Should I remember?

I went to see my therapist last night after a two week holiday break.  I always find it hard to go back after a break.  I seem to lose the flow of what we were working on.  We started off the conversation talking about our holidays.  I like to start the sessions with some chit chat at the beginning.  It helps me settle into the room.  I am always nervous before and at the start of the session.  You would think that after all this time I would be over that.

After the chit chat I decided to jump in with both feet.  It was something I didn’t really want to discuss but it has been haunting me for a few weeks.  I had a conversation with my brother just before Christmas.  We were talking about his former drinking problem and he said that part of his problem was something that had been haunting him most of his life.  Unfortunately it is the same thing that has been haunting me most of my life as well.  My brother, one of my sisters and I have a shared abuse experience.  It was extremely traumatic to us all.  But for me it is one of the events that I can’t visually remember.  I remember the sounds which in itself I find hard to handle even after all these years.  I just can’t forget them.  I also remember the terror like it was yesterday.   It is an event that I also feel a tremendous amount of guilt over.

For the first time ever I decided to ask him a little bit about it.  This was against my better judgment.  I decided to do this when he told me that he remembered everything.  So I asked a few questions and when he answered I immediately felt myself shift somehow.  It’s like I went into an alternate universe. It kind of freaked me out. He didn’t go into any detail which I am now glad he didn’t.  And now I know why I don’t remember.  I just can’t handle it at this point and maybe I will never be able to.

My t asked me why it’s so important for me to remember visually.  She said that is one of the ways that my mind has protected me when the trauma is too overwhelming.  I gave it some thought.  I wondered if some part of me wanted self punishment.  It is something I often do and with this particular trauma, remembering would cause harm at this time.

The problem is, it is now very chaotic in my head and I have been very dissociative. Its like like I have little bits of memory floating around that I can’t quite grasp. I wish now that I didn’t go there.  But sometimes I just have this ‘bad’ within me that needs to reach out and touch the flame.  Ouch…

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4 Responses to Should I remember?

  1. Oh my, I’d say go gently on yourself and let it happen in its own time.

    • lostinamaze says:

      That’s also what my therapist has been telling me. I am learning that what you’re saying is right but in this I seem to be learning the hard way. It’s strange how I can be gentle with others no problem but not with myself.

  2. Harriet says:

    I don’t think it’s bad within you. It’s human nature to want to know things, but also to pull away when we get too close to the traumatic issues. Don’t push yourself, and also don’t feel guilty about not being able to visualize. Maybe one day you’ll want to, and maybe not.

    • lostinamaze says:

      Sometimes it feels like I am on a teeter totter. I want to know, I don’t want to know. But in the end I wish that I could just let it go. But you’re right I need to stop pushing myself towards what I am obviously not ready for.

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