Do you know what regression is? In psychology, it’s when you revert back mentally to a happier time in your life. Regressing does not mean you’re going backward. It’s not a failure. It’s just one of those magical ways your brain has of dealing with bad stuff.
I learned about regression the first time in high school psychology and it sounded weird. I had no frame of reference, so all I could imagine was a full-grown man living at his parents and wearing diapers. And, well, there are those.
When I first realized I was regressing was after I was raped that first year in college. I did my best to keep going, but I just wanted to be who I was before that happened again. At school, I still played it off like everything was fine, but I would go to the toy store and buy dollls. Sometimes, they were baby dolls and sometimes they were fashion dolls. I didn’t make them talk to each other. I just dressed them, put them to bed, and took care of them. Nobody knew. It was weird.
I spent both time and money I didn’t have driving to the toy store and buying dolls. Sometimes, I still do.
I don’t display like a collector or play with them, but I do keep them in storage. Over the years, I’ve bought and sold thousands of dolls. I finally understood this is just something I do to cope with things.
I was, at one time, living with my mom, watching old tv shows on nick at night and playing with dolls. I was doing what I could to “make America great again.” I was seeking comfort in things that used to comfort me when I was a child. Sometimes? I still do.
But that’s not making anything great. It’s making me weirder, harder to relate to, more difficult to understand, and yet, more accepting.
Regression is a real thing. I’ve lived it. I enjoy it on occasion. It’s helped me survive some difficult things. It’s not how I would prefer to live.