…wherein you are suddenly struck with the realization that your childhood did not happen in a parallel universe, but in the very same one you live in now.
So, what are the chances that you or somebody else can write/talk more about this? Because I went through a period of…
YES re. going through a phase of being utterly bowled over by the visceral realization of one’s own time-continuity. I have had that happen to me a couple times, at least.
p>Recently — and this is the backstory for my original (short) post the other day — I suddenly remembered the name of someone I used to talk to online when I was a young adolescent.
p>This person was my dad’s age and I met him on a poetry BBS (this being back in the days of yore, Internet-wise). It was never a sexual thing but probably a bit weird boundary-wise, because we used to write back and forth about subjects like hallucinogenic drugs (which I had a fascination with at that age).
Anyway, though, that stage of my life was weird and difficult and somewhat bizarre and embarrassing to look back on. I know it all happened, but it kind of hit me oddly when I looked up my old poetry pen-pal and found that he was a real person and also that he still writes poetry and stuff. I had a fleeting urge to write to him again and tell him “hey look, I grew up and I am not a screw-up!” but I didn’t do it and won’t. It just seems like, as nice and non-creepy as this guy was (he actually used to tell me stuff like “you should go talk to your parents about [thing]”) there is no reason to re-hash that part of my past beyond remembering it and realizing it was real.
All of what everyone else has said.
Plus, there’s a couple weird things about the time thing.
One, I used to feel like I was jumped around through time. I don’t know how to describe it. Like I should be able to communicate with myself from different times as if they were real people who were separate from each other. It was hard to see it all as me or even comprehend it.
Two, there have been times where…
I’m really straggling for words, on all of this.
But I’ve felt like I was someone else, someone entirely different, at different times in my life, like I couldn’t even recognize myself on some levels. And when people ask me, “Why did you do this or that at this period in your life?” I used to just make shit up half the time, because I had no idea at all, or even had no idea that I should even have an idea.
Also every few years the years before it fall into a fog that I feel like I can’t penetrate. Except at specific times when I penetrate specific moments, but then nothing before or after them. There’s no continuous memory. Only fragments that pop up at specific times and places in response to specific things. And those fragments can be exceedingly vivid, but the whole of it isn’t there.
And I know the time in your life you’re talking about with the BBSes. I had that time in my life too. Even same obsessive interests. And I rarely even think about it now at all. I think I’d be slightly alarmed if I ran into the guy I talked to back then. (Chalk this up to the fact that I am you from a parallel universe except the universes screwed up and put us in the same one together, two years apart.)
Oh yeah I get the “jumping around in time” thing too. And the sense that somehow people who I used to be still exist somehow. To the point where I’ve found myself going “ooh I should get that Star Wars t-shirt for [me_Age9]!” and then doing a double take as it hits me that I’m thinking about ME Many Years Ago and not some younger cousin or something.
Oh and re. the BBS guy, I would definitely have been taken aback if I had run into him randomly and I have had no direct communication with him since 1995 or thereabouts. I just remembered his full name upon waking up the other day and momentarily found myself gaping at the fact that he was actually real, and that meant that I was somehow actually living in a continuous timeline even though it does not always subjectively feel like I am.