Time Heals Your Pain

Time Heals Your Pain by Valerie Parente

The universe knows how to heal the soul
by using a dimension called “time”.
We’re so used to this everlasting flow
that we forget it makes us divine.

Because time and time again
this world sends me the same message
that this pain will come to an end
as long as time progresses.

How incredible it is to realize
that the thing I wanted most a month ago
has transformed in my mind
as the worst case scenerio.

So next time you think you’re finished
and you think you’ve reached your demise
just remember we’ve been put on a planet
where the sun will always rise.

– Valerie Parente (6-20-2020)

The Time Is Up

The Time Is Up by Valerie Parente

In 2 months you’ll be able to breathe again.
In 2 months you’ll remember the fallen.
In 2 months you’ll learn to live with yourself.
In 2 months you’ll realize what really counts.
In 2 months you’ll find a reason to laugh.
In 2 months you’ll rise above your past.
Because this is God’s way of saying the time is up,
time to come face to face with your fears
time to get to know the mind you’ve been avoiding for 25 years
time to feel the discomfort that matures you through loneliness
time to master your trauma like a true artist
time to look inward for gratification
time to make those long overdue changes
time to show your ego how far you’ve come
time to tell the people you love that they’re enough.
It’s time to see your deepest pain through;
It’s time to contribute to the world that chose to spare you.

– Valerie Parente (3-31-2020)

Time Is Not Real

dendrites-of-an-artist-banner

Time is not real. Time is just the means that we perceive energy in the universe. All that was, is. All that will be, is. There is no timeline. Just everything in existence including our consciousness entangled in one.

And I think we can find peace in that fact, because when we lose someone, when they’re no longer “here”, they still are. The energy does not disappear. Our ability to recognize their energy might disappear, but that is no indication of the reality that they still exist now and infinitely. When there is no timeline, you cannot lose someone. Ever.

– Valerie Parente (2-9-2020)

Investigating the Nostalgia Flood

Investigating the Nostalgia Flood by Valerie Parente

 

Phenomena?

The nostalgia flood.

This is the term I am coining for a recent struggle I have been facing for the past few days. Recently I have been thinking vehemently about the past lately, to a deeply emotive point that my thoughts are beginning to hurt from the very core of my being. I am struggling to come to an emotional understanding as to whether this intense flood of seemingly random and eclectic waves of nostalgia are resurfacing for a specific reason, one which might correlate with my physical circumstances, or if the bittersweet reminiscing is simply a mental product of neurons going haywire in my brain.

 

What Is Going On?

I can’t help but question two key aspects of the nostalgia flood; first, is there an obsessive compulsive component to the reminiscing? If so are these memories purely the OCD playing head games with me, or do these memories hold some sort of objective meaning in the light of a mind that was not plagued with obsessive compulsive disorder? Second, is there something that each of these (seemingly) random memories have in common? If so why now am I revisiting the underlying psychological thesis behind these flashbacks?

Confessional

 

How Does It Feel?

Before I try to make sense of what has been happening to me alongside the guide of the latter questions I would like to note the emotional quality of the mental memorabilia that has been pressing at the forefront of my conscience for a few days now. Every one of these memories are good memories. They are times that I hold near and dear in my heart and consider some of the best moments of my childhood or adolescence. Every time I remember the heartwarming moment my breath is taken away and, as dramatic as it sounds, feel as if I need to cry, initially out of happiness and then the more I think about the memory I feel compelled to cry out of sadness. Never do I get to the point of actually tearing up though. There is just this strange sensation of resounding love that fills up my chest and then a horrible wave of sadness that follows. If I had to categorize it as any psychological state I’d call it grief. Grief not for a life lost, but a time lost. The heavy sadness that festers in my mind, after the joyous flashbacks begin to blur, always feels comparable to mourning. And this odd but powerful experience makes me wonder: why am I mourning? Why do I not stay in that initial happy state when the intrusive OCD mechanism calls up the memory? These are memories of old friends, love interests, family! One particular memory is of a time when I felt very socially accepted, specifically regarding a person I would wind up catching feelings for. Another example of a memory revolves around sleepovers and parties with some long-lost best friends when we would laugh until we cried!  … Oh. Interesting. I am catching something significant as I sort this out in a Word document. “Laugh until we cried”. This phrase unnervingly reflects the exact recent state of mind I have been in as I reminisce. It seems that the very content of these memories, incidents like laughing until I am crying with a best friend (or feeling the ecstasy of social acceptance which would soon melt into fragile infatuation) projects happiness that deteriorates into vulnerability. Of course this could be dismissed as a coincidence, but I personally do not believe the universe works in coincidences. And for that reason I think it is safe to say the metaphorical nature of my nostalgia, much like psychoanalytical dream theory (theories of dreams that accredit dream motifs to the subconscious), actually proves a commonality among my memories. The commonality subsequently causes me to believe that the flood of nostalgia is not random or even eclectic, but that each of these fond moments from the past and people associated with these fond moments are purposely being called up by my brain, an OCD brain that is operating with rhyme and reason.

