Warning: This post is about flashbacks, and may trigger, although I will not give details of the childhood event involved. Keep yourself safe.
This last week I was pretty much floored by flashbacks and their aftermath. I lived five relatively crisis-free years without that sucker punch in the gut, or feeling like everything I know about myself is a lie. The crazy making part is that you know the lie is a lie, but you go with it anyway. And it just doesn’t seem possible that this is happening again.
It’s been so long I don’t even recall what the last flashback was about. This one, though, neatly completed a memory fragment, and explained some life-long hysteria with insects. (It sounds almost benign when put so matter-of-factly.) With dissociative issues, there are aspects where you reach a queasy knowing-it’s-not-resolved peace in order to move on, because you may never know or understand them completely. But that particular memory fragment was discussed in agonizing detail in therapy 15 freaking years ago! It was a done issue, as far as I was concerned. C’mon!
I wish I could say that this stuff is “over” when you’ve honestly and completely to the best of your abilities done the work. The most I can say is, this time I reached out to people much sooner, and refused to lose myself in it. That’s evidence of real, lasting progress. As I get my bearings back, I’m realizing I am okay.
Maybe the work’s effort wasn’t to be “done” so much as it was to be better prepared, and more resilient, in the future. I still want it all, though. I want to be “done”, and free of the things that can grip me in fear and make me question my sanity again.
I still think it’s possible.