For as long as I can remember, I have felt different. I have been socially impaired and very uncomfortable with my body. This is not to say that I never had any friends, I did, but couldn’t connect with others the same way other people do. As different as I felt from others, they could tell I was different also. That made me a kind of target for bullies. I was very alone and scared. As time went on, I became more numb. I was building a fortress around my core. Suicide was often obsessed about, although my life seemed pretty good (except for being made fun of at school). The one thing that kept me alive was reading in the Roman Missal that suicide is an act of vengeance against God, and because of that you go straight to hell. I figured, no matter how bad life is – hell is much worse! So I held on with hope that some day things would change. Although that piece of knowledge kept me going, I wasn’t sure that would help a ton of other people, so it is not something I have shared too often. But, because I discovered this through my traditional prayer-book I have done my best to “owe my life to God through tradition for saving mine through tradition!” Let me tell you, this is not easy!
The most peaceful place growing up was church. The peaceful quiet of the low Latin mass provided a perfect sanctuary for my soul. There I could be alone in thought and prayer with God. There was no danger at church. Nobody ridiculed anyone. Nobody crossed any line concerning respect for humanity. The next happiest place was my dad’s parents house. My grandma loved kids. She is the grandmother who everyone, not only her grandchildren, call grandma. My dad and his family are all good and have had no fault in my trauma growing up, except for their desire to see the good in all people.
Anyway, I didn’t know those suicidal thoughts were the result of years of intense trauma. I suppose the memories could be described as a sort of jigsaw puzzle/3D matrix. In order to get to the hub, I had to start from the outside and work my way in. So, the first memories to surface were those of babysitter(s) who were abusive. Those memories related to abuse, without connecting directly to the main source of the split personality. Some of those memories I always had, however, I accepted that they had missing pieces as if that were normal. Everyone forgets things, right? The missing pieces were specific though. For example: what happened at the babysitters house between seeing the other kids in the old man’s bedroom and “waking up” halfway down the stairs? Once my husband helped me accept the missing pieces mean something and that I do still have the memory, it was just a matter of uncovering the hidden memories.
As I have progressed in uncovering the truth, I’ve discovered my own life and identity has been defined by lies which had to be believed in order to protect me from knowing what really happened. I understood false memories to mean something to the effect of remembering abuse that did not actually happen. What I learned is that the seemingly uneventful repetitive actions were in reality the false memory. Knowing now what I did not know then, it makes perfect sense why my best friends in the whole wide world who I thought I had spent every day with would say “We didn’t actually spend that much time together.” At the time I blew it off thinking my friends actually had the faulty memory! The best way to illustrate this is to have you think of an action movie where someone has to get into a safe and get past multiple security cameras which are constantly being guarded by security officers. The thieves cut the video wire which the guards are watching, placing what they see on a loop. The same space of time which was recorded is played over and over again and again. While the guards think nobody is in the safe committing a crime, the thieves are stealing the money and nobody knows it until the treasure is gone!