I was huddled in the corner of the bed, back firmly against the wall; hours of memories flooded my mind. Fleeting, like leaves falling from a tree into a stream, once they hit the current, they were gone.
Hellish, but the memories gave me an insight I couldn’t have had without them. Masking at such a young age, my instincts took over and were responding. Using other people’s words instead of my own. What tipped me to this realisation was that I was replaying years of memories but not one memory of me talking. I think instinctual responses mean that no conscious input, no input, no memories made of conscious conversation.
This is the reason why I have so few memories of my past; it requires a trigger to connect to instinctual memories now. Consciously, I don’t think I was making any, because of the permanent mental separation of my conscious self, due to continual masking. A life reacting rather than acting through will. So many misunderstandings and confused for so long, due to scripting. My responses weren’t specific, I didn’t know how to select my own words, so my instinctual side was always picking the closest match to what I need to say.
I contacted three friends from my past, and we met up individually while I was there. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in contact with any of them as much as I wanted to be. I think I had to get a clean separation when I left so it didn’t haunt me, and I could get a fresh start.
Neurologist: It was bittersweet, I couldn’t hold back the tears as it dawned on me that she is neurodivergent too and could have always understood me. However, she left me with a beautiful memory of her smiling and nodding as she read my autism theory and these words “You are you, but so much more you, I love it”.
Civil Servant: I realised he had lot of memories of us playing pool or in the bar, but I only had fragments of those memories. I must admit I struggled with that a bit, but we talked, and I did feel better. He said to close that chapter of my life as I am on to a new one now, I think part of me needed those words.
Baker: I think explaining my journey since my diagnosis was more shocking to him than explaining my past. It was actually really good catching up and getting to talk about the rocket propelled rollercoaster that has been my life since September 2020.
All my best and love
Words – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva