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A Flock of Questions

Pondering my identity in the face of a diagnosis.

By Daniela AlejandraPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - December 2023
Photo by Pelly Benassi on Unsplash.

It always occurred when least expected. As the moon stalked me home on late car rides. When I sat under my favorite tree contemplating the cracks in the ground caused by the months of drought. While I bent down to tie my shoe.

The feeling of the fabric of reality being yanked out from under me. Alice falling down the rabbit hole, floating in the void. No strange and fascinating objects surrounding me, only a flock of questions.

Am I real?

Is any of this real?

How did I end up in this body, seeing things through my eyes?

Is everyone else real?

Who am I?

I thought I was special, sure that no other children were contemplating the meaning of life, and asking themselves such complex questions at elementary age.

Positive that the dreams of the others were not haunted by hurricanes and floods. Watching the water engulf the lone island they were standing on.

I must be, I’m in the gifted and talented program.

All the adults say I’m so smart, and that I’m going to be great when I grow up.

Such a delight to have in class.

What lies.


I break through the autopilot as I drive home from my mundane 8 to 5, and I realize I’m just another cog in the machine. Following a pre-written script.

Not special at all, maybe I just knew how to read. Escaping to read, reading to escape. Funny to think I'd get an owl to come take me away.

The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

What if this highway is the matrix of the mitochondria and all this traffic is producing energy.

Maybe Earth is just a cell within an organism.

So small.

So insignificant.

I drive over the bridge, gazing as the rays of the blood red sun cast sparkling rubies into the cold depths of the Pacific.

Musing if I really am a part of all that. Could the same force that forged the blazing surface of the sun, that gave the moon the power to control the tides, could it have, a fearful girl with broken dreams?

I wonder what would happen if I drove off the side of the bridge.

Let the intrusive thoughts win.

Is this normal?

Who am I?

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. C-PTSD. I stare at the diagnosis, the rage bubbling, overflowing, and exploding. Discovering the flaw in the script.

I wasn't the author. None of it was written by me. As if I could ever write such filth, as if I could ever treat another human being like this. My character could never recite their lines without being in a state of constant cognitive dissonance.

It’s not mine, none of this is mine!

I’m just a product of my trauma...

My whole personality is a trauma response...

Who am I really?

A tsunami of grief crashes and consumes me, the saltwater pouring into my lungs and cascading from my eyes. A lone sculpture ascending from the sea. The Woe of Venus.

You’ll never know who you were supposed to be.

They killed her before you could ever meet.

My hands caress the damp earth before tossing it onto the body nestled within the grave.

The epitath reads:

Here lies who you could have been.

I fill the adjacent grave.

Here lies who you were.

As I gaze at the stranger reflected in the pool of a fountain, I clutch my hands close to my heart and whisper:

"More importantly, who will you be?"

Seeds shower from my palms and scatter onto the fresh graves.

Guess I'll have to wait and see.


About the Creator

Daniela Alejandra

Life's a journey and I don't have map.

I long to create worlds like the ones I would read about under the blankets late at night.

Magical realism.

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Comments (10)

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  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    This is such an incredible story and so well written, congratulations!

  • Sean Elliottabout a month ago

    Beautifully written and relatable, excellent work!

  • Hi we are featuring your excellent Top Story in our Community Adventure Thread in The Vocal Social Society on Facebook and would love for you to join us there

  • so incredibly palpable, thank you for sharing. Congrats on a well-deserved top story

  • huyen nguyen3 months ago

    This story is a beautifully written exploration of identity, trauma, and the search for meaning. It is poignant, thought-provoking, and ultimately hopeful.

  • Echo Lee3 months ago

    Your story; will create better writers. Well done. Well done indeed Daniela...😸

  • Naveed 3 months ago

    . Amazing job! Keep up the outstanding work—congrats!

  • Celia in Underland3 months ago

    Just stunning. Such lyrical writing. You are absolutely gifted and very talented. Congratulations on a fantastic top story 🤍

  • I wasn't the author. None of it was written by me. As if I could ever write such filth, as if I could ever treat another human being like this. My character could never recite their lines without being in a state of constant cognitive dissonance. That paragraph hit me so hard because I've gone through this as well. Sending you lots of love and hugs ❤️

  • Babs Iverson3 months ago

    Pure & authentic!!! Loving it!!!💕❤️❤️

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