The Ghosts of Christmas Past….er….just the Past..

The worst part about having bipolar is the huge gaps in my memory.  I can’t figure out if I purposely blocked them out, or if they are results of manic episodes that I just wasn’t aware I was having at the time because I had no idea what bipolar even was.   Every now and then I get a visit from the “Ghost of the Past.”   A nice little visit that brings a lovely memory toting along.  Most people embrace memories, like to be reminded of things.  I am ABSOLUTELY NOT one of those people because 9 times out of 10, those memories do not make me feel pleasant at all. Why not?  Well, I’ll explain.

Memory Type #1 – The memory that was really meaningful to them and special and have thought it about it often.  You, on the other hand, have no recollection of this and probably never would have even guessed had it not been for the reminder.  So, what does that mean?  It makes you feel super, super shitty because something that meant something to someone, you couldn’t even have the slightest clue about and when they realize you have no recollection of it, it ruins the memory for them too.  You feel like an asshole because you SHOULD have remembered this, so why didn’t you?   Here you are wishing that someone would make these wonderful memories with you and really, YOU HAVE had these memories, you just don’t remember them.  Under the covers to hide…….

Memory Type #2 – The memory that was so horrible that you were reminded of it and wished you could erase it not just from your memory, but from history all together.  You feel like shit for not remembering it, but yet feel even shittier because it was a memory that made you feel so horrible, you never wanted to feel that pain again……yet here it is, woken from the dead and thrown at you……and it burns………

Memory Type #3 – The memory of something you did or said to someone that was so mean you can’t even believe that you were “that person.”  You did something so completely mean, rude, cruel, or stupid and it made someone else feel so incredibly bad or it made you a hypocrite, and now that you hear that you did or said those things, you feel like pond scum.  You wish you could take back everything because slowly you are learning that there really was validity in why people acted the way they did toward you, or why they said the things they said toward you.  Either way, you feel super shitty……….bury further under the covers to hide…….

So after the visit from the “Ghost of the Past,” I usually spend endless hours trying to reconstruct more memories. I want to learn all of it because I want to get the whole picture.  Unfortunately, it is just like doing a puzzle and there are pieces missing.  However, the pieces I do have made me shrivel up and want to hide forever because I was a complete and utter bitch.  I was a terrible person and a terrible friend.  I was so self absorbed in my own pity and sadness and my own fucked up mind and pain, that I completely failed to open my eyes to the world around me.  I find myself doing the same thing now.  When things get rough, I close up, hide away, and try to forget the world around me.  The problem is, that the world around me keeps on going.  The people around me keep on living and my actions, or lack of actions, impact their lives too.

And so, each time I learn of new and shitty things that I have done, or said, or forgotten, I feel this huge wave of sadness.  Why sadness?  Because I never, ever would have wanted to treat people that way.  I am sad because I was too messed up to get help and maybe my actions toward other didn’t affect their lives at all, but maybe they did.  And for that, I am even more sorry.

People used to say I was stuck up or a bitch.  I used to say that I was mislabeled and that I was really just shy and they saw it as being stuck up.  Now, I think I really was a bitch.  A horrible, rotten, bitch.  And so I want to say I’m sorry.  I know it may not mean anything to a lot of people, but maybe it will mean something to some, because I never wanted to be a bitch.  I didn’t mean to be a bitch and I never meant to treat anybody poorly or inferior.  I never wanted to give the impression that I was better than anyone else, and never wanted anyone to think they weren’t good enough to be my friend.  I want to say I’m sorry to friends I hurt and lost because I was self absorbed or selfish.  I wish I could explain why I did what I did, but I have no idea.  I try to figure out the reasons and try to get back into my head, but I can’t.  All I know is that I was a horrible and rotten person and its no wonder people didn’t like me.  So, I’m sorry to all those people from high school that I hurt.  I wish my eyes would have been open back then and I could have seen past the shit in my head.  It may be many years too late, but its taken me this long to figure out THAT much.

Thank you “Ghost of the Past” for opening my eyes.  Again, I’m sorry to all of those I have hurt.  All these years I should have been looking at myself and blaming myself …….. I’m sorry.

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  1. I’ve only recently discovered your blog, and have been going through your posts. While I could relate to a lot of them, this one really hit home.

    Before receiving my bipolar diagnosis a few months ago, I told a couple people about my memory gaps. They either didn’t believe me, or immediately thought I was messed up and didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

    No one told me that this could be related to my bipolar. Thanks for sharing! Sometimes I feel so alone, but it’s nice to be reminded I’m not the only one who has to go through this.

    1. I was amazed at how much and how many events had been blocked out. You are definitely not alone, although I do wish that some of those memories HAD remained blocked 🙁