On my other blog, I recently wrote about the topic of abused children and emotional flashbacks. It is interesting that I chose that topic because I am now having an emotional flashback myself. Ugh.
At least I have come along far enough in my healing to recognize when I am having one. In the past, I would feel lousy and then start looking at my life, trying to identify what had triggered the painful feelings. Now I know that they are echoes of an abusive past and have nothing to do with today.
I believe this emotional flashback is being triggered by my father’s birthday. My father passed away when I was sixteen years old, and my mother started abusing me again for a little while after that. Even though I was living in an almost 17-year-old body, I reverted back to the helpless child again. I had terrible insomnia that lasted for years because her attacks would happen when I was asleep. I suspect that my father’s birthday has triggered those feelings again.
All I know is that I have been struggling with feelings of anxiety, and now I just feel like crying. Even though I know that shedding tears will bring relief, it is my instinct to fight the urge, which only exacerbates the feelings. I know what I need to do; I just don’t want to do it. I don’t want to have to keep shedding tears and reliving grief that I have already dealt with multiple times. That just makes me angry.
A good friend of mine, who is farther along in her healing journey, says that we heal in layers. It might feel like we keep coming back to heal the same wounds, but we are actually healing them at deeper and deeper levels. I believe that she is right about this. However, knowing this doesn’t make the healing process feel any better.
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt