Make the demons in my head go away
March 28, 2007 1:11 PM Subscribe
How do I get terrible images and memories out of my head?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (30 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I'm one of those guys with an extremely good, vivid, image-based memory. Show me a picture of something, and I can call it up in my mind at will. I can see every detail; it's like I'm watching a movie in my head. I'm a creative guy, in a creative field, and I also have a vivid imagination and capability for empathy. Get me started, and my mind can go anywhere. Most of the time, I can make this work for me quite well.
Ever since I had my own children, I've been ... tormented ... by stories of violence, especially to children. I can see the images in my head; I can't escape them. The recent case of Christopher Barrios in Savannah, Georgia, is a perfect example; I can't seem to let it go. I can't get that little boy's smiling face out of my mind. I can SEE the crime all happening in my imagination. I have the entire horrible movie playing on a loop inside my head. All made up. The mind just filling in the blanks. I can't control it.
I'm not crazy. I *know* this is irrational. I *know* this is my imagination getting the best of me. I *know* this is all inside my head. I *know* this is related to my empathy for my own kids.
I just feel anxious and icky and horrified for days after hearing another story. I think of these poor kids, the imagination goes crazy, my love for my own kids gets mixed in and ... ick.
I don't believe in magic or the wishy-washy areas psychology, and I generally like my imagination, so I'd like to keep it. I just need tools and strategies to smooth out the rough edges.
How does someone like Stephen King do it? How do you walk around with images of real horror in your head and still have enough mental energy to, like, just take out the garbage, mow the lawn and keep on truckin'?