my life that I haven’t forgotten but then there’s the rest. A giant block of swish cheese in my fucking head. Holes in my memory so large they feel like chasms. People telling me stories, sharing memories and I have no connection at all to them. People that I dated, that I slept with, and I have no clue. I know there was time that I used sex as a way of coping. After the rape I was so traumatized I needed to feel like I was in control, like I had power again. But fuck if I remember with who or when or where. I only remember the feeling of needing to forget. To loose myself in being with another person if even for a night so that I didn’t have to live in my own head for a little while. I’m often terrified when I go home that I’ll run into someone I slept with and not have a clue that I did. How do you handle something like that? “Um hi did we ever have sex? Just need to get that out of the way before this gets ackward”. Or worse being with someone for months, and months, dating them, caring for them and not having a clue that I did. I feel like a fucking freak. How can I not remember? How can I not feel? Am I some sort of twisted monster who has no heart?
I’m sure this does not make sense to most anyone reading this. Hell, it doesn’t make sense to me most of the time! I often feel like I’m walking in some sort of fog, trying to find a light that will guide me through it to clarity on the other side. For the longest time I used a drug to avoid dealing with this. I could pop a little orange pill then poof! nothing to think about. I could eat and work and just be, no random thoughts, no obsessions, no fears. But now I’m clean. My brain is on full alert so to speak and all these questions, all these worries and thoughts are coming up and coming out and I often feel they are giant waves that will eventually pull me under and drown me if I can’t get away from them.
I don’t know if I’ll ever actually connect these two halves of me. I feel like my life is this huge puzzle with key pieces missing so I’m always forced to see only a partial picture. I guess that’s why I keep writing. If I can put things in black and white, then I can’t ever forget again. If I can sum up my feelings in words then I can reference them later. They don’t get a chance to go into that filing cabinet, their forced out in the open, where I have to deal and where I have to acknowledge their existence. It’s why I keep asking questions and sharing and talking. I keep hoping that eventually the pieces will start to fit. I want to get better. I want to remember who I was so that I can focus on who I am. Until them I’m stuck in this sort of limbo that is tolerable at best.