One of the things I struggle with surrounding my trauma work is trying to fit the pieces together and accepting the events for what they were. My whole life really has been spent trying to numb and forget – until a year and a half ago when I started trauma work.
It’s still easy for me to fall into that pattern of needing to numb the feelings and memories. Today my therapist asked me a question about some of my trauma memories and, I guess because I was so hyper-focused on the one we were working, I couldn’t find the answer. Looking back, I know the answer, but when she asked the question, I panicked because my mind raced back through several tough memories and I got frustrated because all I could find was the pain, not the answer to her question. I became frustrated with myself.
The memory we worked today doesn’t have an end to it yet; it’s just a piece of a memory. And in this memory, there is no memory of actual abuse occurring. I have what happened either before or after a traumatic experience, but not the actual trauma event. What I have more than anything else is FEAR. So much more fear than I’ve ever had before.
After therapy tonight, I realized that maybe what I wanted to hear was that I had a right to be afraid of my abuser. Logically, I know that I did. I’m not sure what fucked up coping skills the human brain develops as a result of recurring traumatic events over several years, but mine decided that what happened to me was “not so bad.” I went through a few different stages in my life:
- The abuse is normal – this is just what brothers do to their sisters
- This is not really what other kids do, but I’m too afraid to do anything about it
- I’m so fucking crazy and I can’t tell if it’s because of the abuse or because I’m really this crazy
- I mean….I was abused but it wasn’t that bad….1 in 4 women go through this
- (After beginning trauma work and talking to other survivors) Oh my god really awful things happened to me and they were a lot more….severe…than some other cases
Currently, I think I stay at stage 3 or 5. Today, when I couldn’t remember an answer to a question that I know, I felt trapped in stage 3. I felt like I was going absolutely insane! And that is what trauma does to my brain.
It bothers me that I don’t have all of the pieces to the new memory, but at the same time, I honestly don’t want to know any more information than what I currently have. I don’t want to remember the things that were scary or that hurt or that made me feel like I am less than nothing. I just want to be free from my past.