The differences in our stories are not just those of opinion; they are rooted in the chemical hardwiring of our brains.
My memory: that time when she stepped off the curb as a six year old right in front of a bus, and I snatched her back safe from harm.
Her memory: that time when I grabbed her and hurt her shoulder.
My memory: the time she kept running into the wall head-butting it while trying to throw herself down the stairs, me stood trembling in the way to block and protect her, when she pushed me and I fell all the way down.
Her memory: the day I slammed her against the wall and made a big bump on her head.
My memory: The time she turned her room upside down in a rage, lunged at me with scissors, tripped over the upturned broken chair on the floor and scraped her head on the edge of the table.
Her memory: the time I threw her against the table and cut her head open.
My memory: the time her sister’s FCs failed to make arrangements for our visit in the summer despite attempt after attempt to make it happen.
Her memory: the day I stopped her from seeing her sister.
My memory: the time she chose to miss the last train (again), and was angry at me for coming out to collect her; grabbing at the wheel so we swerved off the road on the long way home.
Her memory: the time I tried to kill her.
Her story and my story are never alike, and yet each of our stories is true.
Her experiences are framed always by her constant perception of being in danger. Her sense of truth is shaped by a worldview that sees everything and everyone as perilous; to be fought against tooth and nail.
No part of her rational brain can pierce the memories forged in those moments. No period of quiet, calm reflection can balance these truths for her in any way that helps her see or embrace the safety she now resides in. She lives forever in the maelstrom of hazard. Her ‘stories’ aren’t designed to mislead, to misinform, or to manipulate an outcome. They are pure survival born out of fear. She is obliviously locked in to the perilous world her amygdala presents to her, and every day this fake news filter sabotages everything for her; reinforcing the story of a dangerous world just that little bit more.
The truth of her fake news is what scares me the most.