Drowning in a Sea of Forgetfulness

posted in: chronic illness | 1

Flooded © 2009 Jane WatermanThe most dangerous thing you can do when you have a tendency to dissociate is to try to be unaware. However, when the physical and mental self brings you a great deal of pain, it’s unavoidable sometimes. Being possessed of a legacy of family and friends who purport to know you well and urge you not to reflect on it (it being pain, emotion, or thought itself) is not helpful.

It would be easier I suppose to be blissfully unaware – to float through life unconscious in a sea of forgetfulness. But is it really living? Sometimes you have to stop floating, right yourself, kick through the currents, take in a lungful of air and water, and wake up.

In being authentic, I am forced to look at all those aspects of myself that others find shameful – that others feel I should rightly dissociate myself from. It would be nice if I could be totally palatable, sweet, digestible, and somehow acceptable all the time. But then it wouldn’t be me. It would be the persona you want to see. And yes, I have a lot of skill in displaying personas. But imagine if you loved me well enough to want to see the real me, whoever that might be at the time?

I want to come to see you, to meet you on level ground, to talk as people who know and love each other well. But I’m afraid that the familiar masks might fall over my face and I would become, once more, the person you want to see. Not the person I am.

I’d rather be here out to sea, treading water to stay afloat, dipping into the waters of awareness, than the automaton you claim is me.

I have changed so much. Will you ever change enough to really see me?

  1. Carmen
    | Reply

    You have grown and changed and those are good things. It is so important to be true to who we are. It is harder to be real, than it is to put on a mask and be what others would prefer to see. Living with challenges should not mean having to pretend they don't exist just because it makes it easier for someone else.

    If you ever get tired treading water we can help each other keep our heads above it when we grow weary. Tonight, though exhausted and hurting I'm hopeful about the future and what we can do together to help others that feel the same way know they aren't alone. We may have to take baby steps to start with and that's ok…

    Don't ever let anyone or anything make you feel like you should be silent… Don't ever stop writing… and know you do make a difference… and are loved for who you are and not what others might want you to be….

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