There’s an incredibly sad Rolling Stones song called ‘As Tears Go By’ that starts with the line ‘It is the evening of the day.’ I can’t say I’m a great fan of the song, but that line is beautiful. It seems to indicate that you’re on the verge of something huge.
And that’s exactly how I felt on Tuesday.
I had the absolute pleasure of spending last week with my FOC. My thanks, once again, to them for a wonderful time. Tuesday night, however, I started contemplating the journey back to where I live. Because of difficulties with some rather interesting roommates and other circumstances, some of which are entirely my fault, I’m in a bit of a situation here. As one of mine said, it just feels better to be away.
My first visit with my FOC was all the way back in summer 2002. For that visit and the next few, I needed solid proof that they actually existed and that I had actually experienced life there. I needed photographs, receipts for purchases along the way, or even little things like reboarding passes from the buses I’d taken to get there. Eventually, I was able to trust that, even though we were far apart, my FOC and life with them still existed. To some odd extent, this last visit left me needing proof once again.
The bus ride back to where I live ranges from 22-26 hours depending on what schedules are running that particular day. At the start of my trip, I got this horrible feeling that time was running out and I’d never see my FOC again. That carried on and became a feeling of standing outside of society and watching it fall. I couldn’t understand why all those people in the bus stations didn’t *see* what was happening around them. To some extent, this is about being ‘in the know’ regarding SRA and events affected by that. It could have been that Rose, my almost ephereal self, was closer to the surface than typical and I couldn’t quite comprehend her thoughts. I like to think of myself as well-connected in terms of metaphysical aspects. Rose, however, does get beyond me sometimes.
The me-but-not-me voices started not long from my final destination and have come back every night since Thursday. I refer to them as me-but-not-me voices because these *are* the schizophrenic-like voices that don’t belong to alters I consider part of me. These are the cult-programmed, possibly even broadcasted voices that prompt me to take up my role as it was first assigned, something I will *not* do. One voice that I do recognise as mine whispers a constant ‘something’s wrong, I’m afraid’ any time these other voices start. Perhaps the feeling that I’m out of time and will not be able to settle among my FOC comes directly from the cult’s desire that I should believe those things.
Sometimes I feel like the two worlds, that of my FOC and that of the cult, simply cannot coexist. I grew up shifting between the regular world and the cult world. Sometimes it was hard to know which *was* the ‘normal’ world. I got used to that. Things weren’t exactly great outside of the cult world either. Now, though, the contrast is so extreme. The world in which my FOC lives is far from perfect. I understand that no world like that exists. However, their world is where I first felt completely safe. It’s also where I learned about what life that hasn’t been coloured by SRA looks like. The two worlds are so different that I need proof, once again, that the better one exists. My FOC taught me what family means, and it truly seems impossible that such wonderful people can exist alongside cults like the one that destroyed my biological family. They do coexist, however, and grounding myself in that thought, even if it takes tangible proof sometimes, is what makes dealing with SRA possible for me.