I feel a bit sad today, not sure why. I’ve got plenty of work to do that’s for sure…..As I wrote the entry I began to understand better why I feel sad. It’s another example of why I should start an entry even if I think I have nothing to say……
I’ve got some sunflowers drying as well as roses. I made a big ol pot of ginger and turmeric tea. I swear by that stuff, it helps with pain, it really does. The visitors are gone, I’ve got the rest of the day to myself and yet I have no desire to do anything at all.
The other day I got a text from my Aunty S. She sent a photo of my brother when he was three. I took that photo. I wasn’t expecting to see that. Boy does that bring back memories…. good and terrifying memories. I know how to distance myself from the memories so that they aren’t to the same debilitating degree that flashbacks are. It does take conscious effort to put distance between now and the past.
When I remember life with my mother, it makes me flinch and draw back. I feel afraid and for just a second I panic inside. I have a physical reaction to just the thought of living with her. At those times I shake my head, ya know, as if to shake the thoughts out of my head. I look around and tell myself I have every reason to believe I’m safe. I know the memories are painful, but experience in therapy tells me these memories do not have to be embraced. I do not have to sit with it. ….Easier said than done…. Sometimes I fail at it, most times I’m pretty good at seeing them at a distance. Of course there are those that cling to me. It feels like they’re just at the corner of my eyes and if I turn the wrong way I’m going to get slammed with the memory I’ve worked so hard to avoid.
There was a time in my healing process when I needed to deal with the flashbacks, sometimes in strict detail. I remember I didn’t have the words to describe what I felt so I took photographs of things that represented how I felt. A smashed tin can rusting in water, laying out in the open as trash. A photo of a pile of rocks that I’d photoshop on top of my head. There’s a photo of a toy rubber duck laying on it’s side, floating in Indiana flood waters…. I just didn’t have the words to explain. It all felt to big and so tangled that I didn’t know where to start or how to start. I felt so stupid.
To identify feelings took guidance from a professional. Growing up emotionally while an adult makes me understand why kids throw fits. I wanted to scream and cry because of overwhelming emotions I couldn’t name. It makes sense to me then that a child, with so few words and so little control, would just lose it and throw a fit when their emotions grow larger than them. I know myself to be older emotionally which means I know I can manage the emotion that comes with these particular flashbacks. I have the emotional support to handle it. I am grateful for that, and I am sad.