This week, I am writing about my experiences in dealing with recovering a flashback as it happens. The series starts here.
I wrote my last post the morning after recovering the memory (10/24/08). I am writing this one immediately afterward.
I typically recover my memories/experience flashbacks at night. That is the only down time I get throughout the day when it is safe for me to process the memory.
As I recover the memory, it is mostly in flashes (hence the term flashback). However, in the morning, the memory sits in my memory bank just like any other memory. If I want to, I can analyze the memory just as I would any other memory.
Here is my memory of the event this morning:
++++++ sexual abuse triggers ++++++
S (guy friend) and J (my date) picked up B (S’s date) and me from our dorm lobby. We walked together over to the party through the back parking lot. Neither S nor I knew our dates well, but we had been friends for a few weeks (beginning of my college career), so we mostly chatted on the walk over. This bothered B, but J did not seem to care.
We walked over to this house where the party was already going. When we got there, I did not know anyone other than the people I came with. I noticed a guy in the corner sizing me up. I knew he was a threat, and I dissociated. That is why I had no memory of the party – a part of myself was never there.
I don’t think I had ever met this guy before, but he was a predator. He saw the dissociation in me, just as I saw the predator in him, so he knew I was safe to exploit.
I clung to S, talking with him so I would not have to go with the danger guy. B got angry because I was monopolizing her date. She probably thought I was making a play for him, but I wasn’t.
Danger guy chatted with my date (J), and then they told me to come with them to another room. I knew it would be bad, so I tried to get B to come with me so I wouldn’t be alone with them. In retrospect, she probably thought I was a slut and trying to get her to do the same things that I did. She probably saw me as wanting to “be with” every guy at the party, including her date, which explains her animosity toward me after that night.
The predator was so cocky. As soon as we got in the room, he told me to “suck him off.” I did not protest a bit – just got down on my knees and did it. J was astonished, but predator was so d@#$ sure of himself.
It was a child alter part they were manipulating. She had seen her beloved dog die and knew that her younger sister’s life was at stake. She was not about to say no. In fact, she was not even aware that saying no or leaving was an option.
I still don’t remember how many, but it was definitely more than just those two guys. S did “rescue” me from that night. He continued to be nice to me the rest of the year (I transferred to a different school after freshman year).
I never went to another party my freshman year, at least not that I remember at this point. I do not recall ever talking to any of the guys from the party again other than S.
Photo credit: Rosanne Mooney