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Unlocking Memories of Trauma- PTSD

Along with that beautiful memory I wrote about before that was much like warm honey I also unlocked another horrific memory yesterday that was the polar opposite. In the past this type of memory would have put me on my ass for a few weeks or even months. I call these new memories because I’m experiencing the memory for the 1st time but I’m remembering something that actually happened. Sounds fucked, I know, and it is. Again, my mind saved my life by locking this away until I was strong enough to deal with it. I don’t usually feel strong enough to handle them when they happen but I always manage to get through it.

What I remembered was worse than before. I thought I knew what happened but still, there is more I didn’t know. I have to get through these memories but really, I don’t want to know any more. More terror, more pain…and this time I…I can’t talk about it yet. I feel like I need to keep the details to myself. It is difficult to express in words an event that happened before you has a grasp on language. Have you ever learned something or see/watch/witness/read something and you were hurting from it afterward even though it didn’t happen to you? I feel like this would do that to people. I’m still trying to protect others. I guess it doesn’t help that my 1st therapist basically ran from me when I started to tell her what I was remembering. I was 10 then. I haven’t had much luck with therapists since. It seems that they don’t want to listen after a few months and push alternative therapies besides talk. I want to talk, I need to talk, to get this out.

This is the burden I carry knowing I need to talk to someone but they bail on me so I have been relying on myself, talking to my family for support without any details. I’ve come far. What I know, what I experienced, hurts other people when they learn it. It hurts so much. The choice is pretty clear. Process or die so I will process this too. I’m going to find a way to deal with this with art and dance and writing. I can’t share this memory yet. I need to dissect this and mourn for myself. It really is awful to not remember and it is really awful to remember what happened.

The picture is becoming more clear now and it is flaying me emotionally. I’m going to be ok. This is actually progress even though it hurts just as much as the 1st time I remembered that I was raped. I’m an adult now and I have experience with remembering trauma. So much pain, so much sadness, so much! Why am I not dead yet? Because I chose to live in spite of this suffering every fucking day. I will not give up.

I’m resistant and pissy about it but maybe it is about time for some more therapy and guidance. I might try some online therapy options I saw. I do not want to slip back into getting super depressed and this is one of those memories where I’m not sure if I’m more healed and being a badass or it hasn’t fully sunk in. I’m definitely disassociating more often and my anxiety is more frequent since the new memory. I’m waiting to fall apart again or the other shoe to drop. I’m pretty raw right now. My head hurts and I’m going to bed to relax with some music my facebook and twitter friends suggested.

5 comments

  1. Matt

    The most powerful statement here (after “I will not give up”) is “I want to talk, I need to talk.” I hope you find someone there, in person, who can just listen to you with care and let you say what you need to say out loud. You are very wise in how you deal with all this; now some support from a good listener would be great.

  2. Johnny R.

    Sarah,

    Though I’ve followed you on social media for some time and have wanted to connect with you about some of your posts, out of deference and respect for your privacy, I refrained. Your tweet this evening resonated with me, because I too am awake and flowing on a stream of memories.

    I wanted to share a story of a beautiful woman named Donna. In my early twenties, Donna was dating my best friend, and as couples do in that dating time, our foursome became the social family.

    Donna was a survivor of sexual abuse and incest, and the trauma was still very close and too difficult for her to process, and as frequently happens, she would regress and pull back from the realities of adult life. Many nights we simple held her as wept herself to sleep.

    Relationships were difficult for her and as we grew and went our separate ways through time and circumstances, Donna left my friend’s home in the middle of the night, neither of them knowing that she was pregnant with a daughter.

    Time passed, and with social media, old friendships were rekindled, but with that came the knowledge that Donna had passed away from a very aggressive form of breast cancer seven years before, and my friend learned of his 16 year old daughter.

    Heidi is now a young college student, and both her father and I are very proud that she has chosen to become a counselor and clinical psychologist for abused children, in honor of her mother.

    Just as Heidi’s gifts come from the love we had for Donna, my son, now 9, is raised with respect and compassion for women, and a fierce obligation to fight. Already, he has female friends who have been rescued from dangerous homes, and he is a devoted and caring protector.

    I am a survivor of physical abuse and beatings at my father’s hands. I was blessed to have a grandfather who earned the name Dad, and allowed me to become a gentleman by choice. What we endure does not determine our destiny. My memories are like church bells – even though I choose to stop pulling on the rope, it doesn’t determine when the sound fades.

  3. Mario

    I have no suggestions, lovely Sarah.
    I’m not a therapist, I never experienced that kind of traumas, so I really can’t help you with suggestions.

    I can only help you with empathy, with warm (only virtual, sadly) hugs, and telling you that you will win your battle.

    Every moment brings you a little further, so keep pushing!

    With unlimited love, Mario

  4. Daniel

    I’m not surprised you’re pretty raw, it sounds terrible, but you’re not going to fall apart, you are stronger than the memory.
    I would say that these memories are part of healing though. Along with experiencing good memories there will be bad memories which you pointed out your brain has buried. Part of fully healing is releasing these memories, but I would say that when they do come through you really should talk them out with someone, and don’t hold anything back. But, if you really can’t, or no one is willing to talk with you then maybe write the memory down fully and then burn it, that way it lets you know that you are in control. You are in control of the memories when they come through, they are not in control of you.
    Really good to say you will not give up, and when I read your posts I know you mean it too!
    Be proud of who you are Sarah, keep loving yourself and keep healing, everyday you are healing and getting stronger even if it feels like you’re not somedays.
    Sending best wishes

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