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Journal Excerpt [walking out]

{November, 1993}

I was sitting there at the computer when it just hit me like a bomb. I knew, at that moment, that whoever (or whatever) the hell I am, I didn't start here; not in this body, for certain. Maybe not in this reality. Definitely not in this body-identity though. The realization rushed inside me and hit me so hard it put me into shock.

I couldn't breathe. I couldn't move. My body was "stuck" like I'd forgotten how to use it. I forced myself to turn, only to realize that I had turned, but my body was still sitting there staring at the computer; I had "separated from myself," like an out of body experience, except I was sitting up and awake, and it felt much more literal than the average OBE does.

I was fine with that for a moment, but then I became frantic as I thought that my body might pass out and die if I couldn't "fit into it" and make it breathe again; I had the impression it was frozen and unbreathing. I tried to imagine myself "in" my body and imagined myself breathing, trying to become "one with" my lungs, and after a few seconds I felt myself shift into place, and I forced my lungs open, forced air into them, and choked on the effort, coughing and sputtering, choking some more, coughing until finally it was OK. I ignored the feeling of tightness around my chest that seemed to constrict me, and concentrated solely on breathing (in and out) lest I forget again, like a mantra to calm myself (in and out). Finally I felt that I could breathe without forgetting how, and I could relax.

And so I opened my eyes, and I looked at my hands now on my knees, and they seemed suddenly as if they were somebody else's, my whole body did, and I flashed on a scene from a movie called The Bride where a woman woke up inside an unknown corpse's body and was forced to be grateful for it. I wanted to get away from myself, and away from this foreign flesh that wasn't me at all, but I couldn't because it was me, and so I just sat there, scared and confused, and cried.

Other emotions I couldn't recognize took over, and I continued to cry for a long time. Hours and hours. Shaking with loud sobs like a whole lifetime of tragedy, then throwing my head back and crying silently with such intense, wide pain, like the whole sky should echo with it. Deep pain like I had never known in my whole life. A feeling of... separated loneliness far beyond what I had ever even conceptualized.

Finally it lessened, and it was merely staring into space, punctuated by small sobs now and then, and eventually I breathed evenly with a few trembling exceptions, and thought about things.

I had no doubt that I understood, on a deeper level. Even on the conscious level, I could feel a decent portion of it: I (as an identity) had joined this body a considerable time after its birth. I had the feeling it was at about age 10 or so, but couldn't be sure; there was also a small "blip" at age 15; how would I know, I wondered? The "me" prior that I remembered was just that, a memory, and she had... left. Where? How? I had no idea.

I was confused. How could a person possibly not notice such a thing?! How could those around them? And why now, of all times, for me to realize this?

I remembered little pieces of my life around age 10 spontaneously: of pneumonia, and my stepmother working so hard, trying desperately to save me at home... of the wonderful "dizzy spells" that went on for hours where it felt like me and my bed were just spinning weightlessly through space... of how dad came into my room, and in this odd voice, said my temperature was 106 degrees Farenheit and if it didn't go down my brain would fry and I would die. And then he abruptly left the room, it was quite odd, but I assumed he was upset... and how when I finally went back to school, after years of bad marks for writing that was all but illegible, I won the handwriting award for my class, it changed dramatically overnight.

And then I thought about my life up to age 10. About mom, and her dying when I was 9, and her coming and telling me about it while I slept, and then me finding out almost two days later that she had died, and right around the time I'd dreamed her. And I wondered if she knew that I (or rather she, her daughter) had left this body, and how she felt about it. I wondered where the little girl, who still felt like me, went when I came in. And then I realized that mom -- mommy, as I still think of her -- wasn't mine. I'm just holding the genetic memories of someone (who died?), and while the body I was living in might be descended from mommy, suddenly mommy isn't my mommy anymore. Taken away. Give it up, part of me said tonelessly, she was dead before you even got here.

My stomach clenched and I cried again and shouted out loud, Who am I?! What am I, if I'm not me?! But I got no answer, and I didn't know. How do you just... toss your soul into somebody else's body?! Surely it's gotta be a little more difficult than Legos for chrissake! -- I mean this is serious! But I didn't know.

Then I wondered what my dad would think. God, my father whom I love so much, my identity had a hard time separating from his influence for so long. I wondered, would he resent me? Would he think I had taken over his little girl's life? But he loved me right, he's my dad, right? And then I realized, well he's not really your dad, he was her dad. And another part of me argued, "But he's been mine since then, he's just as much mine now!" I felt loathsome about it. I wanted him to be mine.

The entire concept that my entire life to age 10, all the things I felt "composed me," were merely genetic memories of someone else, was more than my brain could integrate.

I sat silently, semi-obliviously numbed in horror, for more hours.

And finally, the overriding feeling was that I was so old, so very, very old... almost tired, as if I had been a cynical adult when I had been dropped abruptly into this naive child's body... and I could feel myself as if I had existed for a time beyond that which I could even conceptually grasp, a time beyond time as humans can even know it... and she seemed, in my memory, so young.

o0o

Hours later, I remembered two events that I had put out of my mind, some of those daily anomalies that don't fit with one's scheme of reality, and so you just space them out the moment after they happen.

One was from many years before. I had been at a street fair in town, which are very crowded and noisy. I don't like that environment much, and was fighting my way through the crowd. I was pushing past people and suddenly came face to face with a woman who just blurted out, as if immediately shocked at seeing me, You're a walk in! I had no clue what she was talking about, and wasn't sure she was talking to me; the look on her face said she was, but it made no sense. The only association I had with the term is how hair salons use it, meaning you didn't make a reservation. I figured she couldn't have been talking to me, and ignored it.

The other was from just a couple of years before. I had been in a shopping mall and this well dressed woman walking past stopped, then detoured over to me, and said quietly to me, Do you know that you're a walk in? Well by that time I did know what it was, because I'd encountered the concept in a far-out book my grandmother had, written by a guy named Lobsang Rampa, and had mentioned it to someone who'd used that term. As she said it I remembered the woman from the street fair all those years prior; I hadn't made the connection before. But I just looked at her, thinking, Huh? She's confused -- and ignoring her as if she hadn't even spoken to me, I walked around her and past her. And I completely forgot about it, within seconds.

o0o

I think some of this may be misinterpreted, but what do I know, I'm still so sarcastic and cynical about the subject I'm really not the person to ask for an objective opinion. I'm more inclined to feel that "another aspect of me became dominant" (which might be a completely different personality of course), but I suppose that's as wild a theory as any other.

I am stuck between a complete disbelief in the subject and an open acknowledgement of myself being an inherent example of it. I have a habit of offending people who are part of it, which indicates I invalidate it even unconsciously. I must, since I'm completely embarrassed to even admit any of this. I consider this subject one of the most bizarre symptoms of all the experiences of the recent years.

[end]

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