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Fighting to stay in the present

July 23, 2010

Unwelcome memories sometimes come at me so strong I feel as if I’m being sucked out of the present and into my past. This is what it is like: I feel a distinct sense of leaving as the images from the past crowd around me and lift me away. I feel as if I am blind. All the shapes lose their meaning. Reaching out to touch everything, I try to find a detail or a texture that will keep me here, but I realize I’m already too far away. I grope for my chair, try to find a safe place for this to pass. Sounds recede into the background. If, by all my reaching, I manage to pull something through, the information lies in a heap like an unfinished puzzle. Time seems to slow down, but then again I can’t really tell for sure, and all the emotions from the original event course through me at full speed. It’s like I’m living it again.

I’d say on the whole, things inside my head feel more “real” than what’s going on outside, but this is different. It’s more like the memories are strong enough to cover over what I’m experiencing. It’s like the difference between hearing two conversations and chosing which one to listen to, vs. someone coming up and yelling in your ear. Most the time I’m listening to the one boring conversation, (i.e every day life) and sometimes listening to the one that can get interesting really fast (my mindscape and voices). Sometimes the two conversations even merge. But then once in a while, something will trigger a memory or maybe it’s just a certain mood and then it’s like WHABAM!

Yeah, WHABAM is a medical term.

I guess it’s some form of disassociation.

Also, sometimes things that happened re-play in my head. Things that are neutral or ok the first time around make me cringe seeing it again. Is my life so bad that I can’t bear to see it again? I feel like sometimes I have to fight to stay in the present. But it’s so boring and routine that I don’t have to be completely here all the time.

The memories that come up and take me away aren’t even that bad. I mean it’s not like I’ve been to war or anything. When I think about them on purpose, it’s not so bad. I can handle it. But certain things make it surface like it’s happening all over again, like when someone mentions my scars, or I when I heard that someone I knew had gone to the psychiatric hospital, or if I hear someone has an eating disorder, and suddenly it hits me that I used to, too. When things catch me off guard.

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