I want to sleep but I haven't stopped doing and I can't settle. It's been the same every night this week. And it's crazy, I know that when my sleep starts going off track it drags the rest of my life in its wake. Yet here I am propping my eyes open, because I'm scared.
I'm scared because the images are back, the movies looped on repeat. I've called them flashbacks, but is that the right word? Do these scenes which play out again and again in waking nightmare truly refer to my past, or do they convince me simply because they're familiar? Does my mind latch onto make-believe as a way to understand a set of difficulties that I happen to share with people who've experienced trauma? Did I make up stories years ago then retell them to myself so many times that remembering them feels like memories? If so, why? Why would I do that, really?
Amid these shifting sands I need to find solid ground. I sift out slices of the movies that seem definitely to belong to me. Some snapshots fit with other memories which seem easier to own. As the films run and rerun and I question myself and my motives, I gather these snapshots and begin a small scrapbook in my mind. As I tentatively paste them in, I begin to form a montage.
Occasionally I drop a seemingly innocent question into family conversations. I check for the validity of a safe memory that resonates with one of these mental snapshots. Shared memories seem more trustworthy. Yet still I question myself. Don't all myths have a foundation in truth?
I don't know which side I'm on: to establish that these things really happened, or that they didn't?
I guess I just want to stop seeing, physically re-experiencing, these films of my potential past. They're replaying just out of sight, until I try to sleep and they pull me in.
Because wherever the truth lies, these rememberings are insistent. They clamour for attention, acknowledgment, validation, if only from myself.
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