Friday, 24 September 2010

This Story Starts...

This story starts over 11 years ago in a night of blood and tears in a far away land. It starts with a screech of brakes and two unconscious bodies bouncing down a road.

This story starts with a young man called Cameron who was left to cope with two hospitalised friends in up state New York, when it was all he could do to cross a road, or get in a car. The simple truth of the matter is that he couldn't, and didn't, cope. He was having trouble processing the events and his involvement (or lack there of) in them.

This story starts with him referring to the parents of a friend as 'Mama and Papa' because he needed to cede responsibility to them and it was the only way to trust them. It starts with him playing Spyro endlessly (helped by the lack of a memory card, so he had to start from scratch every single night) because it meant he could leave the world behind and be something else for a while.

This story starts with a bargain, because denial only lasted for the length of a thought. Because you do what you have to to survive and then you pay the price.

This story starts at University, where we get the chance to reinvent ourselves. We arrive as blank slates and have the best chance we'll ever get to stretch our wings in as many new directions as we want, and he was the perfect student in that regard. He used the opportunity to overhaul his personality, to fix the 'mistakes' he made in America.

This story starts with him deciding to be the perfect friend. He would always be approachable, always be friendly. He would re-brand myself as 'Cam' because it sounded friendlier. He took a piece of bargaining and created a whole new personality around it, and then He tried to be that person and bury himself beneath it.

I believe the technical term for it is dis-associative personality disorder, but it's more commonly known as having multiple personalities.

Cameron and Cam. They're similar, so similar I doubt anyone else will notice the change, but I can draw a distinct line between them in my head. As Cameron I feel relaxed, I am me. I'm happy and I can look forward in my life. I take up space in the world, and I can look at my life and change what comes next. As Cam I feel tight, worried. I feel very little, but when I do it's generally unhappy. I'm stuck here and now just coping with the world around me. I'm just trying not to hurt too many people on the way through.

But I understand it now. I see what was wrong with me, and how to fix it. It'll take some time, and there's some unexpected surprises - Cam's got over the accident, Cameron not so much - but the surprises are worth the problems. It's interesting to poke the pieces of my brain to see how it reacts now. To see what happens next.

This story starts over 9 months ago in a fortnight of new beginnings. It starts with the folding of two separate lives into one space, and the closure of the bits that no longer fitted.

This story starts with a man called Cam, a nice guy by all accounts but not necessarily a real one, who made a resolution to improve his life a little bit each day, never knowing that the the resolution wasn't his and the improvements would lead to his own self-destruction.

This story starts with an opportunity, maybe not the best one but certainly not the worst, to leave reality behind for a weekend and come back as someone new. It starts with the right word by the right person at the right time in the right place to knock everything for six.

This story starts right now. What's next?

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