Identity and Grief

I’m constantly struggling to understand myself. Understand my selves. Unfortunately my memory of past events is so compartmentalised that every now and then something happens to challenge my beliefs about who I think I am and it throws me for a loop.

My understanding has always been that I was a lover not a fighter. I loathe conflict and run away or hide when challenged. Apparently I haven’t always been that way. Apparently I was a yeller and a screamer, apparently I’d argue so loudly it was embarrassing to those around me. I don’t remember that at all and it feels so shameful and so disconnected from who I thought I am, who believed I was back then that this new found knowledge cuts me like a knife.

I feel like I can never know the truth. That I will never know what was real. Have I just made up a life history based on what a ‘good girl’ should be like or what I feel has been expected of me? In so many ways it seems like I have only existed in fragmented moments. I try to grasp on tight to memories, searching for ones that that feel like my own and I can count them on one hand.

Who is the real me? Do I exist? Did I ever exist?

Yes. I understand that there are ‘alters’, I read their stories and see their drawings. I see the bizarrely different handwriting styles on notes around the house and feel overwhelmed because at the end of the day I know I wrote those things but I don’t remember doing it and I don’t understand what it all means for me.

This house is full of people. Children I apparently birthed and raised. A man I apparently married a few decades ago. Animals that rely on me to survive, animals I can’t remember feeding and yet they are alive so they must have been fed. My dog has been dead for 10 years. My father is dead. My mother is old. I have cancer that has a 70% chance of killing me within the next two years.

All of these are facts I am aware of, yet I relate emotionally to none of it. I can find things stored in my house as though I put them there and I guess I must have but I don’t remember doing it. I can’t plan a future, I can’t remember my past, now I’m dying and the life I led feels like a distant dream.

I’m just so tired. I want to curl up and sleep forever. Outside is cold and the sun is starting to set. I remember the last time I saw the sun setting, I remember seeing the scarf, knowing it was how I would die. I remember it was 2004. I remember telling my friend, I remember we were in her car parked outside her house and I remembered that she cried and promised to protect me.

This farm. This is the place where I saw that sun set all those years ago. It’s become a real place now, not just a fleeting vision of possible future. Yet now it seems perhaps I traded a part of myself back then, for the knowledge of my demise. It seems as the further the prophecy unfolded the more unreal I became, my existence now feels unproven and doubtful and I fear I have become no more than a ghost who haunts a memory

2 Comments on “Identity and Grief

  1. I can’t imagine what its like to have did but i hear your words and want to give you encouragement. You have touched me today with this post and for that i am thankful. Sending much internet love.

    Liked by 2 people

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