My memories had been preserved somewhere unknown to me by the embalming work of my abusive environment.
Time and time again I have questioned why I didn’t remember this before.
“Remember what,” you ask? Well, all of it.
The grueling work of tearing back the curtains of the years that separated me from my past has been very intentional. I’ve stayed with my story when it really would have been easier to just quit.
Pursuing my destiny of freedom meant the unending work of allowing myself to be free in my body and in my mind. I have to say that sometimes I wish I didn’t know now, what I didn’t know then.
My body memories are always the convincing factor. My mind will replay a scene because of something that trips the remembering switch. My first reaction is, “That can’t be true! That just did not happen, did it?” I always want to out reason them and call them some outlandish illusion.
Then, my body steps up and recalls the event. Body memories hurt. More importantly, a body memory underscores the validity of the event. Unfortunately, it erases the doubt my mind tries to create for escape.
Arduous as these body memories are, they are inescapable. I have tried to escape them. You can’t.
Until I stop and listen to what my body is telling me, the pain will not leave my body. This has been happening to me for 30 years.
When I was 24, I unintentionally drove by the house I lived in until I was four. Almost immediately my crotch area burst forth in a debilitating pain that I couldn’t stop. It lasted for hours, until it finally released through my cascading event of tears, confusion and pain.
Last year, the ache in my upper arms completed the riddle of a scene I was unable or unwilling to see. I didn’t want to go back to that scene – ever! But, the ache in my arms wouldn’t be satisfied until I did. When I returned and brought the love of God with me to that horrific, abusive moment the pain in my arms ceased. I’d gone to a physical therapist for help with the pain because it was so strong it woke me up many nights. The therapist was stumped by the location of the pain. He said it was an injury that couldn’t have been sustained through overuse or exercise.
The pain was recalling an event from yesterday.
I wish it could be different for me and for all survivors. I don’t know why our body’s keep the score but I believe it is in an effort to protect us. In returning to those scenes, it is the place I am set free from them.
I asked my counselor why I don’t recall everything, until I do. His answer made great sense. He said, “Your abuse started so early, was most likely weekly or daily, and continued until you left their care. You weren’t present any more in the abuse but had become resolved to it.”
He was saying I had become mummified. God does not want me to live that way, I know. But, it hurts every time I am again set free from some relentless torture of my past.
My body keeping my memories for me is a gift from God. The alternative is a lifelong prison sentence.
I am choosing the path to freedom.