Please, Forgive Yourself, Immediately

I cannot tell you how many times I have found myself here:

People who suffer from flashbacks often organize their lives around trying to protect against them.

the body keeps the score, bessel van der kolk, page 67

The fog of dissociation may try to land and prevent me from enjoying my everyday life as I am witnessing another act where I am delegated to the slavery of incest once again. When does it end, I ask?

I can never know. Healing is like peeling the proverbial onion. Layer after layer it exposes itself.

So many times I find myself on some kind of run before I realize what I am doing. Spending too much, gambling to much, drinking too much – fill in the blank.

Then I ask myself, “You were doing so well, what the heck happened?”

I have learned to recognize these plights and I appreciate my need to take care of myself. I am trying to get myself out of harms way. What I mean by that is “please mind and body, don’t take me back to yet another scene. I just want to live beyond here!”

I have asked my counselor on more than one occasion, “Do you think this is the last big memory I’ll have? Am I done now?” His response is not comforting necessarily, but deeply honest. His reply, “No, Jodie, I cannot tell you that. You may have some form of a flashback when you’re 80.” I have always appreciated his honesty.

You see, I’ve learned that I cannot tell what triggers me. There are just so many. It could be a movie I’m watching and someone gets their throat slit! That’s it for me. I’m racing to find and use all my solutions to bring myself back to today and out of that murder room of 1968.

I can smell a hairspray from an earlier time in my life and I’m off again. Or, deeper still, I can have a vivid recall in my mind that just continues to grow stronger, week after week, with more detail. I race as fast as I can away from it. Maybe it’s false. This just couldn’t have happened.

My first weapon – denial.

And my body and mind just continue to bring me there. Sometimes, at first, it feels like a betrayal. “After all my work, you have more for me to do!” I scream at my mind, body and soul.

Whatever I do to get through the next healing moment, I have learned this. I forgive myself. What’s more – I actually hold myself accountable to love. Love would tell me it was proud of me for my attempt to avoid pain. It would speak comfort to me and tell me not to avoid it but step into it so I can leave the memory and pain behind.

Love has never failed me and it has taught me this: forgive myself, quickly. I’m proud that I’m still struggling through life and healing.

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