I remember reading a memoir in high school, about someone else’s experience, and that’s when it hit me. All these memories, these sickening flashbacks. I remember how difficult it was to reconcile with them. It was really hard to believe them, to accept them, because it felt like a fabrication, a lie I was telling myself – how could I have possibly “forgotten” something like that? I felt crazy. What was wrong with me that I would make something like that up? And why couldn’t I stop myself from thinking about it? Stop lying to myself?
I didn’t tell anyone because there was nothing to tell, and it wasn’t true. It didn’t happen. In my mind, it was a constant struggle between pushing it away and trying to understand it. But it never felt real. Even when I tried, I just couldn’t remember enough to justify believing it; there were just too many questions, not enough answers, and the pieces just never quite fit together. “all I have left are fragments, like a fill-in-the-blank, like skipping through the chapters of a DVD – just a series of silent images flashing for a second at a time…” I had, at one point, documented everything I thought I remembered, but all I have left now is a disclaimer: “[I had written what little I could, in an attempt to trigger more; a failed attempt, and I am too ashamed of my words, so I deleted them.]”
I spent years, confused, in denial – completely unable to comprehend the reality that I had been molested. It wasn’t until college, when I received that phone call [apology], that it all became real. And even then, even now, it’s hard, not knowing the details – not knowing exactly what all happened to MY body, and how many times. And knowing that I probably never will.
All that to say, there are other memories, a lot of other memories – things I’ve always felt were just a little off, things that seemed kind of strange, that didn’t really make sense to me – but that I had no reason whatsoever to think ill of before, or even think much more of at all. But I read something yesterday that triggered me – I saw so many similarities in all the things that just didn’t seem right in my childhood, and what I was reading…and once again, it just kind of hit me. It suddenly made perfect sense why those moments didn’t seem right. And I started having flashbacks. Again, not complete memories. Just enough to make me feel EXACTLY like I did in high school, crazy – torn between feeling like I must be fabricating things that didn’t actually happen, and simultaneously terrified that they did happen.
I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid to talk about it because it feels like a lie. It feels absolutely impossible. But I can’t stop thinking about it. And how all the pieces “fit” now.