That’s what they call those of us who’ve lived through childhood trauma. I do not feel like a survivor today. I feel like somebody un-surviving. For the past few weeks, it’s been like I’m living in a flashback. Bad memories keep popping up, and I can’t seem to push them back anymore. These aren’t new memories. They’re just the Stuff from my past that I’ve chosen to keep distanced. Lately, though, they’ve decided to become much closer.
My therapist and I have decided to start doing memory work. I’m working nearly full time and taking classes full time, so why not add another difficult task? Since I’m already doing very poorly in one class this semester, perhaps I’m thinking I should just make doing much worse even easier. Irony, you know. The thing of it is, I don’t think I have a choice in the matter of memory work. The memories are so fresh and vivid that they’re going to bother me anyway. Therapy seems to be a good shot at remaining at least semi-sane.
A dear friend of mine who is a fellow trauma survivor told me she fell apart at a certain point in her life because she could. She’d found stability in a home and relationship, so the pressure wasn’t as bad. I think that’s the ideal way of letting trauma break, or at least the most ideal it can be. I’m trying to figure out how to take apart and put together the puzzle pieces at the same time. That’s something the therapist and I are going to discuss up front– I need to form strategies to keep therapy stuff in therapy and carry on with Real Life outside of it. The problem is, my memories keep taking over whether or not I want them to.
My best friend and I went out for ice cream last night. It took me a few minutes to even decide if I *could* buy ice cream for us without being selfish and horrible. At the shop, I saw a woman push her child down. That started a great deal of memories, and I was shaken for a while. On the drive back to my best friend’s house, another memory hit. I felt like I’d been taken back to that time, and the memory surrounded me. That is not a good idea when driving. Fortunately, I reached out and held my best friend’s hand until the memory calmed enough that I could focus on the present time.
It’s very simple, people. Don’t beat your children.