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Day 22 -- Something that upsets me, in great detail.
I am tired of being reminded, again and again, of things I am ashamed of.  I never live anything down -- showing off, giving offense, being involved in conflict, whether justified or not  -- and the memories of such things have priority access to my association paths, no doubt rendering my more stupid than I would otherwise be.  On being reminded of them, I twitch, call myself names, and wish I were dead.  Eventually, I am likely to escape into fantasies of rudeness.

Here is the earliest one I can remember; I must have been about 10, so, more than 60 years ago.  I was talking about chemistry with another boy, and I was showing off my knowledge of a long word, "phenolphthalein", by asking him if he knew how to spell it.  In doing so, I mispronounced it ludicrously, so that he asked mildly "Is that how you pronounce it?".

There are hundreds of such memories, all filed for instant retrieval.  It does no good to say to myself that other people get away with far worse outrages, because what I used to call "my unsane subconscious" (Korzybski + Freud) retorts, in effect, "You are different.  You are only pretending to be human, so you have to be much more careful.  Pretense must be more perfect than performance.  Once people see thru your bluff, the game is up."  That is almost certainly not so, but it is hard to disprove.

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This is a very interesting post that is reminiscent of a number of things in from own childhood. I realized that this was "abnormal" when I read about one of the diagnostic indicators of PTSD: when flashbacks of a traumatic event are strong enough to displace awareness of one's real surroundings. And I realized, shit, this is kind of serious.

Very funny that one of these anxieties should revolve around a chemical indicator that turns pink in the presence of homosexuality. Um, I mean, alkaline conditions. ;-)

Certainly, my twitches are nothing like that serious. The do not "displace awareness of my real surroundings". Indeed, they are largely inhibited if there are other people in sight.

Sixty years ago, I was already a sentient being, doing things I am still ashamed of.

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