I'm not sure what coming here can help for me. I guess I am here because I'm having trouble again(it isn't new, I'm an old hand at this particular problem). I think I need to start to work on myself instead of run from my "stuff" and "keep my head in the dirt until this passes" because that's what I've always done. My little "problem" is that for my whole life I've been haunted by "flashes" and memories from when I was very, very small. I remember being very, very troubled by them at times, and then they kind of subsided and would only surface periodically with long stretches in-between. I do know that every time I have started fixating on these visions and "stuff," I've started to spiral into a depression and/or a bunch of weird thinking (especially later when I was older, when I started having periods of wishing I was dead). The weird part is that I have the best life! I'm successful in my career and married to a great woman with two great kids. None of this makes much sense.
I know when I get "bad" it is a major undertaking to hide it. I carefully keep it from affecting my work and life...because I know if other people (including my family)could see inside my head for one second during one of these spells, they would know I was "whacked" and never have anything to do with me again. Too much preoccupation, looking off into the distance, or looking troubled could cause worry. I don't want that kind of attention, so I make sure I don't worry folks!
I was adopted when I was small. My adopted parents were great. I think I came with some "baggage" that today would be called "symptoms." I'd have night terrors and nightmares, and could sleepwalk like a Pro...even down to getting food out of the kitchen cabinets, marching into my shocked parents' living-room in front of everyone present and feasting effortlessly, all while obliviously asleep! From what they told me, there was all this kind of (in their estimation) normal preschool "little boy stuff" like any parent would expect. That was fine...but what was bad was when I'd dream or envision the times when I was littler that were dark and pretty awful. A great example is, I'd be sleepwalking in the kitchen in the pitch dark and hear a female voice call me "that little bastard," grab me up by the neck and throw me out onto an enclosed back porch. I can remember the light snapping on overhead as I was smacking off the opposing wall and falling to the floor all addled. Whoever "she" was told me the "batman" was going to get me and the door slammed shut. I don't think I knew who Batman was yet, but I had sense enough to be terrified, and I can remember screaming until it was light and I was waking up, still out in the enclosed porch where I'd been pitched!
I was little more than a toddler when I was adopted, but I have always had this collection of very plain memories like the one I just described. I realize I was a little young to retain memories, but if they weren't actual memories, they were at least memories of memories. However you want to label them,flashbacks, whatever, they were very vivid. The most common one was/is the women's high-heeled shoes. I am laying in a closet full of them, nose-to-nose with women's high-heeled shoes. I think I was shut up in the closet, and that's why I see them...except that memory doesn't have the "bad flavor" some of the things I remember have, so maybe I was hiding and that's why I was with the shoes. I know though, that when I start to remember and fixate on the shoes, "it" is starting again...that's usually how the cycle begins.
When I got old enough to verbalize them, I told my adopted mother about these memories, and asked her about them. I described the house, the thrashings I seemed to recall, and the other stuff I could see in my head...and she was truly befuddled. When I thought it through really well...the house I was remembering wasn't at all like my adopted parent's place. Nothing troubling me had happened there and no one I was with knew anything about them. I kind of quit trying to understand what was going on with my memories and bad dreams.
When I got to Junior High School things got out of control really bad. If I were young today, I'd have been on Ritalin for sure (if not something even stronger)! I have no idea what went off the tracks for those couple of years! Thank God I got through that period without getting admitted to some hospital somewhere. I was better in high school until about 11th grade when I started to fixate on the memories again and think of killing myself. I'm still not entirely sure what I was depressed about...I just was just so sad! I do remember that a lot of my thinking had to do with being given up and not knowing where my parents were...but I started to have the dreams again. By the time I was in school, I knew there were marked difference between how I saw the world and how other kids did. When puberty set up shop, I realized right away that I had been way more precocious than other boys in my school. What they were discovering about their sexuality was old news to me! In fact, without getting "gross," and please pardon me for saying this, I can remember having very explicit thoughts since age 6 or 7 if not before...they go back to the beginning of my memory.
My adopted mom and dad lived to see me graduate college, get married, and they got to meet their grandchildren. They died a decade ago within a month or two of each other. It was almost immediately after that when I found my birth family...or I should say, they found me! It was amazing! Right at my time of so much loss, here were all the things I'd always wanted...loose ends tied up, my life story laid out for me, closure! Of course, the story wasn't good. My mother and Dad hadn't been married when I was born and weren't on great terms with the law. They seemed to have liked having me around though...like a live-action baby doll. That is, until Mom got in REAL trouble after killing a guy in Baltimore. She was arrested, her past caught up with her, and I got sent back to her mother's house where my half-sisters had already been living for some time. This was NOT great luck for 'the kid'...my grandmother really resented my mother, HATED my father...and by proxy, me!
What was amazing, was that all those memories I'd carried around that I had decided years before must be corrupted and imagined, turned out to be true! My mother and her sister couldn't believe that I could describe the enclosed porch on my grandmother's house like I could, down to the prints and pictures of products and advertising that were stamped on the wood the thing was pieced together out of. She told me that it had not been Batman I was thrown to all those years ago...my grandmother's favorite expression for the devil was "The Bad-man," it was the BAD-MAN that was going to get me! My mother's youngest sister was a teenager while I was there. She had a closet full of high-heeled pumps [her favorites were the red ones I remember studying so avidly!]. As these discussions of all the abuse I endured unfolded, my biological mother, aunt and cousins began exchanging worried glances, and wanted to know about ALL the things I remembered. All of the memories I'd carried from those VERY young times turned out to be real. I wasn't overly surprised, like I said before, I'd had more than my fair share of troubles from those memories.
What I never told my biological family is that in addition to the physical stuff I remember which they verified was true, are some very sick memories I have always made it a point to get out of my head as soon as they pop in [I just had a kind of reaction as I wrote that...like a security gate slamming down in my brain... "Access denied!"] I don't even like to risk thinking about the sick stuff that "rambles around" in there, anyway.
You know, I never even processed that I might have been molested until recently, even though my two older half-sisters very plainly state they were. It would make sense, but like I told you, my brain shuts that kind of thing off IMMEDIATELY! And I prefer it that way. I think my family knows about stuff they don't want me to remember.
If you made it this far, you've read a lot. Thanks for letting me vent. Back to the reason I'm here. For the last year or so, I've been being angrier and angrier. I hide it, don't get me wrong...I work hard not to be a twit, or to ever let it show. I've never had a tantrum in public, although sometimes I cuss my way to work in the morning or "bitch" gently under my breath the whole time I jog. In the beginning I thought it was because I quit smoking, then I thought it was habit, I just kept waiting for it to pass. My aversion to being touched has increased over time instead of getting better. What's funny is that as promiscuous as I was in my teens up through my twenties, now I prefer not to even think of sex nonetheless have to do it! And as of this week, I've started thinking of those damned shoes again. Here we go again...off to the races! I just don't know what I'm going to do this time. Things have gotten progressively worse with time, not better, and I keep thinking, "What if I melt down this time...what if I let someone see what a mess I am inside?" My kids are old enough now to see that something isn't quite right. Like I said before, I have a really great life 90% of the time...I don't want it ruined by this unfinished business! Nothing I've tried in the past has really worked. So Friday I did some research, and found a psychologist's group that looks pretty reputable, and I've got an intake appointment this coming week. Wish me luck, and thanks for letting me ramble on.