On Memory & Feeling Lost

I somehow got bogged down in a pile of research literature and videos and things I’ve written somewhere along the way and now I think my head is going to explode. I am at this point where my quest for answers is disabling me more than my questions are. I feel like my brain has confabulated everything I have ever believed, it seems that nothing I thought was real actually is, and that leaves me alone and without any sense of reality at all.

I know intellectually that I have always been like this, susceptible to confusion, disorientation and somehow convincing myself I am something I am not and it is something I currently hate so very passionately about myself, but in that regard I am having a lot of trouble trying to understand why this same type of hatred always feels so new, always feels so devastating. It’s always been there but it’s like I just closed my eyes to it for so long that I managed to intermittently deny my own existence in favour of .. What? I don’t even know, feeling something different I guess, or in favour of just not feeling like this. 

Everything feels so compartmentalised and the links between snapshots and moments so stretched and broken that they are almost un relatable. I am remembering in fits and starts that despair that has made me want to die repeatedly over my whole life – I forget it, I do, it somehow disappears and slips through my grasp like it was never even there, for moments, months, years, days seemingly at the same time until it is back, and then it’s everything, an all encompassing cloud suffocating my lungs from the inside out, then I remember this style of hatred, this exact type and topic of hatred in the same way the pain of childbirth exists and is forgotten only to be suddenly remembered in the contractions of subsequent labours, then lost once again to the ether of the universe. No longer relevant or necessary and therefor, forgotten.

None of ‘my’ life feels relevant, at least not to me.     

Can I have a do over? Can I run away, start again and just disappear into the night?  Nothing here feels like it’s mine anyway, I have nothing I can relate to as my own, nothing I even want to relate to as mine, just a list of societies expectations that don’t actually ring any truth bells.

Who am I? I don’t know, I don’t remember! But that’s not quite true either, is it? At least not in the same way that someone with a brain injury forgets their life, even though there is definitely missing memories and missing time and the inability to grasp something you feel is locked aways somewhere deep inside you, its more metaphorical lack of knowledge about self, not knowing why I was who I was due to not having the memory to back up my self identity rather than not knowing who I was specifically, it’s not the same as classic amnesia, not like waking up in hospital and not knowing anything or anyone at all, even when that literally happened to me after the overdose, it was different – although I now can’t remember how I dealt with it or what was said, I know I was able to fob my way through it enough somehow until the fog cleared a bit and the gaps were filled in acceptably.

I mean I do recognise this life, intellectually I know things about this world, I am aware I made hamburgers for dinner yesterday and I have owned lots of animals over the course of my life, yet it’s always so fuzzy. It FEELS as though memories are from a dreamscape or a novel I once read.

I can still give you a basic narrative if you aren’t too fussy about the order it’s delivered in, I know ‘my’ legal name even though it doesn’t feel right or suitable in a dysphoric way, I know ‘my’ address, the names of people in ‘my’ family and a few things about them but not experiences I have had WITH them, those are lost to the void. I can remember the name of the primary school I went to and I know a few things that occurred there, but none of the details or imagery or sounds or smells because those experiences don’t belong to ME, none of them contain MY memories, none of them even FEEL like they ever mattered at all to me in any significant way. Even though I know intellectually that they did happen to me.

But I am not allowed to say things about that, I am not allowed to think about that. People don’t like people who don’t seem to care, so I have to pretend. I wonder if I did care but I’ve stopped because I have just forgotten what that felt like? Are emotions tied directly to memory so when the memory goes so does the emotion? Then how come I feel things I don’t remember and remember things I don’t feel?

Am I even a nice person? Apparently not, or surely I would have some sort of feelings about things, about people that I am supposed to love who instead in so many ways only exist to me when they are right in front of my face.

I feel ashamed and fear that if anyone discovered this I would be judged for not remembering important things about ‘loved ones’ but I can’t bring to mind what my kids were like when they were little, all those milestones that people get so excited about with their kids are just gone. I don’t know first words or first steps or what they were into when they were 5 what their first days of school were like. Is it because I am so self centred I can’t find room for anyone else inside my head but me? Is this why I feel surrounded by different aspects of myself that I can’t relate to and can’t understand?

I feel confused by other voices in my head that are clearly crazy and suspicious whispering little theories about why we are like this, maybe they gave us ECT against our will and didn’t tell us about it when we were in the hospital and that’s when our memories disappeared, I don’t know, maybe its because of the coma or a long term affect of the overdose, but if that were true then WHY do I find things that ‘I’ wrote long before that happened that expresses the same feelings I feel now?

What do I want from life? I don’t know. What makes me happy? I DON’T FUCKING KNOW.  All I do know is that I am tired of feeling lost. Tired of feeling trapped. Tired of feeling hopeless. Tired of trying so hard not to feel the things I do and to feel the things I don’t, I’m consistently stuck in my own opposition, wading through a muddy cesspool of deep confusion and it’s just too hard to keep going. I’m drowning, and I don’t know how to save myself. 

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