Internet Bandits and Memories

The friendly neighborhood hacker is back, hacking into all of the wifi networks they can get their hands on. It isn’t just our network, so I’m mostly annoyed more than truly upset by the whole thing. No one can figure out who it is or how they’re getting in to everyone’s protected networks. I have my suspicions since the same crazy neighbor who held the block hostage back in April is a retired Air Force computer tech… But really no way to prove it. Clearly the poor man has lost his marbles, and he really isn’t hurting anything getting into our networks because all of our financial info hasn’t been touched, it’s just a bit unnerving and annoying that someone can get into our network and snoop even if it is for purely paranoid psychotic reasons. But, as I said, he’s just the only one who would have the ability and knowledge that we know of. I can’t say for sure it’s him… Although the police have been back to his house several times in recent months, each time the hacking intensifies. I guess we’ll have to see. Lol.

I had a rough evening last night. During a conversation with my mother she inadvertently triggered me, and it just so happened to fall on a date which had some particular significance. It was the perfect storm of triggers in less than 24hrs really, so yesterday I really struggled to keep myself in the moment and not get lost in my memories, which all culminated in a day of not leaving my bed unless I was tending to/playing with the Little. Once she went to bed for the night everything kind of caught up with me and I wasn’t really able to sleep due to nightmares/flashbacks.

I’m feeling better this morning, now that I’ve been able to keep myself busy with other things and stay rooted in the present, but I decided to write down the memory which got stuck in my head in hopes to put it to rest, or rather BACK to rest where it had been sitting soundly until mom decided to attempt to relate to me. lol. She meant well, but it was the absolute worst possible thing anyone could have said to me. She said: “Your younger sister is depressed and lonely like you were at her age. I thought maybe you could talk to her and help her out.” Which of course made me think back to what happened when I was my sister’s age. While my sister may very well be depressed for her own reasons, I sincerely doubt I would be able to help her considering the reason I was depressed and how I reacted to it versus the reason my sister is depressed and how she chooses to react to it. Which I kind of wanted to explain, but it would have fallen on deaf ears (NPD at it’s finest right there) so I just sort of smiled and changed the subject.

I was doing okay, with my little stroll down memory lane until I encountered one thing which l is particularly sticky because of HOW it happened, not necessarily because of WHAT happened. It will probably always be with me just because there are too many questions that were/are left unanswered but so much time has passed even if I were to have the opportunity to get the answers to my lingering questions it would probably be more painful than helpful. As long as it isn’t brought up, and I avoid the place where it happened I should be able to keep it in prospective as I have over the past several years. At least I’m hoping… we’ll see what happens.

I was just arriving to my shift at work several weeks after my boyfriend at the time had left for training out of state. We knew we wouldn’t have any contact for the first few weeks so I hadn’t heard from him, nor did I really expect to. I was journalling and composing a letter to send to him adding things daily as if we were in a one way conversation, but had yet to actually get it in the post. I was extremely busy with work and doing my best to keep myself entertained in his absence. It was my own fault really, but while we were together I had managed to alienate many of my other friends opting to spend time with him. Now that he was away, I was bored and lonely. I had reached out to my friends, but much like myself they were preoccupied with their own lives, so I spent many extra hours at work. 

That day was particularly hectic as I arrived for my evening shift at the tail end of lunch rush. The day felt exceptionally off. Something wasn’t right somewhere, and a knot of anxiety had settled in my stomach. I made my way inside and got things situated and ready for dinner when my cell phone began to buzz in my pocket. It was weird that my cell phone was ringing since everyone who needed me should have called me at work. I pulled it out of my pocket and noticed the caller ID. It was my boyfriend’s parent’s home number. At first I was confused, but not entirely worried since while my boyfriend was away his father was in charge of his finances and we had some financial arrangements between us, but when I heard the tone in his father’s voice, my stomach immediately dropped.

Usually his father was always cheerful and polite before getting down to business, but this time around it was all strictly business and it scared me. “Kelli? Hi, yes. I need to tell you that he’s been in an accident. He’s in the hospital. No, you don’t need to come down. He’s doing okay now, but he’s having trouble remembering certain things and people. They are allowing phone calls to his loved ones to see if that helps his memory. After I hang up you’ll be getting a call from a strange number. It will be him. He can only talk for a few minutes, and you won’t be able to call back. Are you available? Good, good. I’ll let them know. Okay, I’ll keep you informed. Bye, now.”

