I have come to realize that when i say i have no skin, i am referring to a loss of emotional memory.
It can take me half the day to remember: what I am excited about, what I want to do today, what I was processing the day before. Sometimes I can’t remember my relationship with others I have just met — the feelings or thoughts that connected us. Names, places, directions, projects, creative muses and other details are often lost.
I sometimes have to remember / reinvent myself all over again to some degree on a daily basis.
It fascinates me that I could experience this for half my life without realizing what was happening, forging on instead, hoping to “positive think” it away.
It is not poor self esteem or lack of confidence; it is an elusive sense of self, a robber of continuity and a saboteur of consistency, organization and reliability.
I once had a roommate with whom I became aware of this only as far as to dip my toe in it. I was able to vocalize to him that each time he or I would walk in the door, I would forget that he was in recovery, forget all the wonderful connection we had found and perceive him as the “cool kid” in school. I would put on my witty, funny, “cool” face until we managed to connect again. Then I could remember that we were together in our journeys.
Upon hearing this, my roommate promptly walked into his room, scooped up several shelves worth of his self-help books, brought them out and un-scooped them onto our dining room table. For the next several weeks, our dining room table continued to wear that heap of reminders for me, so I could look at them and remember our connection on a daily basis.
When I google “emotional memory, borderline,” I see plenty of articles on selective memory — recalling events inaccurately in self-preservation; but I have not found anything yet on the experiences I’m talking about here.
BPD seems to be such a new diagnosis that this can be the case. Another example of how little is known so far is the one page I am able to find on the notion of the Quiet Borderline, and the fact that the APA’s current DSM does not even acknowledge bpd subtypes. (Links to both these pages are listed on the right).
I have been speaking of “not having my skin on” for several months now, but have only just had the revelation of the phrase “emotional memory.”
I look forward to hearing from others who may relate.
- Do We Control Our Emotions, Or Do Our Emotions Control Us? (davemsw.com)
- Emotional Intelligence (cherrypdtraining.wordpress.com)
- BDP in France (heartjunky.wordpress.com)
- failure to mentalize (heartjunky.wordpress.com)
- where is the heart of my matter (heartjunky.wordpress.com)