A Life That’s Haunted
Its funny how the smallest, most random of things can trigger things off with barely a ping! of acknowledgement or a sigh from you or anything outwardly to indicate something happened. Something changed
I was reading a book the other afternoon; a new release from the supermarket. Easy reading. Completely unrelated to anything to do with my depression or the events surrounding. And yet…
In the book the girl is in New York and trying to hold onto a long distance relationship with her boyfriend back in England. It starts being awkward and cooling off and I’m plodding along through this bit of chick lit fairly mindlessly wondering about the details of the main plot of the book rather than this rather boring sub-plot when ping! A random sentence worded in a particular way and my mind floods with memories of a particular aspect connected to what I went through that is entirely irrelevant or entirely relevant, depending who you ask.
I feel my head flood with warmth. I shut the book and lean my head back against the cushion for a minute. The warmth passes but I’m compelled to revisit particular aspect of what happened. Again. I know it’s not healthy but the urge is strong and besides what harm could it do?
As well as my mental Armoury of Knowledge there exists a notebook of all the tit bits of information I began to keep ten years ago, when it all began. Don’t ask me to dispose of it, the fact that it’s there helps me feel safe. I barely look at it anymore. It mostly goes ignored and hidden. Partially because it’s painful to look at and makes me feel ashamed and icky over my own obsession and behaviour at the time, the fact I even comprised such a notes makes me squirm and feel all kinds of yuck (Ashamed Degraded), But also because I’ve memorised most of it anyway and it’s burnt into my brain.
I pull it from its hiding place and flick through the pages. Pages and pages of quotes from that time in particular. My archive. Or my torture chamber.
I pore over these, pausing over some and turning them over and over. Thinking what they meant, what they didn’t mean, what I should have said or done. An urge to go back to that time and change it. Too late now. How could you?!?!? But the phrase passes through my mind almost impassively. We’ve been over this. My head is hot, my hands are cold. If something makes you tremble you should probably stop doing it I think. So I do
Questions start forming but they’ve been asked before and theyre tired and unclear and futile anyway. Likely merely to cause upset
This was a few days ago, I finished the book now. It would be easy to attribute my drained, despairing self from the other evening to this trigger but I’m quite good at separating and differentiating between my feelings and thoughts and I can tell you the two incidents weren’t linked. Not directly anyway. They felt very very separate. That episode was the accumulation of other things over a two week period or so. This trigger just happened to occur during that time.
S would have immediately linked the two and wouldn’t have listened to anything else after that. This is why I refrained from mentioning it to him as he held my hand and tried to comfort me. S is a man of questions having answers, problems having solutions. Amongst other things. And once he’s convinced he is right about something, well, that’s it!
I thought it had passed. I put the notebook away and have no desire to go back to it anytime soon. Considered tossing it but something insides me resists with the resistance of a mountain. As I said, it helps me feel safe. But it hasn’t passed. I’m going about my business but in my mind I’m in my armoury, poring over the artefacts. I’m dredging up ancient emails I never deleted as casually and with almost the same frequency as when I check my Facebook.
I don’t feel how I used to feel, back then. Not the hot burning poison coursing through my veins and filling my head and making it fuzzy and driving me wild. I’m very calm, very casual, idle, almost detatched. There’s nothing here that shocks or can hurt me afresh anymore. It no longer has the same impact.
But the fact I have any kind of compulsion to pour over these things at all is indicative of the problem still being very much present. Things have improved in various ways, but it’s never gone.
I am perpetually haunted by the past. The fact of which one perpetrator would take a great pleasure in knowing I’m sure.