Why Am I Me?

I mentioned, in another post, I’ve been undergoing ketamine treatments.

So far, I haven’t had any real revelations. My brain didn’t show me any memories. Mostly, so far, the treatment just builds and takes down weirdly shaped and colored structures.

Except, one memory. I did have one.

Only, it’s not like this is a forgotten memory, it’s one that I think of often. I asked Randy if I ever told him about it and he said I did not. It wasn’t like it was super private or disturbing or anything, but it’s so much a part of my recollection of youth that I guess I never thought to tell Randy about it. Much like I’ve never said “Hey, have I ever told you about my left eyebrow?” Because my eyebrow is there and he can see it.

A brief ketamine moment, but still somewhat clear. I remembered myself at 9 years old, alone in my room. I sat, curled up in a ball, and rocked back and forth while screaming, “Why am I me” into a pillow.

pillowsI clearly remembered how I felt in that moment. Like a stranger in my own head.

I didn’t understand why I had the thoughts. I didn’t understand why I loved or hated the things I loved and hated. It wasn’t that I questioned my existence, I just didn’t understand who the person in my head was.

I felt a great deal of compassion for her.

I know she was me, but not in the moment in my drug induced reality. In that moment, she was a child who needed comfort. I felt bad for her. I wanted her to be okay, but I knew my arms couldn’t stretch back in time to hold her and stroke her hair.

I think it happened because I felt that same way a bit under the ketamine. That I didn’t know who I was. That I was a stranger to myself. Only, I am an old woman now. It wasn’t upsetting or scary to me to feel removed from myself. I didn’t completely mind being a stranger to myself because, even though I was under the influence, I was aware I was under the influence and I would come back to myself soon enough.

That poor little child wasn’t under the influence of anything. I never viewed it this way, but I think she was in crisis. I think she really needed help that never came.

She was scared all of the time. That poor little girl, in the bedroom, with the broken fireplace, and the rosebud wallpaper.

I wish I could find her and make everything okay. I wish I could find her and show her the kindness and acceptance that she so desperately craved. I wanted to give her the affection and care she deserved.

Looking into the past

I guess the next best thing would be to try to give that kindness and acceptance to myself. I mean, we’re the same. Sort of.

She’s always going to be a scared little girl.

But I guess I could give myself the same kindness and acceptance that she needed and deserved. Because she still does.


14 Thoughts.

  1. Oh Michele, I’m so sorry for that little girl, as I have a memory like that as well. Nobody there for us when we need them the most. But that little girl you were grew up to be a wonderful woman, wife and mother, and maybe that memory made you more aware of your own children and their individual traumas.
    I hope this treatment concludes with you having more clarity in your life and way less stress!

  2. I feel so sad for that little girl.
    From the title I thought this was going to be about the ketamine making you feel like you weren’t yourself, but, as sad as I feel for that little girl, I’m glad that’s not what it did. It put you in touch with an earlier version of yourself, someone you still are, and, yes, you still deserve and need the same kindness and acceptance she needed. All of you. Including your left eyebrow.

  3. I’m glad to hear the ketamine therapy is working for you. Often, pain in any kind of therapy is part of the process of getting to the other side. You unearth stuff buried deep down and give it fresh air and light. You acknowledge it, respect it for whatever it has to teach you, use what you know today to help you understand what you couldn’t when you were younger, then, when you’re ready, you figure out how to let it go and, hopefully, you let it go. All of that takes time. It’s the buried stuff that stays hidden that ends up hurting us the most in sometimes the most annoying and unexpected ways. When I was getting my master’s in counseling, I signed on to help out in a psychodrama event that lasted (9-5) for three days. I knew nothing about this type of therapy and went in pretty damned skeptical, but, hey, I was getting 24 hours of credit for this, so what could it hurt? I came out of this experience a believer. I know it sounds crazy, but it actually put me in touch with a very scary time when I was about two years old (I had no idea that was something that even bothered me) even though I knew the awful thing that had happened to me. Until then, it was just a memory. I had no idea how much that awful thing had colored the lens through which I viewed so much in my life. During this psychodrama session (I had to participate in order to receive credit), I felt like I was literally there in the moment watching what happened to me at two years old, only I saw that with adult eyes and I understood things I’d never even thought to understand before. My epiphany led me to realize how scared my very young mother was at the time and how and why she’d done what she did. I wasn’t looking for any of this newfound knowledge, but it all played out in front of my eyes! I was astonished at what that revealed. Suddenly, compassion washed over me for both me and Mom and I was able to truly forgive her for something that happened so long ago. Who knew? For me, this was a life-changing experience and, hey, I was just looking for credit for my class! My point is, I’m glad the ketamine therapy is working for you. Also, you might consider researching psychodrama (find a therapist who is bonafide and has a stellar reputation) because that might be enlightening to you as well. Whatever you do, a big hug to you, Michelle! Mona

  4. Yes. Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes. Have your panic attacks subsided? Are you feeling better? I’m hoping that you are.

  5. I ache for that little one. For all the little ones who are lost or scared or lonely or hurting. I wish my arms reached that far!
    But that lost little girl built around that experience and created something stupendous!

  6. I hope that the part of that little girl that carries on in you has found peace and healing as you carried her. She’s lucky that even now you’re thoughtful and compassionate.

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