There are times, since I was very young, I’ve been overcome in a negative way with a memory or thought of something I’ve said, or an action I’ve taken that was so stupid, cruel, embarrassing, or dishonest that it takes me back to the moment it happened. It’s like being almost struck by lightning or almost falling down the stairs. The last thing I want to do is clinch my teeth and hate myself, but it happens. Apparently my mind feels I have to relive these experiences over again and again. It has been a recurring thought process that has never left me to this day. Over a long period of time l also discovered, to my dismay, seeking professional help has only introduced me to people who, in my opinion, were more fucked up than I am. So much for that idea. It did teach me a good lesson though, sometimes it’s better just to “let it be.”
It’s true that we all live and learn, but there are some personal experiences that, if they pass through my mind, I have never been able to get over or forget. I’m not trying to say that my whole life has been nothing but bad experiences or memories, far from it, for instance, I’ll never forget the first time I had sex, I was alone at the time, but that’s another story, and a pretty good memory. For the most part it’s been a great life.
Over the years the ups and downs of a “normal existence”, should be enough for all of us to try to cope with. But for me, that’s not how my mind works. I remember a conversation I had with my best friend about his time in Vietnam, and he said, “ l’m so glad you didn’t have to go! You would have never made it.” That was a couple of years before he drank himself to death hounded by self medicating, professional help, and PTSD. A week hasn’t passed in fifty years that I don’t think of him, a funny, loyal, trustworthy, and disturbed human being that I loved and still miss.
An interesting observation I had early in my life is that trust, in anyone, is a rare and precious commodity. You try to find people you can get close to, but even in grade school I figured out fast who I could trust and who I couldn’t. It made me a very cautious and somewhat introverted person. To this day I can count on one hand people who I can truly trust. I sometimes wonder how many well meaning and wonderful people I’ve missed out on because I misread or for some reason just didn’t trust them enough to…