Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Change in Memories

It used to be that the memories of my ritual abuse were really memories of my therapy process. Although I relived a lot of those memories in the recovery process, they didn't feel like they belonged to me. My only "real" memories were of the relived experience not the original one.

That distance from the memories was a form of denial I suppose. If not denial, then, at the very list a coping mechanism to keep me from being overwhelmed by the sheer horror of them. I knew my diagnosis explained that distance but knowing and feeling are so different sometimes. There always seemed to be a questioning.

That distance did indeed come up over and over in my mind as a valid argument that these things really could not be true. It was easy to say they were just a figment of my imagination when they were "different" from my "real" memories.

It was only those "coincidences" I encountered as I bumped into others, outside myself, with similar stories and even the same locations that pulled me back to believing it was "real" even if it didn't feel that way. It was hard to argue those things were figments of their imaginations as well when their experiences matched mine as they did.

Yet that distance has remained thumbing its nose at me. A constant reminder of something so unreal it couldn't be processed like "normal" things. The tug of war to believe and not to believe a constant companion as I have made my way through my recovery.

Even when I quit therapy that tug of war has continued over the years.. The only difference has been in how long the struggle would go on. It actually got the the point I could catch myself in mid thought and push the self doubts out of my mind.

That was until the most recent events that had me doubting most everything I did. With the return of depression, the belief the memories are not real seemed to gain strength until I got out "that box" and looked at all of the raw emotion there.

I was sure that part was real. Somehow those deep dark feelings associated with that box make sense of me. They, and the memories that generated them, have taken the complicated maze that is me and made it understandable.

When I accept those memories and feelings as real, I have the tools to keep me centered. From the time I began building that box full of horrors, I knew the path of self discovery I was on would be liberating. I just didn't know what I needed to be liberated from.....

Had I known, I doubt I would have changed anything. I have always been inclined to do the difficult when others would not. That message "You don't want to go there" is like an invitation to me. I have always been a truth seeker.

Yet I have continued to struggle with the truth. The distance of the memories rattling around in my head has been such a source of fuel for questioning myself. I've been going around in circles with the circles getting smaller and smaller but still going nowhere that I could see.

Sometime during my trip to Tulsa, I experienced a memory of that time that felt like it was mine. At first I didn't recognize the change. It was only after the fact I caught myself wondering about the difference.

Since then I have had more memories....... sometimes just little snippets of them. They are so powerful and so raw brief glimpses are all I can handle, or maybe all I chose to handle. ....... but they are MY memories.

With this development I find those episodes of self doubt are fading. ...... and not just about the memories........ but about myself as well.

Note: Just a reminder that I have a private blog for more sensitive information. Anyone interested in an invitation to that blog please email me through my profile link.


noworries said...
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Kahless said...

I am glad you are doubting yourself less.

Kim said...

I can SO relate to that statement of "knowing and feeling are so different sometimes" I'm glad to hear you are bridging the gap. It's a huge step.

Maia said...

You are not your memories.You are so much more. You are an inspiration. Write your memories down and bury them. Be free of them. They are your past. You are your future. What happened to you had nothing to do with you. It had everything to do with them. They were the villains, you were the victim. Bury then girlfriend and live free.

Val said...

Good point Maia! I think I'm repressing SOMETHING about my history w/my parents; there must be some reason I become anxious & uptight when forced to endure more than a few token moments w/them in the private space of their home?!?
[I'm fine, for instance in a public gathering: a restaurant or other family gathering.]