 

Who Is Involved?

The memories that I have been dwelling on were very prosocial in nature. These were times when I was thriving in my social circle. Now, I think it is fair to acknowledge that in some respect most of us can get sad when thinking back to positive moments because we recognize that they are over. Time moves laterally and irreversibly. This fact is just a discomfort we all have with our temporal confines as we undergo the human experience. Good times will always come to an end. And yes, that is sad if you choose to be sad about it, but I do not feel as though I am making a choice, and for that reason I do not allocate much responsibility to this factual perspective when talking about the nostalgia flood. If anything I am saddened because of the context in which these memories ended. For example, and I hinted at this a little before, but every person that I am reminiscing about is a person that I no longer have a relationship with. In fact if any of these people knew that I was thinking about them recently, let alone getting genuinely upset about the relationship which, to my everlasting dismay, fizzled out, they would probably think I was a complete lunatic (honestly I can’t say I’d disagree). I never quite felt satisfied with how things ended with any of these several people. Each and every relationship, for one reason or another, stands in my mind as a relationship that should have endured. Relationships that are incomplete. Some people I lost communication with a decade ago, some people 5 years ago, some people a few months ago, and each person was somebody that I never truly wanted to lose a friendship with. I always wanted more, more laughs, more memories, more attention, etc. Nevertheless, these are all people that I got close to at one point and wound up losing touch with. I do not think that the selection of people associated with my nostalgia is random. Between the emotional timeline within these individual memories, converting from high-as-a-kite happiness to profound grief, and the correlated social position each person has in my mind, demoting from close companion to complete stranger, I have come to the conclusion that there absolutely is a theme taking place in my psyche.

 

Why Now?

When a theme is taking place in the psyche of somebody with obsessive compulsive disorder, there is always a question of whether or not that theme is relevant to the current circumstances of that person. When it comes to the nostalgia flood and its eerie resemblance to OCD intrusive thinking, what is the theme?

The theme overarching my nostalgia revolve around losing something before I was ready to lose it. There was a sense of incompletion. The memories embody lost relationships and elicit a mourning-esque response. Why now would I be reaching back into my long-term memory and pulling out these snippets of emotional density? Why is my brain reminding me of heavy emotions? Why does my brain want me to feel the high of happiness and the low of loss that follows?

Honestly answering this question after dissecting the qualities of the nostalgia flood is not difficult. The only feat left is to describe how my life has been going in the current day. Without going into too much personal detail, I can modestly say that I am at a paradox in my life. I have never felt more rich with life experience or more proud to be me, but at the same time I have never felt more lost with where I am going or more longing to engage with a (certain) person who shares a similar mindset as me. I do not know how to satiate my mind socially in the way that it wants to be satiated because the person that I would like to spend time with is a person I am having a hard time communicating with due to the trials and tribulations that adulthood presents. This social predicament has been key in my confusion with which direction I should take next. After investigating the nostalgia flood in the past few paragraphs it should come as no surprise that my memories of wonderful yet lost relationships can accurately represent this inner mentality of feeling positive about myself but lost in the social department.

– Valerie Parente (4-25-2018)

The Keeper of Time

The Keeper of Time by Valerie Parente

Chronos jolted out of his sleep to what sounded like a crackling firework.

He knew exactly what he was about to see. Only seconds ago was his brain generating a bizarre dream that would predict the day to come. For the past few months, this had been the case- Chronos having precognitive dreams and experiencing a more potent version of déjà vu as the dreams unraveled in the following day’s reality- but Chronos didn’t dare tell anyone this secret. People would think he was a liar. Or worse, sick– only to be rendered incompetent and unfit to teach. He couldn’t afford that.

Chronos ripped off his sheets and hurried to the bedroom window where he saw a burst of silver sparkle amongst the long grass in his yard.

