Memories, Where’d You Go?

We go through life being told stories about our childhood and all the moments that led up to our conception. These are the accounts of other humans and their perception of it all, which is often different from our memory of the moment. Imagine growing up, being unable to remember your childhood and after years of struggling with this, seeing it all flash right before you eyes.

I was engaging in my nightly Facebook scrollage when I came across a friend request. A lot of my father’s family has french names that start with B’s and he was a mutual friend so I assumed it was one of my cousins. Once I accepted the request and looked at her profile I discovered this was my second grade teacher whom I had lost contact with for almost 10 years! I was flooded with memories that I had tried so hard, at one point, to forget and, in the last few years, tried twice as hard to remember. My emotions were out of my control and tears began to run down my face. I was happy, traumatized, and relieved all at once.

I have had three very influenial people in my life, my second grade teacher being one of them. That was the one year I was pulled out of Adventist education and sent to public school; perhaps the most dangerous public school in our area. There were hangings, students were jumped and sometimes killed. My sister and I had to take the “special” bus instead of the normal school bus with the other students. I was performing at a 5th grade level, and she made sure that I was always occupied. She didn’t give up on me, she helped me progress. I believe she is part of the reason I ended up assisting second grade when I got to college.

It was an interesting time; a pivotal time in my life. I am actually unsure as to why. All I know is that apart from this year, I don’t remember any of my story before 5th grade (when my parent’s split). Sometimes I will be “graced” with glimpses of the past when I come across certain smells or certain songs. Aside from that, those memories have been repressed for a long time as some sort of defense mechanism.

I learned this week that although I have been happy about things going on in my life, I haven’t actually experienced joy in a long time. I can’t remember a period of sure joy in my life besides the year I rededicated my life to God, and even that was hell. I realize that depression is something you don’t just “get over”. You deal with that shit for the rest of your life, maybe not as consistently or as potently, but you’re still more likely to succumb to it because you have already been exposed to it.

I lost a good friend this year. Not to death, but to other circumstances. I never gave myself time to grieve over it. I lost another friend due to similar circumstances a year ago and again, I never alotted myself the time to grieve over it. In a way, I lost my parents a long time ago too. My sister brought up the idea that since I was the eldest, I took it as my duty to be strong for everyone around me. Therefore, I never allowed myself to experience the emotions of the moment and after 10 years it’s all coming back to me.

For most people, it’s easy to get lost in their thoughts and that is what causes them to fall into their depressive state. For me, I fall into that state as a result of my inability to access my thoughts. It’s odd to think about, but when I try to delve into my own mind it is as though there is a locked door put up to protect me from what is bottled up in there. My father says that I started doing this from a very young age. He says he remembers me placing myself in the corner of the room,  dazing off. He says that I would go into this mental state in an attempt to evaluate all that was going on around me. I would get lost in my head while trying to analzye things and it would be hard to get me back. I was a silent child that wished to be unbothered. What they don’t realize is, I was locking myself out of reality while locking myself out of my own mind. I was divulging into this mental abyss without knowing it.

I’ve struggled with depression for a long time, but it never registered to me that that is what I was experiencing until I got to highschool. Since then, I have experienced two blackouts (that may have actually been seizures), lots of counseling sessions, and years of struggling with an eating disorder. Recently, I have considered going on meds but I know that my parents don’t want that and I kind of don’t want that either.

This week has been really hard emotionally and I’ve shed a lot of tears. I don’t really know the point of this post. I just felt compelled to write. All I know is that I am broken, and need saving. I need saving from myself.

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