A lot of people swear they wish they had it.
People are always astounded by it.
I have an extraordinary memory. I can not only remember things from 30 years ago (there I go dating myself) but I can remember very specific details like: conversations (verbatim), outfits worn, where people stood, exact locations, etc...etc. Stuff that no one should want to remember.
My short term memory is more profound than my long term memory. I can memorize vast amount of knowledge in a short period of time and regurgitate it upon command, on most occasions. This is how I made it through law school. I did not open most books until the week of finals. Since my grade would only consist of my final there was no need for me to store all that mundane jargon throughout the school year when I could just cram during finals week. It's also how I passed the Bar after only studying for three days.
So many may be reading this and saying well what is the problem..sounds good to me.. the problems is I just don't remember the good, I remember EVERYTHING, the good and the bad. And some days it just seems like the bad outweighs the good.
Maybe that's why I wouldn't commit to writing this blog as openly as I needed to...maybe that's why it took another tragedy to get me into therapy. I remember that I started going to the Rape Crisis Center... I went for a couple of sessions and just stopped going. It was too much for me. While the ladies were up sharing, I was transported back to my room, to my bed, to my apartment where I was being victimized. Do you know what it's like to be victimized in what's supposed to be your safe haven? Everyday that I came home, I relived this tragedy. Scene by scene. Because that's what it had become for me: a movie.
I hated coming home because I knew the minute that I opened the door, I would be transported back in time. So, I took to doing things to take my mind off the foolishness like dating losers (and I am not calling them losers after-the-fact, I knew they were losers before hand), eating baking soda, and writing. That's how I met my child's donor. That's partially why I am sick right now. I wrote a book about my ordeal and when I was approached by a publisher to publish it, I freaked out and shelved the book. I also started doing something else that I hadn't done before, I started editing my tragedy.
Each day I would change a scene. Sometimes it would be something small and other times it would be something big. It got to the point that I had edited it so much that I didn't even get raped, I got away...and well that's probably why the rape never really bothered me per se, I had fooled myself into believing that it didn't really happened the way that it happened. Now the twins, that was something totally different, I couldn't edit that pain away.
I couldn't change the fact that so many people told me their dying was the best because I shouldn't have tried to keep the rapist baby. I couldn't edit out the look on my child's face as I held him in the palm of my hand as he died. I couldn't edit out the pain that I felt at having to go through most of the ordeal alone because I didn't know who would be bitten with the stupid bug. I couldn't edit scenes and I couldn't numb the pain or blink away the stupid people.
There are a lot of painful episodes in my life that I can't let go of because they are so fresh in my mind, it's like they just happened. So, I can't forgive, because I can't forget that you stood there and laughed at me and played that stupid Ebony and Ivory song at a time when I needed to be told that I was pretty, that Black was beautiful...anything BUT that I was black followed by the snickering and the playing of Stevie's song. I can't trust because I hear and replay all of the broken promises that were broken even before they left the lips of the people uttering them.
So, you can imagine that this can get tiresome. It was sorta like I had pain OCD because my mind would not constantly replay the good episodes, it was only the ones that caused my knees to buckle that my brain had on repeat. Maybe it was a defense mechanism...keeping the pain fresh in my mind so that I wouldn't repeat the same mistake twice. But it had the opposite effect; I typically fell into the same situation, scenario, relationship because I couldn't mentally edit the outcome. So, I had to try and physically alter the outcome by proving to myself that if placed in the almost exact situation again, I would come away with different results.
Well, you should know how that worked for me.
Yup, it got me a whole bunch of new painful episodes for my brain to replay.
So, I developed another way to deal with the issues of remembering so much: I stopped listening and participating. I only listen to half of what people tell me so when I go to process the info later on, I can't because it doesn't make sense. I only participate 50% in a relationship so I am very rarely forced to "show-up." How can I, I only remember half of what was said and half of that I have edited to fit my needs.
And while this new technique works to a certain degree, it does nothing for the syndicated programs that play daily in my head. How do I pull the plug on them? How do I turn them off. How do I let the real healing begin? Because I can't stop treating Jack Sprat like Jack Benimble if I am reliving my relationship with Jack every second of the day.
I wonder if I can't forget because I haven't forgiven or if I can't forgive because the images are so etched in my mind and heart.... I don't know. But I have started trying something new, because you know what they say....
I have started forgetting not so good events in my life as soon as they happen and you know what, I find that I don't have a need to forgive because I can't even remember actually why I was upset in the first place. I have also started giving most people the benefit of the doubt and not instantly believing they meant to cause me harm. This has also eliminated my need to forgive because if it wasn't done maliciously, there is no need to sweat it, so I just let it roll right off my back and on out the door.
No need to make a sitcom out of a doomed pilot.
"They tell us that we should forgive and forget, it is the Christian way. But how do you forgive if you can't forget the hurt and pain that were caused by the deed? How do you forget something that you are trying so hard not to forgive? I guess the real question would be: how do you progress forward when you steady holding on to what's behind you?"