It’s all my fault.
A few days ago our sofa was delivered. Sam scrambled to find the bungee cord we use to tie open the front door so that the wind wouldn’t blow it closed when he and the deliveryman were carrying it inside. He couldn’t find it. My first thought “Oh my god what have I done?!” Sam wasn’t angry with me. He adapted to the situation instantly and nothing was said about the missing item but I was imagining scenarios where I might have misplaced the bungee cord or worst case scenario thrown it away. The next day I looked all over for it, trying to think where I might have put it. I remembered thinking how annoying the bungee cord was and how it often fell or got tangled on items hanging on the coat rack. More than once I have thought about moving it but I remembered deciding against it because we keep it by the front door for a reason. Still I went on doubting myself because I have Dissociative Disorder so it is always possible I have done something without remembering. Sam was going to the store to pick up storage boxes that day and I admitted to him that I could not find the cord. His response “I think I used the cord to tie down the tarp on the grill.” He didn’t realize it had been bothering me. At no point had he been angry about it or even suspicious, he’d simply forgotten where it was in the heat of the moment. I blamed myself though. With Dissociative Disorder comes severe memory issues. I don’t trust myself. If I feel sick I never feel quite certain that it is a real illness. I think maybe this is just stress, maybe I am trying to avoid my responsibilities or sabotage myself in someway that I am not consciously aware of. I second guess my actions, my thoughts, my motives, my feelings. I am never quite sure of myself, which wrecks havoc on my confidence and my self-esteem.
I imagine that having any form of mental illness makes you question your perspective continuously. I am always testing reality. I frequently pinch myself (actually I touch my tongue to one of my canines) to see if I am awake or not, particularly when I am getting off the bus just to be certain that I didn’t fall asleep. As an adult I have never fallen asleep and missed my stop. If someone says that something didn’t happen the way I remember I will usually accept their version even when the evidence supports my version better. When my husband and I have different versions he will always admit to being wrong if it turns out that he remembered something incorrectly. I imagine it also has to do with being abused as a child, children assume responsibility for their abusers.
I understand intellectually that blaming myself isn’t doing anything for my emotional health. I am certainly not a more effective problem solver when dealing with all that guilt and paranoia but I really don’t know how to trust in a mind that plays so many tricks on itself. It is a continuous battle to stay connected to reality. No reality is the truth really, it is all perspective and there is no way to be 100% certain. I guess all we can do is remain open and curious and see what happens instead of imprisoning ourselves within our own certainty/uncertainty.