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Archive for October 29th, 2008

This week, I am writing about my experiences in dealing with recovering a flashback as it happens. The series starts here.

Last night (10/23/08), I made a point of going to bed an hour early. This is unusual for me. When I know that a flashback is coming, I typically procrastinate and wind up feeling exhausted on top of feeling lousy.

I lit a vanilla-scented candle and liberally applied a chamomile spray to my pillow. I ran my air purifier to serve as white noise. Then, I laid down in my bed in a fetal position and invited the memory to come.

I could feel the terror in my thighs. My yoga instructor used to tell me that we hold our terror in our thighs, and I believe her because my panic attacks often begin with the shaking in my thighs and then move to the rest of my body.

Last night, I kept the shaking only in my thighs because I did not channel energy into it. I was allowing my body to release the terror without fueling the fire.

Then, I thought about the parts that I remembered. I remembered agreeing to go to a party with J (my date), S (my guy friend), and B (guy friend’s date). We walked over to the house together. We had to walk from my dorm through a parking lot where I never wanted to park, even though it was closer to my dorm. (Another mystery solved.)

Once we reached the house, I had a very hard time going in. A part of myself continued to fight remembering. So, I talked myself through it. I said that I am safe now. This event happened over 20 years ago. No matter what happened in that house, I loved myself.

I finally made it into the house. Flash of a guy in the corner to my left. Do I know him? I know he is dangerous. I cling to S and his date, B. B does not like this. Danger guy and J invite me to another room. I try to bring B along, but she doesn’t want to go – just relieved to get rid of me.

+++++ Sexual abuse triggers +++++

Flash to the room. Danger guy telling me to “suck him off.” My complying immediately while J (date) watches. Me giving J oral sex while danger guy circulates the party to invite members to the “private party.”

Eventually, S (my guy friend) is invited in. He goes ballistic, calling them a bunch of @$$holes. S takes me out of the room and takes me back to my dorm. B is furious with him. They fight while we walk. I am just “not there.”

We get back to the dorm, where I “come back.” I say that I’ll see him at the picnic. (It was a picnic, not a dance, that was the future plan.) S says I probably should not go to the picnic. I say okay, but I am very confused.

I see them standing vividly in the lobby to my dorm. I give S back the coat that he draped over my shoulders. B is in her own coat, looking furious.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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