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2007-12-24 11:12 a.m.

I went to my new therapist the other day for the first time. She explained I had post traumatic stress disorder, and, that's why I've been disassociating.

I've been disassociating? I didn't know what that meant.

She sent me home with a little worksheet to do. It had statements on it, and each one had a scale of 0-100 underneath it. I was supposed to circle the number that corresponded to how much of the time I related to that statement.

Some people have the experience that they find notes or letters that they know they must have written, yet they don't have any memory of writing them.

Some people have the experience of meeting new people that say they've met them before, but they have no memory of meeting this person.

Some people have the experience of forgetting long periods of driving, walking, or traveling.

I just thought I was forgetful—VERY forgetful. My friends have made fun of my memory for many years. In college, my friend Maria Orieta began calling me 'goldfish.' It didn't bother me that she called me that, since I didn't know what she meant by it.

But, one day I asked her.

"You're like a goldfish. They have two-second memories. They swim to one side of the bowl and say, 'WOW! It's sure beautiful over here! Have you seen this?' Then they swim to the other side of the bowl and say, 'WOW! It's lovely over here! I've never been here before!' Then they do it all over again. That's you."

I'm scared to find out why I've been disassociating for so long. Did I have some really bad things happen to me that I don't remember? I feel anxious when I think about it.

But, the past year has been one of excavation, so it makes sense to continue down that path.

On a brighter note, I've been reading again. I read Elaine Dundy's The Dud Avocado and this book called The Ethical Slut. I read Running With Scissors in three sittings and Sellevision in one night. Until recently I couldn't read. My anxiety and nervousness and whirling mind made sitting and concentrating impossible. It's a giant breakthrough for me to be able to sit still and read books again for the first time in years.

Reading again feels like suddenly falling into a profound love just after one has completely abandoned all hope. It's ironic and awesome.