Telling the story

Today I’ve been thinking about why telling the story of how I acquired my phobia makes me so uncomfortable.

I feel like there are two different ways I can try to tell the story, and both of them have problems. I can tell it in a very short, matter-of-fact way, but re-reading that, or thinking about how it’ll be perceived by other people, is uncomfortable because it feels inaccurate. It doesn’t actually get across why the experience scared me. I feel like I’m not actually answering the question. Also, it’s just really alienating to look at a description of my experiences that doesn’t actually convey how I felt at all. It feels unreal.

On the other hand, if I try to describe how I felt and why I felt that way, (a) I feel like my powers of description aren’t up to the task regardless, and (b) I don’t want to think about it that closely! I don’t want to re-feel those feelings.

It’s hard to talk about it without a certain degree of detachment, but because of that detachment, what I’m talking about isn’t really the thing. It isn’t really the phobia.

So far, I can’t seem to find a middle ground between those two things, being totally detached or overly immersed. I’ve made some progress over time, at least when it comes to telling myself the story inside my own mind, but there’s definitely still a long ways to go.

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