May 30, 2017
To my therapist:
I went to see you for the last time before I left town for the summer. I saw you on a Friday and was proud to show off how happy I was with the correct medication (for the bipolar) and regular therapy check-in appointments. You told me you were proud of me. You asked when was the last time I remember being this happy? I couldn’t tell you for sure so you reminded me how much time was “lost” to the bipolar years. How many years of my life were filled with blurry memories because of the depression.
I agreed with you, but the thought stayed with me even when I left your office. Yes, there are lost times in my life, blurry family vacations, childhood memories swirled together. So I got to thinking of the memories that are quite clear to me, from now through the first memories I have. That’s what triggered it, I guess.
I remember my most recent years in detail. I remember the majority of college (probably minus the times I was intoxicated or extremely depressed/manic). I remember high school and the good and bad that came with that. I remember being high or drunk for most of my senior year after the accident. Being with friends most of my junior year, being arrested sophomore year, and all the undocumented neighborhood vandalism. I remember Outward Bound (both times) and how angry my parents always seemed to be towards me. I remember middle school sexting the first boy I kissed. I remember destroying friendships, multiple friendships, over the years. I remember my grandparents dying and seeing my parents break down for the first time.
And then I remembered grade school and my cousin. I was suddenly, vividly remembering the game we used to play together, “Pee.” It’s not like I haven’t thought about it over the years, but I never really thought about it. Her and I have never talked about it either. She’s a year older than I am and we’ve always been so close.
It was before kindergarten when it started, so I was maybe 4? I remember masturbating during a movie in kindergarten, and I remember knowing exactly what was wrong with what I was doing. I think it started innocently, like little kids explore each other, plus we always spent so much time together. One day at her house during the summer, she told me about her family vacation to the beach and how while her parents were off buying food, she stumbled upon a couple having sex in the woods. She said she watched them and it was weird and she wanted to show me how they did it. That was the day it went past “doctor and nurse.” We took off our clothes and tried to recreate (based on her instructions) what the couple did. There was oral involved and touching/kissing and objects inserted. There were days what she was doing hurt, but she told me that was a good sign, that it was supposed to. I don’t remember exactly how old I was when we started this (maybe 4?) and I don’t remember exactly when it stopped. It happened a lot, always in secret. I remember in early grade school starting to play games with my dolls that my cousin and I had already done or making them have sex. My mother and aunt were concerned at one point and asked us to stop, but we just got more secretive about it and it continued. It happened at her house and mine and my grandmother’s bedroom, which is probably why it must have stopped when I was about 6 because that was when that grandmother was diagnosed with ALS. It took her 2 years before she actually passed away, but that was around the time this stuff with my cousin ended. I remember masturbating in the back seat of our van on family vacations (definitely before middle school). I remember getting in trouble in 5th grade for watching porn on the computer (and obviously not knowing how to cover my tracks). I remember continuing to watch it growing up.
This is more detailed than what I’m used to talking to you about, and honestly, I’ve never discussed what happened with anyone. Was it wrong what happened or normal? I keep obsessively thinking about it and I’m not sure if I’m just nervous about my trip and desperate to obsess over anything else or if there is weight to these memories. Your thoughts?
I truly don’t know what to think.