What if I’m actually an 8 year old automaton with imprinted memories?

A lot can happen in 28 years. Funny thing is, because of the effects of recency it feels like I’ve only really done anything in the past 8. Uprooting myself and planting my feet in Canadian soil means that outside of the past 2 years, life has this fuzzy tinge to it. This all came to the fore the other day when I sat through my first therapy session. Describing how one thing had occurred meant sprawling backwards through events interlinked not directly, but thematically. Maybe it’s just my middling obsession with cohesive narrative structure forcing me to match otherwise unrelated events and the causality that ignited a specific frame of mind, influencing certain behaviours. Does this make sense to you? Maybe it doesn’t make sense. Maybe this is why I’m seeing a therapist after all.

Okay, so when she asked me “How did you meet your girlfriend?” it made sense to reply “We met at an event.” It’s true, but a moment of disconnect prompted me to go further. “But that was kind of a meeting, fascination occurred and we didn’t see or hear from each other for about 3 months.” With no prompting, I felt like I had to fill in the gaps. All of a sudden I was jumping back to the emotionally trying, fast burning relationship that happened in the middle of those two meetings. I tried giving a few key points in that relationship before acknowledging out loud that I probably needed a few sessions on the baggage from that relationship alone. But it was important, because otherwise the baggage that caused a certain emotional state probably wouldn’t have aided me as it did in taking my time slowly with this new relationship. Odd as it was, I might have jumped ship sooner were I in a “healthier” mind state, but as it was, I gave it time and it blossomed into something beautiful. One question encompassed over a year of real-life time and maybe 30 minutes of therapy time. A lot can happen, right?

Delving back through all of that takes time, which is why I’ve opted to take the offer of going through a questionnaire that covers a lot of this stuff in depth. At least that way she can get the basic outline and not have to spend 3 or 4 sessions getting an idea of who I am. It seems fitting that I’m seeing a therapist focussed on interpersonal relationships, because, well, have you read this site before? When I think back through time, my mind immediately resorts to who I was with, either intimately or just through infatuation. It’s strange that so much of my self perception is tied up in my relationships with others. As someone who craves personal connection, it still feels weird to define myself with other people in my mind’s eye. I’ve got a certain amount of self-awareness, so why is it that I’m having to reflect off others in order to see myself?

The recurring conversation seems to be the question of when we become adults or if we ever consider it an apt label. I’m not sure where I fit on that scale, but if society’s perception of adulthood is being self-reliant, then it wasn’t until I became an adult that I started dating. 8 years, that’s it. 8 years I’ve been exchanging thoughts, words and fluids with women in an intimate fashion. Once again, a lot can happen in 28 years, but I seem to define myself so much by those past 8. It’s one of the reasons that this therapy is so important. I may define myself by the last 8 years, the years when I had the autonomy and felt the agency to decide who I was, but so many aspects of my personality were in place before that. Without the right questions I seem to haze over exactly what it was that informed burgeoning traits and views. I can look back and examine my past, but I don’t know what to seek. I’ve got those past 8 years blocking my sight. Where do I even start? A lot’s happened, y’know.

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