Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Illusion of Back Seat Driving

I just had an argument with my boyfriend that I don't remember.  I know it happened.  I can see it in my mind, printed in nice neat still images - one from the beginning, one from the middle, and one from the end.  I don't know what was said or what happened.  It's just an impression, an illusion of memory left behind by a part who decided those were the only things I needed to know.  Accept it, digest it, and move on.  This worked for years and I was unaware.  Now I know what's going on and it's ten times more difficult.  At the same time, it gives me some ability to understand and explain "bad" behavior.

The thing is...I thought I was in control.  Well, I didn't specifically think I was not in control.  It's like sitting in the back seat of a car the whole drive and then believing you drove the car, until you sit back and think about how you don't remember making the turns, or fiddling with the radio, and don't really even remember what was on the radio and the whole thing starts to feel like a dream.  The illusion is shattered.  Were you even in the car at all?

I guess I'm okay with what happened.  At least I understand, which gives me peace. I just hope I can find a way to identify when I'm slipping away and someone else is coming forward.  At the time it feels like I'm there, sometimes it even feels like I'm in control.  The depersonalization I feel even when I really am in control makes this ten times harder.  My body always feels a million miles away, let alone the people around me and the words coming out of my mouth.  So when someone else takes over it feels little different.  How can I become more aware?

1 comment:

  1. That is a really good analogy because it is exactly like taking a back seat at times, and like not even being in the car at other times.
    Yesterday at work one made a ridiculous comment in front of my co-workers and then popped back out, was there just for the comment and the reaction, leaving me red faced and explaining how I couldn't believe I had just said such a thing. I also made an excuse that I wasn't quite myself that day.
    Sometimes I have no idea why people are angry with me. Other times I'm aware of what was said and apologize for it even though I know I didn't say it and had no control over what was being said.
    People think I'm being funny when I say I am more shocked by what comes out of my mouth than they are.
    The thing is you really can't come completely clean with anyone because if you try no one is going to believe you anyway.
    Sometimes you need to lie to them because the lie is easier to believe than the truth is.
    It's selves preservation rather than self preservation.
    How I see the abuse is as a snapshot/trap (like some tribes in Africa think you steal their soul if you take their photo) it holds you in that place forever, you can never escape it and that part of your being will never progress beyond that age or point of awareness.
    It's like being a silent witness to your own torture, and being just a passenger at some points.
    I have memories, some full, some partial, and some missing.
    Sometimes I was up front, sometimes just watching, other times are just lost time.
    You can't really tell people in real life the details, they don't want to know. Even if you find someone online who you can talk to anonymously they really do not want to know the details but they want to know who you are. Like your name and location, things that could seriously compromise your safety if your name was tied to the information you provide.
    I stumbled on your blog today, I wish so much that I couldn't remember the things I know happened.
    You're lucky, be thankful.
    Much appreciation to you for the work that has gone into documenting your experience.