Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


The brain does very weird things sometimes.

Hornets (aka huntsman wasps or spider-killing wasps - big-ass waspy things) are one of the few insects I really can't deal with. Most I'm quite comfortable with or can at least handle with a minimum of fuss. But hornets - especially the slim ones, that are shaped like a normal wasp but twice the size - give me the creeping horrors. I scream and run away from them like I scream and run away from nothing else.

Yesterday I was thinking about this, and wondering why. I cast my memory back over various events involving wasps and hornets, and the only thing I could come up with was when I saw my cousin Vanessa get stung by small wasps when I was about 14.

Except . . . something about the memory was off. I "knew" it had been Vanessa that got stung, but I could remember the flailing from my own perspective. What?

So I sent my brother an email, and he confirmed that it was me that got stung by the wasps. Vanessa was there, along with our friends from across the road, Shane, Donna and Sarah; but I was the only one that got stung. For some reason, since then I'd altered the memory, disassociated myself from being the victim and put my cousin in that role instead.

I wonder why on earth I did that?

There's one other occasion from my childhood when I know I disassociated a memory. When I was about 11, my friend Erin and I were mucking around in the kitchen, "cooking" (which usually meant either screwing up and wasting ingredients, or getting bored and giving up halfway through). We'd opened a can of something, and from what I remembered, Erin cut her thumb on the edge of the can, right across the knuckle, and it was rather scary and bled everywhere. It was years and years later that I suddenly went "wait a second, the scar from that is on MY THUMB". It's still there today, for that matter. One slightly jagged cut scar, right across the knuckle of my left thumb. But at some point my brain had gone "do not want" and started telling me that it was Erin's thumb that got cut, not mine.

It makes you wonder what else in one's memory isn't real! *cue Matrix soundtrack*

And I still haven't figured out why I'm so scared of hornets in particular. Maybe it is just simply the fact that they're big, solitary, unfazed by most attempts to kill them, and they come at you at head height with malice aforethought. That's enough, right?


And this is why most of the recovered memories crap is just that - crap.

I've disassociated myself from the majority of my childhood, actually. I couldn't handle it and chose not to.

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