Forgetting or Not?

Recently, I followed several pages for PTSD on Facebook.  A trend that I am seeing is a number of posts that are wishing they could forget.  What I am sharing is my experience.  Forgetting sucks.  I did forget.  By the time I was in high school I could barely remember what happened in junior high.  Basically, by the time I was 15, I couldn’t remember much before I was 12.  When I entered counseling, I was asked about my childhood.  I answered, “It was great, we went to the park, we went to the zoo, it was wonderful.”  My counselor asked me about an average day….I had no idea.  My mind totally obliterated my past but my body and emotions didn’t.  Somebody would touch me and I would jump about a foot off the ground.  My body would pass out but there were no symptoms that doctors could record.  I would get depressed then felt guilty because my life was ‘good’ what did I have to complain about?  My reactions would be extreme in some situations with no understanding of why?  My sister was furious with me for acting as if nothing had happened.  In my mind, nothing had happened.  Even my nightmares would be forgotten by the time I would wake up.  I became terrified of sleeping.  By the time I started counseling I was averaging less than 4 hours of sleep a night and I had NO IDEA WHY.  I was totally baffled by my strange behavior.  Remembering became the gift of finally making sense of my behavior.  I had a reason I struggled with depression.  I had a reason I didn’t want anyone to come up behind me.  I had a reason that I freaked when someone grabbed my wrist.  I had a reason for my anxieties.  I had a reason for my fears.  There were reasons and I finally remembered enough for my life to make sense of what I did.  I was also blessed with kindness of not remembering everything.  I learned that fuzzy is good.  I still have flashbacks that include all the senses but I am learning to fight back to present time.  I still struggle with the dilemma of how much do I actually want to remember.  I take it one day at a time.  Remembering allowed me to piece together many, many of the strange puzzle pieces of my life that didn’t make sense before counseling.  It was painful to remember but it makes a world of difference to making sense of my behavior.

RM1_1574puzzle3smMy counselor told me I was just like everyone else.  I bring in my puzzle pieces and try to sort them out.  I felt relief until he added, “You just happen to be a 10,000 piece puzzle.”  Heavy sigh.

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