These posts are pieces from the book on healing that I have been working on, and some of them were written months ago, while others are written more recently.

remembering trauma

I hate remembering the trauma. The process my mind has set up is usually heralded in by nightmares. I rate my nightmares on a scale of one to ten. My husband once said that we should skew the rating system so that my one was equal to his five. When the nightmares start, they usually start at a high level like an eight or a nine; then, they decrease in intensity throughout the night. 

Next are the near-constant anxiety attacks. They seem to roll; like waves. One will crest and break, followed by easing and withdrawing. The following one rolls over me like the next wave in the ocean of my psyche.

Then when I am finally feeling peaceful, the memory comes flooding into my conscious moment. It is like I am standing in the kitchen washing the dishes and looking in the sink, and then suddenly I am not. It is like an overlay, a delicate transparency that plays out the past over the top f the present. It is like being in two places at the same time. Here, and not here simultaneously. 

Then come the emotions. Sometimes they happen at the same time, and sometimes they happen with a delayed timer effect. Each time it is hard and painful to endure.

The last time I had a memory come through, it was so overpowering that I ran into the bedroom and hid in the bed with the blankets over my head, sobbing. My husband went into the room, crawled into the bed, and wrapped himself around me, filling me with safety. He talked to me and reassured me, comforting me with his voice.  

I am tired of remembering. My sister says that it is not the same for her. She doesn’t remember very much at all from our childhood. She remembers enough. There are so many times when I have sat and thought that I want to be done with remembering. I was tired. There have been many times when I have quoted from one of my favorite movies. I quote River from the movie Serenity when I say, “Please God make me stone.” There are times when I want to become stone and let all the memories and pain wash over me and float away. 

What I am most tired of is how wearing it is on my family. I have been dragging them on this journey for a long time.  I have been trying to protect my family from the things of my past. But, unfortunately, I have not fared any better with keeping them safe from my pain than in keeping myself safe. 

I am tired of remembering; I am tired of fighting the battles I fought years ago. I now sit and listen and feel the pain from the past. I feel it in my mind, and I feel it in my body. I wish that it would end. Maybe someday it will end. There was just too much to bear, and I shut it away. Now I am at a place where I can process it, but it is not easier. It is not less painful the second time. 

There are good days; there are so many more good days than bad days. But when the memories come, an event that took minutes or hours to happen now takes days and weeks of depression and trepidatious days of anxiety to process and release. So I try to remember the good days when the pain is not so fresh and visceral.

And the good days are so very good.

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