more on memories

The mania is waning – not gone, but not as prominent either; although it could just be that my energy is waning. I admittedly haven’t been eating as much as I should, combined with daily yoga and starting back at krav, it leaves little reserve. Trying to keep things in check tho…I know, exerting control in one area is an overcompensation for feeling out of control in another – I just, need to find that balance.

I made a strange observation the other day; I was trying to date the childhood memories I’d come up with, but I was struggling to come up with even an approximate age. So I thought, oh – I’ll just look back at them in 3rd person instead, then I’ll “see” how old I am! And perhaps that seems like an extremely odd thing to think in the first place, but I can access most of my other memories in either 1st or 3rd, so it seemed completely reasonable to access the childhood memories similarly. Except, it didn’t work. I could only see them in 1st person. Which irked me. And because I’m a curious person that doesn’t like ambiguity, I, naturally, became fixated on making sense of the fact some memories were in a different format than others.

My first instinct was that it was based on age – a child has less understanding of the “big picture” and therefore can’t store memories in a way that “sees” anything more than their own experience.

My second instinct was that 3rd person memories were a product of dissociation of some sort. Taking a step back as NOT to experience them in 1st person to begin with. So I checked back on a few traumatic (adult) memories just to see; were they all 3rd person – or both, or were there also adult memories that were ONLY stored in 1st? Interestingly enough, this theory seemed pretty accurate. Because when I played through a sequence of memories with the artist, it was a mix; moments where I was reactive, were 1st…moments where I was controlled, were 3rd. And plenty of transitional/struggling/middle ground moments that I could see both ways.

I texted my best friend to see what person her memories are – she said 1st. I explained my perplexion (not a word, but I’m using it anyway). She asked at what point my memories changed, from 1st to 3rd. And I immediately thought of the mirror memory.

So much of my guilt is hinged on that memory. I’m standing, looking at myself/my body in the mirror. And then I open the door and walk out, knowing that he’s going to molest me again – and I’m ready for it. Almost, even, as if I wanted it. And for that I have always blamed myself.

What I had “forgotten” was that prior to that memory, was another. A vastly different memory. The one where I’m so devastated and disgusted with my body that I spent the night in the bathroom sobbing uncontrollably, vomiting repeatedly, suffocating in shame.

So with that preface…when I looked in that mirror, I wasn’t “choosing” to be okay with being molested because I wanted it, my brain was doing what it had to do to survive it a second time. It was choosing to let go. Because it had to. (& thus, enter: 3rd person viewpoint)

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