It was all I could do to keep myself from collapsing into a puddle of tears right then and there after I hung up the phone, impatiently waiting for the call. I had no idea what had happened, or what was going to happen from here on out. I never got anymore details about what had actually happened to my boyfriend because I was too shocked to ask. Eventually my phone rang again and I answered, to hear a scared, disoriented, raspy version of the man I loved.

The five minutes we spoke were like the worlds worst speed date. He sounded so afraid, and confused trying to piece everything together again in the very few moments he was allowed to speak with me. Plus I was bawling because of what his dad had said, and the fact that I was able to hear his voice after receiving such shocking news. I don’t even remember exactly what I told him, other than we had been dating for almost three years, I loved him more than anything else, and couldn’t wait for him to come home. He didn’t really respond to anything, still obviously dazed from whatever had happened. Which was never more obvious than the moment we said our goodbyes and I professed my love for him and he replied with a long pause and a quiet: “Okay… I really have to go before I get in trouble.” 

And that was that. I didn’t speak to him again for several more weeks, and when he was finally able to call me I missed him twice before finally connecting with him, which was quite possibly the absolute worst turn of events for someone already insecure about our relationship and trying to recover his memory. Although he was never really the same after his accident he seemed to mostly recover, and as we spent a rather unusually strained holiday season together all was forgotten. I remember asking him so much about his training, and he confessed to several drunken hook ups, but I don’t remember ever asking him about the accident. If I did, it was lost in all of the other emotionally overwhelming things happening in our last two weeks together as a couple.

And then the break up explosion happened. He had fallen for one of the girls he met during his binge drinking weekends and had no idea how to tell me until after she’d agreed to move back with him. He returned home three weeks ahead of schedule, and didn’t tell me. In fact the only reason he did eventually tell me was because I went to drop off his dog at this parent’s house and asked his father if he was picking him up from the airport or I was. The look of sadness and pity in his father’s eyes as he was trying to figure out what to say was awful. The only thing he did say was: “I’m sorry? Pick him up from the airport? Oh…He needs to call you. I’ll make sure he calls you.” Which was awkward, but most of the interactions I had with his father were slightly awkward, so I brushed it off and said my customary: “Okay, sure. I’ll see you later.” To which his customary reply was usually: “Take care, we’ll be seeing you.” but that day I was met only with silence, a forced polite smile and forlorn sigh before he turned to walk into the house.  I noticed immediately, but didn’t quite understand (or want to accept it) until later that week when my boyfriend finally got around to calling me.

And while I knew something had changed between us after his accident, it was never so obvious until speaking to him years later as he was trying to hurt me with all sorts of “revelations” about our relationship which he assumed I didn’t know about as if I had been the one to forget. He was sincerely surprised when I merely answered with a casual: “I know. I know that, I knew that when we were together.”

There are two different camps people have fallen in when I discuss it with them. The “he’s full of shit and remembers everything, but doesn’t want to admit it” bunch, then there’s the few people that believe his memory loss was genuine and while time has restored a lot of the event memories, many of the emotional memories were lost completely.

At this point I could honestly see it going either way. I’m fairly convinced that at least some of the memory loss was genuine, mostly because he wouldn’t be trying to manipulate me with memories we actually share but he does remember specific events. From my limited observation it seems to be more of a delusion than a total memory lapse. He conveniently remembers events which justify his decisions to hurt me, but has forgotten the events which lead me to stick with him despite everything else. It’s a mental defense mechanism that was triggered by something while he was away, but I’ll never know what that something was, leaving the lingering unanswered questions.

At this point, years later when we’ve both moved on and started families it doesn’t matter. As I said before, I’d rather NOT know exactly what happened at this point. It would just open a million other wounds and probably raise more questions. I’m perfectly content to accept things as they are, but part of doing that is also accepting that I will have these memories which will sneak up and “attack” every once and a while. Trying to repress or deny that these things happened, even as irrelevant as they are to my current situation only makes the triggers more sensitive and the effects linger. I’ve learned that the hard way as repression was my coping method of choice for many years. Acceptance, is much easier.