“I knew it,” he gasped between the windowpanes.

Not a second was spared as Chronos bolted out of his room. He didn’t even care to tiptoe out of courtesy not to wake his dying grandfather, the guardian who had given his life to raise Chronos into the mathematician he was today.

Chronos flung open the doors to his lot and ran onto the lawn, still in his boxers and T-shirt. The Canadian summer night was cold, but adrenaline made it near impossible for him to notice.

Determined to prove what he eerily dreamt about the night before, Chronos stumbled to the la femme creature in the middle of his yard. The humanoid born from the stars, whose lavender flesh was sprinkled with silver stardust, sat ever so patiently with her legs crossed.

You”, Chronos barely choked into the bitter 2:30 AM air, “I knew you were coming…”

As the glittery humanoid nodded the moonlight ignited the sparkle of her violet eyes.

“Something…” Chronos faltered on his words, hearing the insecurity fragment his distinct tone, “something strange has been happening to me… and… I think you know what it is.”

The humanoid’s glistening mouth stretched into a smile while her pupils dilated. “I do…”

“What is it?” the young man begged. He was just starting his long coveted career and nearly collapsed at the thought of losing grasp of his aspirations to these increasingly frequent paranormal occurrences of precognitive dreams.

“Chronos,” the celestial being addressed him knowingly. There was an old-friend-like quality in her demeanor that contradicted all Chronos assumed a stranger from the stars would possess. “Do not lose any more sleep than you already have by worrying. You were perfectly made.”

“Perfect?! Everything I thought I knew about the fundamental quantity of time has been tipped over on its head!” Chronos cried out. He wouldn’t have been so brash with this amicable being if he didn’t have such a heavy load of additional stress from playing caretaker to his grandfather, all the while grieving a man who had not yet crossed the threshold into death but was on an imminent way out.

“I know you’re scared, Chronos. But fear is often the result of misunderstanding. Time is a form of perception mankind has long misunderstood. You see with the eyes… You smell with your nose! You hear with your ears! You taste with your tongue! And you feel with your skin!” the female, equally silver-tongued as she was silver-skinned, gleamed in a raw and impassioned voice. All the while her eyes began to smile and brightened, invigorated by the very information she was verbally bestowing onto Chronos. “All sensory receptors, sensory nerves, sensory cells, work with your brain to manipulate a flux of external stimuli into the perceptions we call reality. Your conscious, your remarkable human conscious, has been immaculately designed to interpret life through sequential experiences which have come to form the illusion we understand yet understate as ‘time’?”

Chronos’s head felt light. Determined to come to terms with his worrisome dreaming tendencies, he hardened with assertion. “What are you saying?”

The humanoid took a deep inhale, trying to reel in her excitement, then exhaled. “To be impressed by an existence through the flow of time is the natural way of human beings. Time is no more than a sixth sense.”

Chrono’s throat tightened. He didn’t know what to say. So, naturally, the girl from the stars carried on in her passionate voice.

“You see Chronos, when you are overcome by an ethereal wave of déjà vu or when a precognitive dream merges with your slumber you are really experiencing a neurophysiologic glitch. An error in the programming of your brain! As I have said, you see with the eyes- but that perception makes an impression in that intricate brain! Recalling the future is as much a sensory impairment as blindness!”

This newfound information was too much for Chronos. It targeted a portion of his mind that he had never been honed before. Sure he was a mathematical genius whose was used to thinking in overdrive, but this talk of time concurrent with his anatomy was testing his mental capacity, not because it was intellectually revolutionary or mind-bending, but because it was personal.

Slowly Chronos pieced together this other-worldly being’s words. “So what you are telling me is… I- I am not gifted…” he concluded as he felt the boiling hot tears pool into his vision. “… I am sick.”

“No Chronos,” In one fluid motion the celestial girl rose from her cross-legged position and stood before him. She cupped Chronos’s quivering mandible in her warm hands. Her violet irises softened as her pupils sharpened onto the vulnerable human being before her. “You are deeply blessed! All that has, is, and will occur in this realm can be tuned into with a particular combination of brainpower that you miraculously possess! All that is existential in mankind and the universe itself is accessible to your brain.” The fresh essence of awe in the humanoid’s voice, as if she was also discovering this incredible phenomena for the first time, eased Chronos into a serene state.

Valerie Parente (12-4-16)