This week, I am writing about my experiences in dealing with recovering a flashback as it happens. The series starts here.
It has now been a few days since I had the flashback. I am doing okay. I am actually doing well for the most part, although the pain is still a bit raw.
I shared the story with two friends separately. Both said the right things. One focused on the fact that nothing that happened in the past can change the person that I am today. The other pointed out that S probably thought I was drugged. He knew me before and after and saw how innocent I was. He probably figured I blocked that night out and thought it was best that I did.
What I am struggling with the most right now is coming to terms with the fact that the dissociative identity disorder (DID) really did affect me in adulthood. Up until recently, I believed it was just an issue in childhood. In fact, my therapist never gave me an official diagnosis of DID because I did not report losing time in adulthood. However, I clearly did.
A part of myself is mortified that I have memory gaps that other people could fill but I could not. How many times did I interact with my abusers after the fact and never even know it?
I am also angry that my abusers from childhood left me so vulnerable in adulthood. I was programmed to be a walking doormat for anyone who wanted to use and abuse my body. I fear just how many times I was exploited in adulthood because of my DID.
I am also in awe over how much I have changed. Going back to those times and seeing just how passive I was and then contrasting that person with who I am now is mindboggling. It is hard to believe that I am even the same person.
Overall, I accept that the flashbacks have been a good thing. I am reclaiming parts of myself that I have been pushing away for decades.
A friend worried that something that I had written recently triggered the flashbacks, but I don’t think so. I think I was ready to heal at a deeper level. Until I reclaim all of myself, I will continue to remain fragmented. While I am much more whole than I have ever been, I am still not fully whole. The price of finding wholeness is continuing to discover and heal these wounds.
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt