Session the 19th: The Persistence of Memory

Interesting historical note: “The Persistence of Memory” is that melty clocks painting by Salvador Dali. You probably haven’t forgotten, but I have.

Writing from the psychological safety of bed, surrounded by the Overherd and under the duvet cover a friend bought for me because he knew I liked comfortable things. (Even in summer, I sleep on flannel sheets. It’s so much better than the 100-count percale of my youth.)

This session took place a few days ago. I don’t remember when, because I don’t want to think about that time period.

We talked about, well, pretty much what I talk about on the blog these days. That’s definitely a change from the first posts in this series… it used to be the case that I kept everything bottled up and didn’t talk about it at all on the blog until the session in question. Now it’s like I spill all my state secrets or something.

In particular, we talked about flashbacks. In fact, we additionally talked about That One Flashback, and the loss of time. One thing I didn’t talk about on the blog is how much time I must lose, at times. Like I’ll always check clocks to make sure I don’t lose an hour or two when I know I’m not engrossed in something (in which case it’s legit to lose an hour or two). And occasionally, I really will have missed an hour or two for no reason. I remember one time… I was looking at a clock in the kitchen, and then the next thing I remember I was in bed, and it was two hours later. It wasn’t a dream.

My bartender said that this was… sort of normal. Like, literally, one is in too much pain to remember. I always thought that, maybe, just maybe, this was all my fault: I wasn’t strong enough to remember, therefore I can make myself strong enough to remember, and if I make myself strong enough to remember, these episodes won’t happen. Yeah. Doesn’t work that way.

It disturbs me that my flashbacks are, more or less, just facsimiles of real moments of real pain, and yet the full ones are still bad enough that my brain just won’t remember.

Does this mean I also have flashbacks of flashbacks? That seems too meta.

Does this mean that there are points during my years under my parents that I don’t remember? I mean, fuck, I remember being strangled, why couldn’t I have forgotten about that? Why couldn’t I have forgotten about the time my father raped my mother, and I didn’t understand until years later that this was rape? Why couldn’t I have forgotten about the time my father smashed my mother’s head through a wall?

There are so many things I could not remember, why must I remember any of it?

And what don’t I remember?

The questions above I didn’t ask my bartender. I just talked to him about flashbacks themselves.

So yeah. Lots of mental pain and anguish. Duh.

But I just don’t want to think I’m that weak. There are people who’ve been in much worse situations and yet who’ve pulled through taking care of their parents just fine. Am I such a bad person to have been too weak to put up with all that and left?

Well, some people thought so. Enough to bring about situations that would have killed me. But they didn’t care. I was only a sinner to them. I don’t think I was a friend anymore—but who knows? Maybe that’s par for the course for how they treated friends, which would be fucking sad.

People generally have no idea how paranoid